Emerald City Comic Con Comes Back for 2021

3,242
A Droid next to two cosplayers dressed as "Star Wars" characters
Cosplay at Comic Con is all about attention to detail. | Photo via ReedPop

Jedis + Trekkies + Hobbits, oh my. That’s right, after last year’s cancellation, Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) is back, taking over the Washington State Convention Center all weekend long with special guests, panels, video game previews + cosplayers galore. 🦄

And, Boy Wonder, do Seattleites geek out for it. ECCC is the largest non-sports events in Seattle, drawing 100,000+ fans each year. Even though this year’s edition has scaled things back attendance-wise + instituted many COVID-19 protocols (including proof of vaccination), the energy promises to be monstrously high.

A person dressed up as the gorgon from "Stranger Things" at Emerald City Comic Con
There are exhibitors throughout ECCC selling their wares. | Photo from 2019’s ECCC via ReedPop

Since even the most seasoned adventurers can get overwhelmed with all the stuff going on, we’ve broken down highlights for the next few days. Note: multi-day passes are sold out, but one-day tickets are still available, as well as kid passes for the full weekend . There are also virtual watching options.

ECCC Events

8-Bit Wave Concert | Fri., Dec. 3 | 6-7 p.m. | Sheraton Hotel Grand Ballroom | Catch a wind of nostalgia from a live band performing songs from classic video games and anime series in the techy music form. 👾

John Cena Photo Ops | Sat., Dec. 4 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Sheraton Grand Hotel, Levels 2 + 3 | One of the biggest celeb guests at ECCC, fans can take an IG-worthy snap with the wrestler and star of “Suicide Squad.” 💪

Family HQ | Fri. + Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Rooms WSCC 210 and WSCC 211 | Kids can enjoy drawing demos, story time + an interactive play area with visits from costumed Star Wars performers known as the Saber Guild. 🚀

Indie Games Showcase | Fri. + Sat., 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | TCC Level 1 Foyer | From cards to tabletop to video games, try out new and upcoming titles from independent creators. 🎮

Of course, ECCC isn’t the only place in Seattle for pure fandemonium. Discover other spots around the area to let your geek flag fly.

Gamers 🕹️

With Nintendo of America and Xbox headquarters in Redmond, dozens of gaming studios across the region + Magic the Gathering’s Seattle parking lot roots, this is a town for those who love to play. Game on.

A top-down view of 20-sided die and other dice in various colors
Raygun Lounge in Capitol Hill encourages tabletop sessions. | Photo via Raygun Lounge

Pinball Museum

📍325 5th Ave. N.
⏰ Thurs.-Tues., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

You can actually play with the artifacts at this museum, which highlights both old school + newer games — many are for sale, too.

Pink Gorilla

📍601 S. King St.
⏰ Daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Chinatown-International District’s video game emporium (with a second outpost in the U District) has all manners of imported + retro titles and accepts trade-ins.

Raygun Lounge

📍501 E. Pine St.
⏰ Mon.-Fr., 2-11 p.m.; Sat-Sun., 12-11 p.m.

Capitol Hill’s gaming destination is stocked with vintage arcade machines + regularly hosts events like beginner Dungeons & Dragons sessions.

The Missing Piece

📍9456 35th Ave. SW.
⏰ Mon.-Fr., 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

This cafe features 200+ free-to-play games, including classics like “Clue” + more modern titles like “Dominion,” plus puzzles to ponder over lattes.

Pop Culture + Comics Fanatics

An entire museum dedicated to pop culture, along with comics shops and decades-old publishers? Yeah, we’ve got entire cinematic universes covered.

A collection of comic books and graphic novels stacked on top of each other.
Fantagraphics has both collections and original works. | Photo via Fantagraphics

Fantagraphics

📍1201 S. Vale St.
⏰ Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

One of the most renowned indie comic, manga + graphic novel publishers has its main offices in Seattle, but shoppers should head to the Georgetown shop to nab the newest titles.

Funko

📍2802 Wetmore Ave., Everett
⏰ Wed., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

It’s worth the trek up to Everett to tour the headquarters of this big-headed toy company. There are many rare finds here, plus visitors can create Funko dolls based on their own images.

