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Hockey and comics collide at Emerald City Comic Con 2018

Hockey fans were everywhere at the largest comic convention in the Pacific Northwest.

Hockey fans are everywhere, even at Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) 2018, the largest comic book and pop culture convention in the Pacific Northwest.

Enthusiasm for hockey is at an all-time high this week in Seattle.

The Oak View Group demonstrated overwhelming interest in Seattle NHL hockey by accepting over 25,000 season ticket deposits. An NHL flag flew above the Space Needle and Chipotle rewarded hockey fans wearing jerseys with BOGO burritos on March 2nd.

ECCC was no exception and hockey gear was on full display from local Seattle fans and out-of-state visitors. A convention speaker and die-hard New York Rangers fan spoke about comics from behind a booth. An attendee with a 4-day badge wore a Seattle Thunderbirds sweatshirt while raving about the team. A season ticket holder with the Everett Silvertips wore a New York Islanders hat.

Even fictional hockey teams were represented—one woman sported a jersey from H.P. Lovecraft’s Miskatonic University.

Regardless of what team they supported, each hockey fan had one thing in common — excitement about the possibility of NHL Seattle expansion team in the next few years.

Hockey wasn’t only represented through apparel as a popular hockey comic was also featured at the event.

ECCC invited Ngozi Uzaku to showcase her self-published comic Check, Please! at the convention. Check, Please! is a coming-of-age story about “hockey and friendship and bros” where collegiate hockey player, Eric Bittle, struggles to overcome his fear of body checking.

Ukazu’s first Kickstarter raised over $75,000 to bring the webcomic to print and has since then only grown in popularity. Her latest round raised over $300,000.

Comic creator Jeff Martin also exhibited at ECCC from Alberta, Canada. Martin showed off one of his most popular comics Hockeypocalypse, a story set in post-apocalyptic Canada where towns gamble scarce resources on their regional hockey teams. Martin began writing and drawing Hockeypocalypse because he loved hockey but was sick of the Edmonton Oilers losing all the time.

Jeff Martin, holding his comic book: Hockeypocalypse.

While not at ECCC this year, another hockey comic is getting attention recently: Kicking Ice by Stephanie Phillips, Lee Moder, and Marissa Louise. Kicking Ice is a graphic novel about two girls who dream of playing professional hockey in the NWHL.

The comic raised over $28,000 on Kickstarter and still has six days left in the campaign. A portion of all sales for this graphic novel will go towards supporting NWHL players and the growth of women’s hockey.

With as much enthusiasm on display for hockey at ECCC in 2018, it’ll be exciting to see how much it grows by the 2020-2021 NHL season. Hockey fandom in Seattle is just getting started.