This past weekend in the spacious San Jose Convention Center, a unique convention took place that blew my socks off. Aptly named Heroes and Villains FanFest for the mission to bring together celebrity and artistic talent under one room for the fans. That’s why it’s called “FanFest” because the group that organized this event wanted to focus on the fans and not the talent invited to attend. It’s an interesting idea that is quite refreshing amidst the larger conventions that focus on either too many things or limit the celebrity interaction.
Heroes and Villains FanFest in San Jose is actually the first time this type of convention was held anywhere. The creators and organizers of this FanFest all were a part of Walker Stalker Con held in various cities. And their main mission was to somehow capture this idea of connecting fans with celebrities and providing a memorable experience. In my opinion, they did a great job and Heroes and Villains FanFest was one of the most fun and memorable experiences I’ve had at a convention in awhile. This was made in part by the amount of celebrities present such as Stephen Amell, John Barrmowman, Lord Mesa, Paul Blackthorne, Karen Gillan, and Hayley Atwell.
Granted, Wizard World and Big Wow Comicfest is very similar to Heroes and Villains FanFest but I got the sense that the attendees along with the talent were genuinely excited and wanted to be there. I spoke to several attendees and due to the lineup of celebrities from the CW shows, Arrow, and The Flash, it wasn’t hard to discover why they were excited. I was in the same boat because I’m a huge fan of both those