2 MARCH 2016
Let's break this down day by day. At a glance, there are a lot of panels for creatives, a lot of feminist and progressive panels and a decent division between small and mainstream fandoms. Please note I'm only focusing on regular panels here and not the deities in the Main Hall.
We knew comics would dominate Thursday and wow, they really will. Comic book nerds: Thursday tickets are the only ECCC tickets left and this should prove to you that they're worth getting.
The obligatory "How to Break into Comics" panels kick off the day, with other panels on marketing your comics, freelancing in comics, teaching comics, working with licensed characters, etc. And an overarching panel on the business of writing. Also, the 1st of several panels on Tumblr.
Readers get some good panels too from DC, Aspen, Space Goat, Valiant, Boom and Image.
Onto the first full day of Emerald City.
We get several sci-fi, science, speculative fiction and tech panels; not a terribly hard science day, but there's enough to satisfy.
We also have a few cosplay and fashion discussions and quite a few gaming panels.
Predictably there are more creative panels - the stress of freelancing (preach it), writing romance, writing female characters, LGBTQAI characters in all-ages media, painting, VR in storytelling and so on.
There are also fandom panels for Supernatural, Whedon, Star Trek and others, and comic panels on Dark Horse, Vertigo, The Wicked + the Divine and Rat Queens.
Discussion panels include harassment in the industry, women in horror, creating porn comics and more; and finally the evening wraps up with some stand-up nerd comedy.
The busiest day of the Con, there's a diverse panel selection here.
Like discussions on fandom (book, comics, movies), female characters, "engaging with problematic media" (that is such an ECCC title), spooky comics, queer comics, gay comics (not necessarily the same thing), a panel on Windows 95, becoming a "celebrigeek" and other burning issues.
Fandoms again get their due with panels on Star Trek, Sailor Moon, Star Wars and others; comic lovers have panels on IDW, Image, Dark Horse and more.
Cosplayers get several specific panels on topics like wigs, armor, gloves, LED, silicone prosthetics, as well as general advice on becoming the best cosplayer ever and maybe even making money at it.
There are a few more comedy panels and of course, the cosplay championship that night.
The very first panel is about restoring vintage pinball and arcade games. I love nerds so much.
There's also a Doctor Who round-up, a panel for Star Wars collectors, several panels on geek parenting, more queer comics, several master classes for visual artists, a showcase of Angry Robot books and a few more panels on gaming and cosplay.
Mouse Guard, Peanuts, Marvel, Wayward, IDW and Image (again) have panels.
There are also more panels on comics/fan careers, creating characters, and an interesting-looking panel on seeking heroes with autism, blindness and other issues that go beyond standard portrayals.
There will be an open ECCC discussion where you can offer feedback to the team, the art auction, a trivia game and a panel on nerd fitness.
And... Emerald City Comicon is over.
So what do you think? Again, I didn't list the Main Hall people because I consider them their own category. And anyhow there are quite a few open slots, indicating big guest announcements we just haven't gotten yet.
But as for the panels proper, it all feels as expected. Nothing blew me away and while I'm looking forward to many of these panels, there aren't any that have me on the edge of my seat. At this point, we're getting a good idea of what a ReedPOP-driven Emerald City looks like: a lot like previous years.