For years people have been telling me to go to this show. “It’s a comics comic-con.” I just want to say right of fthe bat, if you didn’t get in to San Diego Comic-Con or you have been going for years and didn’t beat the refresh button, then save up for ECCC next year. This is a show that wants you and your support.When I got in to Seattle, I met up with Jacob Breckenridge and Mike Esham, my fellow Tucson stand up/comic creators. They made this the best comic con experience I ever had. I’m lucky that they took the initiative and helped me plan this trip in early November; I think if we waited any longer then we would have missed out. This time, we stayed near the Space Needle. If we were any closer, I could sneeze on the tip of it.
On day one, when I entered the dazzling Seattle Convention Center, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. I was introduced to a well organized, massive line of eager attendees. There were thousands of people standing around the lobby, blocking packed restaurants and novelty shops. Thank Rao that the Fire Marshal didn’t intervene or lock the doors.
That was just the first of six floors. The second floor was made up of many elaborate Lego exhibits, panel rooms and Sci-fi Speed dating. Exhibitors, guests, artist alley and more panels made up the third floor. The four floor was where all the action took place; All the major publishers, special guests and actors and another massive artist alley section were jammed in there. Level six featured more panels and an exclusive area for celebrities, and voice actors, a brilliant move on the show director’s part.
Everyone from Artist’s Alley and beyond told me that the show has never been this big. I kept getting, “It’s so big, it’s overwhelming.” There aren’t too many shows that you can say that the overwhelming MAJORITY of attendees were comic book enthusiasts. While I was on a twitpic spree, I over heard many chipper children tell their parents how happy meeting their their artist/writer role models made them. Sure it happens at every show but I heard it enough times really warm my heart and made me excited for future generations of the business.
Throughout the weekend I asked many artists that have attended the show previously, how it was doing for them financially. The universal feeling was that Saturday was the slowest and no one knew why. I got this reaction more frequently in the X, P, O, N, M L, V, T, R, S Q and K sections. There seemed to be a bottleneck with the enormous space of small/big press, retailers and various geek culture booths in front of them. A handful of creators that have had financial success previous years, didn’t make enough to cover their travel expenses this time around. Very few used the Sheraton to their advantage for making connections and getting new gigs. If you went home in the red and no new potential collaborative opportunities, then your next convention should involve a networking re-attack. This is everyone’s favorite show because working industry artists are so accessible and they introduce you to their friends.
The ECCC volunteers were the greatest. A big, serious thanks goes out to everyone that donated their time to making this convention as great as it was. They should all go in to the Secret Service, because everything moved like clock work. Lines for creators would be capped off and they would hold a sign saying, come back in half an hour. Consequently, I meet everyone I wanted to meet, a rare thing at San Diego and New York. When I asked staff how they was treated, the response was, “royalty.”
I know you all read our stellar coverage of the live panel blogging here. Which I was grateful for, because it gave me more time to explore the show room. I thought the live blogging was going to censor, and effect how the panelists expressed themselves in fear of *offending* the folks at home. But it didn’t. Don’t believe me? Watch the Comedy Writing panel with the funniest writing duo in comics Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. Then count how many times you cringe from the guilt of laughing at shit you shouldn’t. The panels were top notch and really stole the Saturday crowd from artist alley.
For some reason the retailers were tight lipped about how the show was going for them. Maybe I wasn’t asking the right questions or my sweater vest threw them off. Everyone I spoke with said sales were inline with previous years. So it must good. A sold-out show of over 60,000 attendees should put the kids through community college, right? Jimmy Jay was grinning ear to ear when I asked how sales were going for him.
I mean this when I say that this is my favorite comic-con. The energy and the people just inspired me, and everyone I know in so many ways. Big congratulations, and thanks to Jim Demonakos for putting on such a successful show. We met at Shannon Denton’s table, while Demonkos was going around to every booth personally thanking everyone behind their table for coming out.
I know that I can’t express it any better than the following lovely people, that gave their heart and soul for three sleepless (in Seattle) nights. I will also leave you with some photos from the event:
— Bonnie Burton (@bonniegrrl) March 4, 2013
— Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue) March 3, 2013
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) March 4, 2013
#ECCC Was fantastic. Seattle, you are awesome
— Kyle Higgins (@KyleDHiggins) March 4, 2013
The fact that ECCC has managed to keep their focus on comics during such extraordinary growth is to be commended.
— Chris Roberson (@chris_roberson) March 4, 2013
Another memorable #ECCC .As always, I had a terrific time in the presence of wonderful staff, fans, and pros.Can’t wait for next year
— Kevin Maguire (@maguirekevin) March 4, 2013
— Ξric M. Ξsquivel (@ericMesquivel) March 4, 2013
The only bad thing about #eccc was that it was too busy for me to leave my table. I have no idea who was at this con. What a great show.
— skottie young (@skottieyoung) March 4, 2013
— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) March 4, 2013
— Christos Gage (@Christosgage) March 4, 2013
— Josh Hawkes (@303_Ninja) March 4, 2013
— Chelsea Cain (@ChelseaCain) March 3, 2013
— Henry Barajas (@HenryBarajas) March 2, 2013
— Cully Hamner (@CullyHamner) March 2, 2013
— Clayton C. Anderson (@Astro_Clay) March 2, 2013
— Gabriel Hardman (@gabrielhardman) March 2, 2013
— Pocza (@dpocza) March 2, 2013
— Mike Russell (@culturepulp) March 2, 2013
Loved the sea food, beer, jazz music, coffee and Pikes Place Market. I need to go back and visit the city again.
Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies. He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat. You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas and Google+.