Emerald City ComiCon 2013 wrap-up post

I’m back from Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle!  It was another great year.  Attendance was over 60,000 and the exhibition area was twice as large as last year.

(Check out the gorgeous photos of exhibitors Anna Goellner took at ECCC.)

The highlights of the weekend, for me, were probably the chances I had to meet face-to-face with people I’ve only known online.  I got to speak with Claire Hummel, Victoria Ying, Brittney Lee, and Joe LeFavi!  It shouldn’t come as any surprise that they were lovely, charming people.  I now own 3 beeeeautiful art books from Claire, Victoria, and Brittney.

I invested a lot in prints this year, and it was a relief that they sold really well!  Commission sales were also great, and Between Gears continues to sell.  The coloring book sales were underwhelming, to the point that I gave them away to kids who showed interest in them, but maybe they’ll be better for a show like Stumptown.  I need to thank Image Comics, especially Ron Richards, for taking time away from their extremely popular table to deliver more copies of Between Gears to me!

I took it pretty easy at night this year, going to dinner and drinks with friends from school more than hunting editors, and I found that to be extremely pleasant.  Big shows like ECCC attract people from all over the country, and I got to catch up with people I don’t get many opportunities to.  It’s exciting hearing what everyone is up to!  And they were really encouraging, giving me confidence in myself and getting me excited to undertake several project ideas I’ve been kicking around. :) Cons in general get me fired up and inspired–I felt like ECCC pulled me out of a bit of a slump and gave me a clear view of what I need to do.

Speaking of upcoming projects, many people asked what I have in the pipeline, so maybe I should list that out clearly for anyone who is wondering (there are a few more than this that haven’t been announced, so stay tuned!):

  • It Girl & The Atomics issues 10, 11, and 12, coming out this May, June, and July
  • A Boy & A Girl coming out this year from Oni Press
  • A short story in the Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel, coming out this summer
  • A gallery show at Sequential Art Studio + Gallery in Portland during the month of May

I could hardly believe it, but I actually spent time each night in my hotel room working on commissions!  I always try to, but it rarely happens.  I felt that all of my commissions turned out well this year, and working on them in the evening meant I was able to go out at night without that responsibility hovering over me.  I will definitely try to replicate that in the future.

I was reminded more than once this weekend of Amy Poehler’s speech to the Harvard 2011 graduating class.  I love the message about collaboration; it is so true.  I table alone at shows, but I receive tangible help from many people to get there.  From Colin carrying a 20 lb box of Between Gears for me, to Terry directing people to my table, to Ron scooting his stuff over 4 inches to accommodate my new wire arch set-up, to George and Hunter’s pep talks, to Lucy and Chris’s help folding minicomics and flatting pages for me, to Vitamin C tablets from Rich, to the offers from people to get me coffee and food when I was slammed at my table, I am just the face of a 40-person operation, and I know I couldn’t do it alone.  I am grateful and a little embarrassed by how much help I receive.  I want to stay aware of that and make sure that I’m offering the same thoughtfulness, patience, and help to the people around me.

When it comes to a rising tide mentality and people shaping comics for the better, I really can’t miss the opportunity to mention George Rohac, Yuko Ota, Ananth Panagariya, and the rest of Benign Kingdom.  Do yourself a favor and get acquainted if you aren’t already!

Hope to see you at next year’s show!  …Except I might be in France.  I guess going to next year’s ECCC is one of the consolation prizes if I don’t get accepted to the TAPIF program. :P

Strides I spend to the finish line

Reminder: today is the LAST DAY I can take preorders for Emerald City ComiCon sketches!  Black and white $50, color $100.  Email Tally(at)farbeyond(dot)com by the end of TODAY to reserve a spot.

My prints arrived yesterday and they are lovely!

Emerald City ComiCon is going to be HUGE this year.  I am tabling with Periscope Studio at booth #2621.  A few of us are set up at the adjacent booth #2627.  Here is a map to help you find us:

Eeeee, there are going to be costumes from The Hunger Games on display at the level 4 sky bridge!  Last year’s ECCC was where I picked up “The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond”. :D   I LOVE that soundtrack.  The Neko Case track is easily my favorite off of it:


I have had some early questions and requests for convention sketches (always appreciated – thank you!), and wanted to post here so you know what the program is if you are interested in getting one.

I will be exhibiting at Emerald City Comic-Con, the Stumptown Comics Fest, and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this spring (SO EXCITED).

