It just hasn’t been the same for Emerald City Comic Con in recent years. The annual Seattle Comic Book Convention, which typically draws nearly 100,000 attendees over four days, was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and the 2021 event was smaller than previous years, also due to due to the pandemic, attracting around 45,000 attendees. .
This year’s ECCC, however, should be closer to years gone by for comic book fans, cosplayers, gamers and families attending the event, which takes place August 18-21 at the Seattle Convention Center ( formerly the Washington State Convention Center).
However, COVID-19 is still a concern, and ReedPop, the company putting on ECCC, announced on August 3 that it was reintroducing its mask policy, a change from its June 29 announcement that masks would not be mandatory. Attendees will now be required to wear approved masks – N95, KN95 or KN94 certified masks were strongly recommended – to enter the venue. (Get the latest safety information and mask requirements at emeraldcitycomiccon.com.)
ECCC will not require verification of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test for admission.
But that being said, ReedPop expects a convention closer to pre-pandemic levels.
“We are looking at a marked increase in attendance starting in 2021,” said Chris D’Lando, head of events for ReedPop’s national portfolio, which includes ECCC. “And what that tells us is that people are starting to come back to their events, but they’re still coming back at their own pace.”
ECCC participants can also expect different rates this year.
“We covered our pretty tried and tested stuff: comics, anime, sci-fi fantasy, authors, that sort of thing. But we’re starting to see a lot more different niches growing in terms of fandoms. We’re bringing in some really great guests from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this year…. So I anticipate that we will see new fans at the show this year.
What to expect
Autographs and photo shoots
Attendees can expect fan favorites this year available for photo ops and/or autographs (check the website for time and day):
- Christopher Eccleston from “Doctor Who”
- Brendan Frasier and Oded Fehr of “The Mummy” fame
- “Our Flag Means Death” cast members (including Con O’Neill, Nathan Ford and Kristian Nairn)
- Tom Welling from “Smallville”
- Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
- Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook from “She’s All That”
You will be able to remove your mask while your photo is taken, ECCC said in its COVID announcement. And keep in mind: Photo shoots and autographs are not included in the price of exhibition tickets and you will have to pay extra for them.
Dozens of panels will take place over the four days of the convention, covering everything from how to write comics, to play therapy, to a panel featuring the cartoon’s voice actors. original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.
You can learn from some of the best tabletop campaign designers, discover the role the queer community has played in the world of comics, join a reunion for Syfy’s hit show “The Magicians”, learn about the latest entry in the hugely popular “Dragonlance” book series and more.
Cosplay is a staple of entertainment conventions, and ECCC is no exception. Expect to encounter a wide range of costumes ranging from cartoons to movies to comics.
For those who do participate, you can meet other enthusiasts at Cosplay Central, where you can attend workshops, connect with other cosplayers, and touch up (or change) your outfit. Additionally, ECCC is hosting the Cosplay Central Crown Championship on August 20, where entrants will compete for cash prizes and a trip to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in 2023 to compete against cosplayers from around the world.
Note: If you don your alter ego during the convention, you will still need to wear an approved face covering, according to ECCC.
“You may wear your helmet/mask after entering provided you also have an approved face covering,” ECCC said in its mask announcement.
Next to the Sheraton Hotel is the Gaming Zone, which is exactly what it sounds like.
From Dungeons & Dragons (with dedicated Dungeon Masters available) to Magic the Gathering to console and arcade games (and tournaments galore), there’s plenty to occupy your time if you’re between panels. or if you are simply looking for a break from the living room.
Your badge will allow you access to the area, which generally runs from the opening of the lounge each day until around 1am.
Alley of artists
Want to meet the artists behind the comics? Next, you’ll want to take a stroll down Artist Alley.
This year, the Creative Hub will have approximately 500 tables, the vast majority of which are Pacific Northwest artists and craftspeople with whom you can converse, purchase commissions or watch work on their craft. Expect to see names big and small throughout the event.