What We Learned at Awesome Con, Part 1

Hawkeye

Well, my friends, it’s official: we survived our first fan convention! I know, I know—it’s shocking that we could have gone this long without ever having attended a real con, but it finally happened, and I have to say Awesome Con definitely lived up to its name. And I’m not just saying that because we got to meet Nicholas Brendon. (But that did account for about 80% of the awesomeness.) We saw a good number of Jedi, Whovians, superheroes, and even a couple Disney princesses. Being a huge pop culture nerd, I felt like I was finally able to let all my fanaticism loose without having to worry about being considered “weird” or “obsessed,” as I so often feel when I’m around “normal” people. I tried to cover as many fandoms as possible, so I wore my Admiral Ackbar “IT’S A TRAP!” shirt with my Harry Potter earrings on day one, and my Captain Hammer shirt on day two. (One cheeky exhibitor asked me, “So I’m just wondering, what is your hammer?”) All in all, it was a crazy, fun, exciting, generally awesome experience and I can’t wait to go back next year.

Here are a few tidbits of knowledge that we picked up during our time at Awesome Con…

  • Nicholas Brendon was originally supposed to play Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly. According to Brendon, he was going to play the sarcastic space captain until time constraints forced them to begin filming while he was still working on the final season of Buffy. The role went to Nathan Fillion instead, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • What a “Super Art Fight” is… Billed as a cross between a live art show and pro wrestling, the Super Art Fight originated in D.C. and pits two artists against one another in a battle of extreme drawing. Each artist starts off with a topic (for example, “X-Men”), and they both begin drawing on one huge canvas. Every so often, the two announcers spin the “Wheel of Death” to choose two new topics (submitted online by fans beforehand), which the artists then have to incorporate into their drawings. For example, in one of the battles we saw, a Dr. Who-inspired owl (get it? Dr. “Hoo”?) was morphed into a Harry Potter owl by the opposing artist (whose starting topic was Harry Potter). The winner is chosen by the audience based on who receives the louder applause at the end. It’s a really fun, interactive, and exciting competition. You can read more about it at superartfight.com.
  • It is possible to purchase a pillow case with a shirtless Avenger printed on it. Seriously. This is a thing. This awesome artist Soltian has some amazing drawings of Avengers (and Loki, Agent Coulson, Batman, and a few others) in half-clothed supine positions that you can order printed front-and-back on a body-pillow case so it’s like you’re lying in bed next to Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. (Or, you know, both…) I’m not gonna lie, I almost bought one—for a friend, of course… *ahem* But you should really check out her store and admire all of her amazing art.
  • Publishers look to Barnes & Noble to approve book covers. Working in an independent bookstore, I already knew about the horrors of the publishing industry, including how little input most authors have on their book covers. But it was still upsetting to hear that big publishing companies will run covers by Barnes & Noble to get their input, because if Barnes & Noble doesn’t carry your book, you might as well be printing it in your basement and selling it on a street corner. According to the fantasy writers at the panel on Sunday (Alma Katsu, Meagan Spooner, Diana Peterfreund, Allison Pang, Tom King, and Justin Jordan), this is why every urban fantasy novel has a woman wearing some form of leather on the cover, and every young adult fantasy novel has a girl wearing a dress on it. (There’s a 90% chance this dress is red.) So it just goes to show you, don’t judge a book by its cover, because the author probably didn’t have much say in it.
  • Fox sucks (or at least they did five to ten years ago).* Both Nicholas Brendon (Buffy) and Futurama‘s Phil LaMarr told stories about Fox basically sabotaging their shows. Nick described how a feud between the producer of Kitchen Confidential and the newly appointed head of the Fox Television network essentially led to the show being canceled after four episodes (which, of course, were aired sporadically in between off-weeks for baseball playoffs). Meanwhile, LaMarr lamented how Fox’s enthusiasm for Futurama waned as they realized that it wouldn’t just be a carbon copy of The Simpsons. Billy West recalled hearing a promo on Fox for their animated lineup, which started with Futurama at 7 pm, followed by three of their other animated series at 7:30, 8, and 8:30. The announcer ended the promo by saying, “The fun starts at 7:30!” Ouch.

*We pretty much already knew this, but it’s always exasperating to hear more evidence to support this fact.

Stay tuned for more posts about our Awesome Con experience, and tell us all about yours in the comments section!

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Posted on April 21, 2013, in Fandemonium and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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