Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Cosplay Day Three

Sunday wrapped up the weekend at ECCC 2015 just the way it should have: with AMAZING Cosplay! Well done Seattle!

 

All images were taken by Hush Comics co-owner Adrian Puryear. Please ask permission before re-posting.

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Cosplay Day Two

Saturday at ECCC proved that Seattle really knows how to Cosplay. We were blown away at the creativity on display!

All images were taken by Hush Comics co-owner Adrian Puryear. Please ask permission before re-posting.

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Loot!

Emerald City Comic Con has it all… the celebs, the comic book stars, a sea of Harley Quinn and Deadpool cosplay as far as the eye can reach. But they also have some really cool stuff, too. Here is some of the loot we picked up on our travels!

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Cosplay Day One

Emerald City Comic Con is upon us again! We spend most of our day in the Main Hall for some amazing panels, but we were also able to grab some great Cosplay pictures today! Way to nerd out, Seattle!

All images were taken by Hush Comics co-owner Adrian Puryear. Please ask permission before re-posting.

Comicpalooza 2014

Memorial Day weekend was crazy for Hush Comics. We made the drip down South to check out the Houston Comicpalooza, where we met up with Hush family member Taylor Lowe. This was another milestone convention for us, where we got the opportunity to go as press for the first time – which was a real pleasure. The experience of Comicpalooza this year was one of the best we’ve had, and we would love to share it with you! This article is our way of giving you OUR experience.  Since there were four of us, we were able to cover a lot more ground, so here is the most complete description we could give you of Comicpalooza 2014.

See also:

Stan Lee panel

Buffyverse panel

Greg Capullo interview

Nicholas Brendon panel

Comicpalooza Cosplay!

Click on the link to take you to all of our Comicpalooza articles
Click on the link to take you to all of our Comicpalooza 2014 articles

The City

Houston, Texas – it’s not exactly the nerdiest city in the world. There were a lot of people dressed up in the convention, but I felt a bit odd for wearing nerd shirts outside of the convention. It’s not that Houstanians are judgmental or anything, but it’s just not that kind of a city (compared to Seattle and Denver, which both consistently rank in the top ten of most “Nerdiest Cities in America” lists). Just because there might not be as many nerds per capita doesn’t mean there aren’t just as many socially awkward weirdos as we have at home. It’s not a stretch to say that the quality of weirdo is just as high as at the bigger conventions we’ve been to.

I suppose that’s comparatively speaking though, because Houston is a very big city. Unlike San Diego and New York (home to the two biggest cons in similarly huge cities), Houston’s downtown area surrounding the convention center is full of corporate office buildings with not a lot of “fun stuff” to do. The George R Brown Convention Center is right in between Minute Maid Stadium (home to the Houston Astros, consistently baseball’s saddest team) and the Toyota Center (where the NBA Houston Rockets play), but other than that, there isn’t a whole lot to do in the surrounding areas like there are in the aforementioned cities. Houston is full of big-time oil & gas companies, and it’s something the city is very proud of, making this much more of a business. Outside George R Brown, however, was this beautiful sprawling green space, as well as an outdoor area for kids to play, that made this an ideal picnic spot or place to take the kids if the convention gets overwhelming.

Being a huge business focal point in America, there are plenty of hotels nearby, and they’re all reasonably priced. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to do anything fun downtown that doesn’t include bar-hopping, you’ll need a car to get around the city. And because the city and its suburbs are massive, that means lots of traffic and at least 30-45 minutes to get anywhere. Public transportation in Houston is actually pretty extensive, so you can catch a ride to the museum district pretty easily, but for after-con adventures, The Woodlands were the spot for us – where we watched X-Men: Days of Future Past (movie review here), and we ate (and ate and ate). I’d suggest at least venturing over there for some TexMex – by far the best food in Houston. Some of our favorites were: Berry Hill Baja GrillSpring Creek BBQ, and Lupe Tortilla.

As far as the weather, Houston is humid and hot almost all year-round, which can make dressing up in face make-up a nightmare. We saw numerous people who cosplayed in facepaint that were just dripping down their faces it was so hot outside. Also, everywhere you go in Houston, the air conditioning is full-blast, which led to us bringing jackets to the con in 90 degree weather. Our search for the indoors, as well as a free day to peruse local shops, led us to three unique and awesome comic book shops around the city.

