ECCC 2015 + Thoughts, art, artists and games

Friday - 36 hours left

Woke up early in anticipation for a three-day weekend of comics, art, and games. Though I was tempted, I avoided long lines for autographs and thank you’s and “I love your work”’s and instead went for the little guys/gals: indie comics!

Throughout the con I had in my hands my copies of Sheltered and Lazarus,but both Ed Brisson, Johanne Christmas and Greg Rucka were never at their booths when I passed by! Busy bodies! I think the new Lazarus trade is out too!

I bought little comics this day. The first two were from reyyyy , Dream Skills #1 and a short little story Arem. Both I read Sunday night after my exhausting weekend. Both were delightful, monochrome action-packed stories with cute internet-pace humor and bad ass women. Arem especially was delightful, positively chill.

Nearby, was a lone man sitting in his booth. Very clean, wood-cut like images sucked me in. I purchased Victus #1 and #2 from writer and illustrator Tyrell Olen Cannon - a minimalist story mixing technology and antiquity, with a bit of thievery and mysticism thrown in. I regret not purchasing #3.

Ray Fawkes'  five-issues of Intersect went home with me too- this beautiful madness of the new world in full color pencil, ink, and watercolor wash. I'm happy I stopped by this quiet soul's booth for these 5 issues. Already the first issue I read was perfectly horrifying, sensual, and beautiful.

Last year I had purchased a sick print from an artist that specialized in metal posters (I recall he did Cattle Decapitation's album cover). This year the most metal thing I found was the first issue of  Space Riders by Ziritt - Rangel- they sold it to me with the promise of psychedelic space opera. I'm leaving that one for a chill night.

I only bought two prints this year and got one sketch. Not many images tickled my fancy this year. I bought a beautifully cute Chie from Jake Wyatt, whom I follow on tumblr, and a small little print of paper magical weapons (Sailor Moon, Adventure Time, Legend of Zelda) from a very cute couple, cameronpluswhitney, whom sold all of their original wares on Friday. I feel so happy for them! Lastly, I got a sketch from Abby Howard.

Saturday – 48 hours left

I allowed myself to wake up a little later. My feet were still feet and not bloody stumps, and after coffee and pastry, I went back to the con- a bit more awake and ready than yesterday. I started with the games on demand booth, with a few familiar faces I've seen around Go Play NW.

Abnormal is a very intense game of body horror, designed by none other than the awesome Avery Mcdaldno (Quiet Year, Monsterhearts, Dream Askew- all games which I love and adore). Though it is a story game, it has a few turn-based mechanics that keeps the pace in check. There are three roles one can take: the Witness, the Horror, and the Support: the Witness moves through his or her life trying to overcome the Horror, the Horror plays out what the Witness is feeling, mind and body, while the Support are the people in the Witness's life that help him or her reclaim their life. Very raw game, not for everyone. 

At 2pm, I shuffled towards the demo area to play Mangaka: The Fast and Furious Game of Drawing Comics- a game which I've wanted to play at last year's Go Play NW, but tried to sign up way too late. It simulates the stress and creative improvisations of comic deadlines: your goal is to be the best mangaka in Japan! But as any creative knows, constrains are necessary to meet those deadlines- if not you'll scheme forever! 

You start with a 2 panel black page. Each player then draws three cards from the "obsession" deck - these obsessions range from "Chinese history" to "Kaiju" to "Love Triangle." Your goal is to make a 4 chapter comic series that incorporate these themes. There are three simple rules to being the #1 Mangaka: Every panel must have a recognizable drawing, you must use all three obsessions per chapter (expressed by word or art), and you have a maximum of three speech bubbles per chapter (not including abstract symbols of surprise or anger, or sound effects.)

After 5 minutes is up, it's time to put your pencils down and get your fame points! The least-popular player then gets to draw from the "trend" deck and pick which trends hit the comic market. These include things like "follow the leader" - which gives you extra points if you incorporate the lead player's obsessions- or "most panels" - an extra 5 points if you have the most filled panels! These get very hectic fast, and much like any deadline, you have to prioritize which elements you want to incorporate.

I left very happy though i was stressed, it was happy stress!

Sunday - 24 hours left

I woke up late. Didn't care about making it early to the con. I mostly hung around with friends and new acquaintances. I purchased Robert Tritthardt's Overcast with a Chance of Doom! collection to seal the deal, finishing the weekend's comic purchases. Overcast a story of a goth chick moving to Seattle from NOLA, who dives into her new home by discovering its (sub)culture, talking to her new and odd roommates, and dealing with what she ran away from.

At this point I tried to get in line for The Wicked + The Divine signing, but realized that I wasn't the only one that wanted it: it was at least a 30 minute line. I decided to just keep it easy. After tear down, I think I wandered home and possibly died for 3 hours.

Overall a great ECCC! Can't wait until next year!