Awesome Con: Plus Ultra!!! - Friday Edition
A 3.5-hour drive through the sporadic rainstorms in the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington District of Columbia brought Region 99 to the doorways of Awesome Con D.C. held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. For those who are unfamiliar with Awesome Con, it is one of the largest and fastest growing pop culture fan conventions in the United States. The creative minds behind Awesome Con comes from LeftField Media, who have famously created the almighty anime/manga event of the year: Anime NYC.
Awesome Con started in a positive direction despite the stormy weather as fans gathered around the entrance to enter the convention center. Armed with a press pass, bottled water, a piece of Belgium fudge and some graham crackers…. my Friday’s journey into this con lead me to some great finds in the art world, merchandise and cosplay.
Awesome’s Art World.
One of the great aspects of any con is the artist and their great work. Here at Awesome Con, I was able to search artist alley and with great joy, I found some amazing artists…
KCD (Kris Carter Designs)
Hidden in artist alley is the illustrious work of Kris Carter. A DC native, (now lives in Colorado) he has found a way to incorporate scenic action poses with the appropriate colors into statements that showcase action, style and flair. To me, his work showcases powerful statements. For example his prized work, The ‘Dora Milaje’ shows femininity and #blackwomanpower. This piece is definitely a staple at the Con. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he also does illustration work. A notable example is his illustration work in the J.R. Smith and Chris Smith children’s book: HoopSmiths: J.R. and Chris Learn Teamwork. A breath of fresh air in this industry, this is one artist that you need to visit.
Looking at his station, the question that I asked myself was, ‘How the hell does he fit so much art in this little space?’ That is the artwork of Kris Kehasukjaren. He has found ways to incorporate an entire story line on a whole piece of paper in two ways. One, by highlighting the protagonist and placing the scenes, times and people that the hero has interacted with in the background or Two, using the entire background as the storyline by highlighting the major characters into a silhouette of the main character. Either way, his attention to detail is ‘spot on’ as his work grabs your eyes at first glance.
Dun-na-nuh (11x): Batman!!!
One of DC’s most prized possessions, Batman celebrated his 80th anniversary at the con by showcasing a series of costumes and props used in the various movies and series. Most notable were the Batman costumes and the actors who played them. The only one they left out however, was the Adam West’s Batman Costume. ‘Big shout out to the Gawd’ Adam West for his classic portrayal of the Dark Knight! His rendition of Batman will always have a place in my heart, aside from Heath Ledger’s Joker of course.
Convention life is always great as you tour the booths and see what is for sale. With some people, negotiations are possible, with others they are so uncompromising with their pricing that you have no choice but to pay it. As for me, my only advise when attending a con is that you must always look around first. Chances are that you will see the same item with varying prices. Below are some items that had to be mentioned, because it was either too much or too good to be true.
Marvelous Merchandise and the ‘$3500 Mega Hulk’
The pictures here do not give this item justice, but this booth had an expensive Hulk that was about 2-3 ft. in height. The width of it really did the statue justice as its wingspan stretched about three feet wide in a punching stance. The estimated price of this towering behemoth was $3,500. If you take a closer look, you can see Captain America in the background saying ‘glad he’s on our side!’
Funko Finds: Anime Edition
In Seattle at Emerald City Comic Con, I was able to locate a Jiren and Cursed Saskue Pop, for $40. This time however, I was able to find the motherload….
A company by the name of UCC Distributing literally was the plug so to speak for the Funko exclusives in the realm of Dragonball Z, Naruto and My Hero Academia. If you check the video, you’ll see the great many Pops that flooded this booth. And get this…the price of them was $25, wayyy cheaper than my finds at Emerald City. Keeping with my Con tradition, I purchased a Todoroki exclusive and A Super Sayian Vegeta (AAA Exclusive) for my personal collection.
The cosplay definitely flooded the Awesome Con floors as many dressed to resemble their significant characters from their various manga, movie, anime and comics. Too much to note and identify here, I was able to take some pics and highlight some remarkable ones below. For those that I missed, additional highlights will be posted on the ‘gram.
Washington, DC’s premiere con is immense as participants from all over the Northern and the Southern States gather to attend the pop culture event of the Spring. Attendance still stood strong as Awesome Con is in direct competition with Avengers: Endgame and as the vendors said to me, ‘Mention Avengers: Endgame or any parts of the movie to any of the vendors, you will get ejected from the booth!!!’
I don’t blame them. For ten years Marvel fans from both the past and present have been watching the movie series faithfully and now that the ultimate climax is upon us; ‘Respect is Due’ to the fans and vendors. As such, not one customer has mentioned the famed movie within the con. As for me, while I posted my ticket, I fell sleep exhausted from my journey here. I did however; purchase an early morning Saturday ticket to ensure that I don’t miss the kickstarter event of the Summer…
As I wrap up Friday’s event, I have to give a ‘Mega Plus Ultra Dedication Shout Out’ to the person who created these comic book characters that have allowed me to continue to live in my imagination and incorporate comic book phrases and sayings in my daily life… Mr. Stan Lee. He has worked tirelessly to create characters that continue to inspire and bring joy to many people all over the world. As such, when I saw a framed copy of him at the con, I instinctively bought it.
I’m looking forward to Saturday’s events and the many highlights that Awesome Con will bring forth, right after I check out Avengers: Endgame…