Holy shitsnacks!!! I don’t know about you folks, but this seemed like the BESTEST Emerald City Comic Con turnout EVER!
Was it just me, or did everyone seem so incredibly happy to be nerding out? Despite the list of cancellations, the convention center’s horribly patchy wi-fi, and the Worst DOT Planning Ever, this year’s con was a brilliant success! Have you fully recovered yet? Still a bit reeling over my corner. Here’s a little rundown of queer highlights:
- Kate Leth. Her first panel was, “Meet the Valkyries.” For your inclusivity sensibilities, the Valkyries’ mission is to get more women involved in the comics world, either in comic shops or creation/writing. Headed up by Letha, Heather Knight, Ivy Weir, and more, you can help support a more gender-neutral, inclusive, non-dickwad atmosphere in your local shops! One fan showed her love and support by sharing her story of feeling excluded from D&D games, and of course there were tears. Great panel and experience, all around. Kate is ridiculously awesome in person, and also held a “None More Goth” panel with Wicked + Divine writer Kieron Gillen. Apparently it started with a twitter banter between the two, so the panel featured three rounds to decide who was more goth. Kieron won via the judges, but Kate was the clear winner from the audience for reciting the entire alphabet of Tinies from Edward Gorey. Awesomeness!
- COSPLAY HEAVEN!! I dunno about you, but I couldn’t walk two feet without seeing someone in costume. Some pulled out all the stops for Saturday’s costumes contest, while others were just happy to meet favorite creators or celebs dressed as their characters. Check out some of our favorites! Klingons, Adventure Time, Firefly, Green Lanterns, Deadpools, Spiderpeople, Batman & friends, Chappie, steampunk incarnations, Harley Quinns, Legend of Korra, Game of Thrones, Doctors, Sherlocks, Sailor Scouts, and heroes in a half shell all made the cut! Pretty pleased that this year’s con also featured a cosplay lounge, where people could chill, take pics, and trade tips.
- John Fucking Barrowman! (And I do mean fucking…) Guys, he was by far one of THE best parts of the whole shindig! I didn’t see his panel, but I did go to his soirée Saturday night. Well worth it!! He was engaging, warm, and hilarious. He’d brought his husband and Scottish parents, who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Definitely on the drunk side, but it was wonderful to see an actor put something on unrelated to the con where he could just be himself. He said that he thought of us as family, and even indulged a fan with a phone call to her friend who fell sick. I’m considerably jealous of those who spent more for the gold ticket, because they walked away with autographed Dark Arrow figures three weeks before the release date. Ack!
- And along those lines, I attended another panel regarding LGBTQIA people and our inclusion/exclusion in media. Why was there a rash of every queer character dying or else their relationships didn’t end well? What are some of the best non-binary stories out there? How far have we come and how far do we yet have to go? Headed up by Tony Martel, we had a great discussion over media and our con experiences. Said an elder fan: “We’ve come so far in the past forty years… just keep pushing.” Yes we shall! Wish it could have been two hours!
- Holy shit—I met Janet Varney, voice of Korra from Legend of Korra! She’s seriously one of the best celebrities. She did me the honor of a voice recording, and I attended her LOK panel. The line of fans with questions was pretty long, so I didn’t get up. But the most important was when a young woman dressed as Momo shared her story of suffering PTSD and being queer, because the representation in young adult animation is so very important. She asked, “What are your thoughts on the final statement?” Varney replied, “It is such an honor and privilege…I’m so happy that this happened.” She went on to mention that some people had come to her with Korrasami fan art to sign, but were tentative. “Love is love!” she exclaimed, and said that she would never decline fan service because of sexuality, and she is proud to have been a part of such a seminal show. Another fan asked, “What would you tell awesome young girls?” Varney: “That whole ‘it gets better thing’ is real… you’re unstoppable, you proved it.”
- The ECCC app! I was pleasantly awoken by “Welcome to ECCC” on Friday morning, and given a sweet “Thank you” on Sunday night. Not to mention that it kept my entire schedule on hand, complete with alerts, without having to log in!
Overall, most everyone in the ECCC Facebook group reported wonderful costumes, awesome experiences meeting their favorite people, and a general sense of non-judgy conversations with fellow fans. The atmosphere in the convention center was nothing but excitement and joy, even more so from the kids! I went to an Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra meet-up on Friday, and it was refreshing to speak with other fans about something we all love. Meet-ups=best idea ever for a con! Also, speed-dating? Did anyone try it? Or did you just hope for the best at Pink Party?
Congratulations, ECCC, on a resounding success!