(This was written on the train coming back from New York. I am home now. I am too tired to find a photo for this entry — may stick one in tomorrow.)
We kind of dawdled getting going today, but not in a bad way. I wasn’t particularly eager to get back to NYCC – I mean, it was fun, but in some ways, one day was enough. As I reported on Twitter, we made a stop at The Superhero Supply Co.
I am a fan of the whole 826 project – I mean, kids being taught to express themselves through writing is excellent – and the storefronts are fun. The Superhero Supply Co. is awesome. The sense of graphic design on the packing is impeccable and there is so much fun stuff to look at and purchase. I bought a pair of sunglasses shaped like your typical superhero mask. When making purchases, you have to recite an oath saying you are going to use your powers for good and not evil, and you also have to come up with a superhero name (and yes, they do not let you get away with not coming up with one). It’s delightful fun. I think it was possibly the highlight of the trip for me.
We eventually made it to NYCC in time for the Graphic Novels: A New Literacy panel (and a note to con organizers: Please stop scheduling similarly-themed panels at the same time. This was at the same time as the What’s New at Penguin and DK panel and overlapped with the related What are Kids Reading Now? Graphic Novels and 22 Pages panel. This wasn’t the only instance of this that I saw in the program). The panel was awesome, even for someone like me who is not a teacher, librarian or parent. I don’t really discriminate in what I read – certainly I read a lot of comics but it doesn’t keep me from reading prose either. I think comics can show reluctant readers that reading can be something they love and there are so many great comics out there for older children (for instance, anything from First Second, which does have a lot of comics based on history) that there’s no reason to not include them in an educational setting.
And I think Sophie Brookover of Pop Goes the Library is one of my new heroes. She’s smart and doing great things.
After the panel, we wandered a bit more upstairs. For being late Sunday, it was still surprisingly crowded. I didn’t buy anything else due to exhaustion setting in and just a general disinterest in fighting the crowd more.
Overall, I had a good experience and there was definitely plenty of excitement. But I did leave there thinking “OK, I’ve done this now. I probably don’t need to do it again.” It was too hard for me to shop and other than the few things I bought, most of what was there either didn’t interest me (especially in terms of the small press stuff) or can pretty much be found anywhere. There may have been more, but trying to battle the throngs of people made it difficult to look at a lot of things. I would’ve liked to have gone to more panels, but a lot of them were on Friday or Saturday before I got there (that’s just how the schedule seem to fall).
If I go next year does depend on a lot of things, but I’d be happy to do it if I could just skip the whole shopping aspect and just spend the whole time in panels, screenings and presentations. That seems like where the interesting stuff probably is for me.
But I have no regrets. It was a fun weekend and I’m going to home happy.
In that admittedly bad photo are, from left, Matt Bird, Elizabeth Bird and Sophie Brookover