by Transmute Jun
As most people are aware, the CoronaVirus has been impacting many aspects of life over the past few weeks, especially on the West Coast of the US, where the most American cases have been reported. Recently, a nursing home in Kirkland, WA (near Seattle) has been seriously affected by this disease, with a number of residents falling victim. This has raised tensions in Seattle and the rest of Washington state.
Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse for pop culture fans who plan to attend Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), scheduled for March 12-15, 2020. Given the con’s location in the heart of downtown Seattle, many attendees, exhibitors and guests have become concerned regarding the possible health ramifications of attending a large gathering in relatively close proximity to a CoronaVirus outbreak. As of March 4, a number of large exhibitors have pulled out of ECCC 2020, including comics publishers Dark Horse, Oni Press, and DC, as well as book publishers Penguin/Random House and Del Rey. Unfortunately for fans, this means that most of the associated artists and authors with these companies will also not be attending, pulling away many of the panelists in the popular comics and Writers’ Block panels. Additionally, many of the comic artist and book author autographing sessions have been cancelled. Some attendees have been discouraged by these cancellations, as these companies are a large part of why many fans attend ECCC each year.
The good news is that while there have been cancellations, ReedPop/ECCC has announced (as of March 4) that the con is still happening, despite these absences. Even better, there have (as of March 4) been no celebrity guest cancellations, meaning that the entertainment panels are still scheduled to go on. However, ECCC understands that some fans may be disappointed, or concerned for health reasons, and has offered full refunds on badges, a move away from their usual ‘no refunds’ policy. Fans who have booked hotels through ECCC can also still cancel without penalty.
For those who still plan to attend ECCC (which includes FoCC Blog), make sure to check hotel rates. Many of the area hotels, including the Hilton, and the Hyatt Regency on Howell St. (where the Main Stage is located) have dropped rates even lower than the ECCC hotel block prices. Many great aspects of ECCC still remain intact, including cosplay and gaming activities, Pop Asia, and the Main Stage panels. While there are exhibitors who will be missed, there is still much to see and do scheduled for ECCC 2020.
What do you think about CoronaVirus’ impact on ECCC? Join the conversation on the FoCC forums!