The annual popular comic and art exhibition “Awesome Con” is back at the Walter E. Convention center in Washington, DC This event is a golden opportunity to meet artists from all over America as well as a unique art hunt for collectors.
One visitor who likes to participate in costume play activities or a cosplayer named Rebecca Ryan comes wearing a costume like a fairy.
“I’m very excited to be back. It’s really nice to be able to attend events in the real world,” said Rebecca, also known as “Foxy Roxy” when met by VOA.
Last year Awesome Con was canceled due to the pandemic. This year, the event which lasted for 3 days attracted nearly 45 thousand visitors, still far less than before.
“I feel relieved, because I can return to an event of this magnitude. I can’t wait to attend other events,” said Chris, who was present wearing a Batman costume to VOA.
In accordance with the policy of the Washington, DC local government, Awesome Con enforces strict health protocols, such as the use of masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizers which are available in various corners.
“We felt safe (at this event). We drove from North Carolina to attend Awesome Con.
Alysson and family are willing to drive from north carolina to attend an awesome con event. Events in our city do not require a mask mandate. But, our kids wanted to attend the event. So we went to Washington, DC,” Alysson said.
Just like Alysson, a visitor named Al who attended this event also felt safe.
“Especially when seeing other visitors wearing masks correctly and the event organizers insisting on strict health protocols,” he said.
The return of Awesome Con is a relief for toy and knick-knacks vendors who used to rely on revenue from exhibitions.
“This is my 3rd event during the pandemic. We saw that the visitors seemed very excited to be able to attend the face-to-face event. There was a sense of worry considering I have small children at home. But, I feel I did my best, plus I and my employees have also been vaccinated against COVID-19 and there is a mandate for masks at this event,” said Courtland, a toy vendor for the Chicago Costume store.
Similar to Courtland, James who is a toy seller from Canada is also happy with this awesome con event, after a hiatus of about 1.5 years.
“I’m also happy to see visitors having fun and following the rules,” James told VOA.
Writers and artists are also happy to be able to showcase their latest work face-to-face with fans.
I’m happy and feel like I’m back to normal to be at the booth, chatting with visitors, selling, drawing, and doing all kinds of fun at this event,” said writer Ted Woods.
For writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson who is involved in the production of Marvel comics and DC comics, conventions like this are an important part of the comics industry.
“A lot of professional artists miss him,” Phillip told VOA.
The resurgence of Awesome Con during the pandemic has made the legendary animator, Tom Cook, who is famous for the television series “He-Man” even busier.
“It’s good to see so many people come back together and celebrate events like this again. It seems like people really miss this event, because I feel much busier in the last few events, even than before the pandemic started,” said Tom.
Visitors can again wear and show off different favorite costumes, but with the same accessories, namely masks. [di/ii/abudiant]