If you couldn't tell, I'll be loosely covering Emerald City Comicon doings over the next 7 months. Probably not to the smothering extent to which I post about SDCC, but I will be covering general developments.
So let's review what we know. ECCC 2015 is 27-29 March and passes go on sale Monday, 1 September. Minion applications also go live sometime in September (which I don't think is quite as competitive as becoming an SDCC volunteer.)
If you're an SDCC veteran who's decided to head to Seattle for the first time, as many nerds are doing, your stomach might clench with dread at the thought of a new online Con sale. To put this in perspective, here's how it went last year. Saturday and 3-day badges sold out in mid-January, Sunday badges sold out in mid-February and Friday in early March.
But that was last year. The law of accelerating return has seen every Con sell out faster and faster, sometimes with wild surges in interest. So I would advise acting sooner rather than later when it comes to getting your ECCC pass. I'm not trying to start a stampede - just giving you my best guess on the speed and voracity with which people will buy these passes. I don't think it will look like last year; there was a fair amount of surprised press when the 2014 3-day passes sold out, which was as good as ringing a bell and telling everyone to buy early for 2015. So while I don't think you need to panic, I wouldn't let months go by either.
In a change from last year, the VIP program no longer exists. Instead you can buy a Celebrity Fast Pass for $295, which includes exclusive line access to celebrity/talent autographs and photo ops (and yes, you still have to pay for those). Only 500 of those are available; same goes for the Deluxe Pass for $150 which includes exclusive access to show floor.
A regular 3-day pass is a budget-friendly $85 and single day passes are available as well. See the details here.
Hotel rooms are live
I've already booked my room at the Sheraton for - wait for it - $145 a night. The other hotels have similar or even less expensive rates. Most seem to require a nonrefundable one-night deposit.
Do you want to go?
If you're asking why this Con has gotten so popular, one reason is that it's more focused on comic books; it's also relatively laidback and it has some of that exciting-but-not-frantic energy that SDCC had years ago. It's more navigable than San Diego (ignore the people online complaining about the lines and disorganization - if you've survived SDCC, this will be a cakewalk) and the organizers are interactive and fan-focused, which just isn't the case at many Cons. (Witness their Tumblr.) Passes are mailed out in advance, which is nice, and we even know the dates for 2016: 8-10 April.
But the main difference seems to be one of accessibility. Unlike SDCC, where you're constantly forced to boil down a multitude of options to one event - where you know your favorite actor on your favorite show is in the very next room but you'll never make it inside - Emerald City is still a place where if you want to experience something, you can probably do it. That's a major selling point for people deciding where to spend their Comic Con dollars.