The Phoenix Comicon was this past weekend, and because I can't draw art, I am trying to appreciate those that do (also I'm a big comic geek), I decided to take my kids to see what comics and fanboys were all about. It was a different experience with children than without (I've been to a previous, smaller con without my kids), and I found some things out:
1) Event Organizers (at least the one at PCC) know what they're doing.
From the exhibit hall to the events, the Event Organizer had it locked down. Sure, there were non-kid friendly booths and events, but they were all grouped together, in a "come at your own risk" style. The kid friendly art was fantastic, and my niece (the one with the artistic talent) was in awe. The art room, where kids could do different artistic projects, were right around the corner from the room with the video games and the AZ Ghostbusters charity group's room. It's nice to see that some thought about parents bringing kids was implemented.
Awesome Avengers print by Val Hochberg.
2) Most of the people are examples of what you want your kids to be.
Of the people wandering around Comicon, selling items at booths, and dressed up as their favorite characters, 90% are completely awesome to be around. The people come dressed up to have their picture taken. They love getting compliments on something they're so passionate about. The artists at the booth love to talk about their work, what they have coming up, and anything else thier fans may want to talk about. Even the other fans walking around will talk to other fans, joke about something odd, or discuss theories on their favorite characters. I grew up an introvert, and large crowds make me want to guzzle a bottle of Xanex, but I was at ease in the crowd at the Comicon. Everybody was awesome, and I think my daughter has a crush on Big Chris.
Great artist, great guy, and already married. Sorry Kat.
3) The other 10% of people are complete douchebags.
After the 90% of awesome people, I kept getting sideways looks, silent head shakes, and glares from the single, unhappy people without children at the con. Apparently, they either thought one of the following:
- I was a bad parent for bringing my kids to a place where there are half naked women at nearly every turn
- They despise children as annoying little humans with no intrinsic value
- I was carrying around a camera like a tourist, so I wasn't as "hardcore" as a real con-goer.
- They knew WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that I had had sex at least once before.
I understand their plight, now that I think about it. Let's try to address their issues:
True, there were women there dressed as different characters. Lots of cleavage, lots of skin, but nothing different than any other Halloween, the one day of the year women are allowed to dress like sluts and get away with it. Except the women at comicon did it because they love the CHARACTER. Not every cosplay woman was a bombshell. They did it to be a part of a culture that is gaining popularity, to identify with their favorite fictional character, to show appreciation to the artists that create enjoyment. THAT'S what I wanted my daughter to see. Besides, for every costume like this:
There was a less provacative, well done costume, like this:
And then there's these:
These guys made our kids feel welcome, and our kids were excited to meet them, shake their hands, and get their picture taken with them.
As for point 2 about little humans with no intrinsic value, they would do well to remember that they most likely got into comics around my kids' ages or before. Understand that the comic book industry had a glut of fans in the 70's and 80's, which equates to today's 30-40 year olds. Some of those people will have had kids. Some of those people want their kids to experience the same enjoyment and excitement that they got when they read comics. Get over it.
Yes, I was carrying around a camera. I am a fan of cosplay, but too chickenshit to dress up. I took pictures of some awesome costumes, and I HAD CHILDREN WITH ME. I wanted to document their con experience as well. They were there for the same reason as you. Again, get over it.
(if you want to see my PCC album, it's here.)
And the last item. Yes. And it was good.