Toy Editor David Hildebrand recaps his trip to Awesome Con in Washington D.C.

Last weekend I packed up my bags and headed to Washington D.C. for Awesome Con. I live about three hours away from D.C., and I-95 is hell to drive on so I always do my best to plan ahead. I left an hour earlier than normal because I just knew there was going to be a wreck that was going to screw up my travels. And wouldn’t you know, I called it! A wreck on 95 had me sitting in traffic, singing Dillinger Escape Plan loud enough to entertain the already annoyed motorists around me. Pretty sure I made them more annoyed.

I finally hit my destination: The Henley Park Hotel, which is a remarkable hotel. It’s over 100 years old and has a classic feel to it. I loved it and will stay again when I go back to Awesome Con next year. I got there just in time to go inside the con, but too early to get inside my room. The parking garage was gonna be a task for me to get to because I get road rage bad and this is D.C.. Luckily for me, the bellhop Zackiyra offered to brave the traffic for me and get me to the garage. I never let anyone drive my car, and I mean NEVER! He promised that me, my car, and the porg stuck to my rear window were in good hands and he did manage to get me safely to the garage.

As I walked to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, I was starting to get more excited. The streets were filled with cosplayers, fans donning superhero T-shirts, and families eager to get inside to start their Awesome Con adventure. The convention lasted the entire weekend. If you ever go to Awesome Con, I suggest that you make the effort to go on Friday. The crowd isn’t as large as it is over the weekend and it is easier to take care of your “to-do-list”.

First on my list was to hit up the Star Wars: The Last Jedi exhibit. The exhibit wasn’t huge; it only contained a handful of pieces, but I loved it. It featured a Resistance A-Wing model, Praetorian Guard costume, one outfit from Rey, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker, as well as their respective lightsabers. The highlight of the exhibit for me was the model of the Porg. I dig Porgs and have no shame about it.

Of course, the big attractions are always the celebrities and comic creators that attend, and Awesome Con never disappoints. Celebrities this year included Dave Bautista (WWE, Guardians of the Galaxy), Cress Williams (Black Lightning), Jeremy Bulloch (The Empire Strikes Back), John Boyega (The Last Jedi, Pacific Rim 2), Michael Dorn (Star Trek:TNG), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen Amell (Arrow), and many more.

I sat in on some of the Q&As, including Sean Gunn’s, where he mentioned he is going to play Rocket Raccoon for the fifth time. So is sounds like it pretty safe to say that Rocket will survive the Infinity War. Gunn also answered numerous Gilmore Girls questions. Although I am not a fan of the show, it was nice to see the fandoms stretch beyond the Guardians films.

Michael Rooker ran around the ballroom for his hour’s worth of Q&A. It was very entertaining
seeing go from fan to fan and answering questions in a humorous fashion before trotting off to the next fan. I think he rarely answered a question with a serious answer, but he made it his own and the fans, including me, were eating it up.

It was touching to hear Jon Boyega talk about Carrie Fisher and the energy that she brought to the set. She taught him that he can interact with the fans and love Star Wars as a fandom and still be sufficient and successful. Overall, it was just entertaining to see him enjoying and answering questions about Star Wars and his career.

Comic creators! There were so many of them! And many of them are fans of AiPT! They were there signing autographs and talking with fans. Amy Chu (Green Hornet, Red Sonja), Bill McKay (Zombie Tramp, Dollface), Charles Soule (Curse Words, Daredevil), Fabian Nicieza (Deadpool), Frank Tieri (Harley Quinn, Wolverine), Greg Capullo (Batman, Metal), Magdalene Visaggio (Kim and Kim), Matthew Rosenberg (Rocket Raccoon, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank), Tom King (Batman, The Vison), Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire), Neal Adams (Batman, X-Men), and numerous more were in attendance.

As with your usual con, there was an abundance of other attractions as well. I caught the first screening of Netflix’s Lost in Space series that releases on April 13th. There was a game room where you could go to relax and play some video games. Many vendors in attendance sold everything from T-shirts, toys, DVDs, swords, to of course comics. If there was something specific you were looking for, most likely you didn’t walk away disappointed.

I can’t forget the cosplayers! There were so many cool costumes at Awesome Con. Cosplayers always put in solid work for their craft, but in D.C. they killed it! I expected to see an overwhelming amount of Deadpools and Harley Quinns, but there was an assortment of costumes in D.C. this year. It was refreshing to see a mix of Star Wars, video games, and comic book heroes walking around the convention center.

Awesome Con was an incredibly fun time. This is my second time going to it and I look forward to going back next year. They were successful in pulling off a wonderful event. All the volunteers were knowledgeable and helpful. This is a must for any con! There were lines, but they were well maintained and if unforeseen instances happened, they were there to remedy the problem. They have announced the dates for next year, so if you are wanting to get tickets, make sure you mark off April 26-April 28, 2019. Maybe I’ll see you there! Bring money, because I get hungry.

 

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