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AWA Review

It was a long slow month waiting for AWA after Dragon*Con. But, the time had finally come... AWA was here! My photographer (aka “Press Pool”) and I packed up the car and started down highway 75 (The Con Highway) again to Atlanta Georgia. Upon arrival at the convention center we surprisingly were able to get checked into our hotel, the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and pick up our passes without any hitches or delays. We were wandering around the Cobb Galleria in less than an hour. The AWA registration staff was very professional, friendly and fast!

Our walk from the Waverly to the Cobb center was through a gauntlet of different characters from anime, sci-fi comic and movies. I have to say, AWA had some very nice cos-players. They were very professional, courteous and polite and would freely strike there signature poses for you when asked to be photographed. AWA had an excellent dealer’s room and food court and the flow for the panels was laid out extremely well to minimize walking long distances.

One of the best panels that I attended was on how to work worbla by televisions' Heroes of Cosplay stars Yaya Han and Brian. This was a very informative panel on how to work worbla making armor pieces and just about any accoutrement you need to put together a great cos-play outfit.

I was able to interview Yaya Han and Brian at their vending booth just prior to the panel. Yaya Han and Brian are 2 of the best costume makers that I have met. Both are very nice, very professional and a pleasure to speak to. YaYa Han was wearing the “Red Queen” outfit from the season finale of Heroes of Cos-Play. When asked about another season of Heroes of Cos-play, Yaya stated that it was undetermined at this time. As a bonus I was also able to interview Heroes of Cos-Play Monika Lee. She is a young aspiring college student from Georgia whom was a formidable competitor in the Heroes of Cos-Play television show.

Sunday was a really good windup of AWA 2013's events. I saw a particularly good Sunday Morning Worship service called Reflections presented by voice actor Vic Mignogna. This was a very spiritual event that impressed me very much. After the Reflections panel I stayed and watched a new panel called Ask An Anime Character hosted by Vic Mignogna and Johnny Yong Bosch. This panel had all of the characters that Vic and Johnny have voiced over the years on an animated screen. A host walked around the room with a microphone and let audience participants ask their chosen anime character a question which Vic or Johnny would voice the response of the chosen character. This was very entertaining. I believe I laughed harder at this event than any other I have ever attended. It was definitely an audience favorite.

In summation AWA is a very entertaining con with great cos-players. The cos-play outfits are of high quality. The hotels are extremely good and clean with very helpful staff. The AWA staff and volunteers are very professional and maintain a good sense of humor even when tired from the long weekend. Also, AWA staff and volunteers were plentiful if you needed directions, help or information. I would rate AWA on the same level as Dragon*Con when it comes to the level of cos-players, vendors, attendees, special guests, hotel quality and con organization. AWA could use a few more special guests, other than that it was a great con.
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