It looks like it is that time of the year again, my pretties – March 4-6th will mark the 9th annual Emerald City Comicon. This gloriously geeky goodness will once again be held at the beautiful Washington State Convention Center which is connected to Freeway Park, in picturesque downtown Seattle, WA. For the first time ever, a third day has been added to ECCC’s yearly celebration of comics and pop-culture, and Comic Booked will be there to cover it all! We are on it like stink on a monkey, and very excited for what is sure to be an amazing event.
Emerald City Comicon is the premier convention in the Northwest. The event has grown by 20% each year, and anticipates 25,000 guests in attendance this time around. I have personally attended the last six conventions and have always had a great time, and it just keeps getting better. Make no mistake, Seattle is a comic book city and this is our main event. Let’s take a look at what ECCC has on tap for us this year.
Media Guests include: William Shatner (Star Trek, and celebrating his eightieth birthday March 22nd), Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TGN), John Noble (Lord of the Rings, Fringe) and many others.
Comic Guests (a personal favorite) include: Darick Robertson (who was cool enough to do a recent, exclusive Comic Booked interview), Ben Templesmith, Mike Mignola, Brian Michael Bendis, Jacen Burrows, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender, Erik Larsen, Ryan Ottley (gasping for breath) and so many others! There is a very robust line-up of talent this year and these names are just the tip of the iceberg. Printed out the complete guest list spans thirteen pages!
Author Max Brooks (writer of the amazing World War Zand The Zombie Survival Guide – read them post-haste if you haven’t already) will also be in attendance. There will also be sixty-six hours of panel discussions taking place throughout the weekend and a masquerade. Not to even mention the sweet exclusives to be had at ECCC this year. The 2011 Emerald City Comicon is going to be epic! I hope to see you there.
Be sure to check out the the official Emerald City Comicon website for full details @ http://www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/
If you are new to conventions check out ComicCon Convention 101
Cool Bonus Events To Check Out:
ECCC Live Art Event
Friday March 4th 9:30pm-2am at NocNoc. With Ben Templesmith, Camilla D’Errico, Comic Booked’s own Stephan Maich and many more!
EC Geek Girl Flashmob!
Watch the video,then practice withus on Friday, March 4 at 1:30pm or Saturday, March 5 at 9am. We’ll be at the park behind Pike Place Market on Western Ave and Virginia St. Look for a Superboy shirt or Jayne Cobb’s cunning hat.
The actual flashmob will be at the main floor lobby of the Seattle Convention Center (AKA the Washington State Convention & Trade Center) on Saturday, March 5 at 11am. Look for Wonder Woman to start things off. Then afterwards, join us for…
GeekGirlCon Lunch and Pinball Meet-up
Saturday, March 5th from noon till 1:30pm, GeekGirlCon will be hosting lunch and pinball at Shorty’s, Seattle’s pinball arcade bar, 2222 2ndAvenue # A, Seattle. Come hang out with fellow geeks, eat lunch, and challenge someone to a pinball game. Shorty’s is 21 and over so don’t forget your ID, and we don’t mean your Avengers’ card. Hope to see you there!
Fantagraphics and Top Shelf Presents: CON ARTISTS
Saturday, March 5th at 9p.m, Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous
THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO SEATTLE
Seattle is a beautiful city and Emerald City Comicon is right downtown, so you can enjoy much what our fair city has to offer. If you are lucky, you arrived on a Boeing airplane in the rain, so you can head straight to the Pike Place Market, order an espresso, micro-brew, and a plate of salmon while you listen to grunge on your Microsoft MP3 player; in this manner you can take care of all the Seattle cliches in one fell swoop. After that, check out some of what makes our city really special.
While you are in the Pike Place Market, there are actually some cool things to check out. The Market is home to America’s oldest comic shop, Golden Age Collectables, celebrating their 40th birthday this year. They are located two floors down in the Market. Popular with tourists, the ‘Original Starbucks Store’ is also located in the Market. Stop to stare in awe… or shake your fist, then find a Stumptown Coffee for a cup of the best. Starbucks also owns Seattle’s Best Coffee. Count the number of stores they own as you walk through downtown, and make it into a ‘slug-bug’ type game; or see how many you can get in one picture. My personal record is four. There are many fun tours of the Market, including my favorite: The Market Ghost Tour. While in the Market, make sure you go down the stairs to Post Alley and add your contribution to ‘the gum wall’. Is it art? Is it disgusting? A little of both? Definitely cool though. You will be able to see the Market from the Convention Center, so there is a good chance you will actually check it out while in town. Enjoy.
A really awesome comic shop downtown is Zanadu Comics. This is where I buy almost all of my books. The staff are super friendly and knowledgeable- they knew my name by the second or third time I came into the store. Since this is my Geek Guide, I urge you to drop in over the weekend to say hi and check out the shop. Zanadu is located at 1923 3rd Ave. between Stewart and Virginia.
Another destination of geek interest would be the Science Fiction Museum and Experience Music Project, located in the Seattle Center underneath the Space Needle. You can even get there by riding the Seattle Center Monorail, a city icon from the 1962 World’s Fair. Catch the Monorail upstairs at 5th Ave. and Pine St.
There are many great places for eating and nightlife here in the Emerald City. I would suggest that you pick up a copy of our two free weekly papers The Stranger or The Seattle Weekly, or check them out online for venue and event listings.
If you feel the urge to get you video game on, GameWorks is located right next to the convention. For a more intimate setting, I would strongly suggest Shorty’s or the Seattle Pinball Museum. If retro gaming is what you love, check out Pink Gorilla and maybe bring home an old Atari 2600, an NES or any number of the awesome things that can be found at this amazing shop.
If you happen to be an artist who needs emergency art supplies, or a convention goer who needs a poster tube, Utrecht Art Supplies is up the hill three blocks east of the Convention Center. Also, if you happen to get into town early,the night before ECCC is our monthly First Thursday Artwalk. All the art galleries are open to the public, free, and it is always a very fun night. I would highly recommend 619 Western Ave. Arts Building for an Art Walk must-see.
Alternate Lodging Options
I noticed that most of the hotels on the ECCC website are getting all booked up. Downtown hotels can be quite expensive. If you are traveling on a budget or running out of places to look for lodging, consider checking out some of the hostels around town. I have checked, and these places still have space: The American Hotel, Green Tortise Hostel, and City Hostel Seattle. The Moore Hotel is not a hostel but is also a lovely option, with good prices and located only blocks from the convention.
Seattle has an excellent public transportation system, made up of: Metro Busses, Sound Transit Busses, Link Light Rail, the Seattle Streetcar or the South Lake Union Trolley (SLUT-I am not even making this up), the Seattle Center Monorail, and the biggest ferry system in the U.S. The buses and light rail are probably the most use for convention goers. Seattle’s downtown area is a bus free ride zone from 6a.m to 7p.m. daily. The transit tunnel entrance is a block and a half from the Convention Center and will get you to many downtown neighborhoods quickly. The Link Light Rail also runs in the transit tunnel and goes all the way to Sea-Tac International Airport, but requires a fare to ride. Be sure to check the weekend timetables so you don’t get stranded when transit stops running late at night. There are also Yellow Cab and Orange Cab to supplement your transportation needs.
I hope you enjoy your time at Emerald City Comicon and in the city of Seattle. Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any questions.
If You Enjoyed This Event, Check Out What Other Events Seattle Will Be Hosting This Year:
Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) August 26th-28th
ZomBcon 2011 October 21st-23rd
Exciting New Event! GeekGirlConOctobeer 8th-9th