Since our first Emerald City Comic Con last year, we’ve talked a lot about what we’ve learned and how we could take that to go bigger and better this year. The end result? A bigger booth, two live signing duos, five panels (including our first ever Bombsheller-programmed panel!), and an afterparty with Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, creators of The Wicked + The Divine!
Our booth stood a little higher this year, with with a Bombsheller banner above the booth to make us easier to find from across the show floor. We were able to add one more rack along one side, meaning room for even more Shells than we had this year!
The extra space gave us the opportunity to soft launch two new products: scrunchies and Wide Waistband Shells! If you were at the convention, you may have gotten a chance to check out the new additions to our spandex family. You can find some sneak peeks of both in the background of our photos on page 2, but if you’re feeling left out, don’t worry – they’re coming soon!
The extra space also gave us the ability to hang up a backdrop. Throughout the weekend, people in costume and badasses rocking their Shells would stop to take pictures with “Stay Badass” cheering them on in the background. We had multiple people who wanted photos with us (which is just so damn sweet), and people would wear their new Shells straight out of the booth, making sure to stop for a photo op.
The Live Signings!
This year, we got to host a live signing for both The Wicked + The Divine (Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie) and Bitch Planet (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro)! Seeing people’s faces light up when they get to meet their favorites never gets old, nor does explaining to people how a Digital Live Signing works. If you aren’t familiar, the artists create signatures on a Wacom instead of in ink, which we bring back to the factory and print into custom pairs of Shells. How amazing is it that we live in an age where you can have an artist sign your clothing and you can actually wear it without worrying about it fading?
After our Friday signing with Kieron and Jamie, we actually printed the Shells that day, so that folks could pick them up on Saturday morning and wear them to the afterparty later in the evening. We’ll come back to that, but first…
Over the weekend, our COO, Jazzlyn, spoke on five panels. All of the panels carried the same theme of being a creator in the geek industry, and each had an A+ lineup of panelists. If you happen to see “Building Your Own Themyscira,” “Nostalgia Marketing in Geek Biz,” “Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss,” or “The Cult of the Side Hustle” in any of the programming at the next con that you attend, we highly recommend that you check them out!
Behind the Merch Table was the first panel that we programmed and submitted to ECCC – you can only imagine how we were thrilled we were when the panelists enthusiastically accepted our proposal and the con approved our application. Not every application gets approved and it can be hard to schedule that many incredible people to be in one place during a convention weekend – we really felt like we hit the jackpot! Click here to see the full list of panelists!
The panel itself was so, so good. It fostered a lot of discussion about the importance of not trying to do everything yourself. Whether it’s delegating work, finding a good table mate, or finding somebody to handle “just” shipping (trust me – there’s way more involved in shipping than you might think), all of the panelists had something to share. I did my best to live tweet the conversation, but I was only able to capture a very small fraction of a lot of excellent advice! We were able to record the panel, so we’ll make sure to share the video once it’s available.
Where do I even start? Where. Do. I. Even. Start?
When Kieron and Jamie of The Wicked + The Divine said they wanted to throw a party with us, we were excited and honestly flattered, though we knew it was going to take quite a bit of planning. We were incredibly nervous, having never organized anything quite like this before, and we wanted to do both The Wicked + The Divine and their fans justice. The guys wanted to DJ a party where fans of the series could come together, unwind after a long day at the convention, and just dance.
And oh, we danced.
We ran the door speakeasy style, with a passphrase necessary to get in. Throughout the night, people would approach the door, often in costume, sometimes surprised when we actually asked for the phrase.
“D… Dio invited me to the party?”
“…And he’s so glad you’re here,” we’d reply, flashing a smile and gesturing them towards the doorway.
Their eyes would light up and they’d eagerly make their way through the door. On the other side, we could sometimes hear them gasp as they took it all in.
The Fred Wildlife Refuge feels like it was made for this party, with a dance floor downstairs and cozy pink chill out spaces upstairs. The first thing you could see crossing the threshold, though, were the projections. Jamie McKelvie’s art. Matt Wilson’s colors. Clayton Cowles’ letters. Our very own Tati Soutar turned them into larger than life images that swirled and moved with the music. In the DJ booth above, Kieron, Jamie, and friends Ivan Salaczar, Ray Fawkes, and Tia Vasiliou mixed playlists for the party below. Amongst fans and visages of the gods, it really felt like we’d been pulled into the pages of the comic.
By the end of the night, many of our WicDiv and Bombsheller show flyers taped around the venue were gone, and rumors were beginning to swirl about some of the more, ah… amorous shenanigans that may or may not have occurred that night. Despite our nerves at the beginning, we felt we’d truly thrown a party that would have made Dionysus proud.
More party photos and links to Jamie and Ivan’s playlists can be found here!
On to the next chapter!
But first, this wouldn’t be a Bombsheller blog post without a billion chances to say “thank you.”
As always, thank you, Bomb Squad, for not only supporting us, but for also just being so damn cool. So many of you came by the booth just to say hi, or thank you, or to show off which design you were wearing that day. It honestly moves us to tears sometimes how grateful we are for all of you!
To the panelists and panel moderators, for sharing your experiences, expertise, and senses of humor, for giving us seats at your tables, and for helping make our own first panel go smoothly.
To Kieron, Jamie, Kelly Sue, and Val for bringing the magic to our digital live signings and for believing in us!
Also to Kieron and Jamie for helping us put together a party that might result in at least one baby with a god’s name at the next ECCC.
To the booth crew – you made my first year as booth manager go so ridiculously smoothly and we haven’t stopped hearing how friendly and helpful everybody was! When I asked the team for their favorite things about ECCC, the responses almost unanimously involved making our visitors happy. Thank you for bringing that kind of kindness into the world and into our booth!
To all of our team; everybody pulled extra weight to make this convention go as well as it did for us. If I could thank each person individually, I would need a whole separate blog post. I am grateful every day that I get to work with so many talented, badass people. Our success cannot be credited to any single one person and I am constantly amazed by what we manage to accomplish.
And THANK YOU to Fred Wildlife Refuge for having us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue or a better team at the door, behind the bar, and behind the scenes. (Seriously, if you’re looking for a Seattle venue, please check them out!)
Here’s looking forward to the third installation of the Bombsheller x ECCC Anthology!
Make sure to check out some of our favorite convention photos from ECCC weekend on page 2!
Afterparty photos can be found here!