Pop Culture Convention Provides a Unique Opportunity for Student Media
The sixth annual AwesomeCon comic book and pop culture convention will return to Washington, D.C. on Friday, Mar. 30, and members of both The Wilson Billboard and Bottom Shelf Review (BSR) will enjoy a rare opportunity to cover the event not only as attendees but also as official reporters.
According to a press release from LeftField Media, AwesomeCon “will unite 80,000 fans of comics, technology and science, television and film, custom art, over-the-top cosplay, and more” with three days of programming including expert panels, celebrity meet and greets, gaming tournaments, and a vast array of exhibits. Also returning this year are Smithsonian Magazine’s Future Con, and Pride Alley, presented by the LGBTQ organization Geeks OUT.
As Editor-in-Chief of both BSR and the Billboard, Kirsten Bilger ’18 feels the convention is a great venue to test her skills as a reporter off-campus.
“With attending AwesomeCon, I can expand the type of entertainment writing that I do,” says Bilger. “I will have more experience in attending an entertainment event and in interviewing people.”
Bilger is one of two Wilson students who were granted official press passes for the event.
She notes, “It feels amazing to know that we have been recognized as a media group by such a big organization. To be given a press badge is an amazing opportunity and I look forward to covering this event.”
Graphic Design Editor Francesca Giustini ’18, who was also granted press access, feels the same.
“This is an incredible first for me as an entertainment journalist,” said Giustini. “I have never been to a Con nor have I ever used a press pass. I am excited to have this behind the scenes view of the event that the press pass will allow me.”
Celebrity guests on hand will include popular actors such as John Barrowman (“Doctor Who”/“Arrow”), John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead”/“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Tom Welling (“Smallville”/“Lucifer”), and Ben Savage (“Boy Meets World”/“Little Monsters”). Comic book creators such as J. Scott Campbell (co-creator of “Deadpool”/“X-Men”), Jim Starlin (“Captain Marvel”/“Iron Man”), and Greg Capullo (“Batman, Reborn”) have also scheduled appearances.
Students may even have an opportunity to interview one of the many celebrity guests as part of their press access.
“I would like to interview Frank Tieri who has worked with a lot of Marvel and the television show, ‘Ultimate Spider-Man,’” states Bilger. “It would be nice to talk to him about working on a variety of work, and what it’s like to go from writing comics to an actual television show.”
Giustini says she would like to have the opportunity to interview Will Friedle (“Boy Meets World”): “I would love to discuss the evolution his icon and beloved character on Boy Meets World and the impact this show has had on generations of viewers.”
While students will work toward covering AwesomeCon for the Billboard, they will also have an opportunity to enjoy the convention as attendees. Many sessions will include discussions on writing for the fantasy and sci-fi genres in both literature and television, and students will have the opportunity to engage in meet-and-greets with their favorite celebrities.
“I’m so excited to get photos with Tom Welling, Michael Rosebaum, Stephen Amell, and John Barrowman,” says Hannah Middaugh ’22. “These men are some of my favorite actors and it is just going to be so cool to get photos with them.”
AwesomeCon 2018 will take place Friday, Mar. 30 through Sunday, Apr. 1. A full list of celebrity and comic guests as well as information on tickets and accommodations can be found on the AwesomeCon website.