Official Press Release
Emerald City ComiCon (ECCC) has grown too big for its britches – and last year's floor space. The annual comic book convention, now in its third year, has expanded into a weekend-long event, covering 80,000 square feet at the Qwest Field Event Center in downtown Seattle, WA.
"The Emerald City ComiCon outgrew itself after the first year, but we were not able to expand until year three," said organizer Jim Demonakos. "We were selling out of space and had overwhelming interest in the show."
Part of that interest stems from the energetic response the show garners from local publishers, artists and writers. National publishers like Marvel, Image and Top Cow Comics will be joined by countless local creators and publishers, for whom ECCC is this year's premiere event.
Artist's Alley will look like a veritable murderer's row with scores of well-known talent signing autographs and meeting with fans. Local representation is expected to particularly strong, with the Seattle contingent set to include publishers Fantagraphics (who will feature creators Peter Bagge and Jim Woodring), Rorschach Entertainment, Studio Foglio, and Committed Comics; Gabe and Tycho of the popular online comic Penny Arcade; and creators Michel Gagne (of Gagne International Press), Ed Brubaker, Jay Faerber and John Layman.
Portland's artistic community is also well-represented, with the likes of Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press, and creators Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Kurt Busiek, Greg Rucka, and the members of Studio Mercury (including David Hahn, Drew Johnson, Matthew Clark, Karl Kesel, Pete Woods, Rebecca Woods, Jeff Parker, Steve Lieber, Ron Randall and Paul Guinan). Castle Rain Entertainment, Arcana Studios, Steve Rolston and Takeshi Miyazawa are scheduled to make the cross-border trip from Vancouver BC for the convention.
Many more top creators from across the country will be attending with the likes of Adam Kubert, Tim Sale, Robert Kirkman, Eric Powell, David Finch, Mark Waid, Josh Middleton, Tony Harris, Dustin Nguyen, Roy Thomas, Travis Charest, Michael Lark with many more in tow.
The convention marks a chance for artists and writers to connect not only with the fans, but with each other.
"I spend my days in my office, with nobody else around, for the most part," said Kurt Busiek (writer of Astro City, Conan, JLA). "The artists and editors and such that I work with are scattered to the four winds, so it's nice to get out of isolation and talk to the people who read the stories. Plus, it's nice to have the chance to talk with other writers and artists, see what's new, shop for back issues and trade paperbacks… I'm a fan as well as a pro, so I like cons for the same reasons the fans do."
Budding artists take note: Marvel Comics Editor C.B. Cebulski, DC Comics Batman Group Editor Bob Schreck and Oni Press Editor-in-Chief James Lucas Jones will all be available for portfolio reviews both days. Jones will also take a look at project proposals. More than a dozen national and regional publishers will be on hand to preview new and upcoming projects as well.
Slave Labor Graphics has dropped a stick of dynamite into this year's convention, announcing fan-favorite Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Invader Zim, will be making his first convention appearance in over two years.
For many creators, ECCC is becoming a perennial favorite on the convention circuit.
"I think that, because there's such a wealth of local talent, and because of the nature of the area, the cons up here tend to be more relaxed, more friendly," said Busiek. "A lot of the guests know each other, we're not far from home, we're comfortable, and that spills over to the audience. The Emerald City ComicCon, in particular, is the perfect combination – big enough to have lots of guests and dealers and activity, small enough to be friendly. I've been to them all so far and it's a great experience."
The Emerald City ComicCon runs February 5 & 6 and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, or at the Seahawks Box Office. Children under seven are admitted for free. For more information, and a complete list of participating guests and exhibitors, go to www.emeraldcitycomicon.com.