The year: 1994.
An unsuspecting boy rewards himself with some victory-cake after a hard day of vigilante justice and drinking juice boxes.
When you’re a kid, you’re taught that anyone can achieve greatness, that anyone can be a hero. But what everyone fails to mention is that sometimes, you are destined to be the villain.
The year: 2014.
Twenty years have passed and you’ve learned that things don’t always work out the way you had originally planned — not everything can be solved by a man in a cape.
So you don a mask.
For one magnificent weekend, I was surrounded by a gaggle of passionate geeks and comic-book nerds. And for once, I felt at home in this world.
Here are my insider tips and tricks that may hopefully convince you to don a cape/mask/tights and get your geek on.
The convention features celebrity panels, artist booths, live music, video game exhibits, costume competitions, fan-led forums and much more. Last year, 88,000 fans gathered in downtown Seattle to show their love for the biggest names in comic books and pop culture.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of ECCC, and it promises to be even bigger and geekier than ever with celebrity guests, new exhibits and an unusually high percentage of grown adults in unitards.
This year, ECCC takes place from March 2 through March 5 at the Washington State Convention Center. To accommodate for increased attendance, Comicon has expanded by moving its autograph and photo-op areas to the Sheraton Hotel, across the street from the Convention Center. This move will open up space for lines, and give me more room to dance as I eagerly wait to meet Freddy Krueger!
Be aware that photo ops and autographs are not free and photo sessions can sell out. Consider purchasing tickets for photos in advance here. The autograph session schedule and prices can be found here.
Actors, artists, authors, singers, podcasters and more will be hosting panels, where they will discuss their latest works as well as answer questions from fans. What’s beautiful about Comicon’s selection of guests is that they span a wide range of genres, from superhero comics to sci-fi movies to glam-rock music.
Just a few of the many guests this year are Evangeline Lilly, Robert Kirkman, Caitriona Balfe, John DiMaggio, Alice Cooper and Stan Lee! There will also be plenty of souvenirs and comic books for sale, so you might be able to get your favorite stars and artists to sign some cool Comicon-exclusive merch, too!
In addition to star-studded panels, ECCC offers a way for participants to get involved and increase their geek-academia throughout the course of the convention. Workshops include themes such as how to create your own cosplay costumes, comic-book drawing lessons, in-depth discussions on social issues as represented in pop culture, tabletop-game demos from established franchises, and new indie-game companies. Check out the schedule for the gaming tournament here. I just scored three Jiggypuffs from one booster pack, so don’t even try to challenge me in a Pokemon card tournament.
Alright, we’ve reached the math portion of this article. What do you get when you take a certified yoga instructor and add fan fiction? The answer: I have no idea, but I am dying to limber up and find out.
That’s right, Tom Felton — your favorite bad boy this side of Hogwarts — will be at Comicon this year. Since graduating from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Felton can be seen in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Flash.
Last time I checked, the official dress code for Comicon is business-sexy. However, if you’re unable to locate your tuxedo-cutoffs, Comicon is one of the few places on earth where you are welcome and encouraged to dress up as your favorite comic-inspired character. This is the kind of place you can dress up as Bane Jr. and sneak up behind every Batman you see… and boy, you’ll see a lot of the Bat.
I’ve got eleven more reasons why Emerald City Comicon is not to be missed!
Okay, I lied. I only have one more reason, but that reason is Eleven. You read that right — Millie Bobby Brown, who stars as “Eleven” on Netflix’s Stranger Things, will be one of the celebrity guests this year! She’s easily the breakout star of the show and I can’t wait to see more of this talented actress. Hopefully Millie will sign my box of frozen waffles.
Whether you’re a hardcore comic-book fan, a Netflix binge-watcher or someone who just likes to wear elaborate light-up clothing on Thursday afternoons, ECCC is the place for you.
And if you haven’t snatched up your ticket yet, get on it — the event sells out every year, but there are still a few single-day ECCC tickets available here!
Paris Nguyen is a writer and journalist who specializes in entertainment news. He graduated from the University of Washington in 2013, majoring in psychology and cinema studies. With a passion for all things film-related, Paris spends the majority of his free time exploring the expansive world of cinema. When not munching on popcorn in a dark theater, Paris enjoys cycling, rock climbing and feebly tossing a frisbee in the general direction of other humans. Paris grew up in Issaquah, Wash., where he developed a deep fondness for hiking and pronouncing the name of his hometown incorrectly.More stories by Paris Nguyen