The company announced today that the partnership will take effect next year, and, according to the ECCC website, producers of the Seattle-based convention reassures fans that the show will continue to be run by the same people with the benefit of having ReedPOP's marketing and administrative resources to make it 'bigger and better.' The arrangement, however, will not include Rose City Comic Con which partnered with ECCC last year.
Founded in 2003 by local comics retailer Jim Demonakos, Emerald City Comic Con opened to 2,500 fans in their inaugural year and steadily grew to a record 70,000 in 2014. This year's event, which takes place March 27-29 at the Washington State Convention Center, has an expected attendance of 80,000 with 3-Day passes already sold out.
Demonakos said in the press release that, "We are huge fans of what ReedPOP is doing across the globe in this pop culture space that ECCC also occupies and are excited to have them help us continue to deliver an amazing fan experience to our attendees. Moreso, we're very much looking forward to bringing the ECCC brand of fan-focused attention to help amplify their events even further as well."
Some fans have already voiced their opinions on Emerald City's Facebook page, weary of the growth the convention has already shown and hoping it "won't become more corporate," while others hoped the partnership will bring in bigger entertainment guests.
ECCC has built its success by providing a unique experience for fans with new comic and celebrity guests each year, becoming highly regarded in both national and international circles as one of the most fan- and family-friendly shows around, largely due to its focus on the artistry of comics without the overcommercialization. Additionally, ECCC has created a charity art book each year since 2009—Monsters & Dames—which has raised more than $75,000 for Seattle Children's Hospital.
Although ReedPOP and ECCC differ in terms of rules and regulations and how they are enforced, Lance Fensterman, ReedPOP's Global Senior Vice President, told ComicsAlliance that he is "excited to be a part of what they've built with Emerald City, and to incorporate that approach into what ReedPOP does." Last year, Emerald City became the first convention that took a firm stance against sexual harassment, posting flyers throughout the convention that boldly stated, "Costumes Are Not Consent"—an effort that was echoed by New York Comic Con in October.
"The addition of ECCC to the ReedPOP family is a huge win and we couldn't be more exited to see how we can make each other better," Fensterman said in the announcement. "The ECCC team is remendous and have put together an amazing show. I know there are things we can introduce to the mix and look even more forward to what the ECCC team can bring to all our events around the world."
Aside from last year's launch of Special Edition: NYC, ReedPOP has recently been turning its attention to the international market, recognizing pop culture audiences throughout the world with events set in London, Germany, and Singapore. Last year also marked their biggest global event in Australia, launching PAX Australia and a partnership with Oz Comic Con series. ReedPOP's efforts in India has recently been announced following a partnership with Comic Con India with events in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.
ReedPOP also announced at New York Comic Con last year that they will be further expanding with the first Paris Comic Con in 2015. The three-day event will be held in October at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, France.