Convention Report: Emerald City Comic Con 2021
My first time in Seattle…a show that I got into right before lockdown.
I had gotten into artist alley at Emerald City Comic Con the year of the pandemic, right as news of the covid outbreaks were starting and cities were thinking of shutting down. And naturally, the city everyone was talking about – that was right at the center of the news – was Seattle, which was going to be where my con was taking place. I was asking myself questions like, “Should I go? Is it worth the risk? Will other people still go, or will I be the only person there (exhibiting and attending)?” There was a lot of uncertainty about the show, as well as the state of the world. Suffice it to say, the show as pushed back to December of 2020 when the cities all went into lockdown, before it was inevitably cancelled and pushed back to December of this year.
So fast forward to this year, and I was still nervous about going. My first major away show since the pandemic happened, and after the turnout at earlier shows I was concerned about bringing too much inventory. I didn’t want to have to ship anything home, but I still had costs to cover. Finding that balance can be tricky, and my “gut” is based on pre-pandemic activity. So it was a bit of a gamble, a bit of a guess, but overall I figured if nothing else I’d have a fun time.
I was tabling next to my buddy and long time collaborator, Gabriel Bautista. And without hesitation, and shenanigans started up – and the fun began!
More awesome panels with Leeanne Krecic (Let’s Play).
In between the hours of selling, I got to do some panels with Leeanne again – whom I had met at Baltimore Comic Con only a few months earlier. I had reached out to her about doing some panels at this show, and she was all for it. So we started on Thursday night with our MAKING WEBTOONS – talking about process, our approach, how we got started and how we maintain our titles (mine are launching next year, by the way – we’re showing previews in my monthly newsletter, so sign up and check it out today) – and how we promote ourselves. Then we got into Q&A, which is always a fun part – and Leeanne and I play well off each other, since she does everything for her comic (with some assistants helping her now), and I just write mine. It made for some fun but informative answers.
Friday morning we did a CRAFTING FICTIONAL WORLDS PANEL, which I was impressed to find a nearly packed room! Which only got more full as the panel progressed. We talked about technique, our approaches and personal philosophies towards world building, and world building not just for comics – but also for tabletop campaigns. Leeanne told some fun stories about past games she had DMed, and boy oh boy – I’m kind of wishing I was in the room for those games.
It was great to get to catch up with her a bit, and do some fun panels talking about our experiences and approach.
It was awesome to see friends again.
After hours I had a chance to meet up with friends, new and old. Gabo was kind enough to take me to some dinners with the Oni team, and we talked gaming and how the pandemic has changed everyone’s approach to conventions. I also got to hang out with some of his artist buddies, who treated us to an incredible meal.
Friday during the day I snuck out from the table and met up with my friend Cassandra Lee Morris (Personal 5). She was only at the show for a day, before heading out that night to LACC – so our window to hang out was pretty tight, but we got to catch up quickly and plan to align our schedules for 2022 so we can hopefully get to hang out more next year. Saturday night I went out to dinner with my buddy Johnny Yong Bosch (Power Rangers, Promare), and talked webtoons, music, and the amazing film he made during the pandemic with Jason Narvy (Power Rangers) called ARC EXODUS. We stayed up way too late talking about story, techniques, pacing, characters, and more. It was a fun time, and I look forward to seeing him more next year, too.
Overall, the show was awesome. It was well organized, and it was great to get to see friends again and catch up. I look forward to (hopefully) doing it again next year!