Emerald City Comic Con 2015 Rundown

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 is over, and we are already anticipating going again next year. ECCC is definitely my favorite convention of the year. It’s not so small that there isn’t a ton of variety for fans of all kinds, but it’s also not so huge and overrun that it feels alienating. I actually attended all three days this year–one family day, one father and son day, and one solo day.

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Steampunk family cosplay. Photo by Will James.

Day One

Friday was our family day and we went in our Steampunk cosplay. I detailed out a lot of the work that went in to our cosplay in an earlier post. This was my first time making fleather and really fabricating things, and, as to be expected, I learned some lessons. After a couple of hours, my wife’s shoulder strap came apart and my leg holsters started having the same issue. Because we didn’t have the fasteners we originally wanted delivered in time, I ended up using a substitute fastener. Unfortunately, they weren’t really long enough, and, even though they were attached well and even reinforced with duct tape on the backside of everything, they started to pull through the fleather after pressure had been put on them for long enough. We managed to keep things together to at least finish out the first half of the day.

After walking around for a while, we headed downstairs to the Kids’ Area. The Kids’ Area had a huge Brick Nation display with some really great Lego builds. My son wasn’t really interested in looking at Lego he couldn’t play with, though. Fortunately, they also had a Lego play area where we spent quite a long time. He has Duplo at home so getting to try his two-year-old hands at some regular Lego was a bit challenging, but he started to get the hang of it and really enjoyed himself.

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ECCC shirt Logo and Terry Dodson Print. Photo by Will James.

We broke for lunch, and my wife took our son home for a nap while I stayed for a couple more hours. My first stop post-lunch was the merchandise booth. We had tried to hit it first thing in the morning but the line was pretty ridiculous. The line was much shorter when I went back by myself, and after only about 30 minutes I walked away with matching t-shirts for myself and the boy as well as this great limited edition art print by Terry Dodson. The poster really captures the feel of Seattle and ECCC.

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Jewel Staite coming on stage. Photo by Will James.

Merchandise in-hand, I went to the big hall and grabbed a seat just in time to attend the Jewel Staite panel. She was as charming as you’d imagine. When asked about Firefly Online she mentioned that there is a ton of Kaylee backstory that gets fleshed out. Recording for the game was bittersweet because she got to experience a lot more Kaylee but she still knows there’s no more in the future. She was also adamant that she was going to play the game when it comes out. She was asked if she’d be appearing in Alan Tudyk’s Con Man. She declined to comment either way. When asked if she could play another character in the Whedonverse she said she’d play Buffy, and for any character in any story,she said Ariel from The Little Mermaid because “I’m a big Disney nerd.” Finally, when asked if she were to have a Big Bang Theory cameo who she’d most like to share a scene with she exclaimed “Sheldon!”

I walked around a little more after the panel and then headed home. I had to finish prepping our cosplay for the next day, including dying my hair!

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Hipster Navi with Toddler Link. Photo by Will James.

Day Two

Saturday was our father and son cosplay day. Owen was Toddler Link from Zelda. The key to his cosplay was his great shirt from Nerdy With Children. (Use coupon code GEEKDAD for 20% off!) The key to my cosplay was the temporary tattoos I had designed, especially the “Hey There Listen” knuckle tattoos. Unfortunately, they didn’t last very long carrying a toddler around all day. I think I ended up just looking like a hipster with blue hair and a Triforce beanie, but everyone loved Link.

I made an attempt to sit in on the panel “Building Your Next Epic Cosplay Costume! Part 2” with Brian Morris with Owen, and it was mostly successful but only thanks to the very generous ladies sitting on either side of me who helped keep him entertained.

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R2-D2 Builders Club. Photo by Will James.

Giving up on any more panels, we just wandered around the floor together. He absolutely loved the astromech droids presented by the R2-D2 Builders Club, but whenever he got close to one and it moved he would run away.

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My Little Pony. Photo by Will James.

Although he’s never seen or even heard of My Little Pony, Owen wanted to take a picture with these two. He said they were soft and fuzzy.

While we loved all the cosplay all around ECCC, here are the winners of Owen’s favorite and my own personal favorite.

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Batman, Catwoman, and a Hunter S Thompson/Dr. Who mash-up. Photo by Will James.

Owen absolutely loved this Batman. A week later, if anyone mentions “comic con,” he talks about meeting Batman.

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Legion from ‘Mass Effect.’ Photo by Will James.

I apologize for the crappy lighting on this but this Legion cosplay was epic and really well done. Legion is one of my favorite characters from the Mass Effect series so seeing such a well done, life-like cosplay was a special treat.

