Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Emerald City Comicon Report 2010 - Part I

Emerald City Comicon

I can't believe it's actually been eight years. Eight years since that first show at the stadium, bigger than the ComiCard shows, but not yet giant. Seven years since I met Kurt Busiek and many others at the second year of ECCC. In year three I missed the first day of the con, the only day of ECCC I've missed so far. I started bringing Torvald in 2006, and also wrote a four part convention report. Three years ago, I trolled many people and wrote another four part convention report. Two years ago I continued to Troll people and wrote yet another four part convention report. Last year I Trolled Battlestar actors and Bacon, and yes, wrote another four part convention report. Wow. Eight years.

This year I took Torvald the Troll again, and the pictures are up on his site. Anyone who has been Trolled and wants a larger size of their image, please contact the troll at Torvald at Gjovaag com. The more recent the picture, the sooner I'll be able to find it. I do not have originals for some of the oldest images, sorry.

As I still live three hours away from Seattle, I did the over-the-mountains and through-the-woods trip to Hotel Mom&Dad again this year. I came over on Friday and rested up from the trip so that Saturday wouldn't be too hard. Sadly, a bit of bad news on Wednesday had taken me down emotionally, so it was extremely difficult to get into con-mode this year. In addition, my husband did not attend this year, so I was solo on Sunday at the con. Add in problems my evil twin is having in one of her classes that turned her into a truly grumpy evil twin on Saturday, and I wasn't at my best for the first day of the convention. I only broke down once, but it was fortunately in front of Suzanne and Karin, and they helped cheer me up a bit.

Anyway, Lisa and I headed out with plenty of time to spare and made it easily to the convention center. Parking was a breeze, but Lisa noticed a spot that she could've parked in that she missed. I promised myself that I'd get that spot on Sunday. The walk into the center was easy, and we quickly got up to the holding pen for fans. The convention staff learned from last year and directed people to different spots if they were pre-paid, buying tickets, or exhibitors. It all worked out. Those of us with our lovely badges were put into one of the conference rooms until the show floor opened, allowing free access for the dealers to get in without having to pass by the lines. All said, much better than the first day of last year.

Once the doors opened, the main problem for Lisa and I was staying together long enough before someone stepped between us. Lisa was often blocked off by a stormtrooper or fanboy while I zipped along. Luckily, I was wearing my Aquaman hoodie for the first couple of hours, and the bright orange made me easy to find.

I found Stan Lee's rep quickly, and he was very negative about the Troll. To be fair, he was also being buffeted by about a zillion eager fans, so it wasn't easy for him to stop and talk for a second. As it turned out, I never even saw Stan Lee during the con. Not even from a distance. So, no Torvald pic. I believe I could have done it, but the odds and my mental state were against me.

As for Leonard Nimoy... well, I'll just jump out of order for a moment. I managed to find and talk with his rep later in the day, and he was very clear that I needed to pay $60 for any picture with Nimoy, period. I did not have that much money in my con budget for one picture, so I did not get a Nimoy pic. I did, however, get to see Nimoy several times from a distance. No, I never got to meet him. Right when we got in, the crowds were so insane I didn't get very close at first. In fact, I had to get out of the media area because I started having a crowd-induced panic attack.

Lisa and I wandered a little to get the lay of the land... or rather pushed through the dense crowds trying to keep together and yet still make progress, and ran across the Girl Genius Booth, where Cheyenne and Alice were settling in. Cheyenne, I am happy to say, looked very much alive though distressingly pale. He suggested I start the day's trolling with the Hugo Award for Girl Genius, and I took his suggestion quite seriously.

After Trolling Hugo, we continued to wander until we found Kurt Busiek, and Trolled Len Wein who was sitting next to him. I'm still stunned that Len wasn't beseiged by fans the entire con. C'mon, it's freakin' Len Wein! This is one of the first times I was disgusted that there weren't crowds around a creator.

Lisa and I then wandered down Artist Alley to figure out where everybody was located. I spotted Jill Thompson, but she was still setting up. So we moved on. We stopped by and said hello to Greg Hatcher and his students. We both checked out a lot of books and artwork, but weren't buying yet. Eventually I got up the nerve to take out my camera again, and the next victim was Dan Wickline, writer on Grimm Fairy Tales. Then I went back to Troll Jill Thompson, Scary Godmother.

Jill Thompson with Torvald

I first met Jill at San Diego 2000 when I went to commission a couple of sketches from Mark Crilley. It was great to finally see her for her, and not while hunting for somebody else! We've made watching Scary Godmother a regular Hallowe'en tradition.

Next up we headed to the Periscope Studio part of the alley, looking for old friends. I've met most of the gang at one time or another, and Jeff Parker both drew the illustration on my business card and wrote me into a story as a dual race of aliens. This weekend when I chatted with him about it and told him how hard it was to find the book, he teased me about it, saying that I couldn't find it because it had that unfamiliar "Marvel" in the corner of the cover instead of "DC". The first order of business was to take another Troll picture of Colleen Coover to replace the not-terribly-flattering image of her from a few years ago. She was happy to pose, and this image turned out great.

The real goal of visiting Periscope was to meet Erika Moen and let her know that hubby-Eric really enjoyed Dar and read it in one sitting. I got a picture of Erika and Matt with Torvald. Evil Twin Lisa got an unexpected compliment when I said that Lisa wasn't likely to enjoy Dar, and Erika gasped and asked if Lisa was under 18. Nah, she just likes her entertainment PG.

Angela Melick

We wandered into the next aisle where we met Angela Melick, who, as it turns out, is an engineer. Just like evil twin Lisa wants to become. Working in a very similar field, even. And writing a webcomic about her adventures. Lisa was impressed by Angela's professionalism, and delighted about the upcoming book. She walked away gushing about Angela and wishing that she could have that book right now. I'm going to stop here, and jump forward to Saturday night. Lisa needed to study a little more of her Linear Algebra, but the instant we got home she popped open her computer and started reading Angela's webcomic Wasted Talent. And giggling. For the first time since I'd arrived on Friday, Lisa outright laughed in real joy. For that alone I feel a great deal of affection for the webcomic and the creator who made it. Go, take a look.

There's a lot more, but I'm tired and ready to stop for the day. So that's it for the moment. More coming soon.