Update your ECCC badge address by 7 Feb

3 FEBRUARY 2016



Not much advance notice here: you need to log into the ECCC badge system and make sure your mailing address is correct by 7 February.

This involves using the same email address you used to purchase your badge and your ShowClix password. If, like half the world, you just said "I have a ShowClix password?" then you'll want to get this sorted now via the forgotten password tool.

The last thing anyone wants is their valuable Emerald City Comicon badge falling into nefarious hands, so go ahead and check your shipping address, just to make sure. We're only 2 months out from one of the best Comic Cons on earth - hard to believe, isn't it? And so exciting.

ReedPOP predicts more brand-specific Cons

2 FEBRUARY 2016






As ReedPOP continues to spawn Comic Cons all over the globe like some kind of many-tentacled octopus, observant nerds have noticed they've also been creating more focused events. The massive fan experience organization has created several brand- or fandom-specific events like Star Wars Celebration or Star Trek: Mission New York; and in an interview with Newsarama, global senior VP Lance Fensterman says he thinks "more and more brands themselves are going to start building out their own sort of events to connect with their communities."

Why? "Because brands crave that meaningful face-to-face, physical celebration of fandom." Wait, what? I'd say the fans crave that experience and the brands recognize in it an opportunity for deeper engagement, merchandising revenue, increased audience, etc. But whatever. Tomato, tomahto.

Fensterman also offered up some thoughts on competing with CCI: namely, that ReedPOP isn't interested. "We're not in the business of competing with big shows. That's not interesting to us. And also, if fans are being served and they're getting what they really want and crave, there's no reason to build an event there.... San Diego's an amazing event. It just doesn't seem logical to build a show where there's already an amazing show."

What he didn't say: "And after all, we have events in Paris, Chicago, Seattle, Indonesia, Vienna, Australia, China and pretty soon the moon, so why would we bother with Southern California?"

For those of you who just rolled your eyes at the idea of New York Comic Con NOT competing with San Diego Comic-Con, Fensterman did say that the Con is experiencing the same growth challenges as SDCC: "It has physically, within the confines of the Javits Center, it has maxed out. We can't get any bigger." He then talks about spilling it around the city "so it can be inter-meshed, if that's a word, in the city of New York itself." So if you were anticipating another smug "NYCC has 874,263 attendees!" press release next fall, we probably won't see one.

All of this keeps nudging us along in the same direction; stop putting all our eggs in the SDCC basket and start looking at other Cons, whether they're built around a specific fandom or simply in another region. I do think demand will equal out eventually (not perfectly, but somewhat balanced) and fans will stop seeing SDCC as the be all and end all of their nerd world. Which is probably not just a healthier approach to our Comic Con lives, but ultimately a more gratifying one as well.



More SDCC special guests are announced

1 FEBRUARY 2016





It's Monday, which means CCI has dribbled out yet another quartet of special guest names for San Diego Comic-Con. Those being:

Emily Carroll: writer/artist - Through the Woods
Marissa Meyer: author - Heartless
Keith Knight: cartoonist - The Knight Life
Matt Fraction: writer - Sex Criminals, Hawkeye


I've gotten a few emails on Open Reg; with the advent of February, it's time for your annual badge-and-hotel-sale anxiety to start building. I'll post on it shortly.

It's time for the ECCC Celebrity Autograph Auction

27 JANUARY 2016




If you want to have a cool Emerald City Comicon memento while helping sick children, consider bidding in the ECCC Celebrity Autograph Auction. 

These are signs that were displayed on various Con guest tables and signed by them during the show. Celebrities include Hayley Atwell, John Barrowman, Stan Lee, Chloe Bennet and many more. All proceeds go to Seattle Children's Hospital. (ECCC has a longstanding philanthropic relationship with the hospital, donating more than 75K in recent years.)

Just click on the photo of the autograph you want and you'll see a Bid Now button. Be aware that your winning bid amount doesn't include shipping costs.

The auction ends 5 February so don't wait. There's no better way than to kick off your Comic Con season.



3rd group of SDCC special guests are up

25 JANUARY 2016



I'm pretty sure today's round of special guests is going to excite a lot of you. Without further ado...

