Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Mom's Guide To Comic Book Shows

I recently wrote about my experience at Special Edition NYC, a “pure celebration of comic book culture created specifically for die-hard comic book fans, creators and publishers” for The Geek Parent (read it here). I basically went because I'd never gone to a show like that before because, honestly, I'm just not into comic books. But I figured, if I truly am a geek parent, I should probably see what all the fuss was about.  It's good to try new things. 

Special Edition NYC was, according to an acquaintance who is a comic book aficionado, the perfect show to “cut my teeth on” since it's considered a relatively small show, as opposed to the various Comic Cons.  Also, the tickets were pretty cheap; it cost all of $30 for a Sunday pass. (I won't mention how much the tolls into the City and parking were, but going into NYC ain't cheap!

Even though I attended as an unofficial member of the media, I couldn't help but evaluate the show from a mom's perspective, especially since there were a fair number of kids under the age of 16 there. So, if you're considering taking your child to Special Edition NYC or a similar show, here's what you need to know: 

The Pros:

  • Special Edition NYC was extremely organized. Each person who worked there knew where the various lines, panels, and exhibitors were. Considering that I was insecure because I was certainly not in my element, this was refreshing!

  • The artists and writers were incredibly nice. These are professionals who are passionate about what they do. I especially enjoyed meeting artists John Trumbull and Rey Arzeno who both seemed to be doodling but were, in fact, effortlessly drawing amazing works of art while they chatted with me about what being an artist is like.  These guys are PASSIONATE about what they do and watching them would be fun for any kid.

    John Trumbull
    Rey Arzeno

  • There were lots of cosplay people (people in costume) there and a sign up reminding the rest of us to ask before you took a cosplay's picture. This is common courtesy, but the reminder was certainly appreciated. The cosplay people were even kind when I admitted that I didn't know who they were dressed up as.


  • There were panels that kids would certainly be interested in. Some were just fan meet-ups and autograph sessions, others involved engaging topics like how the writers get their ideas and how to pitch your comic books series to publishers.  I wanted to go to one on transgender characters in comic books (they've been around for ages), but didn't have the time.

  • Security was not checking bags, so you could easily bring food in for your kids to avoid spending a fortune.  Now I don't know if this is true for all shows, but it was a plus at Special Edition.

  • The vendors, too, were great. One in particular, the dashing Robert Quill, gave a really funny pitch as he explained his line of “Kreepsakes – Not Your Grammy's Cameo” which featured creepy, glow-in-the-dark pictures.

    Robert Quill and his "Kreepsakes"

The Cons:

  • The target market for many of the comics is young males, so there were MANY drawings of scantily-clad women and, indeed, some of the cosplay people were in skimpy costumes.

  • There are plenty of violent and scarey comics, so there were PLENTY of horror-type posters up.

  • While there weren't' many people there on Sunday, I understand that Saturday was packed. Before you go to a show, you may want to ask around which day is better.

    Photo From Special Edition NYC

All in all, Special Edition NYC was a lot of fun! 

It was...different and I'm glad I went. I may even pick up a comic book or two the next time I run across one. And I'm delighted with the souvenir I bought from Out of the Toy Box Jewelry. It's a necklace of the Jetson robot, Rosie, which is serving as a reminder to my family that I am NOT their maid!

Take into account my pros and cons and think about whether you'd take your child to a comic book show. It will definitely be an experience you won't forget!

Just for me:  Rosie from the Jetsons!

Thank you for reading!

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