I haven't been to that many comic conventions, and never until relatively recent. I've been to Pittsburgh, and Heroes in NC, and SPX in Bethesda. I only went to Heroes once, but it was with both of my daughters and was a particularly good experience for all of us. We stayed in a nice hotel, we took our Wii with us, we went to a couple Triple D restaurants, went to a movie, shopping, etc. and it was just great. My youngest met and hit it off with several of the creators at Top Shelf, and I got to meet Jaime Hernandez for the first time, and Matt Wagner signed a copy of Mage for me. SPX has been a pretty great show for me as well, and I have gone to it several times, including twice as a volunteer. My youngest went with me as a volunteer as well, and it's a whole different angle on comics. Even if you don't think of yourself as a traditional, or mainstream comics fan, I recommend attending a small press con at some point, and if they take volunteers, you should try it, at least once. The combination of DIY, Small publishers, students and collectives really creates a sort of festival feel. Everyone is accessible, and nearly everyone is excited to just get their work in front of people, and mix with fans of the medium, and even moreso to mix with their fellow creators. If your view of comics is solely Super Heroes from Marvel and DC, then you will either hate it, or it will open your eyes to what else is out there.
Pittsburgh Comicon was my first real comic convention, I went as a way to see one of my best friends from High School, and to meet in person and support a friend of mine that I had only ever met online. I know I have discussed some or all of this previously, but please indulge me. My first experience at a con was awkward. I was giddy, but nervous, and didn't feel comfortable approaching anyone. My friends had more experience than I did, and had some insight to things that was helpful, and I got the courage up to approach one or two people eventually, but mostly I just stared at people from 50 feet away.
I went to Pittsburgh a second time, and took my oldest daughter with me. This was still before going to Heroes with both of my girls, and the presence of one of my kids gave me at least a sort of borrowed courage to approach some people and engage them to some degree. We met Gigi Edgely and Marc Singer, and had a great time eating wasabi peanuts and talking toKristy Bourgeois and the Noses Optional crew. We also stayed for the cosplay roundup on Sunday before we went back home, and that was something that my daughter and I still reference 5 or 6 years after the fact.
This has all been a preface up to this point. This post is a kickoff to what I hope will be a series of posts relating to my anticipation of, preparation for, and ultimately attendance at: Emerald City Comicon 2012, which takes runs March 30 - April 1 in Seattle, WA. I have secured a place to stay and booked my flight already, so it is going to happen. I am very excited about this, and plan to share just about everything relating to it that I can, so we all have that to look forward to, apparently.