Jamie McKelvie: artist - The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram
Kieron Gillen: writer - The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram
Noelle Stevenson: writer/artist - Lumberjanes
Jeff Smith: cartoonist/artist - Bone, RASL


Also - in the category of "painfully obvious" - if you're intrigued by the world of comic books but don't know where to start, any of SDCC's special guests are a good jumping off point. Not all of their work will be to your liking because comics contain a multiverse of styles and themes and vibes, but it's a safe bet that you'll encounter some work you do like. Just a thought.



ReedPOP launches Star Trek: Mission New York

25 JANUARY 2016




All of you hardcore Star Trek fans know that this is a special year: the 50th anniversary. While you can rightfully expect this to be acknowledged in programming and events at various Cons this year, ReedPOP has taken it a step farther and created an entire event called Star Trek: Mission New York. It will taken place Labor Day weekend at - where else - the Javits Center in NY.

What can you expect? Three days of "interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and much more." So you know - a Con. A Star Trek Con. One that gives fans "the chance to go beyond panels and autograph signings and immerse themselves in the Star Trek universe." Will this change anyone's feelings about going to San Diego Comic-Con, DragonCon or NYCC? Probably a few Trekkies.

Tickets and hotel reservations will go live soon so add this to your daily Con information stalking.

Will you be in the Souvenir Guide this year?

21 JANUARY 2016




Writers and artists, your chance is here. Submissions are open for the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Guide, that annual paperback full of articles and fan art that you receive alongside your program guide.

Here are the anniversaries being celebrated this year that you'll want to reflect in your work.

  • 100th birthday of Forrest J Ackerman
  • 75th anniversary of Aquaman
  • 75th anniversary of Archie
  • 75th anniversary of Captain America
  • 75th anniversary of Green Arrow
  • 75th anniversary of Plastic Man
  • 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman
  • 50th anniversary of the Batman TV show
  • 50th anniversary of Black Panther
  • 50th anniversary of the Silver Surfer
  • 50 years of Star Trek
  • 25th anniversary of Bone
  • 25th anniversary of Deadpool
 
This may be too much of a good thing. Will you draw Julie Newmar's Catwoman in all her sultry glory or write about your childhood fantasies of Spock returning you to your Vulcan birth family? Will you pen a Marxist analysis of Veronica Lodge as capitalist swine or paint a brooding Aquaman throwing down with the Silver Surfer in Atlantis?  Hard choices, hard choices. Unfortunately we only have 1 Souvenir Guide, not 10, to do justice to all these themes.

If this is your first Souvenir Guide rodeo, there are rules to follow regarding formatting; be aware that no gore or smut will be tolerated, as this book goes to an all-ages audience, and you can only submit 1 piece of work per anniversary. You can study up on the whole submission process here. But the most important thing you should know is the deadline is 15 April, which isn't that far away. Get cracking on your submission now - and your taxes, always an exercise in brutality for creatives, so you won't have to worry about both deadlines come spring.

CCI has thoughtfully provided all of the past Souvenir Guide cover art to jumpstart your Muse. I can't wait to see what gorgeous work you nerdy geniuses produce.


2nd wave of SDCC special guests announced

18 JANUARY 2015





Happy MLK Day! CCI has released the 2nd group of special guests for San Diego Comic-Con this summer; let's see who they are.

Jason Aaron: Writer - Star Wars, Thor
Patrick Roth: Author - The Name of the wind
Paul Gulacy: Artist - Catwoman, Master of Kung Fu
Kate Beaton: Writer/Artist  - Step Aside, Pops, The Origin of Man


What do we think of CCI's jaunty new website design?

Are you ready for SDCC special guests?

13 JANUARY 2015



I don't know if I am. Regardless, we have the first group.

Daniel Clowes: Writer/artist - Ghost World, Mr. Wonderful, Eightball
Babs Tarr: Artist - Batgirl
Howard Chaykin: Artist/writer - American Flagg!, Star Wars
Brian Selznick: Author/illustrator-  The Marvels


CCI promises 4 more guests every week through March. So just shy of 50 guests, apparently. Last year we had 70. But the reduction might be a good thing, in that maybe it will allow more focus on the special guests who are there. Just a thought.

The Killing Joke will premiere at SDCC

12 JANUARY 2016





Remember last summer at San Diego Comic-Con when you were watching the Justice League: Gods 
and Monsters in Ballroom 20, Friday night, and then afterward Bruce Timm casually mentioned he was doing an animated film of The Killing Joke? And you felt electrified?

(Or maybe you just saw it on Twitter and got a vicarious jolt. Same thing.)

