If you've followed the growth of Emerald City Comicon the last few years, you know its popularity has skyrocketed. For instance...
- Saturday tickets: 2 years ago they were available for a month; last year they were gone in a week.
- 4-day tickets: 2 years ago the general tickets sold out in just under an hour, while the VIP and Special Access badges went hours later. Last year, only general 4-day tickets were available and they were gone in 20 minutes. All of them.
- Or to put this another way: ECCC full tickets sold out in 5 months for 2014, 7 weeks for 2015, 1 day for 2016 and 20 minutes for 2017. Make your 2018 predictions as you will.
- Hotel rooms: These fluctuate more each year - a hotel seems to be sold out, oh wait, it's not - but generally the best hotel rooms go fast too.
Do you want to go?
Maybe. Especially if you fall into the "tired of SDCC crowds" or "worried about not getting an SDCC 2018 badge" categories. I feel every Con enthusiast should have a back-up Comic Con in their pocket these days - maybe it's NYCC, maybe it's Salt Lake or Dragon Con - and ECCC is a good one. I've waxed lyrical about it before, but here are a few selling points that might persuade you:
- It's reasonably priced. Tickets and hotels are cheaper than SDCC and it's not hard to get a decent flight to Seattle.
- There's a lot to do. If you're new to the Pacific Northwest, you owe it to yourself to explore the islands, go hiking and - if you have the time - drive down the coast. If you don't have the time, you can just explore the city.
- It caters to comic book readers. Not just DC and Marvel, but creators who are coming up fast as tomorrow's superstars. If you miss the old feeling of actually being in a comic convention, this delivers more than SDCC.
- The Artist's Alley is awesome. Really talented people, lots of discoveries to make.
- The cosplay is something to behold. You'll see some obscure pop culture and geek visual demonstrations here and it's quite impressive.
- It's accessible. I don't know how competitive the ticket sale will be this year, but so far people who've been organized and ready to roll have gotten tickets. Lines are very reasonable (by an SDCC yardstick) and it's easy to get around.
- It's progressive. I wouldn't exactly call any Comic Con a restrictive place, given we're all a bunch of weirdos, but ECCC goes farther to be LGBTQ-friendly and diversity-focused. Based on emails I got after this summer's SDCC, I know some of you don't like that! So I'll just say that as with every Con, it's what you make it.
- They care about their attendees. Yes, it's changed a bit since ReedPOP took over, and I haven't stopped grieving the deceased ECCC Tumblr, but I feel like the team is still dedicated to delivering what their attendees want.
- It's far enough from SDCC that you won't get all Comic-Conned out. I struggle with WonderCon, Silicon Valley and ECCC being too close together; same with SDCC, DragonCon and Boston. Go to too many Cons and the law of diminishing returns kicks in. But there's a nice gap between ECCC in early March and SDCC in late July that's kind of perfect.
Just something to think about. You don't want to be one of those forlorn nerds next spring who don't get a badge for San Diego and realize they should have made a contingency plan. Investigate Emerald City now and suss out if it's your thing. I will answer any questions about it, should you have some. I can promise that having an ECCC ticket tucked away can mitigate the sting of a Returning Registration failure - so pay attention to the calendar and be ready.