ECCC was wonderful this year! I had a great time last year and knew that I would repeat the show, but 2011 totally blew 2010 out of the water.
For starters, the show was expanded to 3 days. That was nice for us out-of-towners who spent half a day on either side of the show traveling. I liked having a little more con for my trouble. As an exhibitor, it meant more time to talk, draw, walk around myself, and sell, which was awesome. I couldn't believe how affordable my space was for how much I got out of the show this year. From talking to attendees, it seemed like the extra day allowed people to relax a bit more on the show floor and see more than just the things on their must-see lists.
ECCC is an extremely well-run con. People seemed happy, lines were manageable and placed well on the floor, volunteers were everywhere, and the con exclusives were gorgeous. I had full faith in Jim Demonakos and his crew to put on a good show, and they did not disappoint. It's just the right size for me, too; big publishers/media guests/top-notch artists are there, but it isn't the crazy, frustrating mess that SDCC and, to a lesser extend, NYCC are. The show is still a manageable size and price for start-ups like me.
I would also like to say that I really, really like downtown Seattle. I got up early on Friday to walk around for a few hours, get breakfast in a cafe, see some touristy things, etc. It was so nice having that 2:00 Friday start time to allow for some pre-con personal time. When we went out at night, we could find quiet restaurants and bars or packed parties depending on what we wanted. And the Sheraton was so dang close to the convention center! Best commute ever! I bought cheap food for breakfasts and lunches at Walgreens right down Pike St, and apparently there is a Utrecht within walking distance for con emergencies.
I was pretty frugal this trip (thank you to the companies that paid for my food and drinks! You are amazing!), but I splurged on a Claire Wendling book that I've had my eye on for a long time at Stuart Ng Books. Stuart's brother Steven commissioned this piece from me, and it was my favorite con sketch of the show.
My favorite moment of the show actually came in the last 5 minutes before I took a taxi to the train station. I had been trying all weekend to see Jasika Nicole and John Noble, but was foiled time and again. Jamie, who does not watch Fringe, saw them TWICE without trying! But when we left the convention center and rounded the corner to hail a taxi, there they were getting into a towncar!
I knew what I had to do.
I walked up with my hand outstretched and introduced myself, pulled out the print I had made of John and Jasika's characters, and apologetically fangirled at them a bit. I hope that I didn't bother them too much--they were SO gracious and kind, and just made my day shaking my hand and talking to me (Jasika even hugged me and asked if I was Erika's friend! EEEEEE)--but I can't imagine how worn out they must have been after an entire weekend of fan interactions. In any case, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! Emi, Cat, and Ron laughed at me when they occasionally looked over at me in the taxi and I had this vacant grin on my face. :) :) :)