Timm said then it would be at Comic-Con next year, which made the need to procure an SDCC 2016 badge even more urgent. Well, I hope you got a badge in Pre-reg - because The Killing Joke will indeed dazzle the world for the first time at SDCC. And we know that it will include "original scenes" to flesh out the story.

So here are the main questions:
  • Will these original scenes match with or detract from the intensity of the graphic novel?
  • How will the controversy with Barbara Gordon be handled?
  • How will the ambiguous final frames of the comic be translated to film?


And for some of you: should you even care about seeing this if you've never read a comic book or graphic novel in your life?

I can't answer the first three questions but yes, you should put this on your still-forming agenda. If you like animation, compelling stories, DC or Bruce Timm, you'll probably like this even if you didn't read the book.

Of course, it could also fail utterly at making the jump from page to screen. But it's still going to be a legendary Comic-Con moment.

How to go to Comic-Con when you're poor

8 JANUARY 2016








Do you think you're too broke to go to Comic Con?

The last few years I've done "SDCC on a Budget" posts when Con time rolls around. But it's occurred to me that probably quite a few people exempt themselves from even trying to attend a Con - be it San Diego or others - simply because they feel they don't have the cash required.

I'd never try to persuade someone into spending $$$$ they don't have. However, it's my experience that many people assume that going to SDCC or NYCC is going to cost "thousands of dollars." That doesn't have to be true. People love to exaggerate and there are plenty of articles and online comments referring to $700 a night rooms and such that can make first-timers panic.

The reality is a little more nuanced. First of all, know that you'll be paying in installments. For San Diego Comic-Con, for instance, you usually pay for your badge first. A few weeks or months after that, you'll be asked to put down a deposit on a hotel room (or, if you do Early Bird, pay for your entire stay.) Then you'll have a few months more before you arrive at SDCC and pay for meals and the remainder of your hotel bill.

Other big Cons follow a similar path: badge in advance, hotel partly in advance and partly on check-out. If you're not good at saving money, this can give you a few months' breathing room to pay down those initial charges on your card.

On that note, don't forget that doing a partial Con is an option. Maybe instead of buying a full pass and 4 nights in a hotel, you just do Friday and Saturday and 2 nights. You could even arrive at dawn Friday, spend that night in a hotel, camp Saturday and leave at the end of Sunday. Voila, you've gotten 3 days at the Con while paying for only 1 night in a hotel. (If you're convinced a truncated Con would never satisfy the nerdy thirst inside you, don't be so sure. Just 2 days of Comic-Con can thrill and exhaust you more than you'd anticipate.)

So if you'd like to go to a big Comic Con but think you can't afford it, here's how budget-strapped people do it.


Hotels

This is usually the priciest aspect of going to the Con. A few options: you can try to stay in a local hostel; at some Cons you can camp in a nearby campground and take public transportation into town. You can also - if you're up for it - squeeze as many people as possible into your room. I knew one group that slept in shifts, with the morning people sleeping from 10 pm or so till dawn, and the partiers sleeping from dawn to afternoon. Everyone paid about $30 a night.

If you don't have someone - or enough someones - to share your room, ask around online, if you're comfortable sharing with strangers. You will definitely find others who didn't get a room at all or would like to split costs. Another option is bluntly asking people if you can crash with them 1 night. Overnight Hall H lines have been mitigated by the wristbands, but camping is still a thing at SDCC and other Cons and if you think you'll do at least 2 nights outside, you might see if you can sleep on someone's hotel room floor the other 2.

Finally, know that in SDCC's case, they offer up hotel rooms via the Early Bird sale. These aren't for downtown hotels - you will need to take the shuttle - but the rates are lower. Put 4 people into a room for 180 a night and you've got yourself a fairly manageable nightly rate per person.


Badges

Most conventions offer discounts if you're a senior, junior or military; kids under a certain age are usually free. You can also volunteer, which usually gets you full or partial free access to the Con. Just look at the event website and find out their application requirements.

Finally, if you've got connections you can try to come in as a booth worker or a vendor's right hand. Please note: there's generally a huge difference between working for someone you know and answering one of the job ads you see close to Con time. The latter tend to be low-paying with long hours and often only hire people with modeling or acting experience. Don't expect a lot of free time to scamper around the Con and attend panels and events at your leisure.



