Multiple exhibitors have announced they are pulling out of this year’s Emerald City Comic Con, out of concern over the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle. Among the exhibitors are publishers Dark Horse Comics and Penguin Random House, and artist Jen Bartel. The announcements were made via their respective Twitter accounts:

https://twitter.com/heyjenbartel/status/1234958165105610753

The news leaves several good-sized vacancies on the con floor. Dark Horse, with their headquarters just down I-5 in the Portland area, has historically had a fairly sizable presence at ECCC. The publisher was slated to be positioned prominently in one of the largest booths on the convention floor. They had already announced at least one exclusive to be sold at the con, a blank sketch variant for¬†BANG! #1, with a planned signing and sketching session for series writer¬†Matt Kindt (Kindt is still on the guest list for ECCC, exhibiting in Artist’s Alley). Penguin Random House was also slated to have a large booth, though not as large as Dark Horse’s.

The news comes as the death toll related to coronavirus in Seattle’s King County has risen to nine, including two people who died last week and have since been found to have had the virus. A majority of the other cases of coronavirus in King County have been at a nursing facility in nearby Kirkland, WA. Over the weekend, ECCC organizers ReedPOP announced that the convention would continue as planned, and that they were implementing additional sanitization measures around the Washington State Convention Center.

There’s sure to be more on this as Emerald City Comic Con approaches. The con is slated to begin next Thursday, March 12th.

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