We are all about the whole “meet your kids where they are” thing. You like gemstones? Let’s go to the Hall of Gemstones at the American Natural History Museum. Ballet? We’re at the Nutcracker, regardless of how overpriced it is. We will see how this all plays out when one of our kids gets into NASCAR.
In the meantime, Mr. Big is all into superheroes. So while researching an article for Bold Life magazine, I was surprised and excited to discover the previously unknown-to-me world of comic book conventions (aka ‘cons’). I mean, I kind of peripherally knew about them, but I had never before made the connection that for a three-and-a-half year old boy this is what heaven must be like.
Spidey, Batman, Superman, Obi Wan Kenobi, stormtroppers, wookies: they are all just walking around. They will get their picture taken with you and high-five you. We did a little toe-dip into the world of comics by going to our local comic store Pastimes on Free Comic Book Day. The very kind staff loaded us up with free comic books and a few action figures. The main event was our new local comic book convention Fanaticon. With the help of some very awesome grandparents, we took three boys ranging in age from three to five for a few hours. Mr. Big ran into Supergirl, who he had met at Free Comic Book Day, gave her a little wave and said “Nice to see you again,” as if they were business colleagues or perhaps had met at a cocktail party. There was a costume parade, a great band, and tons of zombies. It was fantastic (and free!).
No matter where you live, I bet there is a comic book conference of some scale nearby. You can research the places and dates at Conventionscene. Even for non-geeks (n. in-group term for enthusiast of comic books, video games, fantasy), it’s just plain fun. I found what Fanaticon organizer Chance Whitmire told me to be true: “geeks have good hearts.” Everyone was super nice and patient with the boys: not a Simpson’s Comic Book Guy among them.
Oh, yeah, and there were also pirates.