Meals

This is the element most in your control. I know people who live on a Spartan Comic-Con meal plan and it works for them. Generally, they pack their own food - cereal, fruit, sandwiches, power bars, etc - or buy groceries at a San Diego store like Ralph's, then live off that in their rooms. They don't go out to eat. OR they do that plus a few cheap indulgences, like a slice of pizza in the Gaslamp or the Horton food court or an $8 sub that feeds them all day long.

There was a time when you could scavenge appetizers and snacks from events and hospitality suites but those sources have dried up somewhat in the last few years.


Transportation

Plane fare is plane fare. Planning in advance and scouting for deals is your only option here, unless you're willing to endure a long bus ride. If you live in driving distance, look around online for anyone else who's driving and see if you can ride along and chip in for gas.


Merch

Some attendees (and shops) make an art of financing their attendance through buying exclusives and selling them at a profit. This has always seemed like a colossal headache to me, and uncertain to boot - it can be hard to anticipate what's going to increase in value and what will be glutting Ebay. If you choose this route, be aware that you will be working for your money, from standing in multiple lines to depending on the occasional ticket lottery to simply not getting to a booth in time.

As far as buying items for your own enjoyment, sometimes you can haggle with vendors and sometimes not. Waiting for the final-day markdowns is your best bet. If you fall in love with something and you're ready to sign over your last dime, check first on your phone to see what it's going for online. It's very rare to come across something at the Con that you can't get elsewhere, but that buzz of Exhibit Hall excitement can make every booth seem like a tantalizing chance of a lifetime.


Events

There will always be pricey events around the bigger Cons - comedy shows, concerts, competitions, private parties - but they're hardly the only show in town. Free events like screenings, gaming, meetups, and more will abound as well. And if you're bringing kids with you and wondering how you'll entertain them, know that 1) they'll be tuckered out earlier than usual at night 2) there are usually kid-specific panels and events at bigger Cons 3) just taking them to see the outside spectacles can awe them 4) they'll probably get a fair amount of kid-swag like free books and games during the day.



All in all, you can pull off a poor nerd's Comic Con if you plan strategically and save well. Of course, even with the above practices, it might still be out of your reach. There's nothing wrong with erring on the side of fiscal prudence, especially if you've never been to a big Con and aren't sure if it's worth the funds. I promise you that every August there are attendees who open their credit card bills and go pale with horror when they see the total of their SDCC spending.

But if you think you can swing it with the right tricks - give it a shot. It could be the best gift you ever give yourself.

Are you going to Comic Con in 2016?

4 JANUARY 2016



Happy New Year, nerds! Let's talk about the year stretching before us. What Comic Cons are on your dance card? What are your top #1 wish list Cons and which are your backup and safety Cons?

Probably the season seems far away. And if you're still new to Comic Con life and all of the reservations, badge sales and budgeting it entails, you might think of going to Comic-Con as some kind of fun activity that either "works out" or it doesn't. But that's just not true. While luck does play into it (sometimes mercilessly), there is a fair amount of planning involved that ultimately determines whether or not you walk through the doors of a major Con.

Here's what you need to think about.

Which Comic Con do you want to go to? 

San Diego Comic-Con is the big one, of course. If that's your dream, you need to start prepping now. Sign up for a Member ID, read the blogs as well as forums like Friends of Comic-Con, and get a realistic idea of what is involved - elements like your chances of actually getting a badge in Open Registration, hotel room options, Nerd HQ and the overall experience. SDCC can fall devastatingly short of a first-timer's expectations or dazzle them beyond anything they hoped. Try to figure out if you really want to jump through all the hoops required.

The key here is understanding what you want from your Comic Con experience. Don't think that the biggest Cons are necessarily the ticket to making your dreams come true. Let's say you want to meet celebrities. They are often more accessible at smaller Cons than the biggest ones. Or maybe you want to collect really obscure back issues. You'll definitely want a more comics-focused Con as opposed to other Cons which still have "Comic" in their name but reflect more of a Hollywood interest in their vendors and guests.

Maybe you want to network or promote your work. Maybe you'd like to host a panel of your own. Figure this out before you invest in a giant Con like NYCC or SDCC that may not be the best environment for you. Cons like Salt Lake, Emerald City, Denver or C2E2, just to name a few, are rapidly become a more appealing choice for many people than San Diego. Obviously SDCC is still an incredible spectacle but the chances of getting a badge dwindle every year and it's self-sabotaging to pin all your hopes on it.