The first of which was Third Planet, the aptly-described Sci-Fi Super-Store. There’s practically no way to peruse the store without picking up something out of nostalgia or avarice. Old Batman and X-Men animated series’ toys? Check. Enough Funko product to resurrect James Brown? Yes. I’d say the specialty here is novelty items – statues, replicas, and other awesome stuff that you can spend your cash on. It is a ginormous store that doesn’t feel overwhelming or impersonal. The selection of trade paperbacks is probably the highest of any store in the city. However, there wasn’t a great selection of back-issues, but we got the impression that single issues aren’t in high demand in Houston. This is a guaranteed stop for me anytime I come to town.

The next stop was to Fat Ogre Games and Comics, where Taylor Lowe gets his weekly fix from. This was a smaller shop that specializes in table-top gaming. It was full of like-minded nerds who were crushing each other in HeroClix, a popular superhero themed game. Fat Ogre had a great community feel and quite a few cool collectibles to add to the stacks of graphic novels on the shelf. Gamers will feel right at home here.

Our favorite shop was Space Cadets. Tucked away in cozy shopping center, Space Cadets had one of the most complete stores we’ve ever seen. My sister geeked out at the Pokémon cards while Taylor raided the shelves for Star Wars toys. Adrian took a trip back in time with their retro toys and I scanned the premium figures and statues. Any person of any nerd interest would find something to geek out here. While a lot of the back-issues weren’t in great condition, I saw a lot that were – from packaged collections of George Pérez and Marv Wolfman’s All New Teen Titans to signed copies of Jim Lee’s Superman: For Tomorrow. And unlike the other shops, there was a definite realization that Comicpalooza was that weekend, meaning spotlighted issues for: Neal Adams, Stan Lee, Greg Capullo and more. These guys were in touch with the community, a big plus for us. We even stopped by before leaving town for an impromptu game of chess. The people there are great, too, with a pretty deep selection of table-top gaming themselves, and a warm mom & pop attitude we couldn’t find anywhere else.

How Comicpalooza Works

Alright, it’s coming – that Texas “big” cliché. You didn’t think you could read an article on the biggest comic book convention in the state and not see the words “it’s bigger in Texas,” did you? Comicpalooza has found its home in the George R Brown Convention Center (which isn’t the first Brown building I’ve been in; as an Engineer at Colorado School of Mines, a majority of my classes were held in the George R Brown Hall. Crazy, right?!). This massive convention center is much larger (Exhibitors Hall, anyway) than anything we’ve been in at all, let alone for a convention. The exhibitor’s hall of Brown is bigger than at SDCC – the largest con in the freakin’ world. Here’s how it stacks up against other convention centers’ exhibit hall:

  • George R Brown Convention Center = 853,500 square feet
  • (San Diego Comic Con) San Diego Convention Center = 615,700 square feet
  • (Denver Comic Con) Colorado Convention Center = 584,000 square feet
  • (Emerald City Comic Con)Washington State Convention Center = 205,700 square feet (misleading since the con had two ex. halls)

* This data might seem daunting but it is via wikipedia; what the hell do they know?

 

The spacious floors lead to TONS of room to do whatever you want. It allowed exhibitors ample spacing between booths and cosplayers the freedom to stop mid-stride to take pictures without being trampled to death. At one point, I started spinning around in circles like a farmer who had just seen rain for the first time all year. One of the biggest turn-offs of any type of convention is the ridiculous crowd. Here, we were able stroll at our leisure without worrying about being in somebody’s way.

The layout of the convention was really simple. There were no hidden floors, or panels you had to be at another building to attend – something that really annoyed us about Emerald City. We were a little lost at first, but quickly found our way around once we knew where to look. Everything was made easier with the Comicpalooza mobile app. Trying to boot everybody into the smartphone era, Comicpalooza all but did away with paper programming and went completely digital, although you could buy a “collector’s” program for ten bucks. The app itself was amazing; it constantly updated with scheduling changes, information on photo ops and signings, and a slew of other useful options. You can even add some customizable touches by creating a To-do list or a personalized schedule to avoid thumbing through all the events. We’ve used comic con apps before, but this one was completely reliable (even in airplane mode) and user-friendly. That is unless, of course, you don’t have a smart phone, which could make it quite a pain to find out where you need to go. It also won’t help carrying around a packet with times and locations of panels when schedule changes occurred – and they occurred fairly frequently. Overall, the app is genius, and I can only hope that other conventions follow suit.

