Last weekend, my wife and I spent both Saturday and Sunday at Emerald City ComiCon. Last year was our first time at the con, but this year was a very different experience. This year, the con was much bigger with twice the floorspace for the exhibition hall and more events spread throughout the convention hall. Unfortunately, it was also much more crowded with enough people in the hall that it was hard to move around and difficult to spend time looking at things without feeling like you were in the way.
On Saturday, we spent most of our time wandering the main exhibition hall. My favorite part of the con is the artist alley, and this year there were two large areas in the main hall full of artist booths. I picked up three new prints to put on my wall at home: a dinosaur by Lucas Elliott, characters from Avatar by Melissa Pagluica, and a Mouse Guard print by David Petersen. After finishing the hall, we went to celebrity panels with Gillian Anderson and Natalia Tena.
On Sunday, we started our day in the gaming section. There was a devoted artist alley for gaming artists which was fun to look through, but overall the gaming area felt sparse. There were only a couple of game companies present and a few retailers, but there wasn’t much to browse. We spent the afternoon in panels again. The first panel was Chris Sarandon who played Prince Humperdink in the Princess Bride, and had a great story about his daughters and André the Giant. The second panel we attended was the Geek & Sundry panel with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton. That one was a lot of fun as they took questions from the audience.
One cool thing that ECCC did this year is partner with FlipOn.tv. Many of the panels are available online here. They are charging for access to some of the videos such as the celebrity panels from the main hall, but a decent number of the panels are free to watch.
Overall, we enjoyed the con, but the bigger crowds made it more stressful than I’d like at times. It was strange to have such a different experience than last year, but also nice to see the con growing and drawing more attendees.