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Ease on into the 2014 convention season by experiencing Emerald City Comicon

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Ease on into the 2014 convention season by experiencing Emerald City Comicon

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Please forgive me for fusing two entirely different Howard Ashman lyrics together. But I wanna be where the people are somewhere that's green.

Yeah, if I had my druthers, I'd leave the frozen wasteland of Southern New Hampshire (where -- God help us -- it's supposed to snow again tomorrow night) ASAP and then catch a direct flight for Seattle. Where -- once I landed -- I'd immediately beat feet for the Washington State Convention Center, so that I could then surrender myself to the pop culture pleasures that can only be found at Emerald City Comicon 2014.

I know, I know. There are JHM readers who have braved the crowds at San Diego Comic-Con and just found that experience exhausting. And believe you me, I completely understand where those folks are coming from. Fighting the crowds in & around the San Diego Convention Center for 4 1/2 days in the heat of July can really wear you down after a while.

Copyright Emerald City Comicon Corp. All rights reserved

But ECCC isn't SDCC. According to a friend who has done this Seattle-centric show for the past 11 years, Emerald City Comicon has an entirely different vibe than Comic-Con International. Though this three day-long event has some of the exact same elements that you'll find in San Diego (EX: 14 different panel rooms, each with over 19 hours of programming), it's a far more mellower affair than the show in San Diego. During your time in the Washington State Convention Center ... Well, you won't spend quite so much time fighting the crowds. At Emerald City Comicon, it's more about going with the flow.

What's that you say? You'll need more than easier-to-handle-crowd levels and a more-positive-vibe-than-the-one-you'll-find-in-San-Diego to convince you to buy a last-minute plane ticket to Seattle? Well, take a look at some of the great artists & performers who'll be on hand to interact with Emerald City Comicon attendees:

  • Annie Award-winning voice actor John Dimaggio. Who'll be holding court at Table 2702 and -- I'm hoping -- selling copies of that terrific-documentary-that-John-put-together-with-many-of-his-voice-acting-brethren, "I Know That Voice."


  • Former Disney animator & two time Eisner Award-winner Mike Kunkel. Who'll be sure to have plenty of cool Herobear material available for purchase at Table 1002.

Copyright 2014 Dark Planet. All rights reserved

And then there's Stephan Franck. Who -- some of you may recall -- directed last year's Annie-nominated Halloween special, "The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow." While still others will recognize Stephan from his great work on "The Iron Giant" and "Despicable Me."

Well, these days, Mr. Franck is branching out a bit. In addition to working in animation, Stephan's now trying his hand at comics. And given that the first two chapters of his comic debut, "SILVER"  sold out almost instantly (not to mention getting rave reviews) ... Well, I'd say that Mr. Franck may be onto something here.

Anyway, the reason that Stephan is at Emerarld City Comicon 2014 is that he's releasing ing the trade paperback of "SILVER." And if you'd to pick up a copy of that (which compiles the first three chapters of this series), you should probably swing by Booth 508.

Oh, and did I mention some of the killer panels that will be presented over the next day or so at the Washington State Convention Center. Sure-to-be presentations like:

I find your lack of hyuk disturbing.

  • "ECCC presents Alan Tudyk" -- Disney fans know him as the voice King Candy from "Wreck-It Ralph" and the Duke of Weselton in "Frozen." "Firefly" fans remember him as Wash from that short-lived TV series and its film adaptation, "Serenity." No matter where you know this gifted performer from, you're going to enjoy the stories that he shares when Alan holds court in the Main Hall (6ABC) on Saturday from 3 to 3:50 p.m.
  • "Character Design For Animation and Games" -- Ever think about trying to break into this extremely competitive artistic field? Listen in as Stephen Silver and Brett "2D Bean" (who are two of the animation industry's most in-demand concept artists) talk about how you can strengthen your portfolio. (EDITOR'S NOTE: This gaming-related panel will be actually presented outside of the Washington State Convention Center in the nearby Sheraton. To be specific, in that hotel's Issaquah Room on Sunday from 11 - 11:50 a.m.)

Copyright Marvel. All rights reserved

  • "Marvel: Next Big Thing" -- What to know what the Marvel Universe has in store for you for the rest of 2014. Then be sure and drop by Room TCC 301 on Sunday from Noon to 12:50 p.m. Which is when an all-star panel of editors & writers will be discussing the exciting new Marvel NOW! series.
  • "ECCC presents Bill Farmer" -- If you want to get Goofy, then you really have to find a seat in Hall A (611 - 614) between 12:30 - 1:20 p.m. on Sunday. Which is when Disney Legend Bill Farmer will be conducting an hour-long Q & A with ECCC attendees.
  • "Touring the Galaxy: Visiting the Star Wars Filming Locations" -- To be honest, it wasn't all that long ago that George Lucas shot the "Star Wars" films in places that weren't really all that far away. And if you'd like to see some shots of those locations, then you need to be in Room TCC 302 on Sunday from 2 - 2:50 p.m.

Karen Gillan with the "Mr. Clean" look that she unveiled at last
year's Comic-Con International in San Diego.

  • "ECCC presents Karen Gillan" -- From Doctor Who companion Amy Pond to Nebula in Marvel Studios' soon-to-be-released "Guardians of the Galaxy," Karen has already had quite the career. And if you'd like to hear Gillan spill the beans about the various films & TV shows that she's shot in UK, then you need to be in the Main Hall (6ABC) on Sunday between 4 - 4:50 p.m.

Honestly, if I had my druthers, that's where I'd be this weekend. I'd be easing my way into the 2014 convention season by camping out in the Main Hall at Emerald City Comicon. Where I'd then sit back and listen as Bill Farmer & Alan Tudyk & Nancy Cartwright & Karen Gillan spun out all of these great pop culture-related stories.

But I can't go to Seattle this weekend. "And why not?," you ask. Because there's still snow on the ground here in Southern New Hampshire. Which makes it that much easier for the woolly mammoths to sneak up on our front porch and then start eating the birdseed.


Which is why I'll spend most of the next two days shouting "Shoo, mammoth, shoo! That birdseed is not for you! That food is for the chickadees!"

*sigh* Here's hoping that you're having a far better weekend that I am.

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