As for New York Comic Con, I've heard general misinformation filter down that getting a badge is now "as bad as San Diego" which is an exaggeration. The 2015 badge sale was technologically rough but most people I know who joined at the start eventually got 4-day badges. And there were Thursday badges left over by the end.

A final caveat: if you roll into your local small-time Comic Con and assume it's just a smaller version of the more famous ones, stop right there. A lot of Cons boast high attendance numbers these days without boasting anything close to SDCC or NYCC offerings. It's impossible to really grasp the magic of San Diego Comic-Con until you actually go - no matter how many YouTube videos you watch.

Which Con works with your budget and schedule? 

One of the most interesting new Cons this year is Silicon Valley Comic Con. Described as "where science fiction blends with science fact, and amazing technologies will be on display from your favorite tech companies to the newest start-ups and app developers," this has piqued the interest of many tech and science-minded nerds. (And to be fair, it's also repelled a fair number who suspect it will be more business conference than convention. Post forthcoming.) The problem for many is that it's happening in San Jose only days before WonderCon in LA and a couple of weeks before Emerald City in Seattle. That's a whole lot of Conning for a West Coast nerd's schedule.

If summer is the easiest time for you to go to Comic Con, there's no shortage of options. Phoenix Comicon happens in early June, Denver Comic Con later in June, SDCC in late July, Gen Con and Boston in August, and Dragon Con and probably Salt Lake Comic Con in September. But overall you can find a Con at any time of year.

In terms of money, you'll want to start your Con cash stash right now. After you account for plane fare, badge, meals and hotel, you'll still be tempted to spend on a number of things - original art, action figures, comic books, party tickets and more. Maybe you've ascended to a higher plane of consciousness where such things don't tempt you, but if you're like most attendees you'll find at least a few Exhibit Hall treasures to make you drool. Be kind to future you and start socking money now so you can indulge your nerd hungers when the opportunity presents itself. If you come across the rarest of rare dream toys but your wallet forces you to pass it up, you'll be haunted for months.

You'll also want to make arrangements with your Con companions now. If you've been going to Comic Con for a while, you've probably had friends beg to go with you, then fade away when it came time to book a plane ticket or go through the various badge sale hassles. You rejoice over scoring a room at the Hilton Bayfront - then months later your friend suddenly has a wedding to attend and you're paying the entire tab alone. It might seem like a tall order to get people to commit to Con costs now but it's a good idea to suss out who's serious and who's not before badge sales start happening. It's also smart to vocalize this in your social circles; you might know several people who would love to come but just don't know how to get started.

What logistics do you need to take care of?

This is what separates the attendees from the people who watch Comic Con updates from home. While some Cons are still walk-in status, others require months of planning. Hotel room sales, registration and event tickets often go live months before the actual Con and sell out immediately. I'll be upfront with you: this isn't always easy to navigate. Go to a Con's website and it's usually full of cheery promises and colorful graphics rather than advice like, "Our badge sales are BRUTAL. Be ready the second it happens."

Which means you'll need to probe around in digital communities for inside tips and advice from Con veterans. (Who tend to be more than generous about helping newcomers - go ahead and ask any question you have, no matter how dumb you feel, because everyone has been in your shoes at some point.) Things like buying groups or the Early Bird sale vs open hotel reservations can baffle newcomers, if they are aware of them at all. So be prepared to do some research. And make friends now with attendees on social media. Many go to multiple Cons and meetups happen quite a lot.



Does all of this sound like too much effort? Then stick to smaller Cons. All the practices and skills required for attending and enjoying a big Con will probably exhaust you. This is survival of the fittest and the Comic Con experience is not for everyone. But if you think it is for you, get ready now - and you'll reap the rewards a few months down the road with incredible Comic Con memories.

Good luck. Here's to a beautifully nerdy 2016 for all of us.

Another twist in the convention center saga

28 DECEMBER 2015





Remember when the Salt Lake Comic Con lawsuit seemed like it was going to provide drama for eons and the convention center expansion seemed like a sure thing? How times have changed.

A few weeks ago, everyone was alerted as to a petition that promised to "keep Comic-Con in San Diego" but actually was trying to eliminate a contiguous expansion of the convention center. Now things have taken another turn for the dramatic. Fifth Avenue Landing - one of the many players in the expansion drama - sent a letter to the City Council saying they were giving San Diego until 1 March to revive an option to acquire for 13.8 million their leasehold on the 6 acres between the convention center and the bay.

