Cameron Hatheway writes for Bleeding Cool from ECCC:
Billion dollar idea; candy you serve to children on airplanes to knock them the fuck out. On my 6:30AM flight to Seattle, I had a rambunctious 7-year old sitting behind me, making idiotic observations about what he saw outside, and playing on his loud and noisy cellphone. On a side note, if you give a child under 10 a cellphone to play with, kindly spay or neuter yourself and save me the trouble of doing it for you. As soon as the flight landed and I made my way to the Light Rail platform, I was cold. Really cold. I swear my fingers got frostbite as I was purchasing a ticket. My Southern California mindset was about to clash with the dreaded wasteland that is Seattle. But it wasn’t raining for once, so I guess there’s that (for now). I was completely surprised I didn’t see one Hippie until the second stop on the Light Rail. From what I’ve seen in news reports, Hippies roam the Seattle countryside in herds, begging for spare change and reeking of a mixture of weed and patchouli oil. So naturally I had aim for the brain to kill it. My firearm being detained by TSA however, I had to settle with bear mace (aka Anti-Hippie Spray) instead.
Now I’ve been to my fair share of comic conventions for the past decade, and I never arrive when the doors first open. It’s always absolute chaos, and I don’t have the stomach to stand in such close proximity to those who are walking stomachs. There was always the joke at Comic-Con International that in the free goodie-bags, they should include a bar of soap or a stick of deodorant. Although come to think of it, I don’t want to kill my sense of smell because AXE decided to become a sponsor. So instead of arriving at 2PM, I took a nap and arrived at 3PM instead, expecting to waltz on through since I was Pre-Registered. Surely the line would be non-existent, right? Big mistake. The line for Pre-Registered attendees was a complete clusterfuck, as staff directed us through a metal maze that was rumored to have an eventual end. I then knew what a cow must feel like on its way to the slaughterhouse; scared, confused, and surrounded by several smelly companions. I became a vegetarian right there in line. Not even the appearance of Judge Dredd could have restored the line, much less my faith in humanity. At one point a conversation between two attendees behind me made me do a standing facepalm;
“Yeah it’s starting up again on Sunday. What’s that kid’s name again? Jeffrey? Yeah, that dude’s a dick! I bet he’s a dick in real-life too!”
So finally, after what felt like hours of my life draining from me, I arrive inside the convention. I’m pretty surprised on how small it feels. However, I don’t notice any presence from Hollywood like I do at Comic-Con or WonderCon. The only thing that comes to mind was a few Falling Skies posters, and that’s it. This convention was definitely put on for the comic book fans in mind. The Artist’s Alley (my favorite part of any convention) is massive, and walking down any row you have superstar creators to the left and right of you. It almost feels like a Geek Fantasy Draft, and you’re the General Manager. So I did my standard walk around the convention once or twice, taking it all in, before getting down to business; retrieving my commissions. Geek confession; this is my first time getting commissions done, so I was pretty excited. I decided Emerald City Comicon was the perfect spot for it, because it’s all my favorite artists in one place. So after doing some quick checking of emails and figuring out who was located where, I went hunting.
First person up, Chrissie Zullo. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since first laying eyes on her Cinderella covers for Vertigo. She definitely knows how to illustrate women, so I contacted her ahead of time and tried to decide for either an Amy Pond, or an Episode VI Princess Leia. I ended up going with Leia, and by Obi-Wan did she blow me away! She was so smitten with her work on the commission, she ended up producing a couple of prints for the convention. So go ahead and drop by her booth to pick one up, because I have the original.
Next up, Brian Churilla. Over at the ONI booth there was a line around the table for Oni’s golden boy Bryan Lee O’Malley, who was in full signing mode. I had to cut through the line to get to the Brian I wanted to see, who was surrounded by all things D.B. Cooper. The first issue of The Secret History of D.B. Cooper is such a great read, and I highly recommend you pick it up. I’ve always been a fan of Churilla’s style since his The Anchor series with Phil Hester over at BOOM! Studios. The dude loves drawing monsters, so I commissioned from him a Spaceboy from one of my favorite series The Umbrella Academy. Spectacular, isn’t it? Puts a big smile on my face every single time! I chatted with him for a little bit, and asked if he’s received any weird e-mails since D.B. Cooper’s launch. He told me a couple of strange ones, as if the sender might be suggesting he stop bringing certain truths to life! So go pick-up a signed copy from him before he’s taken out by men in black suits, and it goes for triple on ebay.
And finally for today, Riley Rossmo. Before I commissioned from him a Swamp Thing, I hadn’t a clue he was such a big fan of the character. It definitely shows in his work, and you could tell he had a blast illustrating it. Just last week his new series Rebel Blood debuted, and the cover alone should get you excited. We both geeked-out over Churilla’s D.B. Cooper, some of the classic Swamp Thing stories, and how Snyder & Paquette are just killing it on the new series.
While walking around the convention and letting my eyes wander, I overheard more than once Comic-Con International rumors. Even in a different state, people can’t stop talking about it! So from what I can tell, here’s the latest rumor to toss into the liar fire; the higher-ups at Comic-Con were so thrilled with the success of Wondercon in Anaheim two weeks ago, that the new plan is to keep one of the conventions in San Francisco (Wondercon), and put the other in Anaheim (Comic-Con) as soon as possible. As for APE, who cares? It’s APE. Now remember guys, Comic-Con’s contract doesn’t expire until 2015, and myself being a San Diegan, I know deep-down inside that it’ll be staying here for several more years to come. You know why? Because there are things to do in San Diego after the convention.
Finally, I’ve noticed a trend starting with creators signing in Artist’s Alley; ebay surcharges for non-personalized items. Looks like it’s a trend worth following if you’re a creator.
Shout-outs to Brian “Pants” Christman of Comic Geek Speak, Ben Templesmith, Sal Abbinanti of Atomika, Shane Houghton of Reed Gunther, Greg Prout, Brandon T. Seifert of Witch Doctor, and Michael Cho.
Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, a weekly audio podcast. You can follow his Emerald City Comicon adventures on Twitter @CamComicCorner.