The Hippo


Mar 24, 2019








Kids in cosplay pose at last year’s Kids Con. Courtesy photo.

Schedule of events

The general age bracket for the event is 4-12, with most hands-on workshops (coloring, mask making, drawing, etc.) and meet and greets tailored toward the younger crowd, while video game tournaments and panels are more for ages 8 and up. Ongoing activities like face painting, Pirate Camp and Jedi Training are appropriate for all ages. 
Learning to draw imaginary creatures: 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
Mask-making: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Cartooning basics: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
The art of comic book-making: 1 to 1:45 p.m.
Build a lightsaber: 2 to 2:45 p.m.
Create a superhero: 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.
Zentangling: 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Other event highlights
Jedi training: 10:15 to 11 a.m., 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., 1:30 to 2 p.m. and 2:15 to 2:45 p.m.
Mario Kart video game tournament: 11 a.m. to noon
Food concessions: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Princess Academy: noon to 12:30 p.m. and 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.
Superhero meet and greet: 1 to 1:45 p.m.
Pokemon video game tournament: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Disney Princess magical sing-along and storytime: 3 to 3:30 p.m.
Kids and family costume contest: 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Group costume photos: 4 p.m.
Kids’ Sketch-off: 4 to 4:45 p.m.
Face-painting and ballooning: all day
Pirate Camp with Northeast Buccaneers: all day
Baystate Ghostbusters meet and greet: all day
Kids Con New England
When: Sunday, June 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Radisson Hotel, 11 Tara Boulevard, Nashua
Cost: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, veterans and kids ages 5 to 17, free for kids under 5

Kids comic craze
Annual comic convention for kids returns

By Matt Ingersoll

 After a successful inaugural year in Concord, Kids Con New England is moving to a bigger space with twice as many comic book artists, new activities and returning favorites like kid-friendly panels, open video gaming and “Pirate Camp.”

This year, the Granite State’s only comic book convention specifically designed for kids is inviting the next generation of comic book lovers to the Radisson Hotel in Nashua on Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re really trying to promote art education and literacy through comics,” said con organizer and local artist Emily Drouin, who pens the comic book series EPLIS with her husband. “Kids respond very well with the visual aspect of graphic novels and ... through characters. … Much like an animated cartoon show, they still get that simulation with comics, and it’s great to see them get excited about reading as an art form.”
Kids Con New England was launched last year after Drouin discovered the need for more activities for children at several annual comic book conventions in the region.
If you were there last year, you might have encountered princess-themed storytimes, Jedi training, face-painting, a balloon artist and cartoon and comic book-making workshops. All of those features are returning this year, Drouin said, but on a much larger scale.
“This new space is three or four times the size [of last year’s] … and we’re using the whole floor,” she said. “We’ll have workshops in two rooms throughout the day and panel rooms with superheroes that kids can ask questions.”
Drouin said a majority of the artists appearing at the convention are independent cartoonists and children’s book illustrators, and some even travel from as far away as Pennsylvania, New York and Washington, D.C. But visitors will also meet plenty of artists from right here in the Granite State — like Ed Smith of Londonderry, the self-described “Cartoonist at Large,” who writes and draws superhero and science fiction comics. Others include Michael Mitchell of Tilton, whose specialty is in educational historical comics, and Jesse Lundburg of Laconia, creator of the “Harold the Happy Human Eater” comic book series.
“A lot of these people self-publish and print their own comics, as well as do original art and comic book covers,” Drouin said.
This year’s workshops and panels will focus on topics like how to draw imaginary creatures, the basics of cartooning and character creation for comics, how to build a lightsaber and more. Also included is a Kids’ Sketch-Off at 4 p.m., when kids compete for the best creation to win prizes.
Open gaming featuring Pokemon and Mario Kart will be held throughout the day, with two hours dedicated to tournaments for both games. Sign-ups for the tournaments are available on the day of the event.
“We’ll have a couple of caricaturists there and people doing crafts and face-painting too,” Drouin said.
Outside on the grounds of the Radisson will be a Pirate Camp held throughout the day featuring members of the Northeast Buccaneers.
“They’ll teach kids how to use a play pirate sword and do a swordfight with the captains, how to fire a fake cannon and teach them how to become an honorary member of their ‘pirate brethren’,” she said. “We’ll have them in the lobby [of the hotel] if it rains out.”
Also out on the grounds will be a meet and greet with the Baystate Ghostbusters, a nonprofit Ghostbusters fan group based in Massachusetts.
Look for characters like R2-D2 from Star Wars and Pikachu from Pokemon, as well as superheroes like Iron Man, Spiderman, Deadpool, Wonder Woman and many more. Costumes are also encouraged for the whole family. A costume contest will be held at 3 p.m., followed by a group photo session with all of the contest participants at 4 p.m.
“[The event] is designed for kids, but also for kids at heart, so even adults will enjoy acting like the kids,” Drouin said. 

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