Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ECCC Story: Dolla Dolla Bills Y'all

This just in, there were a lot of things available for purchase at Emerald City Comic Con. This my friends is the quick story of how and where I spent my money and what I might do differently if given the opportunity again.

Thursday, the day before ECCC started I decided it might be nice to get my cash situation on lock down so I didn't have to scramble for an ATM Friday morning. I went to the nearest Coinstar machine and turned all my Scrooge McDuck swimming money into greenbacks and I cashed a reimbursement check I had from work that I'd been sitting on for a couple week. Combined with the few dollars I'd been squirreling away for the last few weeks, I had a grand total of $103 to spend at Comic Con.

Thursday night I had a soccer game where I found out one of our players dropped out of next season so we all owed a bit of extra money to cover their part of the registration fee. ECCC hasn't even opened and I'm down to $98.

Friday and Saturday morning I take the light rail to downtown. It's a bit slower but when you take into consideration gas and parking, a round trip ticket on the light rail is actually the cheaper option. $5.75 x 2 = $11.50. My ECCC budget is down to $86.50.

Friday I get lunch at a Jimmy Johns downtown with a friend. There was food inside the convention center but it was either crazy busy or typical cafeteria fare and I didn't want a bunch of greasy pizza sitting in my stomach the rest of the afternoon, or not sitting in my stomach if you know what I mean. My ECCC budget is down to $79.00.

My son was REALLY excited to go to Comic Con. He knew from my pictures of last years that they had Lego. He loves Lego. Saturday he was really upset that he couldn't come with me so I bought him a Lego minifigure, Where's my Pants Guy from the Lego Movie ($5). Sunday when he was there, he was really excited to get another minifigure. Like all good parents I caved and after what felt like an hour of deliberation he got Arctic Batman ($10). Oh yea, since we all went to Comic Con as a family on Sunday we took the car and had to pay for parking. That was $10. My ECCC budget is down to $54.

$54 was the absolute final amount I had to actually spend on all the cool stuff at ECCC. Don't get me wrong, it's still very much a privilege to be able to go to ECCC, much less have fifty some dollars to spend there. There are a lot of people a lot worse than I am. However once you're there, fifty dollars doesn't get you very far at a comic book convention. For example the Dark Horse booth was giving away a free tote with any purchase over 50 dollars. I barely had enough to get a free tote.

What I did get were smaller convention exclusive sketchbooks from a few of my favorite artists; Frank Cho, Aaron Lopresti and Terry Dodson. These seemed pretty reasonable at $15-20 a piece. Also I was able to get them signed and talk to the artists a bit. Terry Dodson even drew a quick sketch for me.

These three sketchbooks and about a dozen signed comics (ones I already owned of course) were the grand total of my ECCC haul. I'm not disappointed, I didn't go into the weekend expecting this huge haul. I wanted to pick up a couple new prints for my office at work but I never saw anything that really stood out and said buy me. Well, that's not completely true. After getting Amanda Conner to sign a comic on Saturday I had planned on going back to her table Sunday to pick up a print but when I got there Sunday her line was crazy long and I bailed.

So there you are. That's the story of how I blew through nearly $100 at ECCC and had very little to show for it come Monday morning. I certainly don't regret the purchases I made. I love the little sketch books I got and being able to just spend a couple minutes with the artists I love so much was really awesome. However, next year when I sit down and make my ECCC budget I'll probably take into better consideration things like transportation and food. I'll probably start saving a bit earlier too. Another $50 for a couple prints and maybe a t-shirt sounds reasonable enough to me.




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