I had the fantastic opportunity this past weekend to visit ACE Comic-Con in Seattle, and since I was approved for a press pass (amazing, right?) I got to bring in a camera with me! You know what that means – bring on the pictures!

I confess that I am not a photographer, and borrowed the camera from a friend. So don’t expect anything artsy. But you know what they say, no pics = it didn’t happen.

A lot of this trip was a first for me – first time on a Greyhound, first time in a hostel, first time in Seattle – and first time at an actual comic-con! I was excited about the list of celebrity guests for this particular con as well – Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Lee Pace, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Taron Egerton. I know those aren’t all the guests who arrived, but they were the ones I was familiar with beforehand and whose panels I attended.

This trip was completely unexpected and yet a complete blessing and joy. I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to be there and that the trip went as smoothly as it did!

Attending

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting for my first time at a comic-con, but I just want to shout out ACE for exceeding everything I had been imagining. It was incredible! I traveled to the con alone, because I found out I could go at the very last minute (literally the day before). However, I made some wonderful friends at the hostel I stayed at, and ended up attending the con with them.

The view from the window of my hostel room

These friends both had photo ops and autographs with a couple of the celebrities, namely Chris Evans and Lee Pace, so even though I was unable to purchase any ops myself I stood in line with them as emotional support. This led to the lucky chance that I was able to go into Chris Evans’ autograph booth and I got to see him in person!

There have been a few trolls online complaining about the lines and the security, to which I say: please, just don’t. Security was thorough, but quick. The lines were orderly and well managed, and even though they got a little behind on the first day and some people didn’t get their autographs for Chris, they worked very hard to make up for it and got them all in on the second day. Even when I left my phone in the bin at the security checkpoint and had to go back for it, the staff were extraordinarily helpful and pleasant.

The line for one of the photo op sessions

So again, I want to affirm to everyone that ACE is amazing – 10/10 would recommend, and I would go back. Problems are unavoidable, but it’s the way they’re handled that shows whether they do a good job or not. And they do. You go, ACE!

Panels

In between standing in line for ops and enjoying the vendors, I was able to attend three panels – Avengers Assemble, featuring Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Don Cheadle, The Galaxy is Calling, featuring Josh Brolin, Zoe Saldana, and Lee Pace, and Taron Egerton’s panel. All were extremely fascinating, and the live streams can be found here if you want to see them for yourself.

A couple highlights from each panel:

Avengers Assemble

Chris Evans accidentally swore during the panel, and, though I personally don’t like swearing, it was incredibly amusing to hear the entire audience immediately react, almost with one breath: “Language!” The poor guy was mortified because there were children in the audience, and Jeremy and Don jokingly got up and left the stage, only to come back around the other side, surprising the moderator.

One of the first fans in line to ask a question had a support dog with her dressed as Iron Man, and as soon as Chris saw it, he jumped off the stage and beelined for it. Since I was pretty far back, I was unable to get any good pictures of this, but here’s proof it happened.

Jeremy had this moment where Chris whispered something in his ear and he cracked up and couldn’t stop laughing for like a full minute. I have no idea what it was but just watching him doubled over in silent laughter with Don rubbing his back was so much fun to watch.

And my favorite moment in this panel was when one of the fans asked Don Cheadle to do the “baby Thanos” (the hand motion that his character Rhodey does in Endgame when they’re talking about ways to stop Thanos from getting the Infinity Stones:

The Galaxy is Calling

This panel was just as much fun – it included Lee Pace not knowing that Endgame had been re-released with more footage and Zoe Saldana talking about being in the top two highest-grossing movies of all time (and saying she can’t pick which one she wants to win in that current battle). All three of them talked a little about what it’s like to act wearing tons of prosthetics and makeup.

I have decided that Josh Brolin is a teddy bear – no, literally – he has these smile wrinkles that reminds me of the kind of guy who flips burgers and makes horrible dad jokes. Seeing him on stage (and not having really seen much of his other roles), it’s a credit to his acting that I found it hard to believe that he’s played such intense villains.

