Aubreys Awesome Con 2024 Wrap Up!

Another year, another AwesomeCon. This year, much like the previous years, met my expectations and is always worth the price.

AwesomeCon does a great job of catering to the masses. There is a section for just about everyone. Taken from their website:
  • The Science Fair, an area of Awesome Con exploring where science and science fiction meet!
  • The Book Fair, an area of Awesome Con dedicated to authors and book dragons alike!
  • Awesome Con Jr, an all-ages destination for the next generation of fans
  • Pride Alley, a celebration of queer creators and fans curated by GeeksOUT
  • Anime Yokocho, our brand new area for all things Anime!
Within the Science Fair, AwesomeCon features many of the local Science Establishments like NASA and the National Science Foundation. The Science Fair section is pretty hands-on. The majority of the tables have interactive displays for everyone to take part in. This seems so incredibly unique compared to other conventions that I go to. This is at least five or so interactive tables – that’s what makes it great. It isn’t just one! 
The Book Fair was one of my favorite sections. As a connoisseur of the finest papers bound by string with stories written inside, I could have sat in this section for the rest of my life. The dopamine rush of smelling new books – there is nothing like it. This year there was one thing that was different though – an actual book store booth selling various titles. I was beside myself with excitement. 
 
Awesome Con Jr. was a little hidden this year around. It was smaller and perhaps a little more spread out than normal. It wasn’t as defined as it has been in previous years. Nintendo and Lego Discovery Center did join this year however. The Lego table was chef’s kiss. Pride Alley was moved as well. I liked when it was up front and center, however this year is was also a little hidden from the main view.
Anime Yokocho absorbed a portion of the cosplay section that have been there in years past – which was a big section this year. Instead of smaller booths that people were able to take pictures in, guests were able to walk down a long booth. Crunchyroll joined with their own booth this year! Seeing the bigger, more recognizable booths was really cool.
Let’s talk about my main squeeze – Artist Alley. I have a whole handful of cards from these booths. My favorite was the Pillo Pascal by Drew Blank. I howled laughing when I saw the Pillo Pascal (https://www.drewblank.com/pillows). One day, I shall own one of their bags I hope they return next year when I win the lottery and can buy from everyone in Artist Alley. Smolivco (https://smolivco.com/collections/all) had the most adorable clay anime keychains. The World of Zhen / Hello We Are Rats / Corgli & Co was one of the most delightful booths. The artist was so sweet and their work is absolutely adorable. They do multiple different comics and create merch from their comics. If you enjoy Corgis, definitely check them out (https://www.worldofzhen.com/). While I could rattle off an entire list of every booth I loved, I want to highlight one last one in particular – Stun Pore Studios. Stun Pore Studios makes these amazing terrariums with Pokemon in there. Seriously, they are some of the coolest things (https://www.etsy.com/shop/StunSporeStudios).
I’d like to say that I had a really cool celebrity encounter, but I really didn’t. I would be lying to you. That’s not to say there weren’t so cool celebrities there – Markellus would have died to meet Rosario Dawson. But it just wasn’t a goal of mine to meet anyone that was present. Please don’t take this as a negative though because AwesomeCon brought in some great talents – Hayden Christensen, Charlie Cox, Rosario Dawson, Rachael Leigh Cook and maybe talented voice actors. It just wasn’t in the cards for me to indulge in that area this year I guess.
Programming-wise AwesomeCon brings some pretty interesting ideas to panels. There are so many different meetups that people can attend. Birthday meetups, Geek Mom meetups, South Park cosplay meetups (who knew that was a thing?) It’s interesting to see what they think of, and what people attend! Downstairs at the entrance, there was an enormous setup dedicated to gaming with advertisements for MAGfest – another huge convention that draws the nerdy crowd in. I appreciate the homage to all sides of the geekdom network.

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