It’s More Family Friendly

I’m not saying that San Diego Comic-Con isn’t family friendly. It’s a wonderful thing to see a family of 4 dressed up as the X-Men, standing in the massive Marvel booth at the Big Show.  But after you’ve run over your 15th person with your stroller crammed full of screaming toddlers on your way to pick up some Dexter swag at the Showtime booth, you have to know this isn’t the best possible option for a family outing. Sure, plenty of families have it worked out. They know where to take the kids and when to take them. They’ve figured out that strollers should never ever try to go through the center of the big media area of the San Diego Convention Center. Thankfully, smaller shows don’t necessarily have that problem. Sure, they might have smaller aisles, but when you run into a traffic jam, you can easily back out of it. In San Diego, if you stand still too long, the crowd closes in behind you and overtakes you before you can do a thing about it. Smaller shows are also less stressful and lower key. There’s no need to rush through the room to make sure you see everything before you leave. Odds are that, even with kids in tow, you will still be able to see everything without too much hassle. And stepping out of the crowd and taking a break doesn’t mean retreating to a safe distance of 8 city blocks. Smaller shows in the right locales often have more space to let you kick back with a juice box or even a quick nap (for you or the kids) before checking out more cool stuff or snapping pics with those cute cosplayers.


Better access to creators

One of the most unique aspects of a comic convention, regardless of its size, is the fact that it’s not just about buying stuff. The really good shows attract creators big and small, famous and independent, and give them the opportunity to interact with people who love (or have yet to discover) their work. These kinds of interactions give fans and creators an amazing opportunity to meet face-to-face to talk about comics, about art, about whatever geeky thing they want. And while bigger shows like SDCC may have a wider array of creators, it becomes almost impossible to spend any time with them.At smaller shows, there’s  an opportunity to get something of a real connection made with an artist. And smaller shows can be a great place for discovering some amazing new talent. Newer, mostly unknown creators don’t have the money to grab an artist alley table at the big shows as demand is high and prices are often higher. At smaller shows, they don’t have as much overhead, which means they have a better chance at reserving a table, selling their wares, and showing off their talent. It’s these opportunities that hardcore comic fans should be taking advantage of. Seek out the creators who look like they could use some love.ake some time to ask them about their work. No, you don’t have to buy something from everyone, especially if you’re as broke as they are, but a little bit of conversation goes a long way


With more and more cities creating their own pop culture and comic cons attending neighborhood events and festivals have some distinct benefits.  Here are some reasons to support your local, smaller cons:

1.It’s Local. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE San Diego! It’s a beautiful city. If I had a reason to live there more than 5 days out of the year, I would. But during those 5 days, livin’ ain’t easy. Between hotel prices and parking issues and the seemingly endless swath of people moving everywhere in every direction, it can be a little overwhelming.  Odds are that if you’ve gone to a smaller con in a town near you, getting around isn’t so bad. Whether it’s held in a convention center or a hotel conference room or the local Moose Lodge, the issue of getting to the show and back is half the battle when it comes to enjoying yourself at the show. Aside from costing far less in travel expenses, when you support your local events, it means more events will come to you.  Basic field of dreams principle here – if you build it, they will come. 

The Saturday Morning Ritual

the_80__s_in_color_by_tillman54-d33i1h3.jpgYou all remember Saturday mornings, don’t you? Waking up at the crack of dawn, pouring a large bowl of your favorite sugary cereal, and plunking down in front of the boob tube for 4-5 hours of animated bliss? To me, it was one of the best parts of childhood. I remember it was all I could think about to get me through each dreary week of school, knowing that come Saturday, I’d be in my glory. I have to say though, it saddens me that children today do not get to enjoy the same experience. Today, the Saturday morning ritual is non-existent. Instead, kids have access to stations devoted to cartoons 24/7. If they want to watch cartoons at 3 in the morning on a Wednesday, they can.
But it was different for us growing up. The only way we could see certain cartoons was ON Saturday mornings. These were shows that never aired any other day of the week. To me, that was special and made me look forward to the day all that much more. Kids today have the ability to watch “Rick and Morty” or “Gravity Falls” 7 days a week if they so choose. They are basically being robbed of the Saturday morning experience.

So what’s on the stations today that make Saturday mornings so special? Well, NBC now airs news and infomercials. CBS partnered with Nickelodeon and airs nothing but pre-school shows. Even Canadian networks such as CTV had dropped cartoons from their Saturday morning line-ups.
Maybe it’s the nostalgic in me, but I preferred cartoons back in the day. I grew up watching shows such as “He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe”, “Go-Bots”, “Transformers”, and “The Real Ghostbusters” to name a few. In the 80’s, I was even introduced to much older shows such as “Rocket Robin Hood”, “The Mighty Hercules” and “Milton The Monster”. These my friends were the glory days of Saturday morning television.

So is the Saturday morning ritual dead and gone? Well as long as these 24/7 cartoon networks exist, that’s pretty much a given. So all we can do is hold on to that special part of our childhood in our memories. Thanks for reading.

Nostalgic Activities Today’s Kids Will Never Experience

Making Mix Tapes

Kids will never know the satisfaction of putting a cassette in your stereo and waiting for your favorite song to come on, fingers anxiously waiting on the record button. A message to today’s children: mixes weren’t always made by iTunes based on MATH. We had to work for these.

Fixing Cassettes With Your Pen

So you’ve got your mix tape and you invite your friends over. You announce “Check out this new Naughty By Nature song I recorded from Hot 97,” only to press play and hear the worst possible noise. No, I’m not talking about the verse that Vinny raps (that’s some Naughty By Nature humor for you). The sound your stereo makes when it eats your tape. The only way to fix it? A pen and tons of patience