I’m not sure if this is a brand new thing, but hotels for the increasingly ginormous Emerald City Comicon how require a night’s deposit on booking. The main hotels are still pretty affordable—even the ultra swanky W Hotel where you get free Bliss facial cleanser and they change the rugs twice a day, is under $150 a night. But I guess given the popularity of the show and the early sell outs, some “hotel room jockeying” is taking place, necessitating a deposit to keep people from stockpiling hotels.

But for at least one person, this is too much. Cheryl Lynn Eaton, commonly known as Digital Femme online, writes that having to commit to a show months and months before the guest list is even announced—as is increasingly common— is a no go for her.

Unlike theme parks, which pride themselves on repetition and nostalgia—providing the same experience year after year—comic conventions make an effort to showcase a new crop of entertainers and creators each year, making each show a unique experience. However, that uniqueness—essentially instability—makes the convention difficult to invest in for fans who are not locals, especially when they are expected to purchase tickets and hotel rooms with only a handful of guest announcements made. For locals the draw is the spectacle—outlandish costumes, revelry, and the superheroic—convention constants. However, those who are not from the region attend to see very specific people—artists, writers, and actors. I can bear witness to spectacle at home;Dragon Con takes place merely a short drive away. But should I wish to get a particular comic signed? Well, I can’t attend just any convention. I have to attend the one the creative team in question attends. And if tickets for that convention have sold out months before the creative team has even announced their appearance? Well, I can’t attend the convention at all.

Every large convention, San Diego Comic-con, New York Comic Con, Dragon Con, and now Emerald City Comicon, requires attendees to purchase tickets prior to knowing what they are purchasing tickets for. A show with a paltry, partial guest list is no more than a mystery prize. One cannot expect fans to risk hundreds without knowing what is behind Door #3. Showrunners know this and do not care, for there are many locals who are more than happy to merely risk a couple of twenties. That risk is most certainly worth it.

I am excited to be attending Rose City Comic Con next week—and New York Comic Conthe following month!—but the experiences will be bittersweet. New York Comic Con will likely be the last comic convention I ever attend, and the chapter will have closed where it began.


  1. Sadly, that’s just reality. The fact that they sell out in advance tells you other people are willing to gamble and, if that’s the case, there is huge value in getting their money as soon as possible.

  2. So I kid you not, my takeaway from your article is: “OMG, Cheryl’s living in Atlanta now? But she’s coming to NYCC next month, I’m so excited! Now how do I get her over to Artist Alley booth B6?”

  3. I am writing you right now from the Emerald City -it is a quagmire of passive-aggressive bigots that like to use the word ‘pretentious’ instead of bigot, because -ya’know, ‘bigot’ sounds bad. What is “passive-aggressive”? -These are ‘people’ who make an effort NOT to acknowledge the person next to them, unless that person fits their comfort zone -otherwise, get ready for people to ignore you when you ask for directions, the time, if a bus is about to show up, how much something costs… -Also since Seattle is just a very pretentious passive-aggressive bigot suburb with a bunch of tall buildings in the middle of it, you have to do certain things -dress a certain way at that matches a certain place, you are not allowed to cross the street unless the crosswalk tells you to -this is a HUGE social death sentence if you cross when no cars are present if the sign tells you not to -but most importantly, the bigotry is mainly the hick/redneck-extremist type like in Arizona or Texas -they say things like ‘city life needs to be decimated cuz they are all a bunch of liberals part of the populist vote…’, but it is just more low key/subtle in passive-aggressive forms in how people say things and act and avoid providing eye contact or responses to you -or hiring you, or allowing you to keep your job type of serious bigotry. It sucks here. Thee is no work unless you are from India or the country. Google passed Seattle up for implementing their fiber optic network, because of “the seattle process”.

  4. If a convention gets so popular that they sell out in advance of programming and Hotel Hell occurs, then:
    1) Chances are, there will be suitable programming, professionals, and retailers to make it worth the gamble,
    2) It will rival Mecca for throngs, as people perform multiple tawafs around the sales floor.

    I avoid San Diego. (Done it, three times. Don’t need to do it again.) I live in NYC, so I avoid most of the stress tourists face. I like to travel, and I’ll travel to regional conventions. Even the mega-cons, just so I can experience the show, explore it on a meta level, enjoy the surrounding neighborhoods, and maybe find something cool.
    Me, I’m an eclectic reader and collector. I’m also a bit introverted. I can find something to interest me, and find something to keep me preoccupied at most shows.

    Of course, you have to commit months in advance anyway… that’s when plane tickets are cheapest, and hotel rooms are plentiful.

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