This weekend AwesomeCon was held in DC and since I have never had the chance or availability to attend any Con except via online such as BlizzCon or ComicCon in LA. I was hoping to find people to go with since I had never been to one before and I was honestly a little nervous. This was the second year of this con and already it had a lot of different panels to choose from and even a nerdy speed dating which I thought was interesting. Since my schedule was already packed I really had to pick and choose what I saw and when.
I had originally planned on being in DC just after noon on Saturday so I could see Jewels Slate but thanks to Comcast running late I miss my opportunity. After all the walking and metro ride I finally got to the convention center just after 3pm. Luckily there weren’t any lines for me to pick up my tickets and pass and I was able to head to my first panel, Meeting the 501st.
As a big Star Wars fan I was familiar who the 501st are along with their mentioning in the Star Wars cannon. For those of you not familiar however, the 501st is the legion now stationed on Earth with garrisons and outposts covering over 50 countries with over 6600 members. Their mission is to promote interest in Star Wars, facilitate the use of costumes and to contribute. The 501st has done many different charity events raising millions for those in need. I found it very interesting that the legion is not just a costume group but also a charity group that raises money for sick kids and also goes to the hospitals to distract and entertain. They also do library events to get kids into reading and to join the Empire. There were a good number of jokes about how the 501st was the legion that killed all the young kings in the Jedi Temple (yes they are in Episode 3 and the Clone Wars show) then they are making it up by doing charity work. The detail in some of the costumes was amazing along with the amount of work and money they put in. They said proper costumes can run into the thousands and that you have to get approval with two references for the costume itself for it to be allowed in the 501st. Personally if I was to join it would either be as a medic or as Fives.
After that I decided to hit the main floor and boy were there tons of exhibits and displays. I was astonished at all of the interactive things one could do such as going into the Tardis, playing with R2D2, shooting Darth Vader with nerf guns, and sitting the Ecto-1. I personally had to do each of them and while the lines were long, the conversation was great, people were talking left and right to everyone else and it was very comfortable. As soon as I started walking through the aisles I checked out a few stands to check out the swag. I foundation few hard to find lego mini figures which I collect. I also saw plenty of rare comic books and props. One thing I did notice is how technology had advanced so exhibitors could swipe a credit card right from their iPhone or iPad. There was even a booth there to start a scifi museum filled with artifacts from games, books, movies, tv and comics which I stopped to learn more about. The Science Channel plans on opening this museum sometime in 2017 in DC which I thought was pretty cool.
While many people go for the autographs and rare memorabilia, I wanted pictures because well those just prove I met the person. I also was looking for some interesting patches and miniatures but I ended up not buying any because I noticed a lot are just easy to find online. I was able to get a picture with R2D2 and Captain Rex which I thought was awesome.
Next I saw the Tardis, Dalek, and the weeping angel. This seemed to be the most popular of the exhibits with very long lines and many people dressed up from the realm of the Doctor. I was more interested how ever in the Star Wars and Star Trek displays however.
I came across the ECTO-1 and found out I could take a picture with Ernie Hudson. I just had to do it and waited over 45 minutes just to have a moment and Mr. Hudson is a very nice gentleman and had a nice short conversation with me. It was impressed how many people said that the actors that do come out do like talking to the fans and hearing small aspects about them. Anyways I was very happy to get a great picture with him.
Right after I left the Ghostbusters exhibit I came across a booth with the one, the only, Kevin Sorbo. Mr. Sorbo was the star of the shows Hercules and Andromeda which I watch a lot of growing up. I just had to have a picture with him and again he was a great guy and has a very strong presence with the smile and his handshake. I will admit I was intimidated but he was just as kind as can be.
It is pretty cool to see some of the costumes that people come up with. Next year I plan on dressing up and I have a few ideas like a Jedi Link or a Darth Maul mixed with the Joker. I was very impressed with a lot of the cosplay and was able to identify most of the fandom. There were a few that I was a bit puzzled by but hey that’s what’s awesome about these comic cons, you learn about new shows and comics. There were some awesome Cavlin and Hobbes artwork at some of the booths and I found this pretty cool new start up comic called SpaceCorps.
All in all I had a wonderful time and spent no more than $100 at the entire event including Metro fare. There was also a speed dating thing there which I was planning on doing because I am single after all but I didn’t know you have to register well in advance. So maybe I will do that next year along with more panels and more pictures with actors. I do wish Sourcefed was at AwesomeCon. I was glad I went and I welcome anyone to join me next year because I will be there!