Lots of changes came about for Emerald City Comicon 2016, as ReedPOP acquired ECCC and added a fourth day of convention activities. Four-day passes sold out in a matter of hours and three-day passes sold out in less than a day, and since I did not know whether or not I was going to be invited back as a Minion again this year, and in addition, since the first media guest announced was Nathan Fillion (Castle; Firefly), I decided to do the fangirl thing instead, as I absolutely needed to see Nathan Fillion (Mr. Captain Tightpants himself!). Not sorry I did, but hope I do not miss out on ever being invited back as a Minion again. I still think it's fun being behind the scenes and love the energy of fellow Minions. (In addition, from what I understand Minions are now paid. . . nice!) My review of the convention is kind of a mixed bag. First, I was disappointed how tickets sold out so quickly before more comic and media guests were announced and to be quite honest, the line-up as a whole was a huge let down. There was 35 media guests in 2015 and only 24 in 2016, and three of them were last minute cancellations and too late to add new guests. I was also super frustrated by the way they handled the panels for several of the actors, especially when they overlapped panels for Sasha Roiz and Nathan Fillion and Sean Astin and Dante Basco. Why make us choose, when there was longer convention hours and the panels could have been more spread out throughout the day especially in the main hall? Still super disappointed I missed Sasha Roiz's panel. This reminded me of the first ECCC con I attended and how my son and I stood in a queued line for hours waiting to see Leonard Nimoy, and we were not allowed into the room until about ten minutes after his panel had started, only to discover we could have just gone into the room at anytime as ECCC does not clear out the room between panels. Grrrrr!
Nonetheless, I did have a great time at ECCC this year. I believe it's because this year I went with friends and always more fun when you hang out with like-minded fangirls. We geeked out attending panels all day Saturday and Sunday, getting autographs and photo-ops, and spending hours in artist alley and on the show floor. I stood in line with my friend Dava when she went to meet Sean McQuire (Once Upon a Time) and then stood in line with Elaine when she went to meet Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings; Goonies). I still can not believe how Sean Astin attended the con only a week after his mother passed away. Major props to him. We also spent some time visiting with Trevor Crafts and Matthew Daley, the creators of Lantern City (too bad Bruce Boxleitner was not in attendance). My guilty expenditures was a photo-op with Nathan Fillion and an autograph and selfie with Sasha Roiz (Grimm). We sat through panels for Oliver and James Phelps (Harry Potter), Sean McQuire, Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time), Nathan Fillion, Sean Astin, and Flash panel (Danielle Panabaker, Robbie Amell, and Keiynan Lonsdale). I admit, I've only seen Flash a few times (my husband Ed is more of a fan then I am) and I have never seen Once Upon a Time. However, after attending these panels I think I might just have to watch them now. I have also not seen Castle. I know, I know! Too many times I have become invested in a television series only for it to be cancelled; i.e. Chaos, GCB, Firefly that I don't want to get involved in a series only for it to be canceled after a few episodes and then once a series has been picked up for several seasons, I usually wait until it's available on Netflix to caught up. However, I am hesitant to get started on Castle after seeing how disappointed fans are with the direction the show is going. I really don't need another television series with no closure like Scarecrow and Mrs King or Chuck.
Finally, I have to give a shout out to the Clare Kramer (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer). She was fantastic as the interviewer at the celebrity panels. I liked her almost as much as Garret Wang (who is also fantastic as an interviewer). She was prepared with good questions and seemed to be well informed about both movies and television shows the celebrities were involved in. I also thoroughly enjoyed the bumper music between the panels and how the D.J. and the M.C. Reuben kept the audience engaged, dancing, clapping, and being entertained. I have to admit, I think this was one of the most fun cons I have attended in a long time.
In addition, Seattle did not disappoint. The weather all weekend for early April was gorgeous. This was the first time my friend Dava had visited Seattle, so it was fun for Elaine and I to show her around. We visited Seattle Center and Westlake Center, rode the monorail, shopped at Pike Place Market, and rode to the top of the Space Needle. We took her to the Old Spaghetti Factory and walked along the waterfront and Olympic Sculpture Park. It was a nice change of pace of all the rain we had in February and March; next year ECCC will be the weekend of March 2-5, and I am sure the weather will not be as cooperative. I'm hoping to be back next year as a Minion at Emerald City Comicon, but also kicking around the idea of attending Salt Lake Comic Con or possibly Rose City Comic Con in September. Joseph has been begging me to take him to another con. Time and money shall tell.