Emerald City Comic Con is back in full swing. This is the first year the con expanded to four days – Thursday thru Sunday.
I decided to skip the first day, partially because of work but mostly because of my wallet and my sanity. As the doors swung open for Day 2, it was the usual warm and welcoming ECCC that makes it one of the best annual events in the city. Everyone is all smiles, wide-eyed kids looking at their favorite superheroes being cosplayed, and the comedic sights of seeing a Sith Lord and Jedi sharing a laugh.
My first stop this year was Artist Alley aka where I spend most of my money. It’s always nice to see John Giang in town. He had a new Kylo Ren piece on display that looks amazing.
Keron Grant’s booth had a nice display that included some eye-popping original art.
The highlight was meeting Sanford Greene, the man responsible for some of Marvel’s recent variant covers.
The one panel I decided to attend was Jon Bernthal’s Spotlight moderated by Clare Kramer. Bernthal is known for his iconic role as Shane on The Walking Dead and recently as Frank Castle/Punisher on Daredevil. This was Bernthal’s second visit to ECCC and he was as cool and comical as he was the first time. He spoke openly about respecting the fans and how being a husband and a father helped him while preparing to play Frank Castle. He also brought up a how much The Walking Dead cast is a family. It’s a common theme from former cast members.
Bernthal launched into a story about how much of gamer Norman Reedus is. He told a brief story about Reedus asking to be choked for real during a fight scene right after they first met.
One thing that kept coming up during Bernthal’s hour long interview was how much he loves Tom Holland. He LOVES Holland. He says Holland wanted to be Spiderman so bad and said Holland would “Crush his role as Spiderman”, he continued, “Holland will be with us and celebrated for a long time.” Bernthal would love to team up with Tom Holland’s Spiderman in the future.
When asked about a possible Punisher show he said the phone call for Daredevil was “Welcome to Marvel” and “Keep your mouth shut.” He also spoke about pulling a lot of inspiration for his Frank Castle from the Punisher Max series.
With all his funny one-liners and hilarious stories, Bernthal did take a moment to talk about how he fell in love with acting. It was heartfelt story about how he was a troubled youth until he took an acting class. He spoke lovingly about the teacher who taught the class who saw something in him when he didn’t. He credits her for saving his life. His former teacher became a minister and married Bernthal and his wife before she passed from brain cancer a few years ago. It was a touching story, but he ended it by encouraging people to speak life into young people.
Bernthal ended with a few playful answers. When questioned about who would win a fight between Shane and Frank Castle, he said Frank would easily whoop Shane. When an audience member asked, “Shane or Rick’s” (in reference to baby Judith on The Walking Dead), he enthusiastically said, “Shane’s baby!”
Day 2 was a lot of familiar faces and some new ones. We’ll see what Day 3 has to offer.