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Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Few Brief Notes on Costumes and Nerd-Ladies

Posted by on Sat, Mar 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Is it Bobas Fett or Boba Fetts?
  • Is it Bobas Fett or Boba Fetts?
Lots of folks were worried that this would be the year that Emerald City Comicon jumps the shark—that this year would become too pop culture promotion-y or the whole show would experience some kind of inexplicable and amorphously weird attitudinal shift. I have yet to see that happen. In fact, this year's show feels a lot more pleasant than last year's show, for two reasons:

1. There are fewer costumes (please bear in mind, if you've just driven by Washington State Convention Center and you'd like to disagree with me on this point, I am speaking relatively, which is to say that there are way more costumes than a non-convention-going person would expect to confront on the street on an average day). Costumes aren't the mark of a bad convention by any means, but the lack of costumes here make the convention feel more open-minded and omnivorously nerdy. The costumes that are here are for the most part comfortable, casual and fun. For instance, there are a whole lot of original gangster Star Trek outfits, which are practically street clothes in this kind of environment. And I've seen only one Slave Leia, which I consider a noteworthy improvement over most conventions (and the guy dressed as Pedobear is respectfully only groping people who ask to pose for pictures). Most of the costumes are charming, and some are downright cute, especially one three-year-old girl dressed up in a Wolverine costume with over-exaggerated man-muscles. Along those lines:

2. The male-to-female ratio isn't quite fifty-fifty, but it is closer to gender parity than any convention I've ever attended. That changes the tone considerably. Sometimes a convention can reek of casual misogyny; I've never gotten that vibe off of Emerald City Comicon, and this year feels downright girl-positive.

All the exhibitors I've talked to agree that the convention being open on Friday (this year is the first year that the convention has been open for three full days) made a huge difference for them. It gave the show a nice, ramping-up feel as people checked in after work, learned the lay of the halls, and prepared for the weekend. I bought some back issues of books that I always wanted to try and talked for a bit with Phil and Kaja Foglio, of the webcomic series Girl Genius. They're selling the omnibus collection of the first three volumes of Girl Genius for $10. I got them to autograph my copy. (Nerd.)


Comments (18) RSS

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Cephalodude 1
ECCC remains the best, largest "small con" in the area for a variety of reasons, and I think #2 is one of the big ones. It seems there's a wider range of women comfortable to indulge in their geekiness because the atmosphere is a lot more casual, good-natured, and less goony. Plus, you know, all of the gay nerds and whatnot.
Posted by Cephalodude on March 5, 2011 at 12:45 PM · Report this
veo_ 2
Phil and Kaja are awesome people. I used to hang out and chat with them almost every weekend back in the mid 90s at some magic the gathering gaming shop on Broadway. All the Wizards of The Coast artists were there all the freakin time. Almost every single one of my Alpha/Beta/Antiquities/unlimited magic cards are signed by the artists.

I haven't played with or even looked at those cards in well over 10 years, but I do have a lot of fond memories of those times.
Posted by veo_ on March 5, 2011 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Dood, would you get REAL!!!!

Batman is all about protecting the Banksters! Wayne Foundation was another money laundeing dodge, and you don't want to know how the Wayne family originally came by those millions!

The Big "S" on Superman's costume stands for Shithead.

And William Shatner charges for autographs and pictures.

Need I comment further????????
Posted by sgt_doom on March 5, 2011 at 2:01 PM · Report this
part of the reason I even go to conventions is to look at people in costumes. having less of them is not a selling point for me.
Posted by guy on March 5, 2011 at 2:03 PM · Report this
pasteyboy 5
@3 I know you're kidding, but I hate when people bitch about autograph fees. Can you not imagine the chaos that would ensue if Shatner did NOT charge for autographs and pictures?! The poor man would be mobbed! And if you wanted to get a autograph you'd have to wait while some dick head shows up with 2 rolling suitcases full of shit for him to sign.

