We started our adventure at Awesome Con by spending two hours in traffic just to get to the metro. Once we got there, it was easy to get to the actual convention center. Awesome Con had a separate area for exhibitors, artists and press to pick up their passes. This was probably the worst part about the convention because it was impossible to figure out where you were actually going. I got lost at least 5 times. Once I got the pass, I proceeded to go through the smallest metal detector in the world. I’m not even sure how this actually detected anything. But then I proceeded to the actual convention, which required me to go up a large stair case only to go back down. The actual convention was enormous and packed. Of course it was Easter weekend, so the turn on on Saturday was large and jam-packed. Because we had spent two hours in traffic, we missed some of the panels that I was hoping to go to, like the Gundam panels. But, we did wait an hour to get a good spot to the John Barrowman panel. I have to say that it was not disappointing one bit.
A brigade of iconic Star Wars characters came out on stage, only one was missing – Leia. Everyone stood in formation and then she appeared, hood up, face covered. She moved to the front of the line and lifted the hood. It was John Barrowman…. wearing a Leia wig, the white dress from A New Hope. He then took the bottom portion of the dress off to reveal R2D2 panties. He then continued the Q&A in this outfit. I have to say that this was surprisingly my favorite part of the convention. John Barrowman was absolutely fantastic. He made everyone feel comfortable, he inspired the crowd and he handled a crisis with a level head. Someone in the audience had a medical emergency and John Barrowman ensured that the medical team made it to them and also invited the group that was surrounding the emergency to move to the front of the crowd so that the medical team could safely assist the person. It was uplifting to see a celebrity so selfless and not even concerned with the fact that their Q&A was disrupted but more concerned with ensuring the safety of their fans.
After the panel, I returned to the main convention. I walked around until the convention closed and looked at all of the booths that they had set up. I met with Uncanny Megan, Neptune Suicide, every vendor that was available and even took a walk through the Artists Alley. One thing that I found different with Awesome Con was that they had an Artist Alley in the first place. Awesome Con had impeccable organization so that nothing was buried or lost. They had the main vendors separated from the artists and within the section of artists, was tables of crafts that people had made. This ensured that they were not overshadowed by the mainstream vendors. Another section of the room was for organizations, such as Extra Life and local chapters of social groups. One of the tables that stuck out to me was the mental health table. They had a table to promote the mental health and well being of all the participants and even promote unity among the LGBTQ+ community. A common message across the convention was the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.
Overall, I loved my experience at Awesome Con and I definitely will be going in the years following. I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table next year. A big thank you to Awesome Con for the press passes! Check them out and get ready for next year if you are in the Washington D.C. area!