Have you ever heard of The Emerald City? Most of you will raise your hand and say, “yes, that is where the Wonderful Wizard of Oz resides”. While that statement may be true, this week we are bringing you a different Emerald City. In this metropolis, there is no Wizard, no lovable singing Munchkins, and no scarecrow. But wait, is that Glenda the Good Witch of the North laughing and talking with The Wicked Witch of the West while in line to get a photo and autograph from Will Wheaton? TBBT fans? Who knew… That’s right folks, this week we come to you from The Emerald City, but not any Emerald City you may know of. This Emerald city is packed full of nerds, comic geeks, fanboys (and fangirls) and cosplay characters from Doctor Strange to Batman and Ghostbusters to, you guessed it, The Wizard of Oz! This is The Emerald City Comic Con!
If you are taking the time to read this column, there is a good chance you have at least heard of a comic con. The Emerald City Comic Con, held in Seattle Washington, is the Northwest premier con. This year’s event ran from Thursday, March 1st to Sunday, March 4th, and while this year’s official attendance numbers have not been made public yet, we are sure it will beat the 91,000 that were in attendance at the 2017 con. Now for those of you taking the time to read this column that has no clue what a comic con is, let us explain. Comic Con’s are held throughout the year in various cities all across the US with some of the notably larger or more known being the San Diego Comin Con held each year in July, the Tampa Bay Comic Con held each year in August and the New York Comic Con held each year in October. Now these are just some of the larger con’s that are out there, but here locally we have some that are just as good. Rob Con, the Tri-Cities largest comic book convention is held each year in July (July 27-29 this year) and has normally been at Viking Hall in Bristol. This year, it is moving to the Meadowview Convention Center for 35,000 square feet of fandom (more to come later on this)! Down the road in Knoxville, we are treated with several different cons throughout the year. Fanboy Expo (June 29 – July 1), MarbleCity Comicon (April 21 & 22) and over in Pigeon Forge, there is Yama-Con anime convention (Nov 30 – Dec 2).
So you may still be asking, what goes on at these events? The Emerald City Comic Con was four days of fun! There were exhibitors, artists, celebrity panels, autographing and so much more! Fans this year found themselves amongst celebrities such as Amy Duman – WWE Women’s Champion, Billie Piper – Doctor Who, Brian Herring – Star Wars, Christine Bain – Voltran Legendary Defenders, Christopher Llyod – Back To The Future, David Hayter – Metal Gear Solid, David Tennant – Doctor Who, David Yost – Power Rangers, Felicia Day – Supernatural, Jennifer Morrison – Once Upon A Time/House, Jeremy Shada – Adventure Time, Josh Keaton – Spider-Man, Karl Urban – Thor Ragnarok, Khary Payton – The Walking Dead, Matthew Lewis – Harry Potter, Ricky Whitle – American Gods and so, so many more! If you like cosplay, you would be in heaven at the ECCC. Known for its over the top following of cosplay members, you would have been able to find almost any character you loved to watch! Have a special piece of memorabilia that you would love to have signed? Celebrity and entertainment guests were signing autographs all weekend, and for that extra $$ you could even have your picture taken with them!
Even if you didn’t make it to Seattle for ECCC, you may have noticed some “con” craziness going on right here around home! ECCC teamed up with the ever-so-popular Funko POPs (more on this craze in another article) to release “con exclusive” characters. If you weren’t sleeping in bed like any other sensible person, you may have noticed people lining up at 4AM in the morning outside of places such as Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us, or at the mall entrances to get to GameStop, Hot Topic and Box Lunch. All of these retailers had a special Funko POP character with a little green sticker on the front of the box to show that you have a “piece of ECCC/Funko gold”! That’s right, people stand in line for hours to get these Comic Con items and if they miss it, are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to buy on the aftermarket.
So now that you know a little more about the Emerald City Comic Con, you’ll be able to book your hotel and buy your tickets for Seattle in March of 2019. Make sure to stay tuned to this column for more information on other Con in and around our area. We will talk about them in advance and then give you a full coverage after the event.