Metro Weekly

Awesome Con 2022 Celebrates the Geek in All of Us

From Star Wars and Star Trek, to Buffy and Sabrina, to everything Pride Alley, we have your guide to Awesome Con 2022, June 3 to 5.

Awesome Con -- Photo: Courtesy of LeftField Media
Awesome Con — Photo: Courtesy of LeftField Media

Awesome Con, the annual comic-con extravaganza presented by LeftField Media as “a star-studded celebration of geek culture,” will fill the Washington Convention Center next Friday through Sunday, June 3 to 5.

The three days of events include celebrity guest appearances and industry expert panels, workshops, meetups, performances, exhibits, presentations, cosplayers, and rows upon rows of gifted artists.

Among the highlights on tap this year, the biggest draw for LGBTQ fans is the “Out in Space” appearance of Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, who will participate in a panel discussion concerning their work on Star Trek Discovery, taking place on the Awesome Con Main Stage on Saturday, June 4, at 4:15 p.m.

Another attraction on Saturday is the first-ever cosplay-inspired Drag Halftime Show during the Awesome Con 2022 Cosplay Competition, a spectacle led by D.C.’s Logan Stone and also featuring Dax ExclamationPoint from RuPaul’s Drag Race, D’Manda Martini, and Crimsyn of Leesburg, Va., who won Season 1 of WOWPresents Plus’s Painted with Raven.

Other notable Main Stage celebrity appearances include:

  • “25 Years of Buffy” with Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Charisma Carpenter and Amber Benson (6/3, 3:15 p.m.)
  • Hayley Atwell, who portrayed Peggy Carter in Captain America (6/3, 4:15 p.m.)
  • Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation (6/3, 5:15 p.m.)
  • Simu Liu, Meng’er Zhang, and Florian Munteanu from Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (6/4, 10:30 a.m.)
  • Anthony Daniels, the man behind C-3PO of Star Wars (6/4, 1 p.m.)
  • “A Bewitching Sabrina the Teenage Witch Cast Reunion” featuring Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, and Beth Broderick (6/4, 2 p.m.)
  • “Growing up a Nick Kid” with Melissa Joan Hart and Kel Mitchell (6/5, 10:15 a.m.)
  • “Second Breakfast” with Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings and The Goonies (6/5, 1:30 p.m.)

This year’s Awesome Con sees an expansion of Pride Alley, presented in partnership with Geeks OUT and Metro Weekly, with the largest slate of programming yet spotlighting LGBTQ artists, creators, and fans.

The planned discussions with creators include:

  • “LGBTQIA+ Table Talk: This is Me Q&A Geekdom,” hosted by Shady Haze, the LGBTQIA+ Asian-American creator and cosplayer from Northern Virginia, with Dax ExclamationPoint, D’Manda Martini, SpacePuffinCosplay, and HarumScarumCosplay, who will talk pride and LGBTQ representation in the geek/comic world (6/4, 1:30 p.m., Room 204)
  • The flighty mighty NASA crew assembled in “For All Humankind: Fueling the Space Race to Diversity and Inclusion,” a look at some of the diverse pioneers of space travel as well as efforts to increase representation (6/5, 1:30 p.m., Room 207B).
  • “Queerly Femtastic: Celebrating Queer Female Representation in Comics,” a panel presented by Geeks OUT featuring queer and ally artists and creators Maika Sozo, Sweeney Boo, Stephanie Phillips, and Amanda Cooner sharing their influences and motivations, what draws them to strong female characters, and exploring the connection between intersectionality and the future of comics, with moderator Nic Gitau (6/4, 3 p.m., Room 206).

One highlight among other activities scheduled in Pride Alley is the “Meet Pride Squadron” gathering of the informal affinity group for queer members of the Star Wars costuming community (6/3, 8:15 p.m., Room 206).

Awesome Con 2018 – Photo: Randy Shulman/Metro Weekly

The Awesome Con Science Fair also returns with two full programming tracks — TERRA for earthly concerns, and COSMOS for all things space and beyond, with four divisions of NASA represented. There’s also a special program on pop culture history in partnership with the Smithsonian’s highly anticipated forthcoming exhibit Entertainment Nation.

Specific discussions of note in the Science Fair include:

  • The Science Behind the Ten Rings, in which a panel of experts assembled by the National Science Foundation will discuss the science underpinning Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (6/4, Room 207B)
  • Genetics, Ancestry Testing, Race, and Star Trek, in which Dr. Mohamed Noor offers a primer on basic transmission and genetic ancestry testing, and how the concepts connect with each other and get applied in the Star Trek universe (6/5, Room 207B)
  • Women at NASA, a spotlight on a few select women working at NASA in areas as diverse as Mission Operations and Public Engagement (6/4, 11:30 a.m., Room 207B).
Awesome Con 2018 - Photo: Randy Shulman/Metro Weekly
Awesome Con 2018 – Photo: Randy Shulman/Metro Weekly

Also returning to Awesome Con 2022: Destination Cosplay, a site for cosplay demos, and meetups, and a Book Fair powered by D.C.’s Solid State Books, featuring signings as well as access to writers and publishers, including an Author’s Lane of independently published authors from a variety of genres.

Two features new to Awesome Con 2022 are the Remix Stage, a time-warped zone in which one will encounter fandom-inspired retro tunes, games, trivia, sing-alongs, and dancing all weekend long, and the Movement Room, full of activities for the restless that requires all who enter “to get up and get moving” (Room 208).

Among the scheduled events on the Remix Stage to consider checking out is the Star Wars Dance Party & Trivia, a gathering to “flaunt your dark side” and where “all lightsabers encouraged” (6/3, 4:15 p.m.), and the self-explanatory Disney Family Singalong (6/5, 12:30 p.m.).

Awesome Con 2022 is Friday, June 3, from 1 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW.

Tickets are $40 to $50 for a single-day entry or $85 for a 3 Day Badge, with VIP passes starting at $165 for exclusive and early access plus a merch discount. Visit www.awesome-con.com.

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