UPDATE: Emerald City Comic Con has rescheduled for August 21-23, 2020.
At this time of year, I would be preparing for the annual Emerald City Comic Con. Due to health concerns over the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the relatively high profile Seattle currently has in this crisis, Emerald City Comic Con has postponed its event in Seattle which had been scheduled to be held at the Washington State Convention Center, March 12-15, 2020. The plan is now to see about holding this event sometime this summer. Time will tell. More information will tell. And, ultimately, the Coronavirus itself will speak for itself, thank you very much. If history of the Spanish Flu ((January 1918 – December 1920) is any indication, perhaps COVID-19 will take a dip in the summer only to come back even stronger by the fall. This, of course, strongly begs the question if all comics conventions and festivals, along with any mass gatherings, should just take a break for 2020. Perhaps a balance can be achieved. The main problem is that these sort of events take time and require precise planning so that makes a stronger case for firm cancellations instead of postponements. It will be interesting to see how this resolves itself since ReedPOP, the organizers of Emerald City Comic Con, are entering uncharted waters. The good news is that people are genuinely concerned and options are being considered. And speaking of good news, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced it will begin offering home-testing kits for people in the Seattle area for COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
Emerald City Comic Con is, by all measures, the preeminent pop culture event in the Pacific Northwest. So many hardworking talented professionals depend upon ECCC as part of their livelihood. With that in mind, enterprising cartoonist Dan Dougherty has gotten creative with interacting with his fans and is holding his own online comic con. For the month of March, Dougherty has this offer: “A lot of people in the comic community are trying to make up for lost sales, and I’m no different. I’m offering a 10% discount on all purchases in my online store from now until the end of the month! This can be used as many times as you like and for your ENTIRE order! Just use the coupon code WASHYOURHANDS at checkout to apply the discount.” Find Dan Dougherty’s Beardo Comics and take advantage of the discount here. Every little bit can help displaced talent like Dougherty. Meanwhile, all we can really do is monitor the crisis and act appropriately.
The following is a statement from ReedPOP, organizers of Emerald City Comic Con:
March 6, 2020, [1:30]pm eastern-
Each year the Emerald City Comic Con team works their hardest to do right by the thousands of fans that come together in Seattle. We want to create a space for you to gather, be yourselves and make memories with those who matter to you most. We have been closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 virus in Seattle, and, after many hours of conversation internally and consultation with local government officials and the tourism bureau, we have decided to move next week’s Emerald City Comic Con to Summer 2020 with date and detail announcement forthcoming. We did everything that we could to run the event as planned, but ultimately, we are following the guidance of the local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed.
Our hearts go out to the entire Seattle community, everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and all of you, the nearly 100,000 amazing human beings who look forward to this event each year. Our team was incredibly excited to see you at Emerald City Comic Con next week, however, fans, artists, exhibitors and the rest of the community are what make Reedpop events so special and it is our duty to make sure that your safety comes first.
We know that this decision is going to greatly impact many of our individual creators, small businesses and service workers. To those whose careers depend on ECCC – we will do everything that we can over the coming days and weeks to highlight your work and we ask that our entire community support you as we realize your personal livelihoods may be impacted.
To all of our fans – you will receive a refund on your tickets, no further action is needed on your part. Due to the volume, we expect you will receive your refund in 30 days. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Reedpop remains determined and committed to running Emerald City Comic Con in 2020 and we are working closely with Visit Seattle and the Washington State Convention Center to secure alternate dates this summer. As we explore options for new dates, please know that our priority is to bring you an equally amazing event.
We appreciate all the messages that we have received over the course of the past week. The feedback was invaluable in helping us determine next steps.
Stay tuned to our website and social channels for additional information about when we will next see you in Seattle.