The countdown is on for Seattle’s coveted comic convention, Emerald City Comicon or as the locals call it ECCC. Myself, I am still getting over meeting some of my fav’s at ECCC 2016. Nathan Fillion, I still can’t believe that happened and iZombie guests. Last year was another epic year of aaaaaah moments! This year the convention is back to it’s relatively early calendar spot, March 2-5, 2017. So while all of you cosplayers are frantically working on your costumes, which we know you will be working on them up until opening day of the ECCC and keeping them up during the Con, we are going to give you a rundown of what to expect at this year’s Con.
For the seasoned returning convention goer, there was no questioning buying a badge on the day sales opened up or even literally the minute sales opened on line. Those who have been through this numerous times knew that they needed to be ready to lay down their cash pronto or risk missing out on getting badges for the days they wanted to attend. Many fans where quickly shut out for the coveted 4 day badge that was offered at a lower price than purchasing dates individually to get a total of 4 days worth of badges. While ECCC is not quite to the size of the SDCC (San Diego Comic-con or known as International) or NYCC (New York City Comicon), Seattle’s Emerald City CC has grown fast over the last 4 years and shows no signs of slowing down. As more and more people have become aware of the local convention and the guests that have been here the last few years, ECCC isn’t far behind on those epic attendance numbers and each year many more fans are coming from all around the world to attend our local convention.
Gone are the days where you can buy your badge at the local comic shops until just a few days before the convention or walk up to the window and get a ticket the day of the convention. At the time of publishing this article, 4 day badges and Saturday badges were completely sold out. There are still some Thursday, Friday and Sunday badges available for purchase but don’t wait to get your get your tickets. This event will sell out, it has sold out the last few years, leaving many sad fans who waited until the last minute to buy a ticket with no ticket in hand.
As tough as it is, it also means that con-goers can continue to expect see more of their favorite comic writers & illustrators, traditional writers and celebrity talents again this year. ECCC has been very busy booking a slew of talent for the 2017 show. So what guests does ECCC 2017 offer its fans this year? Let’s give you a rundown of who has been announced to date (more are still coming too).
Anna Silk – Lost Girl
Bonnie Wright – The Harry Potter Films
Evangeline Lilly – Ant-Man, The Hobbit, Lost
Jess Harnell – Animaniacs
Jim Cummings – Winnie the Pooh
John DiMaggio – Futurama, Adventure Time
Jon Bernthal – Daredevil, The Walking Dead
Maurice LaMarche – Pinky and the Brain
Michael Rooker – Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things
Peter Mayhew – Star Wars
Rob Paulsen – Animaniacs
Robert Englund – Nightmare on Elm Street
Sean Gunn – Guardians of the Galaxy
Shannon Purser – Stranger Things
Stan Lee – Co-Creater of the Avengers
Tress MacNeille – Animaniacs
Troy Baker – Bioshock
In Memoriam – Carrie Fisher was booked for 2017, but sadly, she has passed away. Rest in peace to our Princess!
Comic Guests. There are 113 comic guests announced to date for the 2017 convention:
Abby Denson, Ananth Hirsh, Andrea Blasich, Andrew Robinson, Anthony Falcone, Arielle Jovellanos, Babs Tarr, Bart Sears, Becky Cloonan, Box Brown, Brad Guigar, Brandon Graham, Brian Clevinger, Brian Stelfreeze, Cary Nord, Charles Soule, Chris Giarrusso, Chris Sasaki, Chris Sprouse, Corinna Bechko, Dan Slott, Daniel Warren Johnson, Dave Johnson, Dennis Hopeless, Don Rosa, Duncan Rouleau, Dustin Nguyen, Emi Lenox, Epic Canete, Fabian Nicieza, Gabriel Hardman, Gail Simone, Gene Luen Yang, Geof Darrow, Irene Koh, Jake Wyatt, Jamal Igle, James Harren, Jeff Lemire, Jeff Turley, Jen Bartel, Jeremy Haun, Jesper Ejsing, Jessi Jordan, JG Jones, Jim Cheung, Jim Mahfood, Jim Zub, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Josh Burcham, Joshua Middleton, Jose’ Luis Garcia-Lo’pez, Katie Cook, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kevin Wada, Khary Randolph, Klaus Janson, Kris Anka, Kyle Strahm, Lea Hernandez, Lin Visel, Marcus To, Marie Enger, Mark Brooks, Mark Waid, Matt Fraction, Matteo Scalera, Matthew Dow Smith, Matthew Loux, Max Dunbar, Megan Hutchison, Michael Avon Oeming, Michael Cho, Mike Norton, Mirka Andolfo, MK Reed, Monica Gallagher, Ngozi Ukazu, Nick Dragotta, Pranas T. Naujokaitis, Pe’ne’lope Bagieu, Rachel Dodson, Ramon Perez, Ramon Villalobos, Ray Fawkes, Robbie Thompson, Robert Wilson IV, Ron Marz, Ryan Browne, Ryan Lang, Scott Snyder, Scott Wegener, Scott Westerfeld, Shawn Crystal, Shea Fontana, Simon Roy, Steven T. Seagle, Taki Soma, Terry Dodson, Tessa Stone, Tim Daniel, Tim Sale, Tom Taylor, Tony Shasteen, Tyler Johnson, Valentine de Landro, Vanesa Del Rey, Victoria Ying, Yasmin Liang, Yuko Ota and Zach Davisson.
