SEnycWhen Emerald City Comicon announced that it was merging with ReedPop, everyone who knows and loves the Seattle-based convention had the same question:

“Will ReedPop change Emerald City Comicon?”

I mean, after all, exhibitors and attendees alike have loved this show — run by Jim Demonakos and an amazing staff of dedicated comics-lovers — for years.

Ask anyone who has ever exhibited there. and they’ll tell you that they’ve never been treated better. Ask the attendees. They’ll tell you the show is a highlight in their year. This show was special. And there’s more than a few people who felt a little worried that this Good Thing had come to an end earlier this year when the merger was announced.

Scott, Cory and I wondered it on a recent episode of Surviving Creativity. We got both Jim and ReedPop VP Lance Festerman on the line to assuage our fears.

They told us that Emerald City was going to continue unchanged.

We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

So imagine my surprise — my downright elation — when I walked into the ReedPop-run Special Edition; NYC convention this weekend. This was the first Reed show since incorporating the Emerald City staff, and it was — for all intents and purposes — Emerald City East.

Better! It was like one of the old Emerald City shows. Remember being in the bottom of Mariner’s stadium? Remember those old comics-centric Seattle shows — those shows where the hardcore love of comics was as palpable as the smell of Silver Age quarter bins?

That’s what happened at Pier 94 in Manhattan last weekend.

Exhibitors got all the one-on-one attention, the shuttles to and from the show, the care, and the respect that they thought only happened once-a-year in Seattle.

ReedPop may not change Emerald City, but from what I saw this weekend, Emerald City is changing ReedPop.

And that’s good news for people like me who love those old-school comic-book comic conventions.

I asked the former-ECCC staffers who stopped by my booth in their new roles with ReedPop the same question: “With this show proving such a success, what are the chances for Special Edition: Chicago… Special Edition: Oakland… Special Edition: Boston… and so on?”

All I got were smiles.

Wide smiles.

There was a lot of that going around last weekend.