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Saturday, April 5, 2014

ECCC 2014 - My Experiences

Well, another con has come and gone for the Pacific Northwest. I'm happy to have been able to come back to Seattle this year after having to miss last year. Some general observations before I get into my experiences.

1- This has been the biggest comic con I've ever attended. As much as I don't concern myself too much with the thought that some nut-job could easily turn this into a horrible event, actions like the Boston marathon make some people wary. I saw a post on the ECCC Facebook post around this specific topic, and it made me think. I'm thinking that a comic con would be considered a "soft" target but with the number of people in attendance, it would be a horrible situation. Consider also that there are celebrities at this event, and you've got the makings of something that would make the national news.

2- This year, ECCC decided to create their own app in lieu of using the Guidebook app. Not sure why this decision was made, but I found the app very slow and useless. I utilized my paper guide more than the app... and I've never really had to use it before. That speaks to the enormity of the event as well as the usefulness of the app.

3- There were so many people trying to sell badges outside of the convention center. Even though I had my badge clearly hanging around my neck, there were guys asking me if I needed one. Too many people were also buying badges off of people only to turn around and sell them for a profit. Don't get me wrong, I am a capitalist in a capitalist society, but some people really need to improve their methodology of sales. It was a minor annoyance, but one I felt needed to be brought up.

4- With as big as the convention was, I was not able to take in nearly as much as I wanted to. I didn't do any extraneous buying outside of picking-up the exclusive comics being offered. Between that and running around for signatures, I had little time for anything else while I was there. This is as much a problem with the size of the event as it is with my plan of action for getting everything I wanted to done. To that end, I'm thinking that if I come back to ECCC, I'll need to make better plans such as coming a day earlier and staying a day longer. This will be determined by my finances over anything else.

As for my personal experiences at this years con...

Of everyone I brought comics for signatures, I wasn't able to see Jim Lee (Little surprise there as my train arrived in Seattle after noon with little time for me to get to my hotel, prepare, get to the convention center, get a ticket at the DC booth and then get in line for the signing), Scott Snyder (Every time I went by Scott's table, he was either not there or swamped with people with a minion at the end of the line with a sign saying to come back in 5 mins.) and Gail Simone (I just couldn't find her.)

My biggest goal for the con was to collect additional signatures in my Walking Dead 100 Project trade. Of the 17 artists who were in attendance, I was able to collect signatures from 11 of them. It seems as though Karl Kesel decided not to attend. Everyone else I either couldn't find or they were in another area of the con that I didn't get a chance to get to.

As I was collecting signatures for my Walking Dead trade, I did receive a couple of comments about getting all the signatures and how several of the artists weren't even aware that the covers had been collected in a trade. Not sure I'll ever be able to collect every signature, but I'll give it my all.

All-in-all, I did enjoy myself even though I didn't get through the entire con, take in any panels, do any shopping, or get some good "chat time" with anyone. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure I'll come back to ECCC. I'm looking forward to Rose City Comic Con in September, but next we have the first Cherry City Comic Con in May.

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