He was asked, “If Cable was a rapper, and if he had a rap battle with Deadpool, what would his rapper name be?” And somebody in the audience shouted, “Cable One!” (which I personally like), and he said he’d like to be C-Steely, and that he would definitely win. And he caused an uproar by pretending to snap on stage.

Lee Pace got asked a fascinating question involving a show he did, called Pushing Daisies, which I hadn’t heard of so I had to look it up and watch it when I got home. The premise of that show is that he played a character called Ned, who has the power to raise people from the dead by touching them. However, if he touches them again, they die instantly, and if he doesn’t touch them again within a minute, someone else dies in their place. Makes for a really interesting story – I recommend the show, it’s pretty funny – but the question that he was asked was also interesting.

Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies

The question the fan asked was, If you were Ned in Infinity War, and you watched Loki die, is he really dead, and if he was would you touch him and bring him back to life? And he said that if the person who would die instead was Thanos, then yes, he definitely would, but he didn’t want to presume too much about the situation. It was a fun concept, though, and really set my imagination on fire for a bit, though.

And Zoe Saldana gave an amazing answer to a question about actors and other artists who are just starting out – know the history of your craft and learn to be passionate about what you do. And her encouragement in that moment really connected with me and I think that’s one of the best answers I’ve ever heard to that question.

Taron Egerton

To be honest, the only one of Taron Egerton’s movies I’ve seen was Robin Hood last fall, which was really good. And I decided to attend the panel, and I’m glad I did, even though I did feel called out a little when he said he’d be surprised if anyone there that night hadn’t seen Rocketman yet (*sheepishly raising my hand*).

But it was really fascinating when he was talking about filming that movie, including details of a scene where he is singing underwater, and the diving and unique experiences involved in getting that scene made. I always love hearing background information on how movies were made, especially straight from the actors or directors themselves.

But the number one thing that impressed me most about Taron was his incredible memory. All the fans who came up to ask him questions, he remembered – their names, what they’d asked for in their photo ops, even that one girl ran a fan page for him (which she seemed mortified that he knew about). The only other celebrity I know of who does that is everybody’s favorite Tom Hiddleston, and the amount of attention and respect that kind of memory implies is amazing!

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That synopsis wasn’t nearly all that happened during these panels, just some things that made an impact on me. I was so incredibly blessed to have been there and gotten to experience these panels live!

Vendors

So when my friends and I were walking around between panels, there were a lot of things to look at. One friend and I got caricatures of ourselves (as Avengers Loki and Ragnarok Loki) at a caricature booth, and both my friends and I tried out a VR game which was completely awesome – I see VR getting big in the future, ladies and gentlemen!

My friend Momo trying out VR for the first time

And there was even a booth where some people had recreated Baby, Dean’s Impala from Supernatural, in all detail from the show, down to the carved initials, the toy soldier stuck in the door handle, and the concealed weapons in the trunk.

There were so many great artists selling their art. I wanted to buy the entire con and decorate my house with their art because it was all so good. There were two vendors in particular that I want to give a shout-out to:

Tony Santiago

His art is incredibly lifelike. I came back to his booth probably six or seven times just to look at the art, and every time, I saw a character or several I hadn’t seen on my previous trip around. If I’d had the money, I would have bought several of his prints to hang on the wall because they’re so realistic they look like photos. He is really able to capture the essence of a person’s face and posture in a way I only wish I could – definitely check out his site if this is something you are interested in!

Hannah McGill

The other vendor I want to promote is Hannah McGill, an independent author and illustrator in the middle of her first graphic novel, Warlock’d. It’s not finished yet, but the plot she described sounded amazing! Additionally, she’s done all the art for her book herself! I especially loved all the images of birds she had scattered through her collection of art. I love small, independent artists and I want to give her kudos for making it to ACE to promote her book! Check out her website here!

Finishing Up

I know this has been a really long post, so for the last element that I loved about ACE Seattle, I’m going to publish as a new post in its own right. It will feature pics of only some of the awesome cosplayers who allowed me to photograph them while I was there.

Thanks for reading! I had a great time, I definitely recommend ACE, and I plan to attend and cover more cons in the future!