Friday, April 26, 2013

Recap: Awesome Con DC 2013

This past weekend Curls Studio exhibited at the inaugural Awesome Con at the DC Convention Center. First and foremost, all thanks and gratitude does to Ben Penrod, who conceived and organized the convention with Steve from Third Eye Comics. It was a much needed event for the city, which hasn't had an established comic convention in DC proper for years. Ben started it off with a blast!

The event got a lot of coverage in The Washington Post, DC101, and other media outlets. A reporter from Voice of America interviewed me, so be on the look-out for that.

This was the convention a few people were skeptical about -- it was the first one -- and no one was certain exactly what to expect, but we had a good feeling about it. Having known Ben thru other conventions (and exhibiting at his one-day shows Southern Maryland Comic-Con and Annapolis Comic-Con last year) I felt he had some tricks up his sleeve. When he started booking guests like Phil LaMarr I knew it was on! Also one of my co-workers came up to me asking, "What is this... Awesome Con?" -- that's when I knew he had hit a larger audience than usual.

Saturday blew everyone away! The crowds were hungry to discover new comics and many families were all dressed up as characters for the costume contest. All the exhibitors I talked to did extremely well and everyone had a smile on their face. Our table was situated next to Liz and Jimmy with Cuddles and Rage, who were great neighbors and do amazing work. Also on Saturday our friend, Lauren Jaslow, came to Awesome Con and it was a great surprise because we did not know she was going to be in town! I also attended the first 20 minutes of the Billy West Q& A panel and got to hear him do the Doug voice!

At 3PM on Saturday I was a panelist on the District Comics panel, moderated by Mike Rhode. The other panelists were Troy-Jeffrey Allen, Rafer Roberts, Andrew Cohen, and Jacob Warrenfeltz. After the panel, many attendees were interested in DC area landmarks and other tales about the city and its people, so we spent some time talking outside the conference room in the hallway. We'll post audio of that panel on The Carolyn & Joe Show soon.

At 6PM on Saturday, Joe was involved with a Pro Wrestling panel with Ben Taylor and Dan Nokes. I'm sure we'll also post audio of that panel on The Carolyn & Joe Show in the coming weeks. About a dozen people came up to the table after the panel to discuss wrestling with Joe, so it seems like people were really into the topics.

On Sunday I caught a glimpse of the special guests (Nicholas Brendon, Phil LaMarr, Ernie Hudson) and introduced myself to Theodus Crane to prepare him for our podcast recording. At 2PM, we recorded a live podcast with special guest The Walking Dead's Theo Crane, which will be available for listening this coming Tuesday on The Carolyn & Joe Show. He was such a great storyteller and I was amazed to learn about all the jobs he held before his explosion on the acting scene -- at one time he even studied to be a graphic designer! I don't want to give away too much, but we definitely talked about Robert De Niro acting "in his face" and crazy adventures at a strip club. Be sure to listen!

As with most cons (every con I've ever been to), the Sunday crowd is always a bit lighter. But it seemed like people who could not make it on Saturday made effort to attend on Sunday. I'm really expecting next year to be incredible.

A highlight was late on Sunday when Phil LaMarr stopped by the Curls Studio table! Truly, he is a talent and one of the nicest people to talk to and have an actual conversation with. When you look at all the projects Phil LaMarr has worked on (Pulp Fiction, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, MADtv, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, and much more) it's easy to see how he has leveraged a long career in show business.

Thanks again to Ben for creating this amazing event. We can not thank him enough. It was the best weekend I've had so far in 2013. Overall, I've had so much excitement with Awesome Con that I was way too happy to write a recap immediately -- needed a few days to simma down now!

For more Awesome Con photos, please view the gallery here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151539717162381.1073741829.50763422380&type=3

The next event Curls Studio will be at is ANS Sci-Fi & Comic-Con on May 11 at Archbishop Neale School in La Plata, Maryland. Hope to see you there.

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