How Awesome is Awesome Con? A 2019 Review

We had the pleasure of traveling to Washington D.C. for the annual Awesome Con, which ran from April 26th to the 28th, 2019. But is Awesome Con actually as awesome as it claims to be? Here’s our breakdown.

The Con Floor

The con floor at Awesome Con 2019 The con floor at Awesome Con 2019

This area was pretty packed with vendors, artists, and exhibitors. In fact, there were enough vendors that you could shop around… many carried similar or the same items. There was a decent variety of merchandise, though as with many large conventions, smaller dealers are less likely to vend there. Some of the vendors were carrying more high quality and higher priced merchandise, but there were also plenty of t-shirts and mystery boxes for sale.

Artist alley, though, was filled with creators. If you’re looking for something more personalized or rare, the variety was great. As usual, many of the artists would take commissions on the spot.

There were also local businesses exhibiting and chances to win vacations. Such corporate booths are common at the larger conventions. But they did have some cool giveaways at the DCW50 booth, with cosplayers representing the CW shows.

The Panels

They definitely had a lot of panels on a variety of subjects. If you’re interested in cosplay, anime, Star Wars, surviving a zombie apocalypse or learning actual science, there were plenty of opportunities to indulge.

Check out these panels from Awesome Con:
Weird Science
The Office
The Princess Bride

If seeing your favorite actors and getting the opportunity to ask questions is more your speed, Awesome Con delivered there. With stars from Riverdale, Cobra Kai, The Office, Star Trek: The Next Generation and more, crowds were very entertained. On the main stage, they also provided entertainment in between the guest events.

Two cosplayers were called up on stage to “fight” prior to the Cobra Kai panel

The Guests

As was just touched upon, they had a great line up of guests. They had stars such as Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis representing Star Trek, KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse for Riverdale, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove from Cobra Kai… not to mention a reunion of Weird Science Actors, voice actors from some of your favorite animated shows and even more stars of movies and television shows. If meeting celebrities, getting autographs and photos are your thing, there was plenty of opportunity.

Plus, there were tons of comic book artists, writers and authors on hand as well. Timothy Zahn, Amanda Chu and Neal Adams are only a few of the names on their guest list.


The video game area at Awesome Con 2019

Awesome Con provided dedicated rooms for free video game play as well as a board game area. For the younger fans, they had an area called Awesome Con Junior with plenty of activities for kids. They also had an afterparty on Saturday night for those 21 and older.


Cosplayers sporting all kinds of costumes were everywhere. Some of the most elaborate, imaginative and/or accurate costumes were worn by these smiling fans. And many of them converged on Saturday’s costume contest.

A Pokemon Cosplayer at Awesome Con 2019

The Venue

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is a great venue with lots of space for all these different events and activities. But it is large. If you don’t like walking, then this is not your convention. There were two different floors for panels and the con floor itself is huge. This has good and bad elements. You certainly didn’t experience the congestion of a crowded con like NYCC, even with a large number of attendees. But the walking. So much walking. You needed to enter in one side of the building and walk to the other side just to get down to the con floor. On Saturday, the busiest and longest day of the con, one of our reporters took over 24,000 steps. So, we definitely got some exercise.

The Grand Lobby entrance to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center


The question was, is Awesome Con actually awesome? Well, it probably wouldn’t be considered awesome by people with no love of comic books, pop culture or cosplay. But for those who do love those things, it would be safe to say it was awesome.
Of course, part of the awesome nature of this con isn’t just the show activities and the friendly volunteer staff. It’s being in the presence of fellow fans who are just as excited to be there as you are. There are the ones who put the awesome into Awesome Con.

About Kyle Williamson

"Captain" Kyle Williamson is a cosplayer, actor, writer, fan and author of "The Elements of Cosplay: The Costume and Beyond." He has also interviewed hundreds of actors, authors and cosplayers and has moderated panels for conventions such as Wizard World, Retro Con, Terrificon, Farpoint and Shore Leave to name a few. You can follow him on Twitter @captainkylepa and Instagram @captainkylephilly.

View all posts by Kyle Williamson

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