Awesome Con 2018
A whole bunch of awesomeness took over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. this past weekend – All thanks to the fine folks behind Awesome Con! There was so much ground to cover with various exhibitors, artists, guests, cosplayers, and fans everywhere. I’ll break down the entire experience over 3 different sections: Exhibitors/Artists, Events, and wrap it up with a huge picture gallery – including many of the fun cosplayers we met and had a chat with. I hope you enjoy my little review as much as we enjoyed being there!
Exhibitors and Artists
If you’re a fan of TV, movies, comics, anime, or heck – anything pop culture at all – there was something, somewhere for you within all the different artists and exhibitors. The sea of items to peruse, try on, buy for yourself or someone else was huge. I’d wager to guess that the exhibit floor was easily 78 gazillion square feet. (That’s my estimate anyway…)
The possibilities were endless. G.I. Joe t-shirt? Check. Harry Potter wand? Check. DeLorean on display? Hell yes. Thundercats costumes? Sign me up! Need your favorite comic signed? Head to “Artist Alley” -They were there. Boy Meets World fan? Ben, Rider, and Will – all there! Want a cereal bowl made from a skull? Yep, available.
There’s nothing you couldn’t find here – unless, of course, you either weren’t looking or weren’t paying attention.
My daughter is a huge Harley Quinn fan. Aside from the fact that there were over 150 (I stopped counting at 150…) Harleys walking around, it was so easy to find plenty of Harley Quinn merchandise. We grabbed a few comics and had one of the writers, Frank Tieri, add his signature. Awesome!
Photo and Autograph Opportunities
So many options to choose from when it came to celebrity photo ops and autograph sessions.
I already mentioned the guys from Boy Meets World, but how about Cress Williams? John & Carol Barrowman, Janet Varney, Stephen Amell, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, John Boyega, and so many more! Just another “awesome” way to spend your time at Awesome Con.
Wanted your picture taken with Daphne from Scooby-Doo? What about Supergirl or The Flash? All there waiting to hang out with you.
And let’s not forget about Awesome Con Jr – a section dedicated to the younger crowd. Unless you’re me – and you have to go to the Paddington Bear meet and greet. Dragon Ball Z, Ranger Rick, BB-8, and more – All available for pictures and hanging out with the littler ones in your party.
And if that wasn’t enough…
Mike and I took time away from our media coverage to sign autographs ourselves. We didn’t have one person in line and didn’t make a dime, but hey – we made ourselves available for everyone!
If that’s not awesome, I’m not sure what is! And good new for everyone out there, we’ll happily sign autographs anytime you’d like one!
Let’s move on to some of the events…
Events, Panels, Things To Do…
There was certainly no shortage of things to do at Awesome Con. Did you know they had a nightly Cards Against Humanity card tournament? I’d comment more, but if you’re familiar with that game – You know why I can’t in a G-Rated article! Across the hall was a huge gaming room with multiple video game choices including a ton of classics! I almost couldn’t pull Mike away…
So Many Panels / Q&A Sessions
From chats with NASA to instructional panels on cosplaying to celebrity Q&A – and everything in between – there’s something for everyone. Here’s just a sampling of some of the different items fans could partake in:
- NASA Science at Earth’s Extemes (Ex: Antarctica)
- Celebrate Action Comics # 1000
- Cosplay Cosmetics
- From DC Comics: Q&A w/ Paul Levitz
- Netflix: Lost in Space Screening and Q&A
- Magic: The Gathering Tournament
- Star Trek Discovery & A New Era of Diversity
- Building Fantasy Props for the Real World
- Past, Present, Future: The 80th Anniversary of Superman
- Q&A w/ Stephen Amell (Arrow, Hung)
- Heroes, Villians, and Healing
To give you an idea of how much there is to do – We brought a team of 3 to Awesome Con… And there was no way to cover it all or to see it all. There’s definitely something for everyone – no matter who you are or what you’re a fan of!
Two to Highlight!
I wanted to highlight two of the Q&A sessions we covered as both were super popular and fun to cover.
Boy Meets World: This show ended in 2000, but you wouldn’t think that by the amount of people in line to see them! The line wrapped around the entire upper area in the convention center leaving little space for others to potentially hang out. Tons of fans anticipating the moment they get to see Ben Savage, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle. (Interesting note: This was Ben’s first ever “Con” – something that surprised a lot of us.)
What did we learn from them? We learned a few tidbits about casting – Did you know Danielle Fishel who played Topanga wasn’t supposed to have such a big role in the show? She was originally cast as a very small role until the creators of the show realized she was the girl to have a recurring role. A similar story for Rider Strong who played Shawn – another role meant to be fairly minor, but after the creators went through a handful of actors playing Cory’s friend – they decided on Rider’s character to be the one and only best and long lasting friend. They also discussed some of the lack of continuity within in the series – and admitted they were glad social media wasn’t a thing when the show was on the air!
Cress Williams: We got a chance to see Black Lightning himself – and he didn’t disappoint. He was very humble when discussing his long career in television and came across as genuinely appreciative of the opportunity to play a lead super hero in a show. The respect he had for his fans was probably the most impressive thing about him. He took as many questions from fans as he could – up until the final moments that the “handlers” almost had to pull him away. (To be fair – He did have to go downstairs for photo opportunities.)
Some things we learned… Superman was his superhero of choice, especially growing up – and when asked now what his favorite super power is… He was almost giddy with excitement when he answered, “Flying, definitely flying.” I can’t blame him – I’d want to fly too!
I asked Cress a two-part question: Being an African American super hero in a show that does address some current social issues – Did that add pressure to his role? And I asked what message he’d like to see viewers get from watching the show.
Normally, I’d highlight his answer here in written form, but lucky for us – Mike put the question and answer on Twitter Live! Click here to watch the video of Cress and his fantastic answer.
Someone asked him about the renewal of Black Lightning, and he mentioned how he felt it was basically “all but finalized” – and guess what was announced yesterday? The CW did indeed renew the show!
It’s not named Awesome Con because it sounds cool. It really is awesome! The whole event seemed to come off flawlessly – and I didn’t witness any headaches or issues. People were super friendly – from fans to security to the many ushers and “information booth” people. Speaking of security… They moved things along nicely in the various lines and check-ins and were very courteous to patrons. They kept those in the venue safe and secure – and that’s always a good thing.
The convention center in D.C. is a perfect location – safe neighborhood, tons of square feet inside utilizing many different rooms, ballrooms, stages, etc. While there were A LOT of people there this past weekend – everything (including people) flowed well. A job well done, Awesome Con. I can’t wait to see you next year! (April 26 – 28, 2019 by the way!)
Next Up: Photos!
Our poor photographer, Amy, was so busy all weekend. Photos of the fans, cosplayers, celebrities, exhibitors, and more! In all, she took over 400 different photos from Awesome Con and I’ve chose a bunch to share here. On the next page will be two different photo galleries. One for the cosplayer pics and the other for “everything else” from Awesome Con. (Note: All photos taken with each individual’s permission. When visiting a Con – always get permission before taking photos – it’s a courtesy and shows respect to your fellow fans!)