There are so many people that are still confused as to what any comic con or fan event entails. Why are all these people wearing Halloween costumes? Why are there so many wandering around with weaponry that isn’t real, face-covering masks, wigs, and capes?
There aren’t any easy answers to these questions, but if you’ve ever been a big fan of something, then you will understand the deep passion that comes with being one. And DC’s Awesome Con had that passion in spades! Thousands of fans made their way through the Washington, DC Convention Center for the convention, which was held over the weekend of June 3-5, 2016.
My experience with Awesome Con has always been positive. This was my second year covering the con and it was a bit more eventful this time around. I covered director Kevin Smith’s panel on Friday evening, walked the exhibit hall floor shopping for something to buy, taking pictures of cosplayers, and, to wrap up the weekend, got my picture taken with “Doctor Who” actors Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and John Barrowman.
Kevin Smith was delightful. Over two hours and not a boring moment. Will Friedle’s (“Boy Meets World”) publicist was more than happy to let me take a picture of him while he was meeting and signing autographs for fans. There were a host of celebrity guests, including Jeremy London (“Party of Five”), Summer Glau (“Firefly”), Burt Ward and Adam West (“Batman”), Brett Dalton and Elizabeth Henstridge of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” and Karl Urban (“Lord of the Rings,” “Star Trek”), among several others. Bill Nye and Eugene Mirman of “StarTalk Radio” were there also, hosting their “StarTalk Live!” panel.
A plethora of artists could be found in the Artists’ Alley, selling original work and taking art requests. My friend, Julian Lytle, was among these artists, taking commissions and selling his self-published comic book. There are also a ton of vendors selling pop vinyl figures, t-shirts, jewelry, action figures, mugs, and various handcrafted cosplay weapons and the like.
Friday was a bit quieter since it was the first day. Saturday saw a larger influx of people, and Sunday was still pretty packed, with the “Doctor Who” panels and photo ops/autograph sessions for the show’s actors taking place that last day. My photo op session was at 11:45am and they were running a bit behind, with crowds of con-goers lining up in the waiting area just outside of the photo op’s main lines, patience wearing thin, but excitement growing the closer the time got.
The photo op experience is always an interesting one. There’s a moment of awe, but any moment to properly absorb what is happening is thrown out the window because once the line gets going, it moves fast. One second I’m finally in the closed off photo op area, watching fans in front of me get their big moment, the next you’re being ushered to stand next to the actors, a quick flash, and I’m sent on my way. And that’s it.
It’s in the panels when fans really have a chance to interact with their favorite TV/movie actors, giving and taking, asking questions, enjoying the presence of fellow fans, discussing things with people who are just as into what you’re into. It’s a great feeling and that’s where the most joy is had. However, I’m not going to lie and say a photo capturing the moment of meeting isn’t nice, either. Because it is. A memory of a brief and swift moment, filled with lots of commotion, but lots of excitement.
And so wraps up another successful year at DC’s Awesome Con! You can check out the gallery of cosplayers below by clicking the arrows to scroll through!