-$80 for watercolor
-$40 for ink
-Prices can increase for likenesses, multiple characters, and complicated requests
-FREE sketch of my choice with purchase of $10 or more OR if you are a small child

I really, REALLY appreciate requests for commissions by before shows. These give me time to properly reference the commission and they almost always turn out better. Plus, your commission is ready to pick up any time, and there’s no risk of me running out of commission slots. Feel free to get in contact with me any time between now and the show you are attending to arrange for a commission.

ECCC 2012 wrap-up post

This was the best convention I’ve had yet. Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers, attendees, and other exhibitors for making this show so much fun. You can bet I’ll be there next year if I can snag a space before it sells out!

I borrowed my brothers’ car and drove up on Thursday with Emi Lenox. It was great taking a car (vs. Amtrak), because we could take as many boxes as we wanted and we were on our own schedule. Usually, I have to pack very light and leave the show a few hours early on Sunday to catch the last train, but this year I could stay until the veeeeery end, go to dinner, and then hit the road.

Getting my badge, setting up my table, and checking into the hotel all went smoothly. It was lovely. Emi and I met up with Cat Farris, Ron Chan, Sean Kelley, Wook Jin Clark, Patric Reynolds, and Jarrett Williams for dinner, then had a relaxing first night in.

(We also did some Seattle spelunking)

On Friday morning, I was hoping to take a ride in an open-cockpit biplane, but the company didn’t call me back in time to arrange it. It was a bummer, but I went to Pike Place with Emi, Cat, Ron, and Sean instead, and was able to hang out with Terry Blas and Colin Matthew before the show started. Maybe I can take a ride with a different company this summer, or try this company again next year when I’m in Seattle again.

I sat at an exhibitor island with Periscope Studio, and we got choice traffic flow. It was fun watching my studiomate Benjamin Dewey constantly engaged with his Tragedy Series fanarmy. That man could take over the world tomorrow if he gave them the order…

I blew my fangirl budget before the show even started on two Brittney Lee prints (1, 2). xD They are gorgeous. I’ve had my eye on them for a long time, and was really happy to be able to buy them in person.

Attendance at ECCC this year was incredible. I’ve heard that it went from 32,000 in 2011 to 50,000 in 2012. Friday and Sunday, historically slower days, were at least as busy as Saturday was last year. And Saturday? Insanity. I’m glad my table spot was less than 50m from the bathroom. This was, of course, a really REALLY good thing as an exhibitor. I was pleasantly surprised to talk to a lot of people who said it was their first comic convention, let alone their first ECCC.

It was funny when I looked up immediately after making that purchase and saw this:

The ECCC volunteers were helpful and prepared, as always. This year, they did me a nice favor and helped connect me with John DiMaggio so I could cut a 2-hour line (so sorry, everyone else! @_@) and give him some fan art before sprinting back to my table. I’ve been e-mailing with Ben Acker of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and he helped make this happen as well. Oh, you want to see the fan art? It’s for a later post, but stay tuned~ :P

I was on the Image Comics 20th Anniversary panel, which was nice, but in all honesty I felt pretty out of place sitting up there with a bunch of well-established pros. I also said some unfortunate things like, “obviously, things have gone pretty well” (about my career since college). xD; I blame nerves! Some people came by my table and picked up Between Gears, citing the panel as their introduction to it, so I am grateful for that. Brandon Graham, Emi, and I had a little fun doodle-jamming during the panel:

Convention sketches were fantastic this year. I got a lot of requests, and many of them were fun subjects and turned out really well. Here are a couple of my favorites:

PS – Did you commission me to draw Sadako Sasaki? I want to give you your commission, but you need to contact me! (Tally at farbeyond dot com)

I did a lot more interviews than last year—I’ll be sure to link when they go live.

(Emi, Eric Stephenson, Ron Richards, Joe Keatinge)

I normally try to network at ECCC because it’s a fantastic show for that, but this year it was difficult because several industry parties did not end up happening. I had good times, mostly with friends from Portland, and didn’t beat myself up about it.

Try not to panic

It’s been an unusually long absence for me here–3 weeks! I have been guh-rinding on my can’t-show-you projects, with the exception of yesterday when I took the whole day off, got a massage, walked around in the sun, and went to dinner. The graphic novels are coming along (I’m nearly at the halfway point with them both), and the children’s books are in their final edits. Soon, soon there will be things to show!

