Emerald City Comic Con 2019 Recap!

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!

The Booth!

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…

The Panels!

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. 

The Afterparty

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!

Thank 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!

Bombsheller @ GeekGirlCon 2018!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember that we celebrated a milestone back in March – our very first booth at ECCC! We’re no strangers to conventions, but ECCC lit a fire in us. We had such an amazing time and met so many incredible artists and fans that before we even had the chance to cool down, we were thinking about which cons we wanted to conquer next.

Primed and ready for impromptu pop-ups. Where should we go next?

By the time San Diego Comic Con rolled around in July, our COO, Jazzlyn, joined the lineups for three amazing panels, which you can read about here. In September, we drove to Portland for Rose City Comic Con just to talk to artists, hopefully meet a few members of the Bomb Squad, and see if we could manage a super-impromptu pop-up. We didn’t make pull one off at RCCC, but Jazzlyn built a pretty impressive trunk shop out of our company van and parts of our customizable racks that you know we’ll be deploying in the future. At the beginning of October, we got the chance to scope out New York Comic Con; it was an amazing whirlwind of a weekend and there’s no question that we’ll be trying to get a booth there in the future. Then, Halloween weekend, we got to experience our second “first booth” of the year at Seattle’s own GeekGirlCon!

Another successful booth build!

Considering our booth includes two fitting rooms and a “back room,” Stephen, Jazzlyn, and I got it set up pretty damn fast! We’ve already got this whole convention booth thing down to a T. When you get a chance, you should go check out the time-lapse video on our Instagram of Jazzlyn and Lee (one of our talented sewists!) getting the booth set back up after putting all our Shells to bed on Saturday night.

On the other end of the show floor, our web queen, Tati, was setting up a table of her own! Her booth was absolutely adorable – if you didn’t get a chance to see her on the show floor, you should go check her out on instagram as @birdstareart. It’s always exciting when we get to see one of our own do cool shit. We have some seriously talented people on our team!

Tati’s table! You can find her adorable art on IG @birdstareart

When I walked into GGC for my first shift in the booth, the convention center was bustling and alive with eager attendees and artists. As I moved through the con, amidst incredible cosplays and fandom-inspired outfits, I was seeing… Shells! We were spotting them out in the wild the entire weekend – such an incredible and affirming feeling. It took a lot to not stop every person I passed on the street and on the show floor to talk about them.

Booth life was a blast – I love getting to work with a crew of amazing teammates who manage to stay bright and cheery the entire weekend. While we didn’t have quite as much open space for dancing and impromptu check-out-this-four-way-stretch squats as we did at ECCC, we had all the space we needed to have a good time and an excellent selection of Shells.

Our booth neighbors were all a delight to meet, we got to see some amazing cosplays, handed out Dum-Dums to trick-or-treaters, and one very sweet con attendee and new member of the Bomb Squad let us borrow their sword while they shopped. A few of you Bomb Squad babes came by our booth in Shells, some of whom didn’t even realize we were there that weekend and were just excited to show them off to us. We had a few people ask for pictures with us, which is just so wonderful. You all seriously have no idea how much that means to us!

 

Jazzlyn panel-ready in her coveted sparkly pink blazer.

Jazzlyn returned to the stage to speak on a panel – “Women in Leadership: How to Turn Passion and Ambition into a Dream Job.” She spoke alongside other women in leadership roles to talk about their varying fields and how they’ve come to thrive in their careers.

A sure sign of a successful panel is the conversation it generates afterward. Multiple people came by the booth just to talk to her about the panel, and I inadvertently caught bits of conversation from people who really seemed to enjoy it – as well a LOT of candid excitement over her sparkly pink blazer. During the fashion show, when she went onstage to introduce our models, an audible “Oh I LOVE her!” came from a stranger to my right, and I caught at least one “I NEED that jacket.”

Oh.

Did I forget to mention…?

WE OPENED THE FASHION SHOW AND TOTALLY KILLED IT

Backstage and ready to walk.

Let me say, first, that everybody in this show was incredible; every model, every runway song choice, every oufit – they all had the crowd gasping and cheering, ourselves included. I could sing the praises of it all day because every brand onstage made a fan out of me that day – but nothing compares to the feeling of seeing our models come down the runway. This show was a special one; the weekend before Halloween meant an especially spooky show, and we had just come out with one of my personal favorite collections to date – a line inspired by our favorite classic horror movies.

While the audience waited for the show to start, our models were finishing getting ready backstage. Costumes on, makeup done, and hair in place, the only thing left to do was to ease nerves and channel their characters. They practiced their walks and poses, and did their own impromptu photo shoots – because alive or dead, when you look this good, you don’t pass up a great photo op.

Make sure to check out the full gallery of behind-the-scenes photos at the bottom of this post!

Jazzlyn took the stage to introduce us and talk about who we are, and why we do what we do. People gasped when we talked about our sizing and I caught the fringes of a conversation that sounded like two people already pulling up our website on their phone. Jazzlyn left the stage, and Rhianna’s “Disturbia” started pumping over the speakers. An excited tension rippled through the audience as our first model, Marlow, moved across the stage with a captivating intensity. By the time they reached the end of the catwalk in their #Freddy Shells, their claws beckoning and curling menacingly, the audience was entranced.

