This past weekend, the Mysterious Mr. C and I continued our geekynerdy educations and went to our very first comic/pop culture convention – D.C.’s very own Awesome Con! Though we had been to a small con at the local library in C’s hometown last fall, this was the first major convention that either one of us had attended. And it was, in a word, AWESOME!! We were in nerdvana from the moment we entered the vast Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Friday to the second we left it on Sunday.
Having never been to other comic cons, I don’t know how Awesome Con compares, but I was really impressed with the sheer breadth of its coverage. The Exhibition Hall was just massive and I was amazed to see such a broad range of stuff for sale. Sure, there were comic book stands and places selling Funko Pop! figurines for ridiculously marked-up prices, but there were also independent artists selling prints of their work and vendors that were offering up homemade crafts such as TMNT throw pillows and Deadpool hair-bows that were made out of iron beads. While I predominantly stuck with buying some fun artwork that made me smile, C purchased an Infinity Gauntlet piggy bank that could also be worn as a glove. And to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him so happy!
I was also completely overwhelmed by the variety of panels that we could attend. While we went to discussions on DC vs. Marvel, the problem of the strong female character trope, a Q&A with the lovely ladies who played the Queens of Darkness on Once Upon a Time this season, zombies, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there were also panels on writing dynamic characters, cosplaying on a budget, and breaking into the comics world, just to name a few others. And of course, there were celebrity attendees like William Shatner and George Takei that you could take pictures with – if you paid.
Yet despite all of the incredible activities that were going on at Awesome Con, C and I agreed that our favorite part was simply the atmosphere. Everyone just seemed to be in a really good mood and like they were having a really good time. The crowd was also very respectful of everyone else who was in attendance – particularly the cosplayers and their enthusiasm for their fandom of choice. There was also a shared sense of excitement when people got the references.
For instance, as C and I were riding the Metro to the convention center on Saturday, a gentleman boarded the train dressed as Frozone from the Incredibles. Upon seeing him, I commented that he must have found his super-suit. He chuckled and pointed to his wife, saying: “She didn’t want to tell me where it was.” Then on Sunday, I saw someone outfitted as Nux from Mad Max: Fury Road. As we passed him, C commented that he must be going to Valhalla, to which I replied, “All shiny and chrome.” The guy turned around, pointed at us, and with a huge smile on his face, yelled: “Witness!” It was perfect and totally made our days.
And that’s the thing about comic cons that makes them so much fun – relating to each other as fans. For while you may not feel inclined to dress up or you may spend your entire year putting an outfit together, you can understand and appreciate each other’s passion for whatever geekynerdy thing it is that you enjoy. As a result, there was a general spirit of camaraderie in the air this weekend and it was awesome to behold!
Since this was my first big con, I did make some rookie mistakes, like forgetting my phone on Day 2 and not taking any pictures of the excellent cosplayers I saw (hence why there aren’t any photos for this post), but I still had an absolutely wonderful time at Awesome Con 2015! As I told C multiple times over the course of the last three days, our passes were easily the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten and we’ve already started talking about checking out other conventions in the area, as well as returning to Awesome Con next year! For us, the rubicon (pun somewhat intended) has been crossed and there is no turning back.