San Diego’s Comic-Con is crazy. There are Princess Leia slave girls of all shapes and sizes, grown men snapping up My Little Pony dolls, and Lord of the Rings fanatics speaking Quenya or Sindarin fluently. Yeah, it’s all colors of geekery. But in the past, it’s been a sort of geekery for all ages, with Klingons and Stormtroopers alike pushing their Maclarens and Graco Quattros through the throngs. But now it will be harder for parents to let their kids partake in ALL the magic that is the Comic Con experience since organizers have just banned strollers … kinda.
But is it because it is cramping the Comic-Con style or for safety of Comic-Con goers? And does this so-called “stroller ban” really make a difference to Comic-Con parents and families?
In Jezebel’s piece entitled “Comic-Con Bans Strollers Because They Just Completely Spoil the Fragile Illusion,” Doug Barry mentions that the “stroller ban is probably a good thing, because the haunting image of dismayed children schelpped off to a giant nerd convention by an overwrought Superman in frayed, tensile spandex totally ruins the event.” In Julie Miller’s piece for Vanity Fair‘s blog she writes in defense of the so-called stroller ban saying that cos-play loving parents will have to choose between their outfit and their spawn and the image-killing decision to “carry them around in the custom-made Hit-Girl costume/Spider-man leotard you’ve been slaving over for a year now and sacrifice the full effect of your ‘Loki with handmade scepter’ look?” She defends the strollerless-ness, saying, “For the sake of hot, screaming infants who may not enjoy the sight of adult-sized villains and cellulite-y Princess Leias everywhere—we beg you to choose your scepter over your children.”
But does this ban really have anything to do with the fact that it relates to children and spoiling the “fragile illusion,” or is it merely a point of safety? And will it really change the army of babies, toddlers and kids attending the event ? Not so much. According to Comic Beat, the SDCC stated that, “For safety reasons, the Fire Marshall will not be allowing strollers inside the programming rooms. This includes rooms 2, 4, 5AB, 6A, 6BCF, 6DE, 7AB, *, 11AB, 23ABC, 24ABC, 25ABC, 26AB, 28E, 32AB, Ballroom 20, and Hall H.”
That merely means that strollers won’t be allowed in the “programming rooms.” Your kids, babies and toddlers can come in, just not their bulky carriages. And for good reason, as some of these rooms are on the smaller side and have limited space to enter and exit. Strollers are still allowed in the Exhibit Halls, where all the most of the action takes place. Strollers will just be banned from those smaller venues where events like “Comic-Con How-To: Anatomy of a Fight Scene, Part One,” “Planet of the Apes in Comics: Past, Present, and Future,” or “Sid and Marty Krofft: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future,” take place. And really, would your baby want to go to any of those? But don’t worry, you are totally free to stroll your Bugaboo around and witness the costumes, the comics, and chaos with the your wheeled (and no doubt weary) spawn on the main exhibit hall. Plus, kids continue to be welcomed at the event with the return of the San Diego Children’s Film Festival for the sixth year.
Yes, our precious children still have the chance to be exposed to things like an “overwrought Superman in frayed, tensile spandex,” as well as “adult-sized villains and cellulite-y Princess Leias,” from the comfort of their own stroller. Oh, but not the jogging kind. Jogging strollers of all sorts are totally banned. So there’s that.
Would you take your kids, and kids who aren’t old enough to walk on their own, to Comic-Con?