Having a con in your own backyard is the best thing. Especially when friends you made online come to it and you get the opportunity to finally hang out in person. Awesome Con 2018 was seriously on the best conventions I’ve ever attended, having numerous experiences with new friends and new people.
I’m an extrovert, so I find cons typically fun and love the consistent engagement. However, I even found myself tired at times by the end of the day, exhausted by the sheer volume of people I was interacting with. Yet Awesome Con on the whole was a wonderfully wild and engaging experience, filled with amazing cosplay, great old and new friends, panels, events, and overall great times. The convention was very well organized, with relatively easy and straightforward lines and vendor and panel organization. The management was overall very friendly and helpful, directing attendees to their locations with relative ease.
I haven’t been cosplaying for very long, but I’ve been having a wonderful time doing so as Spider-Man (with the Spider-Man Homecoming costume). While walking through the convention, little kids and their parents often stop me asking for a picture, believing they’re meeting their web-slinging hero in real life. This is the ultimate joy of cosplay: giving fans the chance to basically meet their fictional heroes in area life setting, whether they know they’re real or not. Perhaps even more fun for me was the Spider-Man/Star Wars crossover I got to do with Rey and Kylo Ren cosplayers.
I was fortunate enough to present on a panel with the good folks of Tosche Station and the Book Wars Podcast, “Star Wars Multimedia Empire,” in which we discussed the pros and cons of the new canon material and its management in the era of the Disney purchase. This was the largest crowd I had ever been on for any panel, and it was truly a humbling experience to get to dish out my subjective thoughts on my favorite franchise to so many. My co-host and good friend Stephen also got to co-chair a panel with Tosche Station on the theme of redemption in the Star Wars universe, and discuss the controversial topic of Kylo Ren’s redemption and whether it could still happen.
Perhaps the number one highlight of Awesome Con for me, besides meeting and hanging out with friends, was being able to meet and speak with Janet Varney, actor, voice actor, and podcaster. She is the voice of Korra, on my favorite tv series of all time (in conjunction with Avatar: The Last Airbender) The Legend of Korra. Her phenomenal podcast The JV Club is one of my all time favorites. I got my autograph and picture with her and attended her panel with my good friend Lynn who is also a huge Avatar and Korra fan. Janet truly provided one of the best celebrity encounters I’ve ever had. Like Mark Hamill (my favorite celebrity of all time) she is incredibly nice, sincere, generous, and gregarious with her fans, offering her authentic heart and mind to those she has already inspired through her magnificent show and podcast. Trust me: watch Korra and/or listen to The JV Club and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The fact that she visited my hometown as well made it all the better.
Awesome Con was indeed awesome. It was a fantastic and fun weekend with a variety of activity and awesome guests coming out to essentially hang out with their fans and revel and celebrate our favorite fandoms. For a convention that’s apparently only a few years old, it’s exceptionally well organized, and I can’t wait to attend next year.
P.S. I also met and hung out with the Porg Queen Ash Crossan! (@AshCrossan)