ECCC 2015: Day 1

Another Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) has come and gone and what a whirlwind of a con it was. Maybe it’s just from the sheer number of panels and guests I wanted to see, but this year felt crazier than ever! I remember being completely blown away over each guest announcement during the months and weeks leading up to con. Some of the people I was most excited to see were: John Barrowman, Tyler Hoechlin, Stan Lee, Gina Torres, Clark Gregg, and Hayley Atwell. I knew going in that I’d probably be spending a good portion of my con waiting in lines for autographs and photo ops and I wasn’t wrong. In fact, I spent almost the entirety of the weekend either in the main panel hall or the celebrity autograph/photo area, with a few breaks in between to see a couple of friends. I never even made it to the dealer’s room! Although to be fair my wallet is probably thanking me for that right now.

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The con shenanigans started Thursday night when Erin and I checked into The Camlin. When we arrived, I took one look at the lobby and just knew I had to do a shoot there at some point during the weekend. It’s so freaking gorgeous there, I can’t even. The Camlin was built in 1926 and they’ve kept all the beautiful architecture of that time while adding modern conveniences. Our room was so fantastic too, there was a master bed along with a Murphy bed (that was actually comfortable!) in the living room as well as a kitchenette with a microwave and mini fridge. I swear, we are both ruined for regular hotels. We want to stay there next year for sure!

When I say shenanigans, I may be over exaggerating because neither of us slept well the night before and we found ourselves in our pajamas eating delivery food (shout out to how delicious and HUGE the calzones are at “A Pizza Mart”!). We watched Wall-E by 8pm and were in bed by 11pm.

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Friday was our busiest day. We knew we wanted to get a few autographs before heading to several back-to-back panels in the main hall and headed straight to the celebrity tables on the 6th floor. Originally, we were both going to wait in line to see Hayley Atwell as she was only going to be at ECCC for Friday, but her line was absolutely massive and we weren’t even sure we would get through her line before our panels started. Instead, we decided to hop in line for Tyler Hoechlin’s autograph, which ended up taking much longer than anticipated as he missed his flight and ended up being about two hours late to the con.

It’s okay though; we passed the time talking to each other and those around us in line about Teen Wolf and who else we were excited to see at con. Meeting Tyler was so lovely; he has this wonderful, beaming smile that is absolutely infectious. Tyler Hoechlin was really sweet and even humored me when I asked him to draw a wolf on my autograph (it’s adorably deformed).

After we both got Tyler’s autograph, we headed straight to the main hall on the 4th floor to score a couple of seats for our first panel of the day at 1:00pm. This panel was the Lost Girl panel with Rachel Skarsten, Emmanuelle Vaugier, and moderator Clare Kramer. Being a pretty big Lost Girl fan, I was really excited to see these ladies and I was not disappointed. It was great to hear funny stories from on the set and just to watch Rachel and Emmanuelle interact. You can tell they’re really good friends that have a lot of fun doing what they do. I’m sad that Lost Girl is on its last season, but I can only hope I see these amazing ladies in many more wonderful things in the future!

Emmanuelle Vaugier, Rachel Skarsten, and Clare Kramer

Following the Lost Girl panel was the lovely Hayley Atwell with Grant Imahara as moderator. She was absolutely brilliant and did so well for her first convention! Not only was she humorous but she was also very inspirational. I love how outspoken she is about equality. One of my favorite parts from her panel was when she mentioned that we shouldn’t worry about being bogged down by labels in regards to our sexuality and gender identity. She mentioned that we are so much more complex than the simple labels we give ourselves and each other. I also really loved that, like her iconic character Peggy Carter, she knows her value and her advice to any aspiring young women out there is to know their value and not to let society, or themselves, limit what they can do. It was a truly wonderful panel.

Hayley Atwell and Grant Imahara

Next up was Jewel Staite’s panel, which she did with no moderator. You can tell Jewel has been navigating conventions a long time, no moderator was needed for her. She came out and took questions right away and would tell stories that fit with each question. I love her confidence and her ability to be blunt about awkward questions while still being nice to her fans. In addition to all the great stories about being on set of Firefly and Stargate: Atlantis, Jewel brought up an interesting point: People often think that she acts exactly like Kaylee from Firefly, even directors have given her advice to act “more herself” during a part but what they meant was to act like Kaylee. She mentioned how it sometimes puts her in a predicament, she wants to please the fans but she also wants to be herself. Personally, I love her sarcasm and witty banter and don’t want her to feel the need to act like Kaylee all the time, even if she is a beloved character for us all.

Jewel Staite

Continuing our panel marathon was Tyler Hoechlin’s panel with moderator Grant Imahara. I’m so thrilled that Teen Wolf has reached a level of popularity that we’re starting to see cast members at cons other than SDCC. His panel was wonderful! I really enjoyed hearing about all the pranks everyone pulls on each other on the set of Teen Wolf and how like a family the cast is. At one point during the panel, someone asked him if he preferred Stydia (Stiles x Lydia) or Sterek (Stiles x Derek). His answer (much to the heartache of many a fangirl, I’m sure) was Stydia because it’s been a long time coming.

My favorite part however had to be when someone asked if he ever feels objectified as Derek to which the answer was a resounding yes, he even cheekily added in while miming reading a script “Derek takes off shirt then makes macaroni and cheese.” He takes it in stride though, knowing who the show caters to, and he mentioned that the directors are really good about listening to him if he thinks something is over the top or could be done another way.

Tyler Hoechlin

Our last panel of the day was the Buffy panel with Charisma Carpenter, Julie Benz, and Clare Kramer. These ladies are a riot! They had several funny stories to share over their years of working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and both remarked on what a truly unique and extraordinary experience it was to work with Joss Whedon. All three of these ladies played relatable “bad girls” well before it was the norm. This diverse representation is thanks to Joss’ wonderful work as well as these amazingly talented actresses. Charisma and Julie also showed off their competitive sides when they played a Buffy trivia game with the audience, splitting the audience into two teams. Whoever got the most points at the end won. The ladies were definitely playfully competitive about it.

Julie Benz and Charisma Carpenter

Once the panels were done Erin and I headed back to the autograph area with the hope of getting Hayley Atwell’s autograph. Luckily for us everyone had gotten her autograph before her panels and there was no line by the time we got there! I’m fairly certain we were some of the last people to get her autograph too, it looked like they were starting to pack up as we left.

By then we were feeling giddy but stiff and we finally went to walk around to stretch our legs. We saw a few friends and I snapped some photos of cosplays. I didn’t get too many for Day 1 but those that I saw looked amazing!

Shortly after, con was wrapping up and we were getting pretty hungry. We met up with our friends Kayla, Dahlton, and Jen and got some dinner to go from the Cheesecake Factory and went back to our hotel. Jen was wearing her gorgeous Effie Trinkett butterfly dress from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and I was still itching to do a shoot at our beautiful hotel. We put dinner on hold and did a quick photo shoot in the lobby and on the 11th floor of the hotel in the Cloud Room that one of the employees had told us about. We got some absolutely stunning results!

After the shoot we ate dinner and hung out a bit before heading to bed at a reasonable hour to get ready for day two of ECCC, which we knew would be just as busy.

ECCC was such an adventure that I’m splitting my review into parts for ease of reading. Part two coming soon!

All photos by Fearless Photoworks.