Friday, March 8, 2013

Emerald City ComicCon Wrap Up 2013

LeakyCon ~ 2011
Orlando, FL
Yes, I'm a geek. Being a romance author does not negate that fact! I'm the biggest Harry Potter nerd in history, but I also enjoy other fandoms, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and more. And I looooove fan conventions. My favorite of all-time is LeakyCon, the major Harry Potter fan conference, which is put on by Melissa Anelli and The Leaky Cauldron. This June I'll attend my fourth LeakyCon in Portland, Oregon, and if I can scrape up the travel funds, I'll also be at the second one they're holding this year... in LONDON! Oh, yeah, baby.

But HP conferences are for another post. This one is about ComicCon.

My family and I attended the Emerald City ComicCon (ECCC) this past weekend. What a blast! This marked our second ComicCon, last year being our first. My primary reason for having us go, originally, was for my son's benefit. He's an incredible artist, a writer, a gamer, and he loves all sorts of fandoms represented at ComicCon, so I figured it would be a natural fit. I was surprised when I had to badger him into going.

Sonic the Hedgehog
Then we arrived, and his eyes went flying-saucer-sized with amazement. In one magical moment, he found his tribe, something I advocate for all the time--I have two main tribes, my writer friends/colleagues and my HP friends, and they are both indispensable parts of my life. I was thrilled to be there to witness that moment of awe and recognition for my son. The conference was overflowing with literally tens of thousands of people who loved all the same things he did--and weren't afraid to show it--all in one ginormous space. Panels on topics he actually found interesting! Actors and voice actors he knew!  Cosplay everywhere he looked! Amazing! He hasn't stopped talking about it since, and this year's conference just increased his love for all things ComicCon.

Vader & Chewy
As an aside, I have no doubt that someday, probably not all that far in the future, my son will be a presenter at ComicCon talking about his graphic novels, or the computer games he helped develop, or the animated characters he created. Maybe all three, plus even more options currently unknown.

Needless to say, ComicCon is now on our family calendar every year.

James & Oliver Phelps
The best part of last year's ECCC, for me, was having the Phelps twins (James and Oliver, most well-known for their roles as Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films) in attendance. They were delightful on their panel, and getting to shake their hands and having their signatures scrawled across a Weasley family photo was a moment to treasure. Tom Felton (AKA Draco Malfoy in HP) was supposed to be there, but had to cancel due to film scheduling, but the twins absolutely made up for his absence.

Natalia Tena
This year, Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the HP films, was in attendance. Her panel was a lot of fun. She's now playing Osha in the Game of Thrones series, but she still seemed very "Tonks-like" to me. Unfortunately, I didn't get her autograph, but it was great to see her, and to see the Hogwarts students running around the convention in their school robes, plus at least one Bellatrix, Snape, and Hagrid.

All of the panels we attended were terrific, but our runaway favorites of this year's convention were the panels with Jim Cummings--the voice actor for Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and about a bazillion others; Christopher Lloyd from the Back to the Future films and Taxi, to name just two; and Sir Patrick Stewart--best loved as Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor X from X-Men.

Star Wars
Mr. Cummings was hysterically funny, and also provided valuable industry information to aspiring voice actors in the audience (this is another avenue my son is interested in, so his ears perked up over those details, too.) Christopher Lloyd was a special treat. He looks just the same! I don't know how he does it. And Sir Patrick Stewart... his panel was standing room only, and each standing ovation he received was well-deserved. He made us a little teary, I have to admit. There is just something about his presence that draws the emotions, even while making everyone laugh.

Then there was the crowning glory of the conference (for me, anyway!)--a Lego replica of Hogwarts that took my breath away. It was enormous, and so detailed. It encompassed a huge selection of the biggest scenes from the Harry Potter films, took over 400,000 Lego pieces to create, and breaks down into forty huge sections to go into forty even bigger boxes for transporting. I wanted to climb right inside it and never leave, as though it was a magic portal straight to the real Hogwarts.