I was taken to my very first con in 2011 by my unapologetically geeky, big sister. Back then, Emerald City Comic Con’s exhibition floor spanned only half of the fourth floor’s ballrooms. In 2014, the entire Washington State Convention Centre is home to the northwest coast’s premiere comic book and pop culture convention. With so much to see and do, how will a 3 day pass begin to cover it?

Day 2: Today was the day I was supposed to don my first cosplay costume with my friends as the gender bent Avengers (Lady Hawkeye here). Due to some extenuating personal circumstances, the costume was never finished. Alas, I was delegated to holding Lady Thor’s things while she posed for pictures. I make a pretty decent shield maiden, I suppose.

The first thing we did was attend a panel called “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back…Again.” This is one of a series of panels that Emerald City holds every year, featuring a group of the attending voice actors. They read out several scenes from Star Wars in chronological order, each time reading a different character in a random voice, as chosen by the moderator. By the end of the panel, my face hurt from laughter, as there is nothing like a romantic scene between Bart Simpson as Princess Leia and Kermit the Frog as Han Solo. Special surprise guest John DiMaggio had us in stitches, narrating as Tracy Morgan, but it was Andrea Libman who had both the panelists and the crowd laughing uncontrollably when she narrated as what I assumed was one of the characters from My Little Pony. Her voice was very high-pitched, insanely quick, and immensely entertaining.

Most of the day was spent exploring the vast show floor, both the fourth floor ballrooms and the second and third floor exhibits as well. I confess that I am not very good in crowds. I get anxious and very irritated when I’m so closed in. That being said, although Emerald City has almost quadrupled in size since my first attendance, I didn’t have much trouble navigating the crowds. Attendees were friendly and polite, although you did get the odd group who stopped smack in the middle of a walkway. Walking around with Lady Thor was always amusing, especially when my dear friend was very enthusiastic about her character. Several other Avengers cosplayers greeted us with laughs as she addressed them all by “friend” and their surname (with the exception of one surly “friend Rogers”). At least one Loki was told that he was adopted, while just about everything was followed by “for Aasgard!” I love my friends. Every year one of my favourite exhibits at Emerald City is the Lego display by Brick Con. I am never disappointed by the imagination and skill of the exhibitors. This year there was a full display of both Lake Town and Rivendell from The Hobbit (and a memorable scene with the Nazgul from Lord of the Rings).

After the emotional panel with Dean Trippe yesterday, I wanted to talk to him again, and not only bought his “You’re Safe Here” poster, but also let him know how moving I found him and Kate. We ended up chatting for a bit and when I revealed how emotional the panel made me, he came around the table and gave me a big hug. Meeting him was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.

Dean Trippe

Every year Emerald City has a costume masquerade. My very first year, it was the highlight of the weekend. There were so many excellent costumes and the organizers kept the atmosphere fun and hassle free. The fellow who won was dressed as the best Wonder Woman I have ever seen; every woman in the room was envious. The following year something had gone wrong and the organizers couldn’t get their shit together. We waited 45 minutes for it to start before walking out. Last year we gave it another shot only to have them change the rules—we would only see three of the best costumes per category that had been pre-chosen. Not only was that completely boring, but the hosts were absolutely ridiculous, in the most humourless way possible. This year we got wind that they would have a “funny” theme again and decided to skip the party. I’m not sure how it went, but I am just fine with that decision.

Things I learned: it’s always funnier when Bart Simpson is voicing it; Dean Trippe has the biggest heart.

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