One by one the models made the catwalk theirs.

Jennifer sauntered up next, oozing charm befitting a swamp witch in #Lagoon. Shubzilla had a strut to die for in #Suspiria. Merri shuffled towards the crowd with childlike, murderous glee in #PlayWithMe. Christal’s blood-red boa sliced the air as she showcased two designs; #ShiningJohnny Shells and a top made from #TheMaze. Finally, because we’re far from traditional, our dark bride Fox closed the procession in #ShesAlive, tossing her bouquet to the crowd – tied delicately with a ribbon holding a token for a free pair of Shells.

As the rest of the fashion show continued, the energy from the catwalk continued backstage. The models poured over tagged photos and videos on Instagram, and by the time I met up with everyone afterward, everyone had an undeniable glow. Jazzlyn would later tell me that seeing everyone’s hard work come together so wonderfully made her tear up like a “proud mom on her kid’s fucking wedding day or something” – especially fitting since one of those moments came when affixing Fox’s veil before the show. “She was just so beautiful!” she gushed, “I couldn’t help it!”

Stolen… I mean… borrowed… from Jennifer’s Instagram

Before we wrap this up, I want to give a special shoutout to our swamp witch, Jennifer. Not only did she step into the role when one of our models couldn’t make it to the show, but she’s one of our sewists, and she worked the booth the next day, AND she styled the models. Talk about being a total powerhouse! Thank you, Jennifer, for being such a damn badass. We’re honored to have you on our team.

Thank you again to our models; Marlow, Shubzilla, Merri, Christal, and Fox. You’re all so amazing. Shoutout to our photographer, Stephen Klise, for not only taking some bangin’ boomerangs at the fashion show but also for being an expert booth builder!

A booth, a panel, and a killer fashion show all in one weekend – that’s a hell of a way to kick off our first year at any convention. Thank you so much to GeekGirlCon for not only having us, but for putting on such an amazing and inclusive convention. We’ll definitely be back!

Think we can top it next year?


Backstage at the GeekGirlCon 2018 Fashion Show

Check out this behind-the-scenes gallery of creepy cuties and spooky shenanigans.

Models:

 

 

 

 

Photographer:        Stylist:          Event Coordinator:

Looking Back at Emerald City Comic Con

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Exactly one week ago, we returned to the real world after an incredible weekend at Emerald City Comic Con. Our first year of having our own booth on the show floor went far better than we could have imagined; even though we’re back on our daily grind, we’re still glowing from the experience! After some time to reflect, we thought we’d share some of our favorite things from the convention.

We’re so proud of how our booth came together. It seemed right at home in its corner of the show floor, and it was exactly how we’d envisioned; bright, bold, exciting, and sleek. Our signage, all made in-house (yes – even the plastic tags!) let everyone know exactly what we’re about. Our new mirrors were adorned with bold words meant to embolden everyone that stepped into our fitting rooms. The entire weekend, people were excited to try out superhero level spandex, were intrigued by our ability to print on demand, and asked if they could buy our pink and holo bags, because they’re just that damn pretty.

We wanted to start our first year on the show floor at ECCC with a bang, so we started a scavenger hunt, of sorts. We came armed with a bag full of tokens, each good for one free pair of shells. We gave tokens each day to artists and bloggers at the convention, then they Instagrammed and Tweeted where to find them until a lucky winner showed up to claim their token. Throughout the weekend, we gave away 10 free pairs of shells! If you needed any evidence that it pays to follow us on social media, there it is. 

Our booth debut also included two live signing events! On Saturday, we had a live signing event with artist Jen Bartel – the talent behind #GalacticCats, #StellarDinos, and #CelestialCetaceans. If you’re not familiar with how a live signing works, it went like this: 

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The ECCC-exclusive variant of Jen’s #StellarDinos featured appropriately green dinosaurs, to keep with the Emerald City theme. Each fan went home the very next day with a memory that is actually not only unique but also wearable, with signatures that will never wash off or fade. Suck it, “permanent” markers!

On Sunday, we hosted another live signing for Kelly Sue DeConnick, the writer for Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly. This live signing was scheduled just days before the convention, though you might not have realized it if you came to the signing. When we learned that Kelly would be joining us at the table, our production team was able to print a backdrop just for her – that’s right, that badass Bitch Planet background was made by our team the same weekend as the signing! That’s the beauty of on-demand printing (and having an amazing production crew to do it).

Over the course of the weekend, we met so many of you. We had a blast talking to you, laughing with you, shopping with you, and talking spandex with you. So many of you went out of your way to find us, and some of you made a point to introduce your friends to us. A few of you came by just because you wanted to us see that you were proudly sporting shells, which is just so amazing to us. Our hearts couldn’t be any more full, and we couldn’t have gotten to this point without your love and support. 

Thank you.

Thank you for getting us to Emerald Comic Con.

Thank you for making it amazing.

Thank you for supporting us. 

We’ll see you on the show floor next year!

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