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.

Yesterday in the Nerd Verse Feb 21, 2015

It’s Oscar night tonight. Or as we like to call it here at Hush, The Walking Dead night. As John Oliver would put it, “The Oscars: why is this still a thing?”

Speaking of zombies, how do you introduce a new undead series and make it a smash hit? Well, you recruit Matt Smith (11th Doctor in Doctor Who), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones), and now John Bradley (Sam Tarly from Game of Thrones) to star in Patient Zero. There isn’t a lot of info released about the upcoming series, but I do know that British people + zombies = win. Source: The Mary Sue

If you didn’t get enough Interstellar the first time around (judging by Adrian’s review, she certainly did not), you can check it out again in theaters starting yesterday – this time with 12 minutes of unseen footage AND a BOGO free offer at AMC theaters. Source: AMC

I swear, I read it for the articles. Playboy has an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming graphic novel sequel to Fight Club, published by Dark Horse Comics. It will be released at the end of May. Source: Playboy

Zim will be Invading the comic book world, spelling DOOM for Oni Press and all their readers in July. Mwhahahaha.

Alura Zor-El, Supergirl’s mother, has been cast for the upcoming Supergirl CW series. The role goes to Laura Benanti (Nashville) and will be recurring, which makes me think “flashbacks!” Source: Deadline

Lara Croft used some of those extra pixels and gave herself some clothing! Check out the new gear she’ll be sporting in the PS4/XBO release of Rise of the Tomb Raider. Source: Game Informer

Anybody up for Hugh Jackman eventually playing Old Man Logan? If Jacked Man had it his way, he’s play the part of Wolverine forever. Source: E! Online

Who wins in a fight against the Avengers: Age of Ultron and the most anticipated boxing match of the decade? Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are set to face off on May 2nd. I say we are the real winners. Source: ESPN

Black Widow Scarlett Johansson has teamed up with other female artists to create “super pop” as The Singles. Check out their first track, “Candy” at the link. Source: Rolling Stone

Oh, and San Diego Comic Con sold out in an hour – a record-breaking sell-out time. BUT! You can find Hush Comics wondering around Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle at the end of March. They actually have comic book creators there.

Well it seems FOX’s own golden goose, Bill O’Reilly, is under fire for exaggerated claims of his coverage of the Falklands War. Fresh on the heels of Brian Williams drama, I think it’s great we are holding journalists and reporters accountable for their stories. However, I’m much more appalled at the actual bullshit they cover more so than who almost got Gumped (shot in the buttocks) in a war zone. Just my two cents… Source: Former CBS Colleague Eric Jon Engberg’s Facebook

“Respect My Craft” – Stephen Amell

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Stephen Amell

Profession: Actor

Notable WorkArrow (2012-present), Hung (2011), Private Practice (2012)

“We’re making a kick ass show. We will continue to make a kick ass show. And I will continue to interact and provide interesting content for our fans. Because I love our fans. If every once and a while, some dickweed wants to pull a headline out of thin air to generate page views, then that’s the price we pay.” – Stephen Amell

 

The quote you see above is from an angry Stephen Amell in response to a member of the media “leaking” fabricated rumors that Amell was in talks to be a part of the Justice League movie, announced for 2016. You see, that kick ass show that Amell was referring to is Arrow, one of the hottest television shows out right now – and possibly the best live-action superhero show ever on the small screen. I’m actually sitting here writing this article as I re-watch the Season 3 finale of Arrow. I realize that, even though this is really Stephen Amell’s breakout role – his presence on it has been a contributing factor to why it is so phenomenal.

The Canadian sensation has stayed humble through the transition into stardom. It hasn’t been an instant rise to fame for Amell; it took nearly a decade-long career to get casted as Oliver Queen in Arrow. Like many actors without a pedigree, he got his start with small roles in popular television shows. The first of which was Showtime’s Queen as Folk, where he played a spin instructor. Spin class, for those who don’t know, is a gym class where a group of people vigorously ride stationary bikes to the tempo of music. Vigorously. Ironically enough, Amell was actually a spin instructor in real life prior to breaking into the business – which he had been training for since taking acting classes in high school.

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Amell expanded his repertoire when he was cast on the gay super-natural soap opera, Dante’s Cove, home to some pretty risqué dude-on-dude scenes – Amell excluded, sorry ladies and/or fellas, if you’re into that. He proved early on that he is comfortable with his sexuality, playing a gay prostitute in the third season of HBO’s Hung, a role that he apparently didn’t tell even his parents about (probably because he didn’t have this awesome video to break the news with). Aside from playing Arrow, his role of Jason has been his longest-running. His openness to trying roles like this led to a slew of other opportunities, from CSI and NCIS to the award-winning Canadian shows like HeartlandRent-A-Goalie and ReGenesis. Amell also played Brady the Werewolf in The Vampire Diaries. The CW, the channel that hosts both TVD and Arrow, likes to keep their actors in the family, which led to his audition – and prompt casting – for the part of Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow.

If you’re going to choose a character to get type-casted as, a billionaire crime-fighter isn’t the worst. Green Arrow has been a dark horse favorite among DC Comics characters – which is great, considering he is often in the shell of Batman (oddly enough, Arrow will be competing with FOX’s Gotham drama based on the Dark Knight). Nothing comes easy to Queen, and it shows through the stream of flashbacks to the island Queen was stranded on.  This is such an impressive feat for Amell, who must portray both a character living a current-day double life, and a character in progression – a guy who goes from entitled douche to unlikely hero.

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The dreaded Salmon Ladder. Stephen Amell does his own stunts, thank you very much.

Now, Stephen Amell doesn’t just play a hero on television; he’s kind of one in real life. Most people by now have heard of Batkid, but just in case you haven’t, I will give a little background. Miles was a kid who had battled leukemia and was in remission. His one wish was to save the city of Gotham with Batman. The entire city of San Francisco was transformed in Gotham City and Batkid went around foiling the nefarious plots of many of Batman’s greatest foes. In what could be considered the greatest nod to Batkids work, Stephen posted a video on his Facebook as Oliver Queen with Diggle and Felicity. He is talking to his partners about how there is absolutely no criminals to fight thanks to the heroics of Batkid and thanks to him he gets to go out and enjoy dinner for a night.

It goes further than that. He has one of the best Facebook pages known to man, which he frequently uses to interact with fans and post hilarious memes making fun and promoting the show. Amell also found time to voice the Arrow version of the Green Arrow (regular version played by Alan Tudyk) character in the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. Aside from posting memes, Amell uses social networking as a platform for the various cancer research causes that he believes in, stemming from his mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. To name a few: he recently auctioned an autographed Arrow statue away (going for over $25K on eBay at time of writing) for a cancer patient, he attends fundraiser balls in the name of awareness (Boobyball and Fuck Cancer, to name a couple).

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How he manages to juggle being the hardest working actor in television with his wife, former America’s Next Top Model contestant, Cassandra Jean, and their baby girl, Mavi, is anybody’s guess. Plus, he’s now an expert archer, or at least what he told us at his panel at Emerald City Comic Con, he has the form of an expert archer. The humanitarian aspect he brings to the table, coupled with his work ethic – and workout ethic, sets him apart from the rest of the industry. How lucky we are to have Amell spearhead the superhero television revolution. Oliver Queen should take notes.

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None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (DC Comics). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with the voice actor that raised a generation, Jim Cummings.

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