Written by Angela Rairden
Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con is one of the largest comic cons on the West Coast and, prior to the pandemic at least, it’s a con that keeps growing every year.
Began in 2003 as a one-day event at Qwest Field Events Center with an attendance of only 2,500, ECCC has evolved to a 4-day extravaganza that takes over the Washington State Convention Center as well as several of the surrounding hotels. In 2019, attendance had soared to nearly 100,000 people. While Covid caused the cancellation 2020’s ECCC, the con returned in December of 2021 (which I wrote about here) with a strict mask policy and a limited attendance of 45,000.
Just eight months after 2021’s ECCC, 2022’s took place August 18th-21st. For a con that normally takes place in March, both the December and August dates were off-putting to a lot of people and, from what I could gather, the attendance was closer to 60,000.
Washington State Convention Center
Still, if you classify yourself as a “nerd” in any way shape or form, there’s really nowhere better to be than a comic con. The feeling of camaraderie and inclusivity is second to none. Although this year’s ECCC did feel a bit muted to me (something I’ll touch on more later), there’s no denying the excitement of that type of setting. Simply put, comic con is a vibe all its own.
Even though I attended ECCC Friday through Sunday, the con is so large that it’s simply impossible to give your attention to every aspect of it. Even if I had been there all four days, there’s no way that I would have been able to hit up every element. As such, I concentrated on three of my favorite things about a comic con, and they are what I will be focusing on for the remainder of this blog: cosplay, artists alley and, of course, comic books.
I’m a big fan of cosplay and I nearly always cosplay at cons. This year, however, I opted to just do “closet cosplays” as, first, August in Seattle is warm and, second, ECCC had a mask policy in place. No shame about the mask policy; however, masks make me warm and wearing a costume when I’m already warm just seemed like it wouldn’t be much fun. Especially since I normally cosplay as Harley Quinn, which requires a full face of makeup.
In my "closet cosplay" Harley Quinn outfit with model/cosplayer FacesbyRachie
Other people, however, did not have the same qualms about cosplaying this year as I did, and some ingenious folks even managed to work their mask into their cosplay, for which I applaud them. I saw a lot of really fantastic cosplays this year and below are my top three favorites:
This is always one of my favorite places to spend my time during any con and this year was no different. Located on the top floor of the convention center, artist’s alley was definitely warmer than the rest of the con, but not unbearably so. There were a lot of great artists this year, including a particular favorite of mine, Carlations, who had planned to attend in 2020 and had to miss 2021 (I bought the first three issues of her Skull Maskerade comic and plan to review it for the blog at some time in the near future).
This is one area where I felt that ECCC kind of dropped the ball. Although they did have quite a few independent comic book artists and writers (mostly in Artist’s Alley), they were greatly lacking in big name comic book creators, with Chris Claremont being their most well-known name. Don’t get me wrong – Claremont is awesome. However, I’d personally already met him when he attended ECCC a few years ago.
I really feel that this just highlights the fact that, while ECCC still calls itself a comic con, in reality, it’s more of a celebrity meet-and-greet any more. Which is great, if that’s what you attend cons for. Some of us though just want to meet the people without whom there never would’ve been comic cons in the first place.
There were some up and coming big names, such as amazing artist Sozomaika, whom my friend Princess of Comic Gains (on the left) got a picture with (I'm on the right):
Despite that, the con was fun and I definitely feel that I got my money’s worth, despite there not being any big stand out moments for me. I think part of the issue for me personally is that ECCC followed pretty closely on the heels of the small Washington State Summer Con, which took place in June in Puyallup (a city about 45 minutes south of Seattle). Their comic creator lineup included Kevin Eastman, Scott Snyder, Ken Lashley, and Timothy Zahn (okay, he’s an author, but I was excited to meet him!) to name a few. I also got to interview WWE Fall of Famer Trish Stratus at that con, which was an experience that ECCC was unable to top for me personally (which is fair).
Okay, I did get a pic with Defy wrestler (former WWE wrestler) Swerve, so that was pretty sweet
Next year’s Emerald City Comic Con will be taking place March 2nd-5th, much to everyone’s delight as it seems likely that this will be most “normal” ECCC that Seattle’s seen since 2019. Guaranteed I’ll be there!
If you’d like to hear more about what I have to say about ECCC 2022, tune into episode 207 of my friend Silas Lindenstein’s podcast Black and a Half here where we spent some time discussing our likes and dislikes of the con (our conversation begins at about ten minutes in).
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.