On April 16, AWA did double duty and participated in two events in one day. Here's the highlights from each!
Annapolis Book Festival
Our third year at Annapolis Book Festival was quite successful. With our three workshops, we asked kids to create original drawings, script their own stop motion animation, and craft a short cartoon flip book. Some participants remembered us from last previous events and were excited for to learn new things.
For Darren Soto's Three Word Drawing Game, we were again amused by the words provided. Two years ago, we had words like "belligerent," and "businessman." This year, our words were more random, with "chicken," and "Deadpool" among the suggestions. Jake Heagy encountered a team of beginner stop-motion animators comprised of a father and his two sons, who were excited to learn more about the art form under his tutelage. Jimmy Horner's class was full of participants who were excited to see their drawings set into motions through the use of flip books.
On the opposite end of the Comics Pavilion, students spoke to artists and writers about their career choices and even showed off their own original characters. Some students provided artists with descriptions of these original characters for them to draw. Discussion was rampant, and ranged from discussing how to pursue art as a career to the new Batman vs. Superman movie. We met incredible people and had a wonderful time, and can't wait for next year!
River Con's second year at Belmont Ridge Middle School was also a great success. This convention was quick to differentiate itself from other small-scale events. It not only had the usual video games and comic book vendors and workshops, but also included music and sword fighting. James Madison's University's fencing team actually staged duels throughout the day, and it was normal to hear a teammate explain how to, "Lunge, Pret, and Parry," after landing a point on their opponent.
Creativity and expressing one's passion was a huge theme for the convention. River Con also had the DC Stunt Coalition in attendance, where members spoke on stunt people in movies properly fall and fight without incurring injury. Cosplaying middle-schoolers created Soundwave and Galvatron costumes with just cardboard, construction paper, and Velcro. In our workshops, we saw the same amount of passion and interest. Every attendee was engaged and thrilled to talk about their favorite cartoon, movie, comic and video game characters in a classroom setting. With classes such as Drawing Anime Characters with Liz Staley, How to Create Comic Books with Keir Lyles, and Character Development Writing with Tyrone Selby, students were able to discover what ideas and elements went into creating these beloved characters and then use these same ideas to create their own original content.
In addition to sword fights, stunt demonstrations, and workshops, River Con also had Makeup Artist RJ Haddy from "FaceOff" showing off his monster movie work, Third Eye Comics, Interrobang Studios, and Loudoun County Public Library. It was incredibly fun, and we can't wait to see what this family friendly event has in stored for next year.