Rose City Comic Con (RCCC) has become a family tradition, which is why half of the family being wiped out with the new-school-year-plague was a bummer. My kid,  Alvah seems immune to the sickness this year and skated through untouched and was extremely ready to walk the hallowed halls of RCCC. We found parking after about 5 minutes, which isn’t too bad. I will always recommend taking the max or other public transit. It’s just too packed to park, in general. After getting our passes we made our way in. Our first act is always to walk through, take a lap, and not stop anywhere, get the lay of the land before landing in the kids area, Rose City Jr. 

Rose City Jr. is located at the South end of the show floor. If you enter by where you pick up the badges, it’s straight through the vendors. The kids area blends pretty seamlessly into the venders, which I think is great as most kids I’ve talked to or saw at the place want to see it all and don’t want to feel particularly like they are confined. There was a huge (HUGE) climbing wall from Trackers Earth (so big when we walked by Alvah pointed and said “you’ll never get me to climb that thing, I’m terrified of heights” — it is tall y’all). We spent some timing roaming through the kids area. There are special prizes for kid passes at a table, you draw a raffle ticket and get a prize, plus a bunch of awesome She-ra posters from the new cartoon (big hit in our house, the new She-ra). Alvah is 11 so he’s a bit old for some of the Rose City Jr stuff, but there was plenty of awesome things for him to get into too. Some of the stuff for younger kids was a cool game station with a mini-bow-and-arrow set, a bean bag toss, coloring stuff. Fun stuff to play with. We spent a good amount of time at the Mad Science table playing with (and learning about) magnets and circuits. It was cool to have people walk him through connecting the loop to make the light go on and off and walk him through how to squeeze the little pinchers the right way, patiently. Alvah has never had the focus to really pay attention at the Mad Science station before, he’s usually so intent on everything else but this time, he settled in and felt the power of creating light (not kidding about that – he made a “I am a god” joke). 

Neontendo Car was there and we hopped on some mario games, including me reconnecting with one of my childhood friends, Gameboy. We were quite close on those weekend trips visiting my dad for a number of years, it was great to reconnect again. We also paid way too much money for some concessions (be prepared to spend some $$$ if you buy snacks), saw the beginnings of a belly dance, took some awesome pictures with Star Wars of Oregon and visited the LeakyCon area. LeakyCon is new to me and was super cool. Also, they are doing PDXPelliarmus where they collect school supply donations for students. It’s pretty great, if you can pop by with any supplies, they are back near Rose City Jr.

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We also ran into this awesome group called Comics4Kids that give out comic books as a way to inspire literacy in kids. This hit home extra hard for us because Alvah was a kid who refused to learn to read until we handed him a comic book and then he wal like “oh, ok — this is reading too, sure” and basically hasn’t stopped reading since except to eat, sleep, occasionally give out hugs or make sassy jokes and, of course, attend Rose City Comic Con. They are giving out 2 free comics at the Con but it’s something they do all the time. People donate their collections to them and they travel around giving them out. They said you can even write to them and they’ll mail out free comics. They won our hearts, Alvah spent a lot of time sifting through their table top until he found the perfect choices. 

Which leads me to the hour we spent sifting through boxes of comics so Alvah could spend the $3 he brought with him on the perfect choices. RCCC has a number of comic venders who are selling comics for $1 and we stopped at 3 of them and Alvah dug and dug and dug until he pulled the perfect comic. We took a short coffee (for me) and cookie (also for me but Alvah got one too) break at one of the Portland Roasting Company shops on site and then headed into the Gaming Expo space with free classic arcade games and console games. We played some pinball and tried our luck at Donkey Kong Jr (we didn’t have good luck at all). It was great. We got our butts kicked. 

The last goal for us was to go to the Weird Al panel at 5 pm. Weird Al is the best, just in general. A family favorite. So Alvah and I sat down and listened while fans young and old asked him question after question about his songs, his career, little known projects and we just enjoyed seeing his face on a big screen. It was the first time any of the kids went to a panel at RCCC that was just a big old Q & A. We stayed for about 40 minutes and at that time, we were both kind of done for the day, worn out a bit by the lights, sounds and so much visual stimuli. We had a ton of fun though. 

Some of Alvah’s thoughts:

  • Comic Con is great
  • There is a lot of stuff that you NEED: bobble heads, comic books, photo ops with characters and all the interactive stuff (I verified the choice of “need” and he enthusiastically grinned and nodded – “need”)
  • Gives an excuse to wear costumes and not on Halloween and also inspired some costume ideas for Halloween

He then got distracted so I’ll give my quick tips.

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  • Concessions are expensive but sometimes necessary
  • Bathrooms, just a tip to make sure you see them and can trace your steps back to them
  • Parking, ugggh. Transit if you can
  • We always have a plan of attack. We make our lap, sit in the kids area and then plan the next things (sometimes I do make up the plan as we go, but I stick to the idea that is a plan so that we don’t jump from thing to thing to thing and I burn out too quickly)

This got long so I’m going to call it here and add some pictures. Happy Comic Con to you all. If you still need tickets you can buy them here or on site.

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