Emerald City Comicon—Seattle’s own comic book and geek convention—is coming up at the end of March! From the 28th through the 30th, the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle will be flooded with geeks from every walk of life.

Here’s where we think geek families can really get the most out of the extensive convention programming.

Friday:

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1. Intro to Costume Craft and Cosplay
Room: TCC 302
Time: 11:00AM – 11:50AM

Why: If you or your kids are interested in getting into cosplay, there’s no better place to start. Get inspired from the ground up, starting with choosing a character to cosplay.

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2. Comics Are For Kids Again!
Room: TCC 302
Time: 1:00PM – 1:50PM

Why: This panel is all about new comics that are good for readers of all ages. Learn about new recommendations and age-appropriate ways to introduce your kids to comics.

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3. Where No Man Has Gone Before
Room: HALL B (608-609)
Time: 2:10PM – 3:00PM

Why: An all-ages live performance that parodies the original Star Trek? Awesome. This performance uses audience suggestions to create the setting and plot, and it promises to be hilarious.

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4. Hip-Hop and Comics: Cultures Combining
Room: 2B
Time: 6:00PM – 6:50PM

Why: This panel is a really interesting look at the ways that hip-hop musicians and comic book artists influence each other. Take a look at how these mediums might be more connected than you think.

Saturday:

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1. The Question Block Video Game Trivia
Room: GAMING (Sheraton Issaquah Room)
Time: 11:00AM – 11:50AM

Why: Team up with your family and have fun competing!

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2. Dragon Puppet Theater
Room: HALL B (608-609)
Time: 11:10AM – 12:00PM

Why: This one is especially for kids. This all-ages puppet show tells a magical tale that promises to be full of dragons, as well as princesses and warriors—and hopefully warrior princesses!

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3. 30 Years of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Room: 3AB
Time: 1:00PM – 1:50PM

Why: Has it really been that long? Well, this is one that you and your kids can bond over. Everyone should grow up with turtles!

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4. Dim Sum Warriors: The Tasty Manga App That’s Changing the Way Kids Learn Languages
Room: UW presents Comics & Digital Culture Series
Time: 3:00PM – 3:55PM

Why: Being bilingual is a great way to keep your brain spry. Check out this panel about an app that was designed to help kids learn Mandarin Chinese. It can also help Chinese speakers learn English.

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5.The Couple That Games Together…
Room: GAMING (Sheraton Issaquah Room)
Time: 5:00PM – 5:50PM

Why: If you’re a gaming couple or a couple who wants to game together, this is the panel for you. The panelists are offering relationship advice and opening the floor to questions from gaming couples.

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6. Kids Make Comics!
Room: TCC 302
Time: 5:00PM – 5:50PM

Why: Bring your kids to this instructional session and get them started making their own comics.

Sunday:

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1. IDW: The Super Secret Cartoon Network Panel
Room: TCC 301
Time: 11:00AM – 11:50AM

Why: Get the lowdown on all your favorite Cartoon Network projects, with all new announcements and pictures.

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2. Growing Up Geek: When Are Kids Ready for Your Favorite Stuff?
Room: HALL C (610)
Time: 12:20PM – 1:10PM

Why: A Pixelkin panel! We’re talking about the pitfalls that come with wanting to introduce your kids to your geeky stuff—and how you can handle their questions.

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3. Portal 2: An Epic Win for Gaming in School
Room: GAMING (Sheraton Issaquah Room)
Time: 1:00PM – 1:50PM

Why: Learn how to turn fun games into educational opportunities. This panel is a must.

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4. Re-defining All-Ages Comics
Room: TCC 301
Time: 1:00PM – 1:50PM

Why: A KaBOOM! editor talks about comics that you can enjoy with your kids, no matter what age they are.

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5. Why Isn’t Bilbo A Girl? Talking to Kids About Media Representation
Room: HALL C (610)
Time: 3:20PM – 4:10PM

Why: Another Pixelkin panel! We talk about how hard it is to find media with diverse characters and some of the ways we can address these issues with kids.


These panels are just a few of our favorites, so make sure you check out the whole ECCC schedule on their website.

If you’ve never been a convention before, this is just a taste of what you can experience. Come back next week for a more in-depth discussion of what’s up with geek conventions. And tips for how you can get involved!

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.