Gene Luen Yang
Now we all know that the special guests draw many of the attendees who attend the convention, but that’s not all ECCC has to offer either and there are many fans who still come for the comics. If you’ve yet to attend and this will be your first year or you are a returning fan, there are so many more things to do and see than just guests while at the Washington State Convention Center each day. ECCC has become so large that it has long overflowed the convention center (CC) boundaries into neighboring properties adjacent to the CC. Hopefully this year Reed Pop has addressed some of the space issues and been able to expand into a little more space to provide additional rooms for all of the guests, vendors and attendees.
This year you can expect more awesome panels, I mean you’ve seen the guest announcements. There is no way that there will not be any great panels this year. Panel’s will revealed sometime in January. For those who will be attending for the first time, the panels are where you go to watch a discussion from the guests and writers. There are also special interest panels too. For example, you can go to panels and watch talent like the legendary Stan Lee or up and comer Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things being interviewed (sure to be a very hot panel this year) and guests can also ask questions. You could also check out a panel about cosplaying and costume design. Panels have something for everyone so make sure to check out the panel schedules either in the ECCC mobile app, on the ECCC website or in the guide you get when you get to ECCC. They hold all the valuable information on the who’s, what’s, when’s and where’s of the convention. There is also an unofficial ECCC Facebook group that has just shy of 8000 members who love ECCC and they share information and discuss everything ECCC related with other fans who share the same interests. The group is open to all.
Photo ops and autographs are going to be very popular again this year. Myself, I will be lining up to complete my Lost Girl photos, hello Anna Silk! I bet there is atleast one guest on the list you really want to meet too. You can get a photo with your favorite guests or have something autographed by them at ECCC. These do have associated costs with them so make sure you are saving up to purchase your photo and autograph ops. They can be purchased a few weeks ahead of the covention through the ECCC website and onsite if space is still available, best bet is to get them online if you possibly can. If you can’t afford to purchase them but are really interested in meeting a guest, you can stand in their autograph line and meet them without getting an autograph. So don’t feel completely heart broken if you can’t afford the photo op or autograph. Most all of the guests are happy just say hello to their fans.
Cosplay is huge at ECCC. So come dressed as your favorite character and join in on the atmosphere. There are photos areas through out the CC with the ECCC Reed POP backdrop that you can get a photo and meet with other cosplayers and take photos together. Check the ECCC social media account, there are often Fandom meet-ups for group photos throughout the 4 days at ECCC so if you’ve ever wanted to meet up with others who share you love for your favorite comic or show and get a group photo, you will have your chance. Just remember the golden rule, Cosplay is not consent. Ask before you snap photos and do not treat anyone in Cosplay in an unwanted way. You can and will be asked to leave ECCC and have your badge confiscated if you are harassing other guests. There is also a Cosplay costume competition on Saturday night (March 4, 2017) of ECCC called The Western Championships of Cosplay. If you want to compete, entries are open through February 3, 2017. After that you can only attend to watch the competition take place. So for those of you reading this right now that plan to enter, get your entry in asap!
Artist Alley and the Exhibition floor are shopping heaven for all of us nerds! You can meet many of your favorite writers and illustrators at their booths in Artist Alley. They often have autograph sessions at their booths that are free, they are separate from the official ECCC guest autographs. So make sure to check out Artist Alley and your favorites to see what their schedules are so you don’t miss out. Expect lines at the booths so look around for a queuing spot for the booth. And oh the shopping heaven in Artist Alley and across the Exhibition floor. Have a comic you are looking for? There are vendors with crates full of comics to dig through to find that 1 gem you have been searching for. Comic figures, clothing, books, collectibles, Funko Pops… you name it, you will find it somewhere between Artist Alley and the Exhibition floor.
But don’t forget to check out the other areas that the convention spreads into. There is a special children’s section set up with displays and kid friendly content. There is a sensory room if you need a quiet space to decompress if you are overwhelmed by all the noise and people. Non-gender specific bathrooms are all over the convention center and are marked, family bathrooms as well. So make sure to check the map of ECCC offerings so you can find your way to these additional areas. In addition, there is gaming content and a set of workshops call Schoolism LIVE where you can work with industry professionals on developing your skills in their specialities. Schoolism LIVE requires a ticket so check the ECCC website.
And once you are totally worn out and need a break, there are plenty of good food options all around the CC locale to enjoy. There are a few good places inside the CC, but don’t limit yourself. There are many great restaurants all around the downtown Seattle area, so take a break and hit one of the many great local businesses Seattle has to offer.
So what are you most looking forward to this year? I’d love to know. I’d also love to know how you plan your time around ECCC and your “survival techniques” at the convention each day. Tips and tricks you care to share, fire away and let us know by posting a comment below. See you at ECCC 2017!