Awesome Reads for Awesome Con
Did you know that D.C.’s very own comic and pop culture convention, Awesome Con, is coming up? On the first weekend of June (Friday the 3rd through Sunday the 5th) countless authors, artists, game developers, actors, and more will be arriving at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. DC Public Library will even have a table in the Exhibit Hall. Get ready for Awesome Con by reading some of the comic books and graphic novels written and illustrated by its guests!
Guest: Andrew Aydin
March: Book One and March: Book Two
As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, the importance of Congressman John Lewis’s contribution to African-American civil rights in the United States is undeniable. In this popular and critically acclaimed graphic memoir series, Lewis’s work and experiences in the Movement are documented with assistance from partnering author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell. Aydin, a D.C. resident, will appear at the convention on all three of its days and will present in panels on Saturday and Sunday.
(Note: The final installment of the trilogy is set to come out this summer!)
Guest: Laura Lee Gulledge
Page by Paige and Will & Whit
Both Page by Paige and Will & Whit are about teenage girls (Paige and Will, respectively) who are coping with major life changes -- while Paige is distressed by the upheaval of her life when her parents move her from rural Virginia to New York City, Will is dealing with the emotional and logistical fallout after the death of her parents. Both girls are artists, and their art weaves its way into these stories. Author and illustrator Laura Lee Gulledge thinks outside the box in her drawing style, extending her drawings outside traditional comic book panels and making unusual and exciting use of space. Gulledge will present only on Sunday but can be found at the convention for all three days in the Artist Alley.
Guest: Marc Hempel
The Sandman Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones and Lucifer Vol. 9: Crux
In the ninth volume of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, all of which is illustrated by Marc Hempel, Dream plays the role of a character in a classic Greek tragedy, and the reader can do nothing but watch his slow, agonizing procession through the events that befall him. In the ninth volume of Mike Carey’s Lucifer series, a spinoff of Sandman, Hempel’s art appears in the story The Eighth Sin, which is about the major changes to the ruling powers of Gehenna. In both The Kindly Ones and The Eighth Sin, Hempel’s art eerily resembles the unnerving shapes and bold lines of Medieval art, setting a classical yet barbaric mood for these emotional stories. While Hempel will not present at any panels or workshops at the convention, he will appear in the Artist Alley all three days.
Guest: Fred Van Lente
X-Men Noir and X Men Noir: Mark of Cain
In these X-Men-themed installments of the Marvel Noir series, the mutant characters are reimagined as juvenile delinquents that have no special powers of any kinds. Professor Charles Xavier, in a hugely different role from that in the main series as a kind and thoughtful educator and advocate for young mutants, is depicted as a man whose main interest is to further these delinquents’ more sociopathic tendencies. Guiding this interest is his belief that sociopathy is the next step in human behavior evolution. Writer Fred Van Lente, also known for his work on the Marvel Zombies series, writes this disturbing series in a style that mirrors some of the film noir and pulp fiction of the 1940s. See Van Lente at the convention in a Sunday panel.
Guest: Jeremy Whitley
Princeless #1: Save Yourself and Princeless: Short Stories
The Princeless series follows the adventures of Princess Adrienne, a sixteen-year-old princess who gets trapped in a tower. Instead of waiting around for a prince to save her, she opts to save herself and rescue each of her sisters from their imprisonments. Writer Jeremy Whitley created the Princeless series in an attempt to portray strong female characters as well as girls of color in comics, a medium that is sorely lacking in both. Whitley’s goal was to have his daughter, a young mixed-race girl, see positive role models she could relate to as she was growing up. Whitley will be at the Artist Alley of the convention all three days.