Awesome Con 2019: Inside D.C.’s Biggest Fandom and Pop Culture Convention
While folks prep for New York Comic Con, I want to highlight another east coast convention that you should add to your list for 2020. I’m talking about Awesome Con. The convention takes place in Washington, D.C.
Awesome Con 2019 transformed the Walter E. Lee Convention Center into fandom heaven back in April. I got to take in all the awesome vendors, artists, and celebrity guests. The convention also featured gaming spaces, panels on everything from world creation in writing and comic development to a talk from NASA, and Funko Pop swap. This year marks the convention’s sixth year and brought in a wide array of talent including Riverdale‘s Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa, Harry Potter OG and Star Trek Discovery‘s Jason Issac, fan favorite John Barrowman (Arrow, Doctor Who, Torchwood) and The Punisher‘s Jon Bernthal.
The Main Floor
The main floor was packed with con-goers, many rocking some pretty awesome cosplays. Out on the floor, I got the chance to chat with creatives like Frank. He was one of the original artists for Spongebob Squarepants. He had a ton of original hand-drawn pieces on display from his time in the show’s creative room. It was nice to see the hard work that went into a show I loved growing up and still love. Meeting him also made me wonder about all the OG artists who’ve had to move on because so many shows have gone digital in their creation progress.
I also got to meet a number of creators behind the push to bring more original and diverse stories to the comic world. I flipped through comics from ETAN COMICS. Media outlets like BBC and OkayAfrica highlight their content. I also met artists like Robert Luedke also known as Bob the Artist. I took home an amazing Killmonger poster that I’m still looking for the perfect frame for.
On Saturday, I just missed Jon Bernthal’s panel (it was early) but made it to Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa’s panel. Laughter was a constant during questions from fans as the Riverdale actors shared their first impressions of each other, stories from the set, and Cole answering tons of questions about his brother. According to Cole, he thought KJ would be a “bro” but ended up being really cool. In regards to their show, KJ’s favorite season is their most recent (season 3), while Cole favors their very first season.
In his opinion, the freshman season was “a little bit more grounded”. When it comes to scenes together, the duo agrees that they can’t look each other in the eye without laughing. They certainly do a good job of hiding their laughter if the end result is anything to go on.
Among the comic book and graphic novel creators, con-goers got to interact with creatives like Tim Sale and Kata Kane. It seemed like the authors and artists were as happy to see the fans as they were to see them. I passed conversation after conversation of about favorite characters, story arcs, and creative processes. One thing I love hearing is fans sharing their own creative endeavors with people they look up to and find inspiration in. There’s plenty of that at Awesome Con.
My Final Say
Overall, Awesome Con 2019 was fun and entertaining. If I could say one thing, it would be that Batman’s 80th didn’t get enough attention throughout the convention. Back during Superman’s 80th, the venue had Superman decor, cutouts, and such throughout the venue. Batman got his spot in the program and in the backlot but it took me a while to make my way back there to see all the memorabilia.
One of my favorite parts of the convention was watching fans leave messages at a memorial site set up for the late, great, Stan Lee. Con-goers talked about it all day. Thanks to the entire staff and all the guests for putting on a great con. My Funko Pop collection thanks you!
Awesome Con 2020 is set for May 1st through 3rd and I plan to be there – you should too.
Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. She’s a freelance writer and alum of Towson University where she studied advertising, public relations, and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and kiramira_.
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