UPDATE – Since publishing this story earlier today organisers Reedpop have announced Emerald City Comic Con has been postponed
US publisher Vault Comics has announced they will not be exhibiting at Emerald City Comic Con 2020, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle over 12th -15th March. The event is still going ahead at this time, but organisers are very aware of concerns about the evolving situation with the COVID-19 virus, after a number of deaths in Washington State.
A number of individual creators and others had already withdrawn from this year’s event, which was attended by over 98,000 fans last year.
Vault Comics has announced it is working on a special virtual event in place of their planned ECCC appearance that will include creators, limited edition merchandise, and special sales, and will give fans a chance to talk directly to the Vault team.
“I’m sad to say that Vault won’t be exhibiting at Emerald City Comic Convention this year,” said Vault Publisher, Damian Wassel. “It’s our favourite convention and we’ll miss it dearly. We look forward to returning to Seattle in 2021. In lieu of exhibiting at the convention, we’re organising a virtual event to support our creative teams and engage our readers everywhere. We’ll share more about that soon.”
More information on this special virtual event will be announced in the next few days.
In a statement about addressing fan concerns about COVID-19, ECCC state that since its inception, fans have comprised the very core of Emerald City Comic Con and all of Reedpop.
“We speak daily (and at great length!) about how to always put our fans first in everything we do,” say organisers. “The evolving situation with the COVID-19 virus and developments in and around the city of Seattle have most certainly been at the forefront of our minds as Emerald City Comic Con approaches.
The unusual and unexpected developments have led organisers to make an exception to their no refunds ticket policy for fans who are unable or uncomfortable aמּending Emerald City Comic Con in light of current events.
“We here at Reedpop remain dedicated to running Emerald City Comic Con but understand that not everyone will be comfortable with that decision; if you wish to forgo aמּending this year’s edition of Emerald City Comic Con, we absolutely respect your wishes and will refund your ticket purchase (details on just how to do this will be on our website).
“We are committed to following the enhanced cleaning guidelines, precautions and procedures that we recently deployed at our PAX East event in Boston and C2E2 in Chicago. We also insist that all fans, guests and exhibitors adhere to good sense and all protocols as suggested by the CDC.
“We are fully prepared to adjust our plans as the situation in and around Seattle develops. We are following – and will remain in compliance with – all city, state and federal guidelines. If the direction from federal, state or local official public health authorities does change between now and the show, we will adhere to that guidance, act upon it immediately, and update you.
“We recognise that not everyone will agree with our decision: it is our feeling that this community values coming together and building connections, even in difficult times; that artists depend on fan relations to keep their work and careers growing; and that the very vibrancy of what makes our community special is just the type of energy and optimism that can buoy us as a broader community through these challenging and anxious times.
“In short, we feel we owe it to the customer to grant you the personal choice of whether or not to aמּend. Our staff are fans, too, and we will be offering them the same option regarding attendance and working the show. In addition to extended daily work hours to bring you the best experience possible, incredibly long hours are dedicated yearlong to building Emerald City Comic Con. Staff are stakeholders in this event as well and we will honour their personal preferences.
“Please stay in touch with us via our website and social media channels as this situation evolves. We continue to enthusiastically look forward to seeing you in Seattle very soon”.
• Emerald City Comic Con is online at www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com | Stay tuned to their Twitter and Facebook for the latest developments | Read the ECCC Statement on COVID-19 (PDF)