Good news, nerds: Emerald City Comic Con is nearly upon us, which means a jam-packed weekend of panels, celebrity guests, cosplaying, comics, fanfic, screenings, and overpriced convention center hot dogs.
As always, ECCC will be a welcoming enclave for everyone who wants to enjoy pop culture together, including (and especially) LGBTQ+ attendees. No matter what experience you seek, queer delights await around every corner. I’ve rounded up a few highlights for you, but you can start your visit with a trip to the Pride Lounge on the third floor (ECCC is at the new convention center this year, not the old labyrinth). The lounge will have a chill space, board games, a photo booth, and generally comfy vibes.
And be sure to get tickets for This Is Happening! An Our Flag Means Death Variety Show, an unofficial fan-produced show at Kremwerk on Friday, March 3rd. I have it on good authority that some particularly exciting talent will be performing in this one.
Now, get ready to launch yourself into the convention with a flurry of queer panels and more guests than you’ll ever be able to see:
The organization SheProp will be holding a variety of events, including a Cosplay Culture panel specifically for people from marginalized communities and a more technical-focused panel on fabrication. Also of interest is a panel about LGBTQIA characters in comics and mythology, hosted by Lyssa Holm, which I’m particularly excited for. Our Flag Means Death fans will not want to miss the fan-fiction panel featuring a bunch of luminaries in the fandom, including the great Samantha Rei. And given the wave of book censorship across the country recently, there’s never been a more important time for a panel on defending comics from those who would burn them.
For screenings, be sure to catch The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a shadowcast Friday evening (18+, of course), and on Sunday afternoon you can wind down with a Steven Universe singalong.
And if you’ll indulge me, I think you might like the two panels that I’m appearing on, Queer Imaginings, which is about all the amazing LGBTQ+ representation we’ve seen on screens in the last year, and Meet the Comics Press, featuring journalists and writers who cover comics.
There’s also a panel on Genshin Impact, which I don’t think will be particularly queer, but I mention it here because of how much I enjoy KaeLuc.
When it comes to celebrity guests, there are more queer and queer-friendly names than we can possibly list here. Among them are James D’Amato, author of excellent RPG books and co-founder of the One Shot Podcast Network; Jennifer Hale, voice actor of Dragon Age’s Krem (among many others); Matilda actress Mara Wilson; and Rhys Darby, Vico Ortiz, and Samba Schutte of Our Flag Means Death.
If comics are more your thing, keep a lookout for pinup artist David Talaski; D.J. Kirkland of The Black Mage; Chef’s Kiss’ Jarrett Melendez; Kat Leyh and ND Stevenson of Lumberjanes; Lynne Yoshii of Nuclear Power Graphic Novel; Iceman’s Luciano Vecchio; Molly Knox Ostertag of The Girl from the Sea (a copy of which is on the shelf next to me as I type this); Ren Strapp of The Shepherd’s Sword, Saturn Returns No Matter What, and Reine; and Sam Maggs of Critical Role Origins. Also, the delightful Josh Trujillo of The United States of Captain America.
And that’s by no means an exhaustive list… I don’t know everyone who’s queer in comics, as much as I try! Do give me a heads-up if there’s anyone I left off, and I’ll see you browsing the artist’s alley.