Froggy’s Photos took up professional photography duties again, but this time, everything made much more sense and felt a lot more personal. There was more than sufficient time to get all the autographs and photo ops we wanted, with practically no wait time to meet people that we had been geeking out over since we were children. Due to the size of the convention, and the number of people attending, Comicpalooza felt much more intimate than others we’ve been to. We got to shake hands with Stan Lee, Spike and just chit chat with the same celebrities that, just a couple months earlier at ECCC, we weren’t even allowed to make eye contact with unless we’d been in line for an hour or paid for a professional shot.

The other added bonus of a smaller convention is that we got to do pretty much everything that we wanted to: panels, exhibitor’s hall, autographs and photos. There weren’t nearly as many volunteers here, and that’s a good thing. The logical layout of the convention center, in addition to the accessibility (nothing was really off-limits), meant that you didn’t need to be constantly asking for help. The volunteers at Comicpalooza were some of the nicest, most helpful individuals we’ve come across. Maybe it’s the high stress of the other conventions, but everything about Comicpalooza felt casual and fun. There were no worries if so-and-so would run out of prints, or if the panel you wanted to go to would be capped. Couple that with the plentiful free space to just sit down and hang out when you feel tired or need to formulate a game plan, and you have a stress-free experience.

Houston may not be the nerdiest city in the world, but the nerds that show up are nerds through and through. Because Seattle is such a hipster community, and Denver’s con is so new, it attracts a butt-load of intrigued yet uninformed people that wander aimlessly, standing in lines for people they don’t know and taking up seats in a Panel Room because lots of other people are doing the same thing – and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it was refreshing to see so many passionate fans. I mean, we saw live action Pokémon battles, guys. Upstairs were old-school arcade games and table-top figure painting, while downstairs held more of the extra-curricular events.

Houston is one of the most technologically-driven cities in the world; from Oil & Gas to Space technology, there is a strong emphasis on the science in science fiction, and it was definitely prevalent at Comicpalooza. There was a separate section of the con devoted to: robotics, computer gaming and (my personal favorite) 3D printing. It was refreshing to know that nerds can be evil scientists in real life, too.

When it all comes down to it, Hush Comics had an exceptionally fun time at this convention. There weren’t a large amount of comic book creators, but that led us to mingle with more independent people. The star power, on the other hand, was ridiculous, and was enough to get us down to Houston even before we heard about Stan Lee. The only thing I wish I would have seen more of is back-issues and comic book selection, but this is a feeling I had of every store we visited in the city. The seventh year of Comicpalooza brought a lot order to a massive convention, with optimal fun and minimal stress. Whether you’re a hardcore geek or just passing by to check out a celebrity, Comicpalooza should be a mandatory visit.

After-Hours Specials

What really set Comicpalooza apart from any other convention was the amount of extra stuff to do there. If we really wanted to, we could have been there from 10AM – 10PM every day. Every niche nerd thing had events going on after and throughout the panels. We didn’t get to do it all, but we sure tried. Adjacent to the enormous exhibitor’s hall were a series of large performance stages, where a bunch of the interactive stuff went down.

Every day, Geeks Who Drink had a quiz competition in one of the ballrooms. Adrian and I have done a couple of the themed ones in Denver. One with Breaking Bad, where we kicked ass on placed in the top ten out of over fifty teams, and a Community themed one that we absolutely bombed. The quizzes were structured and prizes are given out for placing high, but not as nerdy as I would have expected, but we still had a fun time.

Elsewhere, LARPing was in full effect. In one section, there were trained swordsmen teaching noobs like us how to correctly wield a wooden blade. There was actually a separate area you could go to watch people go rounds and battle each other. We sat down and watched one of these intense bouts and became enthralled, giving the fighters nicknames, origin stories and grew quite attached. While there were plenty of big kids that took to the death-match with the gravity of real combat, we saw everyone from grown men and women to adorable little girls. Weird? Hell yeah. But these people were being themselves, letting go of the cultural boundaries they came here to escape, and they were entertaining themselves and others. You literally can’t ask for anything more.

Next up were the Quidditch matches. That’s right, the Harry Potter game is a real thing. Outside of Hogwartz, it’s referred to as Muggle Quidditch. It plays like a mixture of lacrosse, dodge-ball and flag football. I was confused by the rules, but after an hour or so of watching, I was pretty eager to try it out. I became so enthralled that I didn’t even notice how ridiculous(ly awesome!) all the players looked with pseudo-broomsticks in between their legs.When it comes down to it, there’s nothing cooler than playing a fun sport with a bunch of people who are used to getting picked last.

