To be clear, I’ve been to every New York Comic Con that’s ever happened, but this year was the first time I went as a dad, which definitely changed how I experienced the event. For those of you not of the geek persuasion, the New York Comic Con kicked off in 2006 and has grown to become (I believe) the second largest gathering of comic book, video game, anime, movie and toy fans and professionals in the country. The event is held in the enormous Javits Center, with the con taking up nearly every inch of the place. This year it went from last Thursday through Sunday.
As I mentioned, I’ve gone to the show every year it’s been around in various capacities. The first year, Wizard actually had a booth that some of us manned. It was a big, disorganized show then and it’s only gotten more of both counts since. In the following years, I’ve gone as a researcher, a magazine writer and just to look around. This was my first year covering the show for CBR, a comic book website that I write for on a regular basis and thus it was a different experience. But, the biggest change was leaving Lucy for three days with my wife (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and then worrying about her and my wife at the show on Sunday.
As regular readers know and new ones will learn just now, I work from home and watch our daughter during the week while my wife goes to work. It’s a good situation because it allows me to keep up my freelance and also removes the cost of daycare for the foreseeable future. But, sometimes, you need a break and NYCC gave me that. It was really nice to feel like a normal, working person, albeit one surrounded by giant robots and scantily clad people in costumes of both sexes in increasingly smelly rooms waiting to hear people talk about comic books. Most of my work involved sitting in on panels (those talks I mentioned), taking notes and writing them up for the website. News is often saved for conventions, so they can be a pretty big deal. While it did feel good to be out in the real world again (I even missed hoofing in through New York City a little), I did miss that cute little face all day. On Thursday, when I left, I had an empty feeling when I realized I wouldn’t see her the rest of the day (she was up when I left, but was asleep every night when I got home). It was that same thing you see on every sitcom when the mom goes back to work or goes out without the kid for the first time. I’m learning that nearly everything said about parenthood on television is true in one way or another.I told my wife this and she said she feels that all the time when she goes to work.
One thing that helped was being surrounded by other fathers away from their kids. A few guys on the CBR staff traveled away from their homes and were also missing their kids. Meanwhile, other friends of mine who have children but live up near where I do were actually staying in hotels over the weekend so they wouldn’t have to train back home every night like I did. People said I should do the same thing next year, but I’m not so sure. Even seeing Lucy for a few minutes in the morning and getting to hold her was enough for me to take that 90 minute trip home. Stay tuned for the tale of Lucy’s first NYCC!