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Heroes, villains and creatures converge in downtown DC for Awesome Con

WASHINGTON — Meticulous face paint, carefully stitched skirts, foam weapons and wigs of every color could be seen at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C.

It’s a sure sign that a “con” is underway, and this weekend it’s Awesome Con 2017.

When the doors of the convention center opened early Saturday, lines were already stretched around the corner.

“It’s fun,” said Ryan Shealy of D.C. “You know we have our normal, day to day lives, and it’s great to get out of that box. Being surrounded by fellow nerds is very liberating.”

Because of short notice, Amelie Kyler of Ellicott City, Maryland, opted for a gender-bend to make her costume work.

“My costume is John Egbert from ‘Homestuck,’” Kyler said. “This was kind of a closet cosplay, kind of not, because we already had this wig, so we just decided it would be easier to make it gender bend.”

“I love ‘Overwatch,’” said Taylor Peed of Charlottesville, Virginia, who spent about three months building parts of her costume out of foam with help from a friend. “Ana just seemed like a really, really cool and a challenge to be able to do.”

Peed was hardly alone in spending a long time on her costume.

“This has been about five years in the making, piece by piece,” explained Shawn Andrew who came to Awesome Con from New York dressed as “Ghost Rider.” His “Ghost Rider” mask came from an artist on Etsy.

“Just being around other nerds, being part of a community that appreciates the different culture, where people will just randomly stop and say ‘oh my God, your costume is amazing,” said Ashely, who was dressed as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.” “It reminds of when I used to watch this show as a kid or this book I loved.”

Through Sunday, guests are able to attend panel discussions, compete in costume contests, play in the arcade, and even meet some of the famous names behind their beloved franchises.

Marvel legend Stan Lee is at Awesome Con through the weekend along with appearances by David Tennant (“Dr. Who,” “Jessica Jones”) and “Shaun of the Dead” director Edgar Wright.


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