Our favorite post-con event had to be the James Marsters concert. James Marsters is better known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where he crooned for fans in the musical episode, “Once More With Feeling.” Before the spin-off show, Angel, had ended in 2004, Marsters was already selling out gigs at LA clubs as a solo singer, and as the lead singer to his band Ghost of the Robot. That was all a round-about way of saying that the man knows how to woo a crowd. For nearly an hour, Marsters swooned the crowd with lovely acoustic songs. It was one of the coolest things you can find at a comic book convention.

From LARPing and hardcore Quidditch matches to roller derby and professional wrestling, there was always something going on in the convention. Nobody acted “too cool” to join in the fun. If you’re willing to let yourself just enjoy the show, there’s no way you won’t have a blast.

 

Meet the Press!

If you haven’t heard us freak out about it yet, I’ll fill you in. Comicpalooza is the first convention that Hush Comics has been to as “Press.” What does that mean, you ask? Not as much as you would think. We did get some pretty sweet zombie Deadpool badges, and some special treatment as far as getting ushered to the front of a few of the more-crowded panels. Also, it meant that our passes were paid for. This allowed us to give away all the passes that Taylor bought us for Christmas, which we did through Facebook. One of our winners was able to attend her very first con, which made us feel pretty darn cool! Here’s her account of the weekend:

Greetings Fellow Comic-conians!!

A huge thanks to HushComics for giving me the chance to experience my very first Comic-con. (Comicpalooza) Yes the cherry has been popped and I’m coming back for more. What a blast to see such amazing art pieces, crafts, actors and let’s not forget the cosplay. I’m very inspired and ready to participate in cosplay for next year. May the Comic-God’s smile upon you.”

Peace and Love,

Bettie Skellington

Mage Pena

Our first con was mind-blowing, so we’re glad that we were able to help somebody else get to experience that as well.

Perhaps the coolest thing about going as press was the opportunity to interview comic book creators. Comicpalooza didn’t have a whole lot of creators, but we knew of one that we absolutely had to sit down with. His name is Greg Capullo, and he has been the artist on Batman for nearly three years. We figured that, because he’s such a big deal in comic books, we wouldn’t be able to get a spot with him. After a little persistence and a lot of help from the media manager at CP, Rosario Perez (you’re the best!), we were able to get in contact with Greg’s wife and set up an interview. It was terrifying to say the least, but we were able to pull off something cohesive enough. Crazy story, while we were sitting down to talk with Mr. Capullo in this back-room break area for celebs, Stan Lee comes casually strolling across the room, sits down, and takes a power nap that only the 91 year-old Godfather of comic books could do – great ice breaker.

Tips for Future CP-ers:

  • Before the convention starts, make a list of things you want to do, and plan it out according to which days things are happening. If you plan things out, there’s a good chance you can get to it all.
  • Cosplaying is amazing, but what’s even better is wearing comfortable shoes. You will spend hours walking, standing, rinsing, repeating. On a similar note, please do shower and wear deodorant. Yes, people will know it’s you, and they will judge you for it. The dreaded “con smell” is ten times worse with the humidity.
  • Far be it for me to tell you how to cosplay, but avoid paints and makeup that will melt easily.
  • If you get cold often, bring a sweatshirt in the convention center; it might be 90 outside, but it’s likely refrigerated inside.
  • Know where the art supply booth is. Grab any sleeves for prints/pictures you need to avoid getting them all smashed up.
  • Come prepared to buy stuff: artists prints, doo-hickies, collectibles, and of course, comic books. Also know that you will be having to bring or send this stuff back home with you. Some of the best things to prepare are:
    • Comic book portfolio: holds approx ten issues for signing and collecting.
    • Poster tube or picture hard-sleeve: don’t let those prints/signatures get bent. Trust me, hiding it in a book will not cut it.
    • Know where a nearby FedEx is to ship back the really valuable stuff
  • Take a fair amount of cash with you. A lot of the booths and special events only accept cash – not to mention cash only parking lots in the surrounding area – so avoid getting caught cashless when a good opportunity arises. There are multiple ATMs but they are total leeches, only allowing you to pull out $100 per transaction with a $5 fine attached to it. Bleh.
  • There is so much food in Houston. Don’t waste your appetite on $10 cheapo food in the convention center. Instead, bring snacks and gorge later.
  • Avoid the creepy 4th floor at George R Brown. It will be your doom.
  • Use the app as often as you can; hopefully, next year’s app will be just as helpful.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Ever.

