Emerald City Comic Con

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While it’s certainly not as massive as its pop-culture-behemoth sibling in San Diego, Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con has come into its own in recent years. The 2018 installment is almost here, running March 1-4 at the Washington State Convention Center. It’s a fun, nerdy time, and also a great local event for kids and families.

ECCC officially began in 2003, though a much smaller comic book convention ran for years before. That first year a decade-and-a-half ago tallied 2500 guests. With attendance topping 90,000 last year, things have changed.

Especially over the past few years, ECCC has attracted tons of top talent from various genres and mediums. Comic book creators, authors, actors, and a variety of toy and merchandise vendors will be on hand. Panels, photo ops, and, of course, cosplay also abound.

Guests

One of the biggest attractions at the Emerald City Comic Con is, as always, the guests. In the comic book realm, there are biggies like Amy Chu (Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy), Brian Michael Bendis (Daredevil, Spider-Man), and Chris Claremont (X-Men, Wolverine). And there are tons more. From big-name superheroes to niche indies, if they worked on your favorite books, they’ll probably be in Seattle.

Because it isn’t a comic book convention without TV and movies, those areas will also be well represented. Doctor Who stars David Tennant and Billie Piper are slated to be on hand. Star Trek and Dredd star Karl Urban will make an appearance.

Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis and Star Trek alum/nerd favorite Wil Wheaton are both on the schedule. Beyond these stars, cast members and behind the scenes players from Firefly, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and countless others will appear.

While comic book writers abound, plenty of authors will also make the rounds. Science fiction and fantasy authors like Chuck Wendig, Terry Brooks, Lish McBride, Delilah Dawson, and Jim Butcher will pop up. And there are dozens of others on the list as well.

Christopher Lloyd is slated to appear. And though it isn’t a by-definition guest, you can also grab a photo op with the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Panels

Photos and autographs are great, but panels are one of the biggest draws to ECCC. During these discussions, you get to see and hear many of the guests dig down on their areas of expertise. They’re often fascinating and illuminating, not to mention a total blast.

Like the rest of the program, there’s a bit of something for everyone. There’s a panel about great graphic novels for kids. Another about learning to be a Jedi Knight. A few offerings dig into race and gender in science fiction, fantasy, and comics.

Some panels focus on creative works. For example, there’s one about making your own comic and getting it off the ground. Another features the team that created BB-8, the droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Beyond panels, there are also demonstrations and meet-up groups scheduled throughout the convention. A local martial arts school will stage multiple demonstrations. You can hook up with like-minded fans and discuss your favorite comic, movie, or show, like Lord of the Rings or Doctor Who. There’s even comics-themed yoga.

Many of these specifically target younger kids, both boys, and girls. And there’s even the Family HQ area, designed with, you guessed it, families in mind. There you’ll find readings, drawing workshops, costumed characters, and more activities to occupy younger attendees.

Cosplay

One of the biggest treats of Emerald City Comic Con is seeing your favorite characters come to life. Cosplay forms a huge part of these gatherings. It’s always mind-blowing to see the level of detail and craftsmanship people put into their costumes.

And those are just other attendees wandering around. Beyond that, ECCC also hosts the Western Championships of Cosplay on March 3. In this contest, the best of the best put their costumes up against one another. Participants can win prizes, acclaim, and even qualify for the cosplay world championships.

The things mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg as far as what Emerald City Comic Con offers. The four days overflow with family events and attractions, interesting panels, and more nerdy goodness than you can imagine. There’s an entire area of local vendors and creators. You’ll find elaborate LEGO displays, improv comedy, and even a few celebrities.

So, show up at the Washington Convention Center, and remember to wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of standing and walking if you hope to see everything.

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