in DC: Awesome Con!
Awesome Con was this past weekend in DC and I still feel a little worn out from it! When I last went two years ago, it was much smaller, just confined to a few rooms in the Convention Center–it was also a little cramped. That wasn’t a problem this year as the attendance has grown to make it one of the largest fan conventions on the East Coast.
And it’s definitely a “fan” convention. While there is an emphasis on comics, all aspects of geek and nerd culture are represented with celebrity guests ranging from cartoon voice artists to Power Rangers to classic Star Trek–I’m talking Takei and Shatner–to newer stuff like The Lord of the Rings films and Once Upon a Time. There was a massive vendor and exhibit hall featuring artists, writers, crafters, local groups and the odd-man-out booths you find at nearly every event… like Sprint, who at least offered a cell phone charging station, but otherwise seemed to be there to sell phones–as you do.
I kept my spending pretty much under control, though I did buy a piece of signed My Little Pony artwork from Tony Fleecs, and picked up many business cards to shop online later. My previous con trip, I made the mistake of buying as I walked and ended up carting around way too much stuff all day. But it’s seriously cool to be able to talk to artists, writers and creators of some of your favorite comics (paper and web). And while I didn’t pay to get a celebrity photo or autograph, I was able to wander through the celebrity guest section and get a glimpse at a bunch of them. No pictures were allowed, but seeing Phil Lamar, George Takei, Jim Cummings, Billy Yost, Casper Van Dien (I still totally would. Hottie!), Dina Meyer (Ditto!) and Grant Imahara among others was still cool, even if it was from 15-20 feet away.
My favorite bit of the con–after gawking wildly at celebrities–had to be the cosplay. Some really well done costumes and make up, though I start to feel old when I have no idea what show the costumes are from. This year, there were a lot of “Welcome to Nightvale” costumes that I only recognized after friends ID’d them.
Even though I get worn out pretty easily, if I go next year, I’ll try to make it a multiple-day visit so I can see some of the panels or screenings, or maybe just hang out in one of the gaming rooms. I got together with some City of Heroes alumni for the con and general hanging out and it was nice to catch up. I also met a few people who’d only been contacts on Facebook until then, so all around a good weekend of socializing and getting my geek on. I’m definitely looking forward to the next convention, and who knows, maybe next time will be the year I buy/make a costume of my own?
Ah well, back to reality. I think my next local con will be Small Press Expo in September, so until then it’s time to dial back my nerdery to its usual–but still often rather unbearable–levels.