By James Vallesteros
The inaugural Heroes & Villains Fan Fest emanated at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center on a weekend before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Billed as “It’s not your Dad’s comic con, it’s your Fan Fest”, it stayed true to its moniker. The festivities were built around giving fans an experience like never before. The usual convention scene is mainly made up of the artist alley, vendors, exhibitors, and behind curtains where the celebrities usually conduct their photo-ops and autograph signings. However, the setup took in consideration of the fans who really want to immerse themselves into their favorite fandoms.
The main attraction for the first stop was CW’s Arrow’s Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) and Willa Holland (Thea Queen). The autograph signing for both of these stars were set up right on the exhibit floor. Even if you weren’t in line for an autograph, fans were able to get a glimpse of their favorite stars. The photo-op section was handled professionally by the volunteer workers who did an outstanding job keeping everything in order. The lines moved along smoothly and most fans agreed that the wait times were decent.
Prices for admission were affordable and most fans were happy with the autograph and photo-op price tags. There were other festivities happening on the floor exhibit as well such zip-lining, bouncy house for the kids, and arts and crafts. So when it was labeled “It’s not your dad’s comic con”, these added elements certainly validated that statement.
The San Jose McEnery Convention Center was a perfect choice for a Northern California stop. There were plenty of parking to accommodate the fans. The Convention Center is not super big like some other buildings, but it played well with the whole “fan experience”. Everything that the event had to offer was in walking distance and didn’t have to hop from one hall to the other.
Heroes & Villains Fan Fest is a unique kind of convention. It’s focus on one single franchise provided fans assurance that they will get what they came for. Much like its sister con, Walker Stalker Con, we see Heroes & Villains Fan Fest to expand to other franchises and the end result will remain to be an unforgettable experience.
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