Childrearing

Why Banning Strollers At Comic-Con Sucks

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New York Comic-ConI will first admit that I’ve never been to Comic-Con. You’re all welcome to say that I have no place commenting on the presence of strollers there when I’ve never attended. It won’t stop me from having an opinion, but you’re welcome to say it.

So, this year’s most famous comic book/science fiction/fantasy convention has decided that due to huge crowds, limited space and possible fire hazards, strollers will not be permitted in the programming rooms. Obviously, some snarkiness is calling this an act of kindness to the kids who are being carted around by parents in costume. Julie Miller at Vanity Fair explained,

One of the saddest sights at last year’s Comic-Con—even sadder than middle-aged women in Princess Leia costumes strutting around the San Diego Convention Center like it was a speed-dating mixer, Captain Americas lugging worn Jansports full of free souvenirs, or grown men in Green Man costumes attempting to eat personal pizzas at 10 a.m. in Hall H (all seen with your blogger’s own eyes)—were the crying babies carted around the costumed mayhem against their will. Perhaps in an act of mercy (if not fire safety as announced), Comic-Con has just notified Con-ners that strollers will not be allowed in programming rooms at this year’s event. Phew!

All easy cracks about those who enjoy comic books and science fiction aside, I have to say that I’m a little sad for the kids who won’t get to experience what seems like a really fun and enthusiastic convention.

Listen, there are plenty of people who will rail on Comic-Con attendees. The internet will share bizarre pictures of elaborate costumes that took weeks to put together. But you know what I notice most about all the Comic-Con pictures and press coverage? All those in attendance seem really happy. They’re all excited. And for lots of parents, they seem really eager to introduce their kids to the imaginative worlds that inspire them.

From a kid’s perspective, why wouldn’t they want to see a bunch of people dressed up in costume and having fun? My daughter would spend every day of her life in costume if she had a chance. She would love to meet people who were dressed as her favorite characters and superheros. If she ever saw someone dressed as Hawk Girl from Thanagar, she would quite possibly weep with joy. It would be better than meeting any princess at Disney Land.

I’m sure there are adult aspects to Comic-Con. I’m not saying kids should be allowed everywhere. And of course, I understand that the convention needs to remain safe. But banning strollers at such a huge convention goes a long way towards banning young kids. Most parents don’t want to attempt dragging their tired toddler around a huge convention center for a day. And those that do will be so exhausted and stressed, people will wish that tyke had a stroller to conk out in.

Comic-Con seems like a really great place for kids. It’s the Disneyland for little ones who aren’t as worried about Sleeping Beauty as they are about Superman. My daughter would be one of those kids. It sucks to hear that a convention so famous for bringing a ton of enthusiastic and accepting people together would make rules to keep the littlest fans out.

(Photo: Sam Aronov/Shutterstock)