Oh! And Eric Stephenson mentioned this in an interview last week: Between Gears will be published by Image in early 2012!!!! So there’s been some necessary prep for that, even though the comic is done, to design the book and extras and such.

For now, please accept these early pencils for two side projects:

It’s Monsters & Dames submission time again! I’ll post all of the process sketches for this eventually; it went through a lot of different versions before I drew this. I still want to change several things…

Pencils for Women of Wonder Day, previously Wonder Woman Day. You can draw any empowering female character this year, but someone’s gotta represent WW ;) As always, I encourage all artists to submit artwork for this! It will be accepted, it will get exposure, and it will raise money for an awesome cause.

Emerald City Comicon Sketches

ECCC 2011 Wrap-Up

ECCC was wonderful this year! I had a great time last year and knew that I would repeat the show, but 2011 totally blew 2010 out of the water.

For starters, the show was expanded to 3 days. That was nice for us out-of-towners who spent half a day on either side of the show traveling. I liked having a little more con for my trouble. As an exhibitor, it meant more time to talk, draw, walk around myself, and sell, which was awesome. I couldn’t believe how affordable my space was for how much I got out of the show this year. From talking to attendees, it seemed like the extra day allowed people to relax a bit more on the show floor and see more than just the things on their must-see lists.

ECCC is an extremely well-run con. People seemed happy, lines were manageable and placed well on the floor, volunteers were everywhere, and the con exclusives were gorgeous. I had full faith in Jim Demonakos and his crew to put on a good show, and they did not disappoint. It’s just the right size for me, too; big publishers/media guests/top-notch artists are there, but it isn’t the crazy, frustrating mess that SDCC and, to a lesser extend, NYCC are. The show is still a manageable size and price for start-ups like me.

I would also like to say that I really, really like downtown Seattle. I got up early on Friday to walk around for a few hours, get breakfast in a cafe, see some touristy things, etc. It was so nice having that 2:00 Friday start time to allow for some pre-con personal time. When we went out at night, we could find quiet restaurants and bars or packed parties depending on what we wanted. And the Sheraton was so dang close to the convention center! Best commute ever! I bought cheap food for breakfasts and lunches at Walgreens right down Pike St, and apparently there is a Utrecht within walking distance for con emergencies.

I was pretty frugal this trip (thank you to the companies that paid for my food and drinks! You are amazing!), but I splurged on a Claire Wendling book that I’ve had my eye on for a long time at Stuart Ng Books. Stuart’s brother Steven commissioned this piece from me, and it was my favorite con sketch of the show.

My favorite moment of the show actually came in the last 5 minutes before I took a taxi to the train station. I had been trying all weekend to see Jasika Nicole and John Noble, but was foiled time and again. Jamie, who does not watch Fringe, saw them TWICE without trying! But when we left the convention center and rounded the corner to hail a taxi, there they were getting into a towncar!

I knew what I had to do.

I walked up with my hand outstretched and introduced myself, pulled out the print I had made of John and Jasika’s characters, and apologetically fangirled at them a bit. I hope that I didn’t bother them too much–they were SO gracious and kind, and just made my day shaking my hand and talking to me (Jasika even hugged me and asked if I was Erika’s friend! EEEEEE)–but I can’t imagine how worn out they must have been after an entire weekend of fan interactions. In any case, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! Emi, Cat, and Ron laughed at me when they occasionally looked over at me in the taxi and I had this vacant grin on my face. :) :) :)

2011 Con Merchandise

I am going to Emerald City ComiCon and The Stumptown Comics Fest this year. Here is what I will be offering:


9″x12″ Ink – $40
9″x12″ Ink and watercolor – $80
*Please me before the show if you would like a commission. This way I can spend more time on it, reference it properly, and have it ready to pick up as early as the beginning of the con. It’s less stressful for me and results in a better drawing and earlier pick-up for you!*


2010 Sketchbook (32 pages)

Over the Surface 1 – $5

Over the Surface 2 – $5






We’ll sing a happy song and you can sing along

Folks, we are just 5 weeks away from Emerald City ComiCon!

I will be sitting with Periscope Studio at space 122 (see the floor plan here). And did you hear the news? I’ve officially joined Periscope!!! I put my name on an overnight drawer yesterday! :D

It seems so long ago I would see your writing

Yaaaay! The 2011 Monsters & Dames book has been announced on Emerald City Comicon‘s website. My piece and several of my friends’ pieces made the book! :D

Copyright © Natalie Nourigat