Golden Age Collectibles

📍1501 Pike Place #401
⏰ Daily, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Tucked downstairs at the Market, this comics store — billed as one of the oldest around — has the latest titles, as well as plenty of posters, games + trinkets.

MoPOP

📍508 Maynard Ave.
⏰ Thurs, Fri., Sun., Mon., 12-6 p.m.; Sat., 12-8 p.m.

The Museum of Pop Culture has tons of famous movie memorabilia on display and has constantly rotating exhibitions like their current one that shows off costumes from Disney heroes + villains.

Scarecrow Video

📍2802 Wetmore Ave., Everett
⏰ Tues.-Sun., 12-6 p.m.

Seattle’s beloved video store holdout has a library of 130,000+ movies and shows — many of which are rarities that streaming services simply don’t have.

Space Cadets 🪐

A town built around aviation can’t help but reach for the stars. And with all the tech talent around you just know Seattle loves to do all the science.

A mom and two kids dressed in Halloween costumes in front of a replica of the Mars rover
There’s a replica of the Mars rover Perseverance at the Museum of Flight | Photo via Museum of Flight

Ada’s Technical Books

📍425 15th Ave. E.
⏰ 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Delve into the deep catalog of science-related textbooks at this shop that doubles as a cafe + restaurant.

Museum of Flight

📍9404 E. Marginal Way S.
⏰ Daily, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

With exhibits that appeal to aviation enthusiasts, this museum in the shadow of Boeing also highlights spacecraft — and most recently, a replica of the Mars rover.

Pacific Science Center

📍200 2nd Ave. N.
⏰ Mon-Fri., 12-8 p.m.; Sun-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Though the main center is currently closed to the public, there’s a ticketed hockey-related exhibition that explores the cold hard science behind the sport.

Pierce College Science Dome

📍9401 Farwest Dr. SW., Lakewood
⏰ Temporarily closed until Jan., 2022

Plan a trip early next year to check out this digital planetarium that shows the night sky in all its glory.

Food + Drinks 🍻

Who’s up for some mead? Or perhaps some nourishment as you embark on an epic campaign driven by 20-sided die? Pull up a chair, and peruse the menus.

Two Funko dolls on top of a pile of coffee beans
Distant Worlds is one of the city’s top gaming-focused cafes. | Photo via Distant Worlds

Distant Worlds Coffeehouse

📍6417 Roosevelt Way NE.
⏰ Mon-Fri., 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

The Roosevelt cafe embraces all types of gamers + hobbyists with open space  for those who want to engage in heated D&D sessions or the eternal Marvel vs. DC debate.

Meeples Games

📍3727 California Ave. SW.
⏰ Mon.-Sat., 12-10 p.m.; Sun., 12-7 p.m.

West Seattle’s gaming cafe hosts all types of RPG-related events for all skill levels, pairing well with flatbread pizza and Full Tilt ice cream.

Mox Boarding House

📍5105 Leary Way NW.
⏰ Mon-Fri., 11-12 a.m.; Sat-Sun., 10-12 a.m.

A go-to spot for gamers who love a good meal —  Mox has an extensive collection of tabletop titles + a menu of hearty dishes like lamb meatballs and Brussels sprouts.

The Splintered Wand

📍5135 Ballard Ave. NW.
⏰ Tues.-Thurs. + Sun., 4:30-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat, 4:30 p.m.-12 a.m. (by reservation only)

Ballard’s new wizarding brewpub has a magic wand shop, while the bar serves every type of absinthe you can think of, served with a vintage fountain and glasses.

Events on the Horizon 🎟️

Even after ECCC is over, keep an eye on the calendar for these geeky gatherings.

Geeks Who Drink Trivia

📍Multiple locations
⏰ Times and dates vary

One of the premier pub quiz organizations in the US has a large Seattle presence with dozens of games and a focus on nerdy arcana.

Norwescon

📍Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, SeaTac
⏰ April 14-17, 2022

Registration is already open for this annual sci-fi and fantasy convention with a literary focus that’s been doing its thing since the 70s.

Sakura-Con

📍Washington State Convention Center
⏰ April 15-17, 2022

Fans of anime regularly flock to this annual event and the cosplay is always on point.