Emerald City Comic Con 2014

Emerald City Comic Con 2014

This weekend marked our first trip not only to Emerald City Comic Con, but our first trek to the wonderful city of Seattle. While ECCC wasn’t our first con, it is the first one we really attended as Hush Comics.  This article is our way of giving you OUR experience.  We don’t want to give you a transcript version of each panel and event because that wouldn’t fully embody our experience Note: The links for transcript versions are provided at the bottom. Instead, we bring you the most complete experience that our tired bodies could muster in a three-day period.

The City

The Emerald City itself is one of the most gorgeous and interesting cities we’ve been in. Seattle is rainy, cloudy and sometimes really windy. We were told that it’s like that for about 9-10 months out of the year. The dreary weather was perfect for deep thinking and it makes the ground lush and green; Seattle’s weather creates a perfect storm of hipsters, coffee shops and grown men in My Little Pony costumes (even outside of the Con, from what I hear). If you think there is a Starbucks on every corner where you live, you haven’t been to Seattle. There was at least one within view of every street corner in downtown Seattle, and at one point, we found three in eyesight of each other in an indoor mini-mall. I don’t know how people there don’t absolutely hate Starbucks by now. The coffee place we really enjoyed was Seattle Coffee Works on 1st and Pike.  They have magnificent mochas, chai tea, and chocolate (cayenne orange white chocolate, mmm). However, coffee wasn’t all there was to offer in Seattle.

Being right next to Puget Sound, we ate nothing but fish the entire time. The first stop we made when we got to town was the Pike Place Market. The market is full of unique shops, restaurants, street performers and a giant wall where people stick their used gum wads on (yes, it’s real, and yes, it’s disgusting). In a way, Pike Place Market, and downtown Seattle in general, reminder us a lot of 16th Street in Denver. We gorged ourselves on Clam Chowder and sushi. Our favorite spot was Blue C Sushi – which was actually right inside our hotel lobby. We had never had anything like this before: the sushi came out on a conveyor belt, an actual Sushi Train! One the blank wall above the Sushi Train, there was a projected video of cameras in Tokyo.  Who knows when they were recorded, but during one of our dinners, we watched a flash mob version of Grease, Tokyo style. It was as confusing as it was enjoyable. There was also La Creperie Voila, which is a mom and pop Creperie directly outside the Washington State Convention Center; we ate there EVERY. DAY (Adrian loved the Lemon one and Sherif had the Dulce de Leche one).

We didn’t just stay at the convention, though. We took the monorail down to the Space Needle area. Aside from the breath-taking view, the surrounding area of the Space Needle was really intriguing. There was a glass museum, The Chihuly, complete with gigantic, singing flowers, and the Pop Culture Museum. The Space Needle looks intimidating from the ground, and the view from the top was amazing. The public transportation in Seattle is so navigable. The bus, monorail and light-rail system are so easy to use; Seattle is built for large conventions. We also stopped by the Museum of Flight on Thursday. We originally went for the Carol Corps Celebration, but we spent most of our time looking at all the badass planes.

By the end of our trip, we were in love with Seattle. The ease of public transportation, the friendly natives (most of the people from the Con were cool, too, but there were plenty of cranky people) and the unique melting pot that it has become, we enjoyed the city equally as much as the convention itself. And as much crap as we got for being from Denver (that whole Super Bowl thing), the two cities are more alike than their affinity for marijuana – which is not exaggerated (Canni-Bus? Really?). I guess it really is the greenest city in America.

How ECCC Works

If you’ve ever been to a comic book convention, then your logic will fail you here. Nothing is set up the way you would think it is. The autograph sessions are set up in entirely separate floors than the photo ops, the panels are immediately before or after the photos and signings – which means it’s practically impossible to do both. The photos are taken professionally, behind walls of security, and ECCC volunteers will tackle you if you take your phone out in the signature hall; yes, those areas are separate. Everywhere you go, you are herded and prodded like cattle. It was often hard to find where a line stopped or started unless you knew where to look and lines to see people were often capped and then un-capped moments later. It wasn’t all bad, though.

Everybody was generally helpful when we asked questions. The convention is mostly a local one more than an international one (like San Diego) from what we saw, so people are more likely to give you honest and positive advice when asking for directions or opinions, both in and out of the con. Like most things comic book related, ECCC has exploded within the past few years, so it’s only natural that there are some growing pains. I can understand the need for a tight system to keep things moving, but the whole ordeal feels disconnected and impersonal. Denver Comic Con (DCC) did a much better job of letting patrons interact with the very people that attracted them to the convention in the first place.

