I was on a panel recently at the first annual Long Beach Comic Con and it was really fun. It should be up in a week or two for viewing. (Comicsoncomics.com) I was with Matt Weinhold, Jonathan London, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. Big fun. Matt and Jonathan I had met before (both hilarious) but it was the first time I had met Jimmy and Amanda. And dammit, they’re good people. In addition to being great comic book writer/artists, of course. Amanda even bought my book. I was very flattered. We talked about kids and she told me to bring my daughter down the next day and she would sign a Supergirl print for her. It had never occurred to me to bring my four year old daughter down the next day.

But I thought about it, and I did. Isabella and I got into the car nice and early and drove down to Long Beach. We went in and instantly Bella’s eyes lit up. “Look, there’s Superman!” she exclaimed. It never occurred to me that the people dressed up at a Comic Con have the same effect on children as Pluto in Disneyland. She wanted a picture with him. The dude dressed as Superman was happy to do it. This was really cool. I soon learned that people dressed up at a Con expect this from children and are happy to take pictures with them. I think it gives them as much of a thrill as it does the child. Hey, we all get our kicks in different ways. No judgments here. We got pictures with Supergirl, Batgirl, Boba Fett, some weird stormtrooper guy (I think). Sometimes the costumes are so obscure it’s almost like a super secret nerd joke. Okay, so you’re a character from a video game that only came out in Japan circa 1989? You look very pixilated.

Also, speaking of cons this tweet from Brian Michael Bendis really made me giggle and roll my eyes at the same time:
RT @BRIANMBENDIS: con goers: not all asian women are in costume. some are just asian. dont ask what character they are. yes, this happened

Bella and I then walked around, went to the Nintendo Booth and played some games together. They were cool too, showing Bella how to play. She kicked ass at the wakeboarding game.

I realized I had been completely wrong. The comic book convention is simply made for children. Not just us big children but actual, shorter children. The problem is Comic-Con in San Diego has gotten so huge and so unmanageable it’s hard to walk around as an adult, let alone try to keep your child from running into a Klingon with his batleth out. The Long Beach Comic-Con was perfect. Small, manageable, you could walk around, and I even chatted with Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica briefly.

Although Bella didn’t understand that people were waiting in line to meet an artist, and not a superhero. But we did wait in line to see Amanda Conner and she gave Bella a signed Supergirl print, which is awesome by the way. We’re going to frame it. But I wasn’t sure how to protect it until the guy behind me said “If you wait one minute I can give you a rubber band to roll it up with”

“Thanks.” He gave me the rubber band and then watched in disapproval as I rolled it up.

“You need to roll it tighter so it doesn’t get any creases.”

“—er OK. Thanks.” I did it again. Satisfied, my anal, rubber band providing, poster rolling friend departed.

Amanda gave Bella the print and didn’t charge me. I tried to pay her, saying she bought my book but she wouldn’t take my money. She said “you have kids.” I immediately nodded and thanked her for her generosity. Ha. “you have kids” ‘nuff said.