Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Recap: Awesome Con 2015

On May 29-31, 2015 Curls Studio exhibited at Awesome Con DC. Every year this show grows and it leaped tremendously into another dimension in this third year. There was so much to do and see: cosplay, speed dating, artists, celebrities, panels, podcasts, autograph signings, photo ops, and much more!

In addition to our exhibitor table, Curls Studio was involved in eight panels (many of which will be released individually on our Carolyn and Joe Show podcast over the next few weeks -- please 'toon in and look for the following panels): How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Work, The Carolyn and Joe Show LIVE Podcast with Special Guest Amber Benson, WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ VIP and WWE® Diva Natalya™ Q&A, Awesome Filmmakers: Making it Happen, Allison Mack Q&A, Pop Goes the Podcast, Grant Imahara Q&A

Before the convention, Awesome Con got attention last Thursday on The KoJo Nnamdi Show and I sent in an email message that was read live during the show.

On Friday, I was running around the convention for the Social Media panel and our podcast with Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I also did a seminar in the Kids Zone called "Create Your Own Superhero Symbol" -- a program I created to merge graphic design into comics and individual spirit) and a lot of children and parents were very inventive with their logos that represent themselves. At the same time, Joe was moderating the WWE panel with Seth Rollins and Natalya.

During Saturday I wore my custom Curls dress from last Saturday's Reuben Awards and was able to spend more time at the booth and was a panelist on the podcast panel which featured The JellyVision Show, It’s All Journalism, EOS 10 Radio Play, and Pilot Waves in addition to the Carolyn and Joe Show. As with most multi-day conventions, Saturday is booming with people. At Awesome Con it was crowded, but from what I saw not to the level of NYCC where it's hard to walk the aisles… and that's a good thing. Attendees definitely came out to put Washington, DC on the map. Also on Saturday, Joe organized a filmmaking panel and also got the opportunity to moderate the Allison Mack (Chloe from Smallville) panel.

I was able to spend the whole Sunday at the table along with Sammy, who will be interning with me one day a week this summer. Since I wanted her to be able to see a convention from all angles, she also volunteered on Saturday for Awesome Con to experience a behind-the-scenes view. I showed her that creating comics was only part of the process -- you also have to meet people at conventions and talk about yourself and your work and get to know others.

Also on Sunday Joe was asked to introduce Grant Imahara (MythBusters) with the help of Teresa Roberts Logan (you can meet all of us at this October at NYCC booth 1162). After that Joe and I stood in line so Joe could introduce me to Allison Mack and it was such a great pleasure to meet her. We gave her a copy of District Comics and Black Magic Tales: Volume 1.

A Curls mask was used at our table to establish audience connection. Many people wanted to take a photo as Curls and I thought it was very fun! Above is a montage of some of the people posing with the mask.

One of the awesome things about Awesome Con is that it's a show that merges pop culture with everything. I saw podcasting, skateboard desks, Asian snacks, anime, comics, films, voice actors, toys, gaming, steampunk, plushes, cosplay, wrestling, animation, activities for children, and much more happening. It's a party of "(insert anything here) is Awesome" and that is why Awesome Con is Awesome. I have heard from a few comic creators upset that comics were not the main focus, but also I want to point out that Awesome Con never promoted the show as a straight-up "comic convention." If you want a comic convention, I suggest you go to Baltimore Comic-Con this fall -- another amazing convention who takes extreme measures to make sure the show stays relevant to comics.

Awesome Con is a different kind of show and I'm happy it is because we don't actually need another comics show if we have Baltimore so close by -- no need to imitate another show. I'm glad that Washington, DC is finally represented with a great convention that comics are a part of. We really have the best of everything here between Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con, and Awesome Con -- all within less than an hour from where I live -- these three shows cover the full comics industry (self-published, main-stream, traditional, pop). It's like having every radio station format, but with comics. DC is growing with creators -- sometimes it feels like I meet a new local who creates comics every week. I was interviewed for Borderstand and my comments represent some of these feelings.

We walked away with great vibes at this show! Big thanks to the Awesome Con crew (Ben, Rachel, Paul, Jess, Becky, and all the volunteers) for pulling off a great event and leaving a bigger mark this year. Also thanks to Mark and Chris on the Kids Zone! I can only imagine this show getting even more Awesome next year -- mark your calendars for June 3-5, 2016.

More photos can be found on the Curls Studio Facebook Page -- give us a "Like" while you're at it.

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