Emerald City Comicon was little more than a daylong block party in 2003. About 2,500 attendees came that year for the first pop culture celebration. When ECCC starts its three-day run today, event founder Jim Demonakos expects 10 times that number of people.
“It’s kind of a spectacle. It’s like being in a comic book,” Demonakos said during a quick break in preparations last week.
While ECCC is still a proud nerdfest, it’s evolved to become a celebration of pop culture in countless permutations. Comic book publishers, dealers, artists and writers will be in force. Celebrity guests include William Shatner, Felicia Day, Bruce Boxleitner, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and James Marsters. Most will speak on panels and offer photo and autograph opportunities. (See an accompanying interview with Day on Page 7).
Budding comic book artists and writers can attend Q&As. Entertainment includes a “Nerdprov” improvisation group, photos with storm troopers, “The Buffy Sing Along” and charity art auctions.
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Like his event, Demonakos has expanded his scope. The 33-year-old owner of The Comic Stop comic book store chain is getting increasing acclaim for his nerd rock duo, Kirby Krackle.
Along with fellow writer and singer Kyle Stevens, Demonakos has carved a niche for himself with songs about secret identities, henchmen and Mega Man.
Their first CD debuted in 2009, with a followup in 2010. Though pop rock in style, the lyrics go where few have gone before. “Zombie Apocalypse” (with a ukulele accompaniment) is one man’s lament about his routine disrupted by flesh-eating undeads. “Naked Wii” is what you think it might be.
Demonakos, the son of Greek immigrants, said he and Stevens write their songs from the perspective of video game characters, treating them like real people. “It’s the kind of stuff we grew up on and love,” he said.
Demonakos also has a graphic novel coming out this year through First Second, an imprint of Roaring Book Press. But there will be no superheroes in this work. “The Silence of our Friends” deals with racism in late 1960s Texas.
Wired magazine called Kirby Krackle “geek rock perfection” and the duo was recently hired by Marvel Comics to write a theme song for the company’s “The Watcher” web show.
Kirby Krackle has performed around the U.S. and will embark on an Australian tour later this month. But local fans can catch the duo Saturday night during Kracklefest at the Hard Rock Café.