Mike Gold: Awesome Is As Awesome Does
First of all, I have to state right here in public that our friend and contributor Emily S. Whitten was absolutely correct.
We-all (Martha, Adriane, Evelyn, Robert and me) were at the Awesome Con in Washington DC, and it was a fun experience. The action around the ComicMix table was strong and overall attendance was exceptional given the fact that: a) it was held Easter weekend, and b) it only was the second annual convention. There were zillions of cosplaying cosplayers – I think Doctor Who guises dominated the horde, but given the crowds it’s hard to tell. There were a lot of Poison Ivys, as usual. The comics guests were first-rank and the media guests were plentiful without turning the show into another autograph convention.
Despite the large crowd, attendees could walk around the show with ease and it seems people could get into the panels without having to wait in line all day. The retailer exhibitors seemed to be doing good business – if they aren’t they usually let you know. Artist’s Alley was full of all kinds of talent: professional, small press, amateur, and wannabes.
Awesome Con wasn’t overwhelmed with obnoxious p.r. people or mindless publisher announcements about how they’re going to cancel everything and replace it with the exact same thing, only less interesting and essentially unexciting. Maybe that happened at WonderCon, the left-coast convention held the same weekend. Our pal Glenn was there along with the fabulous Tweeks representing the firm (I like that; ComicMix as a “firm”) and Glenn was probably filking with his friends. You can do that in California.
My warmest congratulations and deepest thanks to convention promoters Ben Penrod and Steve Anderson. You guys did swell; take it from a loudmouthed geek who’s been going to such shows since 1969.
The 2014 convention season? So far, so good. Awesome Con and MoCCA. This weekend I zap out to Chicago for two more conventions: C2E2, another clusterfuck show run by people with little regard for comics fans, and the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. I’ll be at the former on Friday and Saturday, invading the sanctity of the Unshaven Comics table, and I’ll be at the Pulp Show on Sunday.
As you know if you’ve read just about any one of my previous 300 columns (give or take), I am a proud native Chicagoan and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends at both show – and scarfing down some of the world’s best and most unhealthy food. I’ll be staying near the site of the Great Chicago Fire – that location, by the way, has long been the Chicago Fire Department’s training academy. I still think that’s really cool.
Given the fact that I’m still incubating a brand new left shoulder, I won’t be doing as many shows this year as we initially planned. Probably Heroes in Charlotte and Baltimore in Baltimore, a few up here in Connecticut / New York / New Jersey, and possibly one or two others that don’t require my being sealed up in a flying cigar for hours on end.
And, yes, that is Ma Hunkle posing at Awesome Con. That’s a first – at least, for me. And that was really wonderful.