Last weekend I was at Awesome Con – a media convention here in DC. I was there to moderate one of the Q&A sessions and a panel, but hung around to enjoy the con itself. Last year it was big, but this year it was twice as big. I think it may have reached 20,000 (10,000 last year). Having Shatner and Takei as guests didn’t hurt.
One of the things I noticed last year and also this year, is the age and diversity of the attendees. There are a lot of young people and children, and a great racial diversity as well. This was true of the booths in the Exhibit Hall as well. It was encouraging to see the number of independent comics by women and minorities for sale by the creators ( I bought a number of them myself).
The cosplay seemed even better this year. I took a few pictures. In fact, riding the Metro in on Friday, I boarded the train at Wielhle with Harley Quinn, Spiderman, and the Rocketeer.
The Museum of Science Fiction (who we have had on the show), had a very popular booth. They were talking about their plans and had a number of exhibits that really drew lines (the longest I saw at a booth, except for the media folks for autographs). They had a Occular Rift Vitrtual Reality set whicj would allow you to go into space and to walk through a virtual Museum. , a 3D printer, and a raptor head for photos. They also were set up with a comfy chair and video camera fornterviews with people like John Rhys-Davies.
One highlight for me was, the Q&A session that I moderated – the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Q&A with James Marsters, Emma Caulfield, and Amber Benson (Spike, Anya, and Tara). The session went really well with a number of very intelligent questions from the fans. All three were very funny and open with the fans. I have to say that all three were very nice to me, friendly and easy going. At the end of the panel, James came over and gave me a hug. My wife was jealous. They even stayed and let me take a picture.
The other highlight was on the last day as I was taking my last walk through the Exhibit Hall I saw a booth with Andrew Aydin for “March”. This is a graphic novel written with an about John Lewis, congressman and Medal of Freedom winner, about his life and the Civil Rights struggles. It was a NYT Bestseller and a very important work. I bought both volumes (which Andrew signed) and we talked about the times and the importance of people knowing more about the movement.
All in all, I had a great, if tiring, time at Awesome Con.
Here are a few pictures of the cosplay and after the Buffy Q&AShare