New York Comic Con Has Changed…In a Good Way

All photos in this post by Jackie Reeve.
All photos in this post by Jackie Reeve.

I’ve been to New York Comic Con (NYCC) once before, in 2008. That was the first year they held a kids day, and at the time I remember it being pretty disappointing. A lot has changed in five years.

At the time of my first visit I wrote a pretty disheartened post on my personal blog about the kids day misadventure with my brother and eight-year-old nephew. Lots of disorganization, cosplayers who didn’t really want to talk to kids, and a general lack of stuff for kids to do made me write off this con. There were some definite highlights, including panels with Mo Willems and Stan Lee, and an awesomely kid-friendly drawing session with Paolo Rivera. But I haven’t been back since, so I was curious what would be in store going back this year for GeekMom.

I spent two days at Comic Con; Friday on my own, and Sunday with my 18-month-old daughter. There was so much stuff going on for Sunday’s kids day, and I saw lots of happy faces having a great time. My daughter was definitely young for the kids day activities, but she still got a kick out of the atmosphere. She even had her picture taken with Batman.

All photos in this post by Jackie Reeve.
This cosplayer loved photo ops with kids. He was camped out by the main entrance all day.

There were also lots of stalls and shops selling kids’ clothes, costumes, and toys. The publishers who turned up with books had some great stuff to look at and preview, and there were pretty good sales happening on the last day from other vendors. The shops in general were pretty hard to maneuver with a stroller (no big shock there), but The Block section of the convention had some great softies and toys for kids. I stocked up Hannah’s toy chest with these adorable Monster Factory dolls. They’re a Canadian line of dolls that’s just launching in the United States.

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We only stayed for a couple of hours on Sunday; it was way more packed than my first NYCC visit, and we were both exhausted after a while. I got a lot out of my solo time on Friday, though. I knew the crowds were intense, but having been to a much more low-key version in 2008 I wasn’t quite prepared.

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NYCC 2008 (left); NYCC 2013 (right)

I sort of stumbled around for a while on Friday, taking it all in. Then I found myself at the I “Nail” NYCC nail art booth and decided a manicure was in order to get the weekend started. I love my Harry Potter nails; I’m still sporting them a week later. Amy Vega (follow her on Twitter @ElSalonsito!) did an incredible job, and we talked about daughters and the Tumblr she started highlighting her crazy good nail art. I have never had anything but plain polish on my nails, and I am now addicted to nail art.

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I also spent some time talking to Lisa Judson, the General Manager for AMC’s new streaming movie service Yeah!. I’ll be going into more detail about their service in a separate post, but I’m in love with what they’re doing. Think a cross between Pop-Up Video and DVD extras for streaming. And their marketing campaign, “WTF is Yeah!” was pretty genius. It was one of the first things I spotted when I hit the convention floor, and all I could think was, “WTF is Yeah!?”

So I checked it out and loved it. I saw t-shirts and tote bags with that slogan all through the weekend; they were a big highlight for me.

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See the Yeah! banners in the top right of this photo? I was too busy capturing my daughter’s excitement for Transformers, but Yeah! was everywhere.

I was really impressed with the weekend. There were a few GeekMoms at NYCC, and we all came away with something different. There were endless ways to experience the convention, depending on what draws you in. I’ve definitely changed my mind from my last visit.

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Jackie Reeve is a Core Contributor and former Senior Editor at GeekMom. She's a librarian, a writer, and a quilt designer. She's wife to an Englishman and mom to a little geek girl, and she blogs about life and crafts at The Orange Room. Jackie's obsessed with cardigans and thinks Die Hard is the best Christmas movie there is.