It was my pleasure and privilege to attend Awesome Con this Saturday with the inestimable Mr. Stinkhead, where we saw no shortage of wondrous things. Fans were out in great numbers, with a metric ton of them in all manner of cosplay. Click below to see tons of pics and hear my thoughts.
As conventions go, it hit all the requisites, replete with everything you’d hope to expect from such an event: artist’s tables, cool swag, randomly fun panels, ‘and a general camaraderie of fans who are out to have a good time among their people. It was a very impressive upgrade from last year’s modest, premiere show.
The Q&A session with Jewel Staite was delightful. She’s very down-to-earth, and apparently as big a fan around her own idols as most of us are, around her. (Her story of meeting Matthew Fox must be heard to be believed.)
Seeing Ernie Hudson standing before the Ecto 1-A. It tugged at my heartstrings.
An entire cadre of Game of Thrones LARPers. Their costumes were off the hook.
The remote-controlled, “fully operational” R2D2. Sad to see Kenny Baker put out of a job, but still. It was splendid to behold. The R2DC club scratch-builds these droid replicas, and they’re amazing.
Dozens of Whovians gathered for a photo shoot at the end of the day.
Had a chance to talk with Lee Garvin, co-creator of Erfworld. We simply had an in-depth talk at his booth, but it was great to connect with a creative, making his living with his craft. (Currently hosting a kickstarter page to complete their 2nd and 3rd hardcover volumes of work.)
Making a connection with the hard-working women at Cosplay is NOT Consent, who are doing everything in their power to prevent harassment at Cons.
I’ll be honest, there were pros and cons, no pun intended.
- Lots of happy fans
- Lots of chances to connect w/ artists, buy cool swag, and meet other fans
- Some phenomenal panels going on
- Lots of creativity
- Lots and lots of great cosplay
The only things that were ‘free’—not costing more than what you paid to already get in—were the panels and photos with Darth Vader and the Old Line Garrison. The kids activities were also free.
However the stuff I wanted to do, such as ‘SciFi Speed dating’ cost extra. Photos w/ celebs cost extra. Autographs cost extra. So on top of paying to get in and wait an hour or more to come face-to-face with your heroes, you’re paying for their time as well. Waiting in line twice, paying twice. Seems excessive, but that’s only my limited perspective.
The management of convention hall space didn’t seem equipped to handle the sheer numbers of fans. Lines to the food (whose inflated prices did not surprise me) lasted an hour. There was confusion about getting into the building, and many fans spent more than an hour, unnecessarily, just waiting to get inside the convention center. There were bottlenecks and plenty of sore feet as a result.
There were no earth-shattering announcements. Other conventions have tapped publishers and entertainment providers to advertise and tease what’s coming next for their brands. I didn’t see any of that this weekend. Granted, finding room for those things would have been a challenge, and this is only the second year for this con. We’re excited to see what next year can bring.
On the whole, it was indeed amazing. I hope to return next year with more cash to burn. Otherwise, it was a good time almost all the way ‘round.
Over 100 cosplay pics below!