If they don't? Then after 1 March, Fifth Avenue Landing will pursue a major development project involving a hotel of 400 rooms or more.

To put this in very clear terms: the contiguous expansion of the convention center was initially protested because various opponents said it would block water views and encroach on that space behind the convention center. (The hullabaloo about the hotel tax came later.) Now some of those same opponents are saying they're going to build something else on that same space.

Just when you thought this couldn't get anymore complicated.

Incidentally, the convention center is projected to bring in a record number of attendees in 2016. But this particular issue is a bit larger than just the center and includes other waterfront development agendas; I suggest reading the entire article. Overall, it paints a grim picture of how slippery this endeavor has become. (Example: "Incidentally, that consultant is the ubiquitous Charles Black, who negotiated the lease in question as the port's development consultant, then worked for the city on the expansion plan and now works for Carpenter and Engel. When it comes to selling advice in San Diego, it pays to be nimble.")

I don't think any of us wanted a new force with its own agenda rising up in this mess, but it looks like that's what we've got. An expanded convention center seems less likely than ever, at least within the time frame it's needed. What is likely - a move to LA, Anaheim, Vegas or staying in San Diego and suffering through the current limitations - is still a matter of debate.

Sexual harassment: still happening at Cons

21 DECEMBER 2015




Happy Winter Solstice! Remember in 2014 when everyone was talking about sexual harassment at Cons and how CCI refused to author a stronger policy despite many other big Cons doing so? And we had that fascinating interview between David Glanzer and Albert Ching of Comic Book Resources, and this article and that article and others?


Like its subject matter, the conversation has never really gone away. It just expanded to be less about SDCC and more about Cons in general. And interestingly, the stories getting the most attention aren't about attendees getting harassed, but about professionals - artists, writers - getting mistreated. Maybe they get groped or some industry legend offers to give them a few pointers up in their hotel room or someone with power over their career won't stop hitting on them. Or an executive senior editor bites and gropes them in the Hilton Bayfront bar.

Which has shifted the conversation more to bad behavior in the comics industry, rather than at Comic Cons. But let's not pretend there isn't a connection. A passing glance at many of these stories reveals that yes, they happened at a major Con. And the line between pro and attendee blurs more and more these days, with so many new and aspiring creatives using Cons as networking opportunities to get a foot in the door - not just in comics, but in film, animation, game design, costume design, publishing, etc.

So what does this all mean for attendees? The Comics Alliance article says, "Sometimes dependent on hearsay and short on specifics, anecdotal warnings are still very much necessary to help newcomers and veterans alike navigate an industry in which personal and professional lines often blur and networking often takes place in hotel bars at the end of convention days."  

But your average attendee isn't in a position to get those warnings. And sometimes what seems weird (like when someone invited me to his room to talk about a writing project) is a legit thing being crammed into a busy schedule. Other times you're innocently talking to another attendee at the Hyatt bar and he gropes your chest (me at SDCC 2014) or posing for a picture in your Iron Man cosplay and a woman grabs your crotch (my friend at Alamo City Comic Con a few months ago). Or you're holding an event at your comic shop and a very famous writer offers to get you into any Con you want in exchange for some private time, then badmouths you when you decline (happened to my friend years ago, writer is still a notorious jackass.)

On the professional side, many people are calling for the comics industry to hold predators accountable. Attendees are still calling for stronger anti-harassment policies at some Cons and cosplayers want everyone to know they deserve respectful treatment. I don't think the harassment will ever go away entirely, because where there are humans, there is someone behaving horribly.

However, we can support each other as much as we can - and if you are taking your first steps at networking at Comic Cons and are wondering who to trust, it doesn't hurt to do some background research. Ask around, find out who has a reputation. Use your best judgement about the industry players who seem willing to "help" you. And whatever you do, don't let an incident scare you away from Comic Cons or your chosen field. You belong here and there are people who will support you.

The 2016 Eisner Awards judges have been named

18 DECEMBER 2016


Have you been burning with curiosity to know who will judge the Eisner Awards next San Diego Comic-Con? Wonder no more: all 6 have been announced.

ECCC wants to hear from you, cosplayers

15 DECEMBER 2015




Emerald City has a survey for cosplayers to make their "cosplay experience at ECCC 2016 even better." They want to know typical things like if you go to panels about cosplay, where you're photographed most often, how much time and money you spend on your cosplay and so on. It's very quick, so go on and take it. Who knows, maybe we'll get a red carpet for cosplayers like at NYCC.


