Washington DC is weird. Take it from me, I’ve lived in it’s suburbs for about 7 years now and if there’s one thing that’s never failed to amaze me, it’s the people who live here. There are very few people who are actually from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia) area and no one really loves it here. You have super cold winters, sweltering summers, traffic all the time (seriously… ALL THE TIME), over priced everything and to top that off where most of us work, DC (also known as The District to those who work there), is probably the most confusing city to get around on the face of the earth. But somehow, for one glorious weekend, they found us. They swooped in and took over the Capitol. We were no longer a boring metropolis in need of action and a superhero, we WERE the city of superheroes.
DC played host to it’s second annual AwesomeCon last weekend and what a host it was. The weekend extravaganza began Friday with DC trying to break a world record. The challenge was issued, assemble more than 1530 superheroes on the DC Mall lawn and forever be immortalized in history! … well at least until someone else breaks that record. Heroes of all ages showed up, but alas only 237 superheroes reside in the DC area and the record was not broken. But like any good story, there was a promise to try again and again until DC can raise up enough superheroes for the world to know that we, in fact are nerdy enough to rival any other city! Friday also played out with a few surprise guest appearances. It was announced very last-minute through AwesomeCon’s Gobblebox that Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters 2), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Nicholas Brendon (Buffy) would be available for photo ops and autographs. With that announcement, AwesomeCon weekend kicked off.
Saturday was an all day nerdy affair. Doors opened to the Washington Convention Center at 10am and by time I got of the metro (subway, tube, underground to you wherever you are, internet friends) the lines had formed around the convention center. With lines filled with S.H.E.I.L.D Agents, Doctors (some from the TARDIS and some from DeLoreans), X-Men, Dark Knights, Jedis, comic book superheroes, villains, Ghostbusters, pirates and the assorted other comic/anime/tv/movie reference this day was shaping up to be filled with excitement. Once in, I perused the endless lines of comic vendors (Third Eye Comics, Tee Turtle, Kyl El Comix, Museum of Science Fiction and Superhero’s Armory), I decided to hit the line to the Jewel Staite Q&A.
There were quite a few really awesome panels that visitors were able to attend, but all were very hard to get into. This is my one complaint about the con: with an all-star line-up like Sean Astin, Jewel Staite, Cary Lewis, Ernie Hudson and Billie Piper, why in the world would you line them up so closely and only have a room that seats 200 people? A choice had to be made and with the room so small, at 11pm when I went to look at lines and make my decision, my heart sunk when I realized the grim truth: There was just no way I would be getting into the Billie Piper Q&A. With one deep sigh I saw that the line for the Jewel Staite Q&A was virtually non-existent and I jumped on the opportunity to be one of the first in line. Let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed with my decision to see the bubbly girl from Firefly. With questions ranging from “Since it’s been 9 years since we saw the characters from Firefly, what do you think your character (Kylie) is up to” to cute stories about how she made a fool of herself in front of Benedict Cumberbatch, this girl was great and an hour flew by.
I was on Cloud 9 after seeing her and realizing it was probably one of the best deicions I would make all day, when I ran into 4 Doctors (one of which was the tenth Doctor and a legit looking one too, please see picture below). All I wanted as a souvenir from my time at AwesomeCon was a picture of me and the Tenth Doctor, this was my chance and I took it. I could have gone home then and been one happy camper.
After that, I moseyed around a little more, talked with some Cosplayers who were just in heaven. They were of the same mind I was: It has taken too long for DC to jump on the bandwagon and start a con. And for this only being AwesomeCon’s second year here, it shaped up to be a great one. Yes, sometimes the line were a little long a clunky and yes it was really expensive to even get an autograph with a celebrity but this is DC and everything is expensive what were we expecting. But what seemed to resonate most with me and others that I met was that in a city full of foreign affairs, FBI secrets and government agencies, there were people just like us. Striving to be like the people on our comic book pages, average people who (until are bit by radioactive spiders) don’t know that they’re super until they come into their own and turn into something much more than average.
AwesomeCon was much more than awesome. It was the beginning of something big for the nerd community of DC and next year it will be even better.