Literary Event of the Week: Emerald City Comic Con Afterparties

Starting on Thursday, downtown Seattle will be packed full of cosplayers, comics fans, and professionals for the annual nerdy bloodlust that is Emerald City Comicon. The convention, which is one of the earliest major cons in the calendar year, has a reputation for being genial and laid back and warm — it's the convention where the nerd industry comes out of winter hibernation and rejoins the world.

There's plenty to see at the main convention — full disclosure: I'm appearing on the Ahoy Comics Second Wave panel at 12:30 pm Thursday to talk about my upcoming book, Planet of the Nerds — but you don't even need a con pass to enjoy some of the festivities.

Capitol Hill's only comics shop, Phoenix Comics, has become a major headquarters for ECCC afterparties, and this year is no different. As part of their schedule of signings and parties all weekend long, on Saturday night Phoenix Comics is hosting a party to celebrate the popular comics podcast Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, which examines the incredibly convoluted history of the Marvel team of mutants.

But Phoenix Comics is only a pit stop this year for the real ECCC afterparty hot ticket: Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie will be hosting a big ol' dance party at Fred Wildlife Refuge to celebrate their music-and-mythology pastiche comic The Wicked + The Divine.

WicDev, as it's commonly known, is nearing the end of its run, and the book — which imagines pop stars as an eternally rebooting pantheon of gods who Ragnarok themselves into oblivion every few decades — has one of the most passionate fan base in comics.

Running from 8 pm to 1 in the morning, this will serve as a nightcap for the convention crowd after the con's busiest day. Expect this to be a sweaty, teary, giddy celebration of one of the glitziest fandoms in all of comics — and maybe a little bit of a farewell party, too. Who says comics nerds don't know how to dance?

Phoenix Comics & Games, 113 Broadway E, 328-4552,, 8 pm, free./Fred Wildlife Refuge, 128 Belmont Ave. E., 322-7030., 8 pm.