Caped crusaders, local artists, and a smattering of celebrities packed the Walter E. Washington convention for Awesome Con last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Ask one of the self-proclaimed geeks in attendance and they’ll all probably say the same thing: It was, well, awesome.
For many, the convention was a rare chance to embody a favorite character. Shaw and Foggy Bottom residents Andy Hill and Aaron Roenthal showed up as Street Fighter characters Guile and Zangief. Carlie Anne Peña, who lives in Columbia Heights, dressed as Jubilee from the X-Men.
“It’s my midlife crisis,” says Rich Willet from Sterling, Va. “Instead of buying a corvette, I bought a bat suit.”
For Matt Klokel, owner of Fantom Comics in Dupont Circle, Awesome Con is a yearly pilgrimage. “You can’t be a priest in the Catholic church and, when the pope comes to down, say, ‘eh, I’ll catch him later,'” he says. “This is why I got into comics. I love conventions.”
Local cartoonists Carolyn Belefski and Theresa Logan exhibited their work in artist alley. “It’s important to be here if you’re a D.C. area creator,” says Belefski, who illustrates and writes the webcomic Curls. “D.C. has a comic presence and it’s building heavily. Thanks to Awesome Con, we can have a bigger presence.”
“And it keeps growing,” adds Logan. “There are so many different cartoonists, comic artists, sequential artists here.”
But it wasn’t just comic book artists that showed up. One of the more heavily frequented booths belonged to the upcoming Museum of Science Fiction, where exhibitors set up an Oculus Rift so attendees could preview the museum in 3-D virtual reality.
“It’s D.C.’s Comic-Con,” says Museum of Science Fictions executive director, Greg Viggiano. “There is definitely a component of the museum that has a Comic-Con quality to it. On that basis, it’s pretty important that we be here.”