IF THE CITY SEEMS particularly devoid of fanboys and girls of all breeds this weekend, don't worry; there hasn't been some nerdtacular extinction event that you've not heard about. They've just gone north to Seattle for a few days to hang out with comic creators, minor TV stars, and William Shatner at this year's Emerald City Comicon.

Now in its ninth year, the show mixes creators of superhero, mainstream, and indie comics with "media guests," including rising stars Walter and Astrid from Fringe, falling stars Xander and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the unofficial King and Queen of Internet Geeks, Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day (in a Guild panel moderated by Mercury Senior Editor Erik Henriksen). Where else can you get such a mix of pop culture high life? Well, okay, San Diego Comic-Con, perhaps, but that sold out in a single day, and let's face it: You probably didn't get a ticket. Plus, this show is not only closer, but scientifically proven to be less likely to make you feel like you're in some cosplay-friendly version of Apocalypse Now by the end of it.

Alongside the likes of King City's Brandon Graham, All Star Superman's Frank Quitely, and Fantastic Four's Man-Who-Killed-the-Human-Torch Jonathan Hickman, expect to see many familiar faces from Portland's comic contingent, with appearances from Emi Lenox, Jeff Parker, Colleen Coover, Erika Moen, Matt Fraction, and Brian Michael Bendis—congratulate him on FX picking up the TV version of his Powers series—as well as Oni Press, Top Shelf, and Dark Horse.

If you're looking for more than comic creator and celebrity sightings, the show also offers panels, concerts (including "nerd rock" band Kirby Krackle teaming with "nerdcore rapper" Adam WarRock on Saturday for what will presumably be a night of very nerdy music), and the traditional masquerade contest. There's also a live art event on Friday, raising money for the Seattle Children's Hospital, and a chance for you to have your photo taken with the Star Wars character of your choice for charity. Alternatively, you could just blow all your money on the show floor, finally tracking down that elusive second appearance of the Detroit-era Justice League, which may be less altruistic but more personally fulfilling. Or maybe that's just me.