ECCC 2009, April 4, 2007
After missing last year's Emerald City Comic Convention, I was pretty hyped up about seeing the new location at the Seattle Convention Center. By looking at the guest list on the website, it promised to be one of the biggest shows yet, with 3 of the main actors of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica TV show, and of course Ray Park, a.k.a. Darth Maul being announced.
We conviniently parked inside the convention center ($7 for the whole day), and then walked a bit and took the escalators up to the top floor. Right then and there was when we noticed one of the differences compared to previous years. The line to get into the show was H U G E! Luckily it moved quickly, but the interest in this show has definitely increased dramatically from previous shows. We got in line, and moved through several hallways until we reached the first bigger waiting area. After a few zig-zags, we ended up in a second waiting area, and then after that were able to get into the show. Overall it took about 40 minutes to get in. The $20 entrance fee also indicated that it's a bigger show than in previous years.
Once inside, we walked around and met several other Star Wars collectors from the S.T.A.R.S. group, we checked out artist alley, some of the merchandise booths, and the media guest area.
Artist Alley was definitely fun again! It's a joy to just walk around and see how creative some of these artists are, and watch people sketching images, or talking about different drawing styles or inspirations.
The merchandising part was interesting, because there was quite a bit of variety. We were mainly interested in the Star Wars offerings, and we did find some interesting deals, ranging from some carded vintage Star Wars figures all the way to modern figures. There were also some Gentle Giant and Sideshow pieces being sold. The best deal IMO was a Tie Fighter Pilot Mini Bust from Gentle Giant for $35, but I am sure that if you looked harder, you could find some other good deals as well.
The media guest list included three high profile names from the recently completed Battlestar Galactica TV show (Aaron Douglas "Chief Tyrol", Michael Hogan "Colonel Saul Tigh", Tahmoh Penikett "Helo"), Ray Park from Star Wars Episode 1 ("Darth Maul"), Wil Wheaton ("Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation"), Jewel Staite ("Kaylee Frye in Firefly and Serenity, Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate Atlantis"), and a few others
Funny was that Aaron Douglas ("the Chief"), signed some of the autographs with "FRAK Apollo!". But, surprising was that Wil Wheaton seemed to have the biggest crowd, and the BSG guys had barely a line, if at all! Ray Park seemed to be busy throughout the day, but he took his time and chatted with each of his fans. We ended up getting Ray Park's autograph and talked about the up-coming live action TV show for a bit. He did mention that he hasn't talked to Lucasfilm since filming the Phantom Menace, but noted that he would be interested in playing a part in the up-coming live action TV show.
Overall, it was a bigger show than in past years with a lot more people attending. At least that's how it felt. We also noticed a lot more costumed people this time around, with some really incredibly well done and creative costumes.
Besides regular convention goers dressed-up as their favorite comic book characters, the 501st Star Wars costuming club had their own booth where pictures were taken by a professional photographer. Each picture cost $5 and went straight to charity. Besides the regular Star Wars characters, there was a Mara Jade, a Zam Wessel, Dengar and an Evo Trooper to be found.
Overall, it was another fun event, with lots of stuff for everyone. Whether it was the diversity of people, the creativity, the merchandise or the autograph hunters, there truly was enough geeky goodness for all the fans.
Some videos filmed at ECCC 2009