My new definition of Comic Con: a place where people who love comics, sci-fi, and fantasy stories can be themselves and celebrate their common interest - in all their awesome nerdiness!
I cannot say enough good things about the day I spent with my daughter at Comic Con Chicago. It was a strange site seeing people dressed up as characters, more elaborate than any Halloween costume I have ever seen. But it very quickly became normal. About half way through the event I didn't even blink an eye when I saw a Klingon waiting in the concessions line to buy a coke.
There were lots of booths buying and selling comics, merchandise for Dr. Who and Harry Potter and even places to sign up for girls only gaming sites. We did not stand in line for autographs or photos with celebrities but we did get quite a few autographs of comic book artists and writers.
My favorite parts:
- Listening to a panel discussion about the evolving role of women in this male dominated industry. This panel of women talked about how women can and should have more of a leadership voice. They also addressed how women are portrayed in both story lines and visually in comics. They all agreed that portraying women one-dimensionally as only sexual beings is not moving the conversation forward.
- Wandering through the Artists' Alley. This is the place where you can meet the people who create the art in comics. What a wonderfully diverse group of people - a mix of age, gender, and race. If your child is interested in this profession, this would be a great place to take them to get a glimpse into all the possibilities of this industry. Katie and I did our fair share of supporting the artists!!
- Hanging out with my daughter in a place where she knew way more than I did. She knew the names of authors and illustrators; characters in comics, games, and books; and issues within the industry. It was fun for me to learn so much from her.
Finally, my most consistent observation from the whole experience was how kind and polite the very large group of people were as a whole. I had no negative or frustrating experience the entire day. People were just happy to be there and be somewhere they could be themselves. They could get their "geek on" and feel totally at home with people just like them.
We all need places where we can feel accepted for who were are and share our interests with others like us.
That is what Comic Con is about - celebrating stories and our love for them. Even if that love includes dressing up and looking a little strange.....