The layout of the convention’s exhibition hall was pretty straight-forward – it consisted of two big rooms separated by a sky-bridge. Where previous cons we had gone to, like SDCC, have been geared towards retail and pushing big brand names, ECCC is largely focused on independent artists and writers. You’ll have a guy who does beautiful air-brush paintings that he did in his garage in a booth right next to Dustin Nguyen, renowned Batman artist. We saw a bunch of our favorite comic book people just hangin’ out at their booths, giving free autographs and telling stories. The fan interaction is what makes people go to these conventions in the first place, and unless you’re looking for somebody ridiculously big in comics right now, you don’t have to stand in line for more than 10-20 minutes to do it.

Overall, the convention is fairly well organized, but it takes a good day or so to understand how things work. These two newbies were able to attend all the big panels we wanted to, get all the signatures and photos we wanted, plus meet a whole bunch of cool people along the way – but we were exhausted, every day. The convention could serve itself well by having a preview night similar to San Diego Comic-Con; it’s just getting that big. There are so many celebrities, both in TV/movies and comic books that they may need it. It would also benefit them to send in the programs along with the badges next year before the show.

They’re Just Geeks, Too!

Forget the exclusives, the big-shot comic book companies and their fancy doo-dads; why do you go to a comic book convention? More than any convention we’ve been to, we were reminded that conventions are run by nerds, with nerds, for nerds. The insane amount of comic book artists, writers and inspired product-makers made for a great opportunity to interact with people who we admire and look up to. When they’re all just hanging out at a booth, signing comics, posing for pictures and telling stories, it’s easier to erase the celebrity we’ve given them. In many ways, they’re nerdier than we are.

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One of the best times I had on the floor was meeting Matt Fraction (who writes Hawkeye and Sex Criminals) and Kelly Sue DeConnick (who writes Pretty Deadly and Captain Marvel). This married couple are like the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of comic books. Both were very receptive to comic books, and despite the line, were very willing to answer questions. Along with Chip Zdarsky, who does the art for Sex Criminals, they were quite possibly also the most entertaining group there. At one point, Matt had told people that one copy of their Sex Criminals hardcover had been blessed with Chip’s semen; which one? Who knows? Other notable creators we were fortunate enough to meet were Dustin Nguyen (Lil Gotham), Scott Synder (BatmanAmerican VampireThe Wake), Ed McGuinness (Superman/BatmanNovaAmazing X-Men), Gail Simone (BatgirlTomb RaiderRed Sonja) and G Willow Wilson (Ms. MarvelCairo).

The Hollywood celebs who drew us to the con in the first place are pretty nerdy, too.  Chad L. Coleman, of The Walking Dead and The Wire, geeked out when we met him at his photo-op when he saw Sherif’s “Omar Comin’, Yo!” t-shirt.  During his TWD panel with co-star Emily Kinney, he talked extensively about what the show means to him and was very deep about his feelings regarding the story and his character, noting that Tyreese does not think of Carol as a monster and that Tyreese is not a one-dimensional character.  He kidded Emily about how she reacted to Hershel’s death.  Oh, and for all you Bethyl haters out there, Emily approves.  Emily Kinney loves Bethyl.  Ok, that is out of our system, now.

 

Stephen Amell aka Oliver Queen aka The Arrow aka the best abs on the CW was fresh off a shoot that started at 3 am in Canada.  He almost wore his Arrow costume and fans of the main hall were let down to know this was even a possibility.  Amell talked a lot about how he shoots his bow (he doesn’t and there is in fact no safe way to shoot one on set), how he is trained by a professional archer on how to hold his bow and how his hair is “grippy” enough to hold that hood on as he runs.   He was also equally excited as the fans were that in the Suicide Squad episode that Harley was alluded to and was voiced by Tara Strong (pretty much any Batman animated series ever, My Little Pony, and my god, every cartoon ever).  Stephen showed his soft side by talking about his experience in helping out the BatKid story, making women in the audience sigh.  And he won a place in Sherif’s heart forever by rating The Dark Knight a “10”.  We both agree that Stephen Amell is one of the most down-to-earth stars and clearly loves his job.