I took the boy home for dinner and dropped him off, and then headed back for the Costume Contest. The contest theme was “Jailbreak” featuring Clock King and a breakout from Blackgate Prison. The theme didn’t really do much for the competition, but the girl playing the part of Harley Quinn really did a great job and was the highlight of the show outside of the cosplay itself. The judges for the competition were Bill Doran, Ivy Doomkitty, and Ani-Mia.

I have to apologize because somehow I lost most of my pictures from the contest. And most of the ones I didn’t lose didn’t turn out very well. Part of the reason for that, and my one complaint, was that the camera work during the contest was just terrible. Apparently a complaint in previous years was that there was not enough visibility of the detail work and, in an effort to correct that, there were way too many close-ups–not usually on the right thing–and too much panning while extremely zoomed in. The result was not being able to see a lot of the costumes in full or in detail.

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Batgirl cosplay. Photo by Will James.

I did manage to have salvageable pics of my two favorites though. The first was Batgirl. The work on this costume was really great and the cosplayer nailed the attitude, throwing a couple kicks and punches on stage.

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Tiny Deadpool. Photo by Will James.

This father and son duo cosplay was really great. Plus I can’t help but hope for a day Owen and I are up there competing!

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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Demo. Photo by Will James.

Day Three

I knew before I left the house what I wanted my first stop to be–the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game demo area. I’ve been wanting to try out Pathfinder for a long time but knew I couldn’t sit through a demo with my son with me. I got into the demo area as soon as they opened and sat right down to a game. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to play a full campaign.

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Archery Panel. Photo by Will James.

Next stop was the archery panel moderated by our own Jim MacQuarrie. His guests were Patricia Gonsalves and Mike Grell. The panel was a lot of fun and the discussion was very lively. Gonsalves and Grell are both great panelists and had great stories to share. Gonsalves even hung out after we got kicked out of the room to answer questions for a bunch of us in the hallway.

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Firefly panel with Gina Torres and Jewel Staite. Photo by Will James.

My next stop was the Firefly panel in the big hall with Gina Torres and Jewel Staite. The panel was moderated by Grant Imahara. Torres and Staite were hilarious and their appreciation of their fans really shows. There were two real highlights for me of the panel. An attendee asked Torres what role she would want to play if she could pick anything, and she replied “What girl doesn’t want to play a crack whore. Just a dumb crack whore.”

The other highlight was the end of the panel: Grant had a question for each of them direct from Nathan Fillion. Fillion asked Staite, “What did I name your dog, Teddy?” Staite explained that Fillion watches her dog for her a lot and, every time she comes home, he has replaced her dog’s name tag with a new one. Their favorite was “horse bejorities,” but close runner-up was “what dog.”

The question for Torres was “What was the song you would sing on filming Serenity when you placed your hands on my buttocks?” The crowd went wild at the question, and Torres said “Nathan’s a** screams, squeeze me.” She mimed squeezing his bottom and sang, “Your booty is a wonderland.” It was a perfect end to a great panel with two amazing and talented people.

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Foam Armor panel. Photo by Will James.

My last stop of ECCC 2015 was the “Costume Foam Armor 101” panel with Bill and Brittany Doran from Punished Props and Will Morgan from WM Armory. These are some seriously talented people. They were great presenters and crammed a ton of info into a very short panel. I will be doing an interview and book review with Bill Doran in the near future so keep an eye out for it.

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The ECCC app is very user friendly and helpful.

Most conventions nowadays provide an app for scheduling and planning your attendance. I’ve found that, for the most part, they are rarely helpful and not really functional once the con starts. The ECCC app was definitely a breath of fresh air in the con app world. It was very easy to schedule panels, things to do, browse maps, etc. It also did a great job of setting up reminders and notifications. This is how a con app should work and work FOR you.

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Costumes are not consent. Photo by Will James.

ECCC is easily one of the most cosplay-friendly conventions I’ve been to. So many people are in cosplay that it almost feels like the majority instead of a minority. It makes it a lot easier to feel comfortable, especially for newbies like us.

I’ll wrap up this article with a few pics of some of my favorite cosplay from around the con. Hope to see you there next year!

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Tron Warrior. Photo by Will James.
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Street Fighter. Check out Zangief! Photo by Will James.
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Spider-Man and Deadpool horde. Photo by Will James.
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Dorothy and some seriously wicked witches. Photo by Will James.
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Corpse Bride. Photo by Will James.
Tars from 'Interstellar'. Photo by Will James.
Tars from ‘Interstellar.’ Photo by Will James.

 

Will is a geek, athlete, husband to a geek mom, and father of 4-year-old and 1-year-old geeks-in-the-making living in Seattle, Washington. He loves reading, comics, cosplay, games (tabletop and video sorts), and robots - especially Transformers. He's also the co-host of the Sunday Evening with Captain Owen podcast (available on iTunes) and custom prop builder at Billythebrick Cosplay.