2019 Emerald City Comic Con & Worldbuilders Party!

Emerald City Comic Con was quite a ride this year! We had a nice big booth fully stocked with geeky goods, we were right next to the awesome folks at the Writers Block, and (of course) we got to eat dinner in Seattle the whole time we were there! Although the ride did start with a few bumps…

The day we flew out, Wisconsin was blanketed in massive fog. A week after a huge blizzard, we got a bit of a warm spell and some rain, which combined to give us London-style fog that delayed our flight. Of course we’d rather take the delay and stay safe, and sure enough we made it to Seattle in one piece (well…four individual one-pieces) and spent the evening setting up our booth!

Rachel’s winning smile was the main feature of the booth. :p

Shawn Speakman had 250 copies of the special Emerald City edition of Unfettered III delivered to our booth. It’s HUGE! There’s so much amazing fantasy crammed into this book it’s just unreal, and Todd Lockwood’s lovely artwork looks good in green.

Maria was PUMPED.

After setup: delicious food. Then sleep.

The con was awesome! We love cons for all the in-person stuff we get to do with everyone. Running a charity is fantastic, don’t get us wrong, but as an internet-based company, we rarely get any face-to-face time with any of you. When we get the chance to see you in good ol’ meatspace, it’s a real treat.

Anyway, we spent the day showing off all the merchandise we’re proud of, selling copies of Unfettered III, and checking in with various authors while they signed books for us! That’s right, we decided to try something new this year since so many of the authors we work with were at ECCC–we set aside a room for them to stop by, have a bubbly water, and sign their books for Worldbuilders Market! It worked really well, not just as a way for authors to sign books for y’all, but also as a place they could just chill for a bit between their other appearances.

The signing room was pretty busy! Here’s Brian McClellan, Myke Cole, Seanan McGuire, and Jim Zub, all donating some of their time to keep us stocked up on signed books!

Of course, it was not exactly a safe space, as pranks tend to happen when you get authors together:

Friday evening, the Worldbuilders Party fired up at 7 p.m. We quickly shut the booth down, changed into dressy-up clothes, and started meeting our guests for the evening. We were really surprised at how many familiar faces were there! Massive thanks to all our returning guests–it means a lot that you like our party so much that you come back each time.

From top left: Myke Cole’s team deliberates while he stands back, Robin Hobb chats with her delightful players, Chip Zdarsky & Kelly Sue De Connick rock some Cards Against Humanity, and Seanan McGuire leads her monster hunting team.

We had some awesome stuff in the silent auction, and a few of our celebrity guests were tweeting out photos of the various things they wanted to bid on.

Halfway through the party, Maria got the urge to order ice cream, so there was a sudden influx of frozen sugar that seemed pretty welcome (Brian McClellan delightedly shouted, “SNICKERS BARS!!!!”). We blame the sugar rush for the fact that Myke Cole and Wesley Chu teamed up to steal Sam Sykes’s signing pens and put them up for a spontaneous live auction. Our emcee, Adam, was announcing the auction as Sam was on the phone trying to track down where his pens went. When Adam said, “Sam Sykes’s signing pens!” Sam slowly turned toward Myke and Wes with murder in his eyes.

The bidding ended at $500, at which point the generous auction winner returned Sam’s pens to him. Sam was stoked that his pens actually made $500 for charity, but we’re pretty sure there will be repercussions for Myke and Wes in the future.

Adam holds Sam’s pencil case aloft as the bids roll in while Wes, Brian McClellan, Sam, and Myke are helpless to stop the juggernaut.

The rest of the con didn’t involve pilfered pens, but we did get the chance to talk to some of the other creators we rarely see in person, as well as more supporters who stopped by the booth to browse merchandise and chat with us. Anne bought a few games for her family, Maria talked to some of our sponsors and donors who were there, Rachel took notes as some of you suggested new products you’d like to see in Worldbuilders Market, and Jenny started hatching plans for Gen Con!

Overall, it was about as exhausting as cons tend to be, but we had so much fun we can’t wait until Gen Con! We’re just glad we have a few months to recover.

Again, thank you to everyone who joined us, bought merchandise, attended the Worldbuilders Party, signed their books, and touched base while we were there. We’re proud that the Worldbuilders community has so many great people in it!