@4 That's part of the reason I enjoy going too and I was not disappointed this year.
Posted by pasteyboy on March 5, 2011 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Man, I'd just gotten over being stuck on the other side of the country when you go and post this. And ECCC next year is probably going to be the next con I get to go to, too (Boston is very comic-book-comics-focused instead of general nerdfest, & I'll be out of town for PAX East next weekend). Dang.
Posted by SeaExile on March 5, 2011 at 2:40 PM · Report this
clytemnestra 7
Agreed -- this was my first con & I felt that the vibe was really good. Wil Wheaton telling guy gamers not to be dicks and getting huge cheers, along with a lot of different types of people and even little kids, really made it feel much more everyone-friendly.

I *loved* Friday and don't think I would have enjoyed the con nearly as much if I hadn't gone yesterday. By the time I hit the hall today, it was packed and really difficult to get anywhere. I actually got a chance to talk to some of my favorite comic writers and cartoonists yesterday, whereas that wasn't in the cards today.

Good fun & lots of Bobas Fett.

Posted by clytemnestra on March 5, 2011 at 4:09 PM · Report this
DeaconBlues 8
For the record, those are Mandalorians.
Posted by DeaconBlues on March 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM · Report this
GlamB0t 9
I saw a unicorn!
Posted by GlamB0t on March 5, 2011 at 4:41 PM · Report this
stinkbug 10
When is the costume contest tonight, 7:30? It wouldn't surprise me if there were less costume people at 12:30pm simply because they're waiting until later to roam about. You don't want to break your costume or have people bored with it at 1pm.
Posted by stinkbug on March 5, 2011 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Durang Durang 11
I was shocked that Derrick Robertson was all alone, drawing a beautiful Spider Jeruselem - yet the lines for Fringe actors was huge. Priorities, people. (Robertson was both lovely and gracious when he signed my book.)
Posted by Durang Durang on March 5, 2011 at 6:28 PM · Report this
Parsnip 12
Dragoncon in Atlanta is one of my favorites because of the famously high costume density. Your ambivalence toward the subject is a little upsetting! No harm done, though.
Posted by Parsnip on March 5, 2011 at 10:38 PM · Report this
OuterCow 13
Do Mandalorians use FettLife? *ba doom chssss*
Posted by OuterCow on March 5, 2011 at 11:11 PM · Report this
Annag 14
This is the general lay out of the weekend for any good ECCC goer:

Friday-do your purchasing here. It's not that crowded so you can actually maneuvor the exhibit hall and actually talk with the artists without feeling rushed. They're also more laid back Friday

Saturday-get in on the special events that happen this day because there is the largest amount of people just kind of check the spectacle out and take good pictures. There are fun celebrity events but if you want to see any of them get reading to stand in lines for a loooong time.

Sunday-By far has the best panels (but they should also be scoped out on the other days), and last minute shopping is good on Sunday incase you needed more cash or realized you really needed to scare the shit out of yourself by buying the trade paperback of 'Crossed'

This weekend=a blast.
Posted by Annag on March 5, 2011 at 11:13 PM · Report this
I think this is the best year of ECCC yet, since they opened up a huge room to accommodate the popular panels. It was relatively chill on Friday (I managed to snag seats pretty close up for Wil Wheaton and James Marsters), but packed on Saturday, even for the noontime panel with The Guild.

Phoenix Jones visited the Rainn Wilson and James Gunn panel promoting their movie about a dude who becomes a costumed hero. Like, he just burst in and strolled up to their table. They were so excited to meet him. He got in a dig about the John T. Williams shooting. "The police don't like it if you do their job and don't shoot innocent woodcarvers."
Posted by Max Power on March 6, 2011 at 7:55 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 16
OH I AM SO JEALOUS of all you folks who got to go to ECCC! It's one of the very best shows in the area. I've been a guest in the past & hope to return next year. Go get your geek on..!
Posted by Eva Hopkins on March 6, 2011 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 17
D'oh, that should have said best comic shows in the COUNTRY, not just the area. I've done easily over a hundred comic book conventions & signings over the past many years. ECCC is that rare gem: well-promoted, organized, great staff. If ya missed it this year, go next year, if you like comics at all. Great cross-section of talent.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on March 6, 2011 at 11:43 AM · Report this
As for lack of costumes, the Masquerade was bigger than ever, and that was without squeezing everyone in. I don't think the costume ratio changed significantly.
Posted by supergp on March 6, 2011 at 3:00 PM · Report this

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