ECCC 2017: Empowering Women, LGBTQIA and Minorities

Emerald City Comic Cons are notorious for celebrating diversity. Aliens, superheroes, anime characters and video game avatars, there is enough variety to please even the pickiest of people. That’s why nerds and geeks love attending these events in full regalia. Zero judgement. Zero pressure. You get to express yourself openly and among peers. Little kids, and most adults, walk the halls oohing and ahhing, falling in love with the colors and whimsy of the artwork and characters surrounding them. For groups it is experience like any other because kids and parents, siblings and spouses, comrades and strangers, get to dream and feed their imagination in a welcoming environment. Keep nerd weird!

FYI: This year the TCC was turned into family central, so the clan of mini mes can have a space to enjoy PG activities, like Lego building and the 501st Legion, while the adults can take a breather.

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The event has a huge turn out because of the mix and match of opportunities for women, minorities and the LGBTQIA community to participate. It is a trade show that invests in serving the community, expanding nerd/geek culture across nations. The goal? To break through the industry’s glass ceiling and redefine the role of these underrepresented groups in gaming, fantasy/sci-fi, publishing and art design. Exhibitor and vendors organize seminars about tabletop games, cosplay, business strategy and other comic book and story development discussions. It has something for everyone to learn and enjoy. Local businedses attend too! Heather and her crew from Magic Mirror participated too and we ran into them on the last day! ECCC is so big you never now who else may be there unless they tag themselves or check in with you.

Plan ahead if you want to meet up because playing phone tag is hard due to bad cell reception and not having building wide wifi.

I would highly recommend buying at least two day pases to enjoy the Con if you want to get pics and signed items from the celebrity guests without missing out on the panels, competition, exhibitions and special promotions. If you don’t give yourself enough time you will miss half of the fun of being there, people watching. Running between buildings was a pain, in the rain, since the photo ops were off site. The long Sheraton lines in narrow hallways were not fun. ;(

Tip/FYI: Depending on the length of the lines you can end up sorely disappointed since the interactions on the photo op side are minimal, 5s tops! Table selfies with autograph combos are cheaper and more personal than the ready, aim, click, firing squad. Buy Photo Ops as soon as they are announced because they sell out fast.  

For those of you thinking “Why would I queue in line for hours to see a person?” chew on this: On Friday Marvel founder Stan Lee, made appearances and so did Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Michael Rooker (Yondu, Merle) and Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). The ECCC attracts high caliber performers and pros like Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man, Lost, The Hobbit) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman and Khal Drogo for the n00bs).  Artist alley featured over a thousand writers, illustrators, performers, fan art and vendors/publishing houses. On Saturday Milli Bobby Brown from Stranger Things was signing autographs and giving photo ops; her character Eleven developed a cult following as the result of the popularity of the Netflix Original hit which prompted adults and children to cosplay as her, Eggo Waffles and all. (She can’t sign your Eggo products though. Sigh.)

Female and transgender cosplayers were out in full force, in all shapes, ages and sizes. Poison Ivys, Harleys and princesses were everywhere, not to mention Wonder Women and Black Widows. Female fandom was felt and appreciated by guests in very heart felt way. Michael Rooker complimented a few Elevens and a female Link with a pointy sword with a goofy happy grin on his face. 😀 Excellent job minions! We felt appreciated and included. 🙂

After blowing our budget on tasteful and whimsical art, comics, graphic novels and t-shirts, we called it a weekend and headed home not before capitalising on the last minute close out deals. Dark Horse had a 40% discount going on at 4pm and many booths followed suit offering at least 10% or more. Most places accept credit cards but cash is a good thing to carry around for the smaller and more specialized collectible stores. I hadn’t noticed during the convention but our loot had many items created or written by female entrepreneurs. Izzy Clarke, for example was pitching her next project Feminist at 15 which is her second book. Truly amazing!

Big shout out to all the dads and their mini Wolverines and super hero leaders. Watching Batman follow Wonder Woman around and carrying her stuffed unicorn made me happy in a way words can’t do it justice. Raising strong, independent, resilient and intelligent human beings is not an easy task, and for a man to recognize his child can dream and aspire to become their own hero is laudable. Dress up and push the stroller up and down those aisles. Feed your inner child too.


For more info on panelists, guests amd exhibitors, check out the following links to our and friends’ blog articles:

Quirks and Comrads ECCC 2017

Girls on Games

The Geektastic Art of Comic Con

Casted by Izzy Clarke

QuirkBooks

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