WonderCon registration is open

14 DECEMBER 2015




So who else is headed to WonderCon? Both regular and volunteer registration are now open.

If you're a typical SDCC attendee, your enthusiasm for WonderCon may fluctuate depending on its location. After bouncing around California a bit, it will be making its debut at the LA Convention Center in March 2016. So depending on your feelings about LA (and whether or not you're hitting up Silicon Valley Comic Con a week earlier and ECCC 2 weeks later) this Con may or may not be up your alley.

Here's why I think you should go, if you're still on the fence. While WonderCon has always been in SDCC's shadow, it can offer similar Exhibit Hall treasures and plenty of high-caliber celebrity guests. Those of you who gripe about SDCC getting away from its comic book roots will find plenty of comic book fandom and talent here. (The Hernandez Brothers, Francesco Francavilla and Terry Moore are just a few of the guests already announced.)

And because it's run by CCI, it has the same organization and feel as SDCC, but without as much chaos. I know a lot of people who prefer WonderCon to SDCC. But I predict 2016 will draw in a lot of first-timers as well, partly because they anticipate a gruesome SDCC Open Registration and partly because it's in LA, which is like a sprawling fan playground. And then there's the fact that many people are curious about a possible future where the SD part of SDCC is replaced with LA. (Emphasis on "possible" - don't get nervous and nostalgic yet.)

3-day badges are a whopping $65, so consider taking a long weekend 25-27 March and kicking off Comic Con season in LA. You might be surprised at how much like you like it.


ETA: Worth noting that while this badge sale is downright relaxing compared to SDCC, I had some trouble buying a badge. I kept getting a "your cart is empty" message. That could just be my semi-cursed Member ID but if it happens to you, try going in through a different session. I did that and it somehow combined my credit card info from 1 session with the badge cart from the other and went through.




Zombie Walk driver gets probation

12 DECEMBER 2015



In November, Matthew Pocci Jr. - AKA the driver in the infamous SDCC Zombie Walk accident - was found guilty of felony reckless driving resulting in great bodily injury.

Now he's been sentenced to 3 years probation and 60 days home detention with electronic monitoring. He also has to do 120 days of volunteer work and will lose his driver's license for a year.

This may or may not be the end of the story, as last we knew there were still several civil lawsuits pending. But this aspect of the case is settled at least.

Tricky, tricky: read before you sign a convention center expansion petition

11 DECEMBER 2015




courtesy of the San Diego Union-Tribute

If you have even half an ear tuned to San Diego Comic-Con, you're probably aware of the various ups and downs of the proposed convention center expansion. Once deemed a sure thing, it's been derailed by various players, including local attorney Cory Briggs who objected on several fronts, including a financing plan involving a hotel room tax.

But a new development bears close attention. There's a new initiative collecting signatures with the heartfelt plea "Keep Comic-Con in San Diego!" It even references hotel owners. If you didn't know better, you'd think this is exactly what we - and CCI - have wanted, right?

Ah, but this is an initiative authored by Cory Briggs himself. Twist! It actually is against expanding the convention center itself: "the measure specifically bars any such project on the waterfront." Not that the signature gatherers are emphasizing that part of it. Instead the campaign acknowledged today it instructed them to specifically mention the measure could keep SDCC in town.

Their defense: "We've known all along that Comic-Con and the large convention center hotels prefer a contiguous expansion on the bayfront. But unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen and regardless of where the expansion goes, Comic-Con needs more space so what our signature gatherers is <sic> saying is absolutely correct."

From CCI's David Glanzer: "We had no knowledge of this effort and as you can imagine, this came as a total surprise to us." CCI also said they weren't "a party to the initiative and its passing will have no effect on the organization's decision to remain in San Diego."

And organization Keep Comic Con in San Diego has disavowed any involvement with the petition as well.

Maybe Cory Briggs will awaken on Christmas Eve to the ghosts of Comic-Con Past, Comic-Con Present and Comic-Con Yet to Come and see what a bleak future we have without a contiguous expansion. In the meantime, be careful what you sign.

Are you giving the gift of Emerald City?

11 DECEMBER 2015




ECCC tickets haven't mailed out yet but you can still have something to wrap up if you're giving one as a gift this holiday season. Just download one of the Emerald City Comicon gift certificates and you can thrill and amaze your favorite nerd.