A “May The Fourth” Q+A with Awesome Con
May 4, 2022 @ 4:00pm
Whether you’re a My Hero stan or a die-hard Trekkie, D.C’s Awesome Con is the event for all things geek culture and more. And while the convention is still a month away from opening their doors, District Fray decided to stoke the roaring nerd flames by having a “May The Fourth” Q+A with Awesome Con event director MK Goodwin.
District Fray: For those who have never attended a convention, what is one tip you’d give out for attending Awesome Con?
MK Goodwin: Download the Awesome Con mobile app. There is so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming, but even just a few minutes of planning goes a long way. The app will help you organize your schedule, find your way around the convention center, and get the most up to date info on guests, signings, special events, exhibitors and more.
Which cosplays are typically expected at Awesome Con and which do you think fans will be excited to see?
Our cosplays run the gamut, but you can definitely expect to see things from Star Wars, Doctor Who, The Lord of the Rings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Universe, and popular anime like My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer.
The worlds of drag and cosplay tend to collide. Who are some of the LGBTQ+ names at Awesome Con that fans should try to check out?
This year, for the first time, we have four fierce queens participating in the Cosplay Competition Halftime Show—Crimsyn, D’Manda Martini, Dax Exclamationpoint and Logan Stone. Logan will also be hosting Drag Queen Storytime in Awesome Con Jr. throughout the weekend. Fans can also get an autograph and photo op with gay icons Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz who are among our 2022 celebrity guests. Plus we’ve got Geeks Out, the National LGBTQ Museum, (stop by to get your pronoun sticker!) and a slew of LGBTQ+ creators in Pride Alley.
Aside from having fantasy and sci-fi staples, you’re also hosting the cast of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Kenan & Kel’s” Kel Micthell. Are you seeing a rise in fans wanting more of a vintage sitcom/kid’s show presence at AC?
I wouldn’t say there’s been a rise, but more like a continuation. Awesome Con has always featured vintage or “throwback” guests, particularly from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Nostalgia is so powerful. Everyone wants the chance to meet their childhood heroes!
Which celebrity do you think is overdue for an Awesome Con appearance?
I would be remiss to mention just one! There are so many awesome guests the fans are always asking to see each year. We are building Awesome Con for them, so we very much encourage them to make suggestions through social media, surveys, and focus groups so we can do our best to bring in the names the fans are asking for.
Simu Liu, the first AAPI person to have a stand-alone Marvel movie is coming. Have you seen a diversification in the Awesome Con crowd? And what has Awesome Con done to welcome people of different backgrounds?
One of the best things about holding a convention in Washington D.C. is how diversified the DMV area is. We try to bring in both creator and entertainment guests from all backgrounds. Historically, the comic industry has been dominated by white males, but we’re so excited to see this changing. For the first time, we’re welcoming more female comic guests than male guests in 2022. And not only are they female, they are Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and Latino.
Anthony Daniels, C-3PO himself is coming. Who were some other Star Wars icons who made their way to past Awesome Cons?
In 2018, hot off the success of “The Force Awakens,” we welcomed John Boyega (Finn) and Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo. It was massive. In addition to Anthony, this year we’re also happy to welcome Giancarlo Esposito from “The Mandalorian” and Timothy Zahn, best known for his prolific collection of Star Wars books.
What is your take on the Star Wars Watch Order?
Personally, I’m team “release order”, but I respect other methods and people’s right to choose.
Star Wars isn’t just a franchise. It’s a cultural presence that spans generations. Do you see a lot of Star Wars geeks with kids hoping to get them in on the fandom?
I think adults pass on a love of Star Wars to their children more than any other fandom. Longstanding groups like the 501st Legion and Saber Guild are such a big part of passing the torch (er, lightsaber!) to young fans. At Awesome Con this year, kids (and grownups) can play with droids, take photos with Star Wars cosplayers in front of backdrops, and even perfect their lightsaber skills (with pool noodles).
Does Awesome Con have a special May the Fourth message for readers out there?
Remember when we were younger? A lot of us had to keep our love for this franchise and fandom a secret. Like members of so many other fandoms, we could be subject to bullying and ridicule. It could be painful, and lonely. Just as May the Fourth uplifts and unites Star Wars fans, Awesome Con is a community where you can be who you are, love what you love, and connect with others who love the same things you do.
Awesome Con runs from June 3 to June 5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Tickets can be purchased here.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center: 801 Mt Vernon Pl. NW, DC; awesome-con.com // @awesomecons