Rey, textin
Rey, textin' Nathalie Graham

My favorite part of conventions is how they overflow into the daily lives of the city. I like seeing Batman ordering a sandwich at Subway. I like walking down Pike Street from Capitol Hill to downtown and progressively seeing more and more costumes—was that Team Rocket? Was that girl dressed as a goth Jon Snow or is she that guy from the Umbrella Academy, that show Netflix keeps trying to peer pressure me into watching?

There's a whimsy to comic conventions. It's passion and enthusiasm bundled in any type of package from 14-year-old girls to men with bags upon bags of Mattel collectibles slung over every available limb. It ekes out into the normal city because how could it not? But there are few things like venturing into a convention center for yourself. It's nothing short of overwhelming.

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Whenever I see convention rundowns I always notice the most glaring omission: The lines. Comic cons are as much about celebrating your fandom as they are about the art of waiting.

The waiting starts early. ECCC is more of a maze than most conventions Ive been to. Just trying to find the entrance was an adventure. I followed a middle-aged Captain Mal from Firefly around the convention center, past the ACT Theater, and through the tunnel in order to wait in this line.
The waiting starts early. ECCC is more of a maze than most conventions I've been to. Just trying to find the entrance was an adventure. I followed a middle-aged Captain Mal from Firefly around the convention center, past the ACT Theater, and through the tunnel in order to wait in this line. Nathalie Graham

There is waiting whenever you want to see something specific, like an actor talk or an artist instruct.

A line for a panel. I think it was about the art of cosplay. Im not sure.
A line for a panel. I think it was about the art of cosplay. I'm not sure.

There is waiting when you want to relieve yourself. Often times you'll need a partner to hold your goodies. These may range from an artisan Lord of the Rings-themed candle you bought or a scepter.

A good partner.
A good partner.

INTERLUDE: Look at these feet.


Okay, now some costumes. I know you're here for the costumes. These are just some of the ones I saw. There was a woman behind me dressed in a fabulous Christine (you've read Stephen King) costume, but I didn't turn around to snap a picture because she was in the middle of deflecting a man hitting on her. He was smoothly asking her the ins-and-outs of pinball. It wasn't working. So, here are some pictures I did take.

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Korg from Thor: Ragnarok. Korg was the funniest part of an already-funny movie. He was voiced by the director, Taika Waititi. This con-goer made a spot-on Korg. He also had pamphlets for a revolution he was trying to start.

The Little Mermaid is timeless.
The Little Mermaid is timeless.

Some Disney people.

Gwen Stacy and Peter B. Parker
Gwen Stacy and Peter B. Parker

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had a really strong showing at ECCC. That movie was everything a super hero movie should be and I'm angry we didn't figure it out until now. I saw a lot of dads rocking the Peter B. Parker (aka out-of-shape adult Spider-Man).

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I only ever knew this character as "Sarah Silverman's character from Wreck-It Ralph." Her name is actually Vanellope von Schweetz.

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I need to pause for a second. There's always this booth at cons that has the sexiest drawings out in the open. There's a market for everything. Anyway, read into this picture what you will. I'm going to be focusing on the juxtaposition of the very few non-pornographic images (hello, Stitch next to some titties) in this picture and thinking about what that means to me.

Okay, more pictures.

Fantastic Beasts Newt and Johnny Depp Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts Newt and Johnny Depp Grindelwald

Here is Hermione made out of skittles.
Here is Hermione made out of jelly beans.

Very industrious Girl Scouts.
Very industrious Girl Scouts.

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And lastly, this guy. He said he wears this to all the Seahawks games anyway and decided to go down to ECCC because he felt like he'd fit in. When I asked him if his character had a name he thought I was asking his name. So, this is Jim.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday. I, however, did get lost in the convention center three times. It is not an intuitive system! I had checked my bag (this is a real pro-move) so that I didn't have to carry it around all day but when I went to try to retrieve it I had no idea where I was and took at least 80 wrong turns (this is not a pro-move). The Washington State Convention Center is truly a convention center where you need a map.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post stated that the portrait of Hermione was made out of Skittles. This is, as some eagle-eyed people spotted, incorrect. Those are not Skittles, but Jelly Beans. The reason this mistake happened is because the author participated in this scavenger hunt where this was a challenge (there's a video about it too, okay?) and the subconscious is a powerful thing. Please forgive her. Also, join that scavenger hunt.