AWESOMECON 2015: Best of TMNT


Awesomecon. Is it actually awesome? Or just a convention with a laughable name? Well friends, I had the opportunity to travel down to Washington, D.C. and find out for myself. I searched the halls of the convention center in a quest for all things cowabunga.



Let's enter the awesomeness.

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ORIGINAL TURTLES VOICE CAST

The gang's all here! The voices behind the original heroes in a halfshell were all in attendance.



Together Rob Paulsen, Barry Gordon, Cam Clarke, and Townsend Coleman used their pipes to bring the iconic characters to television. They participated in a Q&A where fans posed (mostly terrible) questions. But with 4 entertaining dudes on stage, they pumped the room full of fun. The session culminated with the guys singing the entire TMNT theme song along with crowd. Turtle Power echoed throughout our country's capital.



A personal highlight for me was interacting with these talented guys. With all her work over the years at VoiceChasers.com, my friend Kristy has been pals with these gents for years. Thanks to her, I had the pleasure of meeting each one of these dudes over the weekend.

Heartfelt conversations with Townsend Coleman (Michelangelo) and grabbing a coffee with Rob Paulsen (Raphael) was a pleasure. The 8 year-old version of me would've been super jealous.
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JUDITH HOAG

Judith Hoag, the gorgeous gal who portrayed the iconic April O'Neil in the first TMNT movie, was in attendance at Awesomecon. She's just as stunning and charming as you remember her from the big screen - just without the 90s hair.



I'm not one to get star struck, but I must admit, striking up a conversation with Judith had me giddy. If you ever feel flustered approaching a movie star - don't. There's no way your opening lines can be any goofier than mine.

Judith: "I love your bow tie!"
Me: "Thanks! I'm running for mayor of the sewers."
Judith: "You have my vote."
Me: "That makes two. You and my mom!"

They can't all be winners.



But, at least my silly antics opened the doors for chummy conversation. My friends and I babbled with Judith for quite some time. She didn't rush us along, and we basked in the glow of her April O'Neil greatness.
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KEVIN EASTMAN

The mastermind behind our beloved heroes came to town for Awesomecon. The creator himself spoke about all things TMNT - from the original comics to the upcoming movie.



For a lifelong fan like myself, I expected a lot of his tales to be familiar. But, I was shocked to learn that Kevin provides the voice for the zany character, Ice Cream Kitty, in the current Nickelodeon series. This might not be news to some, but for me? This was a stunning surprise.



The most ridiculous character voiced by Kevin Eastman - a TMNT creator?! Bodacious in my book.
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DUDE IN A SUIT

This costume is a rubber prison. Whenever the guy inside removed the head, a beet red, sweat-dripping face of agony appeared. He looked completely miserable - trapped in a scorching cosplay decision he probably regrets. But hey, what a great photo opp for everyone else!
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D.C. TOUR

During the downtime when the doors of Awesomecon were closed, we ventured out to explore Washington D.C. Our spontaneity lead us to trolley tour of the town. Going full-throttle on the tourist experience, we took a 3-hour night expedition through the streets of our nation's capital.



Cowabunga from the Lincoln Memorial!
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TMNT OVERLOAD!

Awesomecon was lined with vendors selling merch for attendees looking for souvenirs. Nothing crazy caught my eye, but as the show was winding down on our final day, I had to leave with something. My con companions and I pooled together our funds for a memento - the ultimate group photo.



Along with the original voice cast, Kevin Eastman and Brian Tee (Shredder in the upcoming movie) joined the mix. We were all surprised to see Brian included in the photo since he hasn't etched his part into TMNT history just yet. But he was happy to be there, and so were we. Every smile in our big, bodacious group was completely genuine.

And damn, we look good.
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By now, you're probably dying to know the big question - how awesome was Awesomecon? As a TMNT fan, the show smashed me in the face with a pizza-powered punch. It was Turtle-Mania at every turn! As a bonus, the crowds were manageable and everyone was in good spirits.

Until next year!

* Special shout-out to Kristy of VoiceChasers.com for snapping stellar photos and being an incredible friend!

** Another cheer to my cowabunga comrades - Simon, Sherry, Roger, Larry, and Rachel. You guys were the extra cheese on my Awesomecon pizza pie.

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