This past weekend, my friend Stu Cartwright attended the Emerald City Comicon, or ECCC. I had originally planned to attend, but when I wasn’t able to, I asked Stu if he might fill us in on a bit of his adventure. Thanks for sharing Stu, and for giving us a little peek into the amazing world that is Comicon. And now, as Star Trek’s Captain Picard would say, make it so! Stu shares…
Well, I think I’ve finally recovered enough to put down some of my reflections on my full day, Saturday – 2 March, spent at this year’s Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, Wa. This was my second year in a row attending, and wow, what a show! The physical show was about twice the size as last year’s show, and the additional space was very welcome, especially since Saturday and Sunday passes sold out before the show began. I believe that is a first.
I started my day by taking an early morning ferry from the Kitsap Peninsula so I’d be there in plenty of time before the show opened. Well, at least that was the plan. I got into the Washington State Convention Center (site of the Con) about 9 AM, which was an hour before the show opened.
Obviously, a number of folks had the same idea since I was slotted into the 5th staging line of attendees waiting to get into the show.
My first order of business was to buy my photo op ticket to have my picture taken with Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of ST:TNG/Star Trek: The Next Generation and Charles Xavier of the X-Men Trilogy films). I actually accomplished purchasing my ticket fairly easily although my wallet was now $85 lighter. I heard some folks the day before had waited in line a considerable amount of time to purchase their photo op tickets. Glad I did that early. My assigned photo op time was scheduled for 12:45 PM, and they told me to come back 20-30 minutes prior to the assigned time.
So now it was about 10 AM (the show venue actually opened 15-20 minutes early), and I proceeded to make my way to visit Jordan Hembrough, aka the Toy Hunter of the Travel Channel’s reality show, had a booth at ECCC 2013, and I wanted to meet him since I happen to have a few vintage toys myself. I got to the booth and spoke with him about my vintage Major Matt Mason collection (late ‘60s and early ‘70s). He said it was a great collection and that it was definitely worth hanging on to for a while. As always, its value really depends on finding the right buyer, but I plan to keep and cherish it for the foreseeable future.
OK, now it was about 11 AM and I still had another hour or so before lining up to see Sir Patrick Stewart. I circulated amongst the hundreds of booths and marveled at all the comics and toys. It is definitely like a candy store experience for me. I bought a couple of comics and some pieces of artwork, and had them signed by the artists themselves. Always seems to make it more special when the artists sign the work. I also stopped by to say hi and visit my local friend, Anthony, at his vendor booth for Avalon Comics & Games. It is his first year participating as a vendor at the show and he was very excited and pleased with the traffic coming through his booth.
The time had finally arrived, it was about 12:15 PM when I got over to the photo op area of the show, and lo and behold, there were already 4 full lines of people waiting to get their picture taken with Sir Patrick Stewart. The ECCC Minion (aka volunteer) was telling everyone to just stay cool and hang out since there wasn’t any more line space. At this point, a little panic is beginning to set in for me. This was one of the main reasons I came to the show this year. I definitely wanted my picture taken with Captain Picard. After about a half-hour milling about, they finally opened another overflow queuing line, and they guaranteed that all of us would get our picture with Sir Patrick. Whew! Now the excitement really began to build. The line was moving and we were all getting closer to our meeting with celebrity. Interestingly enough, as the line was snaking back and forth, I came across the person I waited in line with from last year’s show to see George Takei. We both shared a laugh and expressed disbelief that here we were again enduring the lines.
Finally, the moment arrived! Since you couldn’t bring anything in with you into the photo shoot, I handed my belongings to the folks at the table just outside the photo area…and then I was there! I could actually see him, and in a flash I was standing next to Captain Picard /Charles Xavier! He said, “How are you sir?”, and I said, “Great, and it is an honor to meet you!” They snapped the picture, and hollered “Next!” That was it, the culmination of all that waiting and anticipation, but it was definitely worth it!
I picked up my photo about an hour and a half later, and I was very pleased with how it turned out. But more importantly, I had the chance to meet one of my Sci-Fi heroes, and I was extremely happy.
You can follow Stu on Twitter at @scartwri