awesome con is exactly that

I work in Washington, DC and live about an hour away, but this year was the first that I went to Awesome Con this past weekend.  I was only there for one day (Saturday, June 4), but I was blown away.  Awesome Con is the best convention I have ever been to (sorry, Balticon).

My friend, neighbor, fellow-geek, and Awesome Con veteran Andy was kind enough to offer to drive, so we loaded up his sons, my wife, and my younger daughter Ally, and hit the Convention Center shortly after the doors opened.  Straight away, we headed for the Q&A with Matthew Lewis, aka Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies.

IMG_0341Matthew (at left) with the moderator for the Q&A

Far from being a stuck-up, disinterested movie star, Matthew was humble and engaging, answering questions candidly and with enthusiasm.  He spoke glowingly of working on the HP films, especially with the late, great Alan Rickman.

He also took questions from the audience, including one from Ally:


I’m not much of a HP fan, but my wife and Ally are, and they loved every minute of listening to Matthew Lewis.  He also talked about being in his latest movie, Me Before You, and we’re going to see it soon.

IMG_0350Brett Dalton (at left), Elizabeth Henstridge (center), and the moderator

After that, we had to hustle to the next Q&A, for Brett Dalton and Elizabeth Henstridge of the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., one of our favorites.  If you’ve seen the show, it’s not difficult to guess (correctly) that Elizabeth is as delightful in real life as is her character Jemma Simmons.  

But the biggest revelation?  Brett–who played the recently killed-off traitor/HYDRA villain/all-around douchebag Grant Ward–is laugh-out-loud slap-yourself hilarious.  He was riffing on the comments and questions and kept cracking up everyone.

From there, we went to Elizabeth’s autograph signing session, because she’s one of Ally’s favorite actors.  I’ve heard horror stories about celebs being prickly face-to-face with fans, but she was nothing but charm and class.


With several thousand of our closest friends, we walked around the exhibit hall, checking out all the vendors and cosplayers…

IMG_0362If you don’t know who this character is, you will in the fall

…and then we went to our last panel, on disabilities in comic books/movies, of particular interest to Ally, as she has arthrogryposis.



A thought-provoking discussion ensued, that raised more questions than it answered, and it gave me much to ponder as I write my latest novel, which features a character who has cerebral palsy.

And that was the day–and what a long and fun one it was!  My family and I enjoyed ourselves so much, I’m certain we’ll be back next year, maybe for all three days (June 16-18, 2017).



Kenton Kilgore is forging a new direction in young adult science-fiction and fantasy.  His latest work-in-progress is In Lonely Lands, a modern-fantasy/horror novel, to be published in late 2016.

Kenton is the author of Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief.  He also wrote Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Follow Kenton on Facebook for daily posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. 


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