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 3: I have this weird obsession with Hawkeye. It started at my first Con when I bought a copy of Chris Giarusso’s Mini Marvels and took off from there. A while ago a friend of mine sent me a free cross stitch pattern of the somewhat infamous nude Hawkeye scene from the recent Matt Fraction run. You know the one. Clint’s getting out of bed from a romp and suddenly he’s being shot at. He jumps in the air over the bed and a smiling Hawkeye, mask and all, covers his bits and not much else. I told myself I would stitch it but didn’t give it any serious thought until I learned that Matt Fraction would be coming to Emerald City. I feverishly pumped it out in the week before and had it framed and ready for Con.
Sunday was the day I would line up and show Matt Fraction my masterpiece. I arrived early to the Con, but he already had a line up. Emerald City generally caps their line-ups at about 25 minutes and after that asks you to come back. I reluctantly walked around for a bit and this time, ended up being second in line. I was ready to go with my frame and the oil-based sharpie I bought just for this occasion (it’s supposedly better to write on glass. No I didn’t think to take the matte out of the frame instead). Matt smiled and seemed very friendly. Then he saw what I’m holding and laughed. I asked if he could sign it and he excitedly grabbed the frame out of my hand and proceeded to show everyone within viewing distance. He noticed as he was signing it that my friend was taking a picture and asked if she wanted to take a picture of him holding it. He then held it over his crotch as she snapped a photo. At this point, everyone in our line up and the lines next to us were busting out laughing. He told me I did a great job as I thanked him and walked away. I spent the next hour or so clutching my picture and grinning. I didn’t even care what happened the rest of the day.
More than anything, I like going to Con to meet new writers and discover new books or series. If by the last day I haven’t purchased a new title, I will spend my time finding one. This year was no exception. A particular series caught my eye with its cover, Twisted Dark by Neil Gibson. The cover had a sinister, white smile against black that made me curious. I saw it on the first day and decided to check it out on Sunday, since I like horror and all things dark (polar opposite to my Hawkeye fandom, I know). The books, I was informed, are a compilation of short stories based on a single theme, and I should read the first story to get a feel, as it’s only three pages. I read it and was hooked. I bought the first two trades. As I was getting the book signed by Neil, he addresses another young woman who was waffling about buying the book. He opened the book to a particular story, handed it to her and said, read this. As Neil and I chat, she put the book down and curled up in a ball on the floor. Neil laughed, asking her what she thinks, and snaps a photo of her. She asked, “Why did you to do that?” And then put money down for the book. I was feeling even more confident in my choice.
The only panel I was interested in seeing on Sunday was Ron Perlman, but knowing the line for Alan Tudyk the prior day (I didn’t make it anywhere near the door), my friend and I opted to just walk around and meet new artists for a personal project she had been working on. We eventually made it around to Ben Templesmith, an artist I know for Hatter M and 30 Days of Night, although I’m sure he has much more under his belt. My friend asked him to sign something for her and we made small talk. She mentioned that we flipped channels last night and ended up watching 30 Days of Night. He stopped and stared. After an awkward moment of silence, she quickly added that we both enjoy the graphic novels much more than the film, which is entirely true. We redeemed ourselves, he said, and our conversation continued. After this, we walked artist’s alley picking up my friend’s commissions and eventually found ourselves pooped.
This was the first year that, after three full days of Con, instead of not having enough time, I was ready to go home.
Things I learned: Who cares?! Matt Fraction. And maybe never mention the film 30 Days of Night to Ben.