And it only took until I was nearly 30 to make it to one! I accompanied my sister and five of her friends to the inaugural Awesomecon in DC yesterday. One of them was dressed up as the Pope, and three more as his cardinals. My sister and I had no such costumes to wear, though I did done a pair of Star Trek earrings she’d purchased at her own first con back in 1992, which more than one person at the con liked.
Apparently the turn-out on Friday had been relatively low, perhaps because in this area so many people work on Friday, but today it became obvious that far more people turned up than the organizers had expected. Or, unfortunately, had prepared for; when we got there there was line just to get into the building, and even inside they had two lines for those who had purchased tickets in advance to receive their wristbands, and the line stretched through two ballrooms. Eventually we started cutting through lines, and they started letting advanced ticket purchasers claim their wristbands from more lines.
For the most part the five of us kept to the booths, and made no attempt to meet the stars or attend any sessions, since that didn’t feel like it was worth it. Though Timothy Zahn was out on the floor, and I went over to his booth and heard him reassure another fan he had faith Disney wouldn’t mess the new movies up. Instead we were the ones people wanted photos with; everyone wanted a picture with the Pope, with the cardinals too when they were around. Even a few of the booths took pictures(that wasn’t the only Spanish Inquisition joke we heard while we were there; they were plenty abundant, especially when the cardinals were separate from the Pope). Unfortunately I was too distracted to take that many photos, though when somebody brought out a Tardis photo booth with a huge Dalak I did manage a photo of that, despite the people continually getting in the way:
Some of the better costumes was a little girl dressed up as a Dalak, with an eggbeater that apparently had to go through the weapons check(as did our Pope’s staff), a homeless TK-421 holding a cardboard sign that identified him, described him as a Death Star survivor, and said “Will Troop for Food,” and a Borg with a flashlight and a liquid crystal display on her costume. My sister also met up with her BFF from elementary school, who was there with her husband as a pair of Mousekateers. We counted Jayne hats(one guy had made one of chain mail!) , saw more than a few stormtroopers, a number of women wearing Tardis dresses, and my sister lamented that with all the Joffreys running around none of them were dead.
After eating lunch a couple of blocks away near Gallery Place, we came back, and for an hour or so hung about the upstairs foyer just outside the room where the con was officially taking place, and more people showed up wanting photos with the Pope and his Cardinals, including Jesus. At least until a new attraction arrived in the foyer in the form of a remote controlled R2-D2, who could move around, whistle, and play the Star Wars theme:
Our Pope had already been blessing people, starting with Superman even before we’d gone in, and this mean of course he had to bless R2:
Later R2 too wanted a photo with Pope & Cardinals both:
Definitely going back next year, when apparently I may be obliged to dress up. Well, if anyone wants to dress me up as Padmé we’ll be able to use my actual hair…