Mar 16, 2010

Emerald City Comic Con - 2010

Another year, another comic convention here in the great metropolis of Seattle.
This show was the biggest ever, in terms of not only the guest list but also the sheer number of people who attended it.

There is just w-a-y to much to cover in this post, so I will simply touch on a few of the high-points of my weekend.

Friday morning started early... like 3:50 a.m. early!.... as I woke up 'cause I couldn't sleep anymore. I had to be up to catch a ride to Seattle so I could check into the hotel, then it was off to the airport to greet guests as they arrived.
I was at the airport with the Maimed Man from around 9:00 a.m. until 6:45 p.m.
We worked in tandem: he kept an eye on the flights and which baggage claim to meet them at, while I coordinated with the drivers outside and gave the guests their show packets. It was a great system and went very smoothly with both of us there.
We met a lot of the guests, including (but certainly not limited to) Erin Gray, Lou Ferrigno, and Leonard "Spock" Nimoy!
I also got to meet Terry Moore & his wife Robyn as they arrived. They remembered me and gave me hugs to say "hello".
It was a long day and very tiring, but after leaving to come back to the hotel we then went out to dinner with a bunch of the other ECCC volunteers.

Saturday morning, I got up early again and started taking my stuff over to the convention center so I didn't have to lug it there at the last minute.
It was about 6:30 a.m. when I walked up to registration and there was already a line of people waiting to get in. (The show didn't open until 10:00 and they still had 3-1/2 hours to go)
Then I got some breakfast at the Dragonfish with C. Burnham before going back to the convention center for the day.
People were still setting up their booths right until the time the doors were opened for the attendees.
I made my way around the show floor getting reacquainted with old friends and meeting a few new ones.
Then 10:00 rolled around and the people started pouring in.... literally!
Here's a pic of the crowd right before the doors opened:

And here's what it looked like on the inside just a few seconds after they opened:

There were three main places that people were making a beeline towards.
One was to get in line to meet Stan Lee.
Another to meet Leonard Nimoy.
And the third was at the opposite end of the building to meet Geoff Johns.
Those three areas quickly became a mass of bodies and chaos.
It took some wrangling, but eventually we got volunteers to manage those areas as best as possible.
As for the show floor, it was PACKED!
So much so that I had a difficult time getting around from place to place.

Still, I managed to weave through the crowd and make my way to the guests and bring them stuff they were asking for.
I ended up at the end of the day with blisters on two of my left toes and I was sore all over just maneuvering through the crowd and being on my feet all day.

Originally there was to be a "meet-and-greet" with Stan Lee right before the show opened for a few of us volunteers, but Stan got the the show floor too late for it to happen and then his line was overwhelming. I asked a couple of the promoters if there was even a chance of getting to see him, but it looked doubtful. So I gave up on my dream of getting to have my picture taken with him.*

I was busy the entire 8 hours of the show (not to mention being there a few hours early), but finally it was 6:00 and everybody was shooshed out for the evening.
A bunch of volunteers met up for dinner, but I went out with a friend and we met up with some of the comic writers from the show.
Along the way, I ran into Filip Sablik (the publisher at Top Cow) and Steve Rolston among others.
I was having a good time, but the evening began to catch up to me and I began to fade. So I bid them all a good night and headed back to my hotel room to try and sleep.

Sunday morning came and I got up later than I expected.
In fact, I had just enough time to take a quick shower before getting to the convention center and had to skip breakfast.

On my way, I was carrying an ice cooler on one shoulder and talking to my mom (who came for the show) with my other hand. The guy in front of me was nice enough to open the door and hold it for me so I could get in. It turned out to be none other than Joe Quesada! The Editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics!

I showed my mom and her husband around for a bit, and then I had to get busy as the doors were about to open again for the second day of the show.

Day two is always (THANKFULLY!!!) a bit slower, and I managed to meet a few new people and find out more about the books or art they were selling. I also was able to get a couple of sketches I'd been hoping to get this year and I picked up some new books to read.

The day went a lot easier with fewer attendees on the show floor, but my blisters from the day before began giving me trouble. I wrapped up each toe with a band-aid and continued to power on for the day.

As it drew closer to the end of the day, the crowds started to die down and people started to get their stuff ready to pack up.
Over the intercom speakers, they announced that this year's show was the biggest ever with over 14,000 people having attended it! (Although, I heard a little later that the number might have even been larger... so once I get the final total I'll let you all know)

The post-show dinner party took place across the street about an hour and a half later.
Hotness & I showed up a few minutes apart but mingled for a bit and then ended up sitting at different tables.
Since she works with the media guests, she tends to hang out with a lot of the volunteers from that group.
I am usually working with the comic book professionals, so I always end-up sitting with them at dinner and catching up.

After a couple of hours, they kicked us out of the resteraunt and sent us downstairs to hang out in the bar. Aaron Douglas (who was a guest at this and last year's shows) showed up and goofed off for a bit with all of us.
Then we headed out to another resteraunt for a few drinks and nibbles before settling down for the night.

We stayed at the hotel an extra night, so it was nice not having to rush home after staying out late the night before.

I got up Monday morning and had breakfast, then after Hotness woke up I took her to get something to eat.

There were a few guests in the hotel lobby when we got back and I got to speak with them and introduce them to Hotness.
Among them: Tim Bradstreet and Mark Texeira, both of whom Hotness has always enjoyed art they have done.

We finally headed back up to the room and packed up our stuff and made the drive back home.
It was a long, but very fun and eventful, weekend.
Much more so than last year's. (I was fighting off a cold last year, and by the end of the show I had no voice left and could barely walk anymore)

I'm resting up and looking forward to my trip to Calgary in a little over a month.
Lots of cool stuff happening then and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

* Oh yeah.
I had given up on ever meeting Stan Lee, when at about 3:30 in the afternoon on Saturday I got a text message that said: "Hustle your butt down to the photo booth right away!"
I got there and found out that I was going to get the chance to have my picture taken with Stan after all!
Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to him for very long, but I did get to shake his hand and tell him what an honor it was to meet a legend like himself. Then 3 seconds later, our picture was taken and I was out of there and back on the floor helping guests.
The photo printer broke down during the show and I was not able to get my picture before the convention ended. Luckily I know the photographer and will be getting it in the mail soon, though.

2 things people had to say:

Elwood said...

Sounds like I missed out on the best part of the after-party by leaving so early. Bummer.

Hotel-ing it next year for sure. Steph and I will share with you guys if you want.

Ferretnick said...

That sounds like a plan!