I had the pleasure of attending Awesome Con this weekend and I am excited to report that it truly was an AWESOME time. It’s hard to believe that the Con is only two years old! Having never been to anything like this before, I didn’t know what to expect. Were there enough nerd culture fans (like myself) in the DC area to fill up the entire Washington Convention Center? Well, I received my answer as soon as the Center came into view. Not only were there enough fans to fill up the massive location, but they were wrapped in lines all around the building! Hundreds of costumed superheroes were anxious to get in and experience the panels, exhibitor booths, meet and greets, and of course the artist alley.
As I got inside, I grabbed my pass and headed to catch the end of the Sean Astin (Goonies, Lord of the Rings) panel. I was also able to hear Jewel Staite (Firefly), Billie Piper (Dr. Who), and Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead)!
Billie Piper! She talked a lot about Dr. Who (of course). Among many things, she said that besides Rose, her favorite companion is Sarah Jane. She also said she just got drinks with Matt Smith two days ago and they got pretty drunk (haha). When asked who was a better kisser, David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston, she said David Tennant because she was so comfortable around him. In another Tennant shoutout, Billie said he always helped her decipher the scripts (especially the 50th Anniversary special).
Danai Gurira! She talked about how thankful she was to be on such a successful show. She was a fan of The Walking Dead long before she was cast as Michonne! One particular story that amused me was how the entire cast enjoyed listening to “Get Lucky” while they were being driven to set. Danai also spoke about her charity organization, Almasi, and her work as a playwright!
I also enjoyed walking around and meeting the various celebrities Awesome Con had in attendance. As a huge fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my friend Lauren (@DCFilmGirl) and I had a fangirl freakout when we saw Nicholas Brendon at a booth. He was super sweet and friendly. Thankfully (at least from what I remember) we were able to control ourselves and not nerd out about Buffy in his presence. Here’s Lauren with him.
I was also able to photograph my friends from Geeked Out Fitness meeting Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo! Naturally, they gave him one of their +1 strength shirts!
Along with seeing some awesome panels, I had a great time spending my entire bank account on various art prints, t-shirts, and other fun things I saw from vendors (such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn Toon Tumblers). It’s amazing how much you never knew you needed something until you see it at Awesome Con.
Geeked Out Fitness!!
The cosplayers were out of this world too!
Game of Thrones! Joffrey, is there something in your cup?
Basically, all you need to know about Awesome Con is that it is one of the best times I’ve had at an event in DC since I first moved here. It’s so cool to be able to gather with thousands of people that enjoy the same thing you do and don’t judge you while you nerd out about your favorite comics, TV shows, movies, etc… I am already counting down the days until next year’s Awesome Con! Until then, check out some of my tips to remember for next year.
Some things I learned…
- Metro. DC was a nightmare when it came to driving to the Con. I would suggest metro’ing, but if you can’t….
- Check for parking around the event on the street. I don’t know if my friend and I got lucky or what, but we were able to find street parking right across from the venue. Check for that before you pay an arm and a leg at a garage.
- Make sure to download Awesome Con’s app/schedule so you won’t miss any events! I discovered the power of the app too late and missed some panels that I wanted to see.
- Pack a lunch or multiple snacks. The lines are pretty long (because there were so many people) so you are probably best off trying to eat on your own
- Wear comfortable footwear. You’re going to be on your feet most of the day so you want to make sure your dogs don’t start barking too early.
- Bring a portable cell phone charger. Because Awesome Con IS so awesome, you are going to want to snap pictures and tweet everything you see. As we all know, smart phone batteries aren’t the best so make sure you have a backup.
- Take cash out before you get there. Not only is there a pretty significant fee at the ATM, but throughout the entire time I was there, the line to get to the ATM machine was extremely long. Definitely get money out before you go because some artists/booths don’t accept credit.
- Do I REALLY need that? If you are about to buy something (and it isn’t extremely limited in quantity) continue walking around the exhibit hall for awhile and make sure it’s really something you want. If you can’t get your mind off of it, go back and get it.
- Celebrities are there the entire time for signings/appearances. Okay, I don’t know if I’m the only one that didn’t know this, but I didn’t realize the celebrities that are making appearances at the Con are there the whole time. Provided they aren’t on break or at a panel, they are in booths towards the back of the exhibit hall and you can pay a fee to get their autograph and take a picture with them for the entire time. I thought there were set times for you to meet them but nope.
- Bring a book/magazine/iPad/something to read while you are waiting for panels to begin/waiting in line.
- If you are going to a panel and want to ask a question to the celebrity, make sure you sit in an aisle near the microphone. This may sound like obvious advice, but I noticed that so many people wanted to ask questions, a lot were turned away because they didn’t get to the microphone the second the moderator asked for questions.
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN and enjoy meeting people that not only share your interests but may be even MORE obsessed than you are (if possible).