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Eliza Dushku wooed the audience within about 1.5 seconds of her entrance, even though she was almost 10 minutes late.  She is so cool and so sexy; she can just flip her hair (apparently her hair is her comfort zone) and everyone will swoon.  But don’t take her looks or demeanor for granted.  Eliza is very aware of herself and her projects. She pitched her new project Gable 5 several times during her panel.  And yes, she takes Faith very seriously.  She was quick to correct anyone who dared misspeak anything about the other Vampire Slayer.  One fan asked her what “five by five” meant and another nervously said “Want. Need. Have.”  Miss Dushku was quick to correct her with “Want. Take. Have.”  Very Faith.  She told us she didn’t know what Boyd’s fate would be in Dollhouse and that she broke her elbow while filming the last episode.  She seems to be very used to male fans asking her semi-inappropriate questions, handling them all very well.  She even indulged some by sensually feeding them her Turkish Apricots.  Yeah, she fed people.  Notably, she talked about how she loves all the characters she has played, but that Faith is eternal.  Our favorite part of her panel was when she talked about how Buffy fans are intense; popping out of a bush and asking who she thinks she is.  Hmmmm… Buffy fans would do that.  At her signing, we picked a still of her from Buffy.  She got very nerdy and crossed out Buffy’s name and wrote over it “FAITH” in all capitals.  It was precious, and so is she.

And then there was Alan.  Alan Tudyk, Joss’s gift to Firefly and Serenity.  Not only was he hilarious during his photo-ops, but pretty much all the time.  After picking up a baby during his pictures, he offered to pick Adrian up the same way.  She missed her chance.  During his panel, he talked a lot about how Wash had the biggest part of Joss in the character.  Alan also broke it to fans and all that fan-fiction that Wash is really dead.  “It sucks, but he’s dead.”  Apparently Nathan Fillion thinks its funny that Wash died, and Summer is glad because she gets to fly the ship.  His response to Summer?  “Boppity Boppity Boo… You’re craaaazzzzzyyy!”   He also discussed that the Firefly Christmas party became the cancellation party.  Joss said he wasn’t done and Alan said every one else said, “That’s so sad.  He thinks he can do it…”  Alan really knows how to tell stories geared towards his audience.  He also revealed that he is writing something to be hopefully released very soon… maybe.  It was all very cryptic and ended with him just saying, “Yup.”  Geeks will have to wait to see what that is.  Every fan who asked a question during the panel got to hear, “Get some shit.”  This was his endearing way of pulling out random crap from his bag, autographing it, and handing it to adorers.  The best fan question was from a kid dressed as Wash complete with his toy dinosaurs.  He was taken on stage and got to act the infamous inevitable betrayal scene, but rather that get some shit, the kid got his dinosaurs signed.  How priceless is that?  That kid and everyone in the main hall adored Alan Tudyk just a little more.

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One of the most personal connections we made at ECCC was with an independent artist from Portland named Ibrahim Moustafa. He draws a book titled High Crimes, a ComiXology exclusive book (that we have since read and plan to review soon!). Just like Sherif, he is a half-Egyptian nerd who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Just like it’s great to identify with characters in the industry, meeting people who work in the industry you can relate to is just as important. We talked a lot, and it was really cool to meet someone that gifted who was willing to shoot the breeze with us. He was so cool, he even commissioned a drawing of our logo. We hope to keep in touch with Ibrahim, it not for his amazing art, then his hilarity.

 

Tips for Future ECCC-ers:

  • Avoid a taxi at all costs. Public transportation is the way to go. It’s cheap, takes credit cards (except for the bus), and is actually pretty quick.
  • Get yourself a hotel near the convention. When we went to SDCC, we “saved money” and stayed further away and took a shuttle. Long story short, it sucked. Staying near the convention center will get you much needed sleep and peace of mind. Also, if possible, avoid any of the Con-sponsored hotels. They might sell it as savings, but really, they’re paid a crap-ton of money to promote each other.
  • If you’re not going to sit down and enjoy a meal, don’t spend a bunch of money on it. Food is one of the biggest small-time expenses that can be limited, so why spend $30 on sandwiches when you could spend $10 and put the extra towards an artist sketch?
  • Cosplaying is amazing, but what’s even better is wearing comfortable shoes. You will spend hours walking, standing, rinsing, repeating. On a similar note, please do shower and wear deodorant. Yes, people will know it’s you, and they will judge you for it.
  • Come prepared to buy stuff: artists prints, doo-hickies, collectibles, and of course, comic books. Also know that you will be having to bring or send this stuff back home with you. Some of the best things to prepare are:
    • Comic book portfolio: holds approx ten issues for signing and collecting.
    • Poster tube or picture hard-sleeve: don’t let those prints/signatures get bent. Trust me, hiding it in a book will not cut it.
    • Know where a nearby FedEx is to ship back the really valuable stuff
  • Make a few game plans of when EVERYTHING you want to do is. Always give yourself 30-45 minutes before each show or panel to make sure you’ll get in. Depending on the popularity and room size of the event, it will be more/less likely you’ll get to see what you want. The main hall always seems to have room since it’s like 10x the size of the rest of the rooms.
  • Always ask questions. And just like with your parents: if you don’t like the answer you get, ask somebody else. When all is said and done, the volunteers have no real authority, so if you can get what you want without throwing a tantrum, go for it.
  • The photo-ops are super quick and impersonal, but the signatures allow you to take more time and converse with the celebs a bit more. This really only applies to the TV/movie celebs and the comic book creators with huge lines. Most other creators, you can spend as long as you want talking to them.

 

Amell panel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51826

Dushku panel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51822

DC All Access: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51792

Marvel – Breaking into the Business: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51825

DC Batman Eternal: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51790

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

Weekend Wrap-Up…March 30, 2014

With Adrian and Sherif in the wonderland that is Emerald City Comic-Con, I will be taking over the weekly news updates, and since we weren’t able to publish on Wednesday, this edition is PACKED with nerdcore details.

Think there is such a thing as too much Spiderman?  Marvel, Spidey writer Dan Slott and Hush all disagree!  Get ready for the Spider-verse!!

Speaking of ol’ web-head, I knew it wouldn’t take long before Disney got on their corporate high horse and decided to be a dick to Stan Lee, telling him that he doesn’t own Spider-Man. It’s the equivalent of telling your grandpa that his service in Vietnam didn’t mean shit for your freedom. Shame on you Disney. Respect your elders; I mean, the guy is twenty years younger than Walt Disney himself and has arguably brought just as much joy to the world.

This might be old news to some of you, but this is Batman’s 75th Anniversary (Detective Comics #27 debuted in May 1939). DC has announced their plans for the year to celebrate the Dark Knight.

On a somber note, original Batman TV series creator, Lorenzo Sempler Jr. passed away earlier this week.  Our cowls go off to Sempler who was truly a trailblazing force for one of the most iconic and popular heroes of all time.

EA says that upcoming Star Wars games will try to follow the Batman: Arkham model. Good news is that Arkham games are awesome. Bad news is that the last time EA tried to model something after another publisher, we got NBA Live 14. Why not emulate Mass Effect? We hear that was pretty good.

Looks like we’ll all be able to start liking our friend’s status in a whole new virtual world we wear on our face!!  Facebook purchased Oculus in a move that’s sure to make techies all over the world giddy.  What’s an Oculus you ask?  Think of ski-goggles that put you right in the middle of your favorite video game/virtual world.  Finally – something to take my Farmville experience to another level.

Been practicing your bending skills?  Compare how much progress you’ve made when Book 2 of the Legend of Korra hits DVD and Blu-Ray shelves – officially announced to be released on July 1st.

We all knew whoever was lucky enough to date S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Agent Coulson would have to be  able to hang with the likes of the Avengers.  Amy Acker (AngelDollhouse) is no stranger to action and adventure, so we think she’ll fit right in.  It’s also got us wondering – does Acker really know how to play the Cello?

AMC’s Comic Book Men got renewed for another season. They must really be hurting for new shows. I’m still wondering how they will cope with the end of Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Two options: ride The Walking Dead til the wheels fall off or put out a new version of Low Winter Sun every year.

Arnold is back at it again.  Schwarzenegger will play an aged cyborg in Terminator: Genesis, the next installment in the popular sci-fi series.  He did say he’d be back…

This next one left me shell shocked.  I’ve already donned my masked and strapped on my sais.  The first TMNT teaser is out.  Watch it as many times as you can while you wait for that pizza you just ordered.

Also teasing us this week is the first trailer for Hercules: The Thracian Wars.  This one is bound to be better than the other Hercules that dropped earlier this year.  I mean, it stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pretty much as himself.  Can you smell what the demigod is cooking?

This kid is out of control and Hush is eating it up.

And it case you hadn’t heard – The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale premiers in a few hours!  Catch up on where our wayward survivors by reading our reviews!