It’s starting to feel a little repetitive to say that this year’s Awesome Con in Washington DC was bigger and better than the year before but it’s no less than true than in years past. Now in its fourth year, Awesome Con’s main hall filled up even more of that giant hall in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown DC and the star powers of the guests increased. How many other conventions can say they secured both Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who let alone conventions that are less than five years old?
The line for Capaldi and Coleman less than half an hour after the convention opened on Sunday morning.
It’s true that Awesome Con continues to have growing pains. More than a few con-goers were unhappy on Sunday when it became clear that autograph and photo op lines for the Doctor Who duo were a bit of a mess. The demand was clearly too high and the people running it were unprepared for the volume. The panel even ended up being delayed nearly two hours to try and accommodate the rush. Awesome Con Founder Ben Penrod took to social media the next day to issue an apology and explanation; something that Awesome Con has always been very prompt about. Like Penrod says in the post, they’re still learning and they never make the same mistake twice. (Anyone remember the badge fiasco of 2014? That hasn’t happened since.) I’m always impressed by a convention that not only immediately owns up to their mistakes but also demonstrates that they’ve learned from the experience. Continue reading
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The second of two panels Bria featured on at Awesome Con 2015 was the State of the Star Wars Galaxy. Additional panelists include John Morton, Amy Ratcliffe, Anna Mitchell, and Jay Shah.
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Earlier this year, Bria was a moderator and panelist at a pair of panels at Awesome Con. This week, we’re putting up the panel she moderated: Diversity in Pop Culture! Next week, we’ll post audio from the State of the Star Wars Galaxy.
Bria’s fellow panelists were Esther Kim from Fantom Comics and Amy Ratcliffe. Thank you to everyone who came out for such a wonderful and positive discussion about diversity!
Another year, another awesome Awesome Con. As promised, this still relatively young convention headed by Ben Penrod pulled together another great show that left attendees happy and content by the end of Sunday. When you look around the hall, it’s hard to remember that Awesome Con is a mere three years old and that it was mostly confined to a hall perhaps a quarter of the size of its current location in its inaugural year in 2013. While it’s true that DC was thirsty for a convention just like this, what has really helped Awesome Con succeed is its willingness to listen, learn, and correct its mistakes. Last year, the biggest complaint was over registration. They were prepared this year and no one was forced to wait outside in the heat thanks to a combination of changing their precise location within the convention center, mailing out 3-day badges to those who preordered in time, and having a huge area dedicated to registration and entering. Panel lines also appeared to be managed much better this year with some rooms actually being dedicated line spaces for the larger rooms.
One of the great things about Awesome Con is that it’s hard to get bored. The convention hall was even bigger then last year, featuring tons of dealers, lots of great artists, and even a corner for all things Star Wars. The aisles are adequately wide enough so that one never felt claustrophobic trying to get through the crowds. The convention also made good use of the expanse convention center building. What fascinated me was how freaking huge that convention center is. I thought there was only the building used the previous two years but oh no. There is way more then that which is great news is Awesome Con wants to keep growing larger and larger. Space won’t be an issue any time soon.
Detouring back for a moment, the Star Wars corner was a great addition to the convention as a one stop shop for all the GFFA action. The local 501st, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs groups all had tables set up as did the Artoo Builders and the local DC Collectors. The corner also featured Rob and Leanne Hannah; creators of the Blue Milk Special web comic. As someone who was fresh off a Star Wars centric convention, I loved this area of the floor because it felt like home. The Star Wars corner also hosted ‘Blast a Trooper’ for charity which is exactly what it sounds like. My hat is off to those brave souls who were willingly shot at with nerf guns in the name of charity. Continue reading
Awesome Con 2014 lived up to its name with its second annual show and was indeed awesome! Everything about this year’s convention made it feel like a convention that had been around for years instead of just a year. The range of media, literary, and artist guests was incredibly impressive for a second year show. Congratulations DC: I think we finally have a comic con.
Before we get into more about my positive experience with the convention, I did want to touch on a few things. First, I have to offer my utmost respect to Ben Penrod and others involved with running Awesome Con for their willingness to stand up and admit that there were issues with lines and other aspects on the convention this year. Not everyone would be as readily willing to admit that there were a few problems. To be completely honest, if there hadn’t been growing pains for Awesome Con this year, I would’ve been absolutely shocked. In its second year, Awesome Con went from 5000+ attendees to almost quadruple that. That’s a huge leap. There were bound to be problems. So we’re going to go a bit into the feedback portion of the report before I dive into everything that helped make the convention so awesome.
One of the best things about conventions is undoubtedly the variety of costumes you see throughout the weekend. Last weekend’s Awesome Con was no different. Downtown Washington DC was quickly filled with costumers representing a variety of fandoms, undoubtedly leaving many a metro rider very confused as to why these people in catsuits and Jedi robes were sitting beside them. (Superheroes are people too!)
Even though this was Awesome Con’s first year, the costumers definitely brought their a-game. It was also wonderful to see how many children (and sometimes even their parents) decided to embrace their (for many) first convention experience and throw themselves into it headfirst and come in costume. Everywhere I looked, I saw yet another person looking great in costume and definitely looking like they were having the time of their life. I only wish that this Round Up post could highlight all of them.
As always, we’ll start off with the Star Wars costumes. There’s nothing better nor more adorable than costuming children check out this tiny Ashoka and Captain Rex, this pair of Jawas, and a tiny Boba Fett with a more experienced Mandalorian warrior alongside.
Mandalorian Warriors were the most popular Star Wars costumes spotted that weekend followed closely by Jedi Knights. There was, however, a Princess Leia too! (Look out, Leia! That’s Boba Fett behind you!)
Washington D.C. finally got its very own comic convention this weekend with the inaugural Awesome Con DC! Over Saturday and Sunday, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown DC turned into a haven of geekiness as nerds flocked from along the east coast to check out this brand new convention. While it didn’t have the numbers to rival the more famous conventions, one certainly wouldn’t have been able to guess that this was only its first year based upon the attendance which only bodes well for future years.
Awesome Con was a comfortable size with a great location especially for those in the DC Metro region who took public transportation in. There were some issues with weekend track work on the metro but none of that was the convention’s fault. This was by far one of the most kid friendly conventions that I’ve ever attended. The convention even had a small track just for the kids and a costume contest for them each day. It was a great convention for both kids and convention newcomers alike. The convention was also well attended (I’ve heard weekend attendance was around 8000) and the location leaves it with plenty of room to grow before possibly having to shop around for a new place. Above all else though, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves which is always the most important thing.
Read on after the jump for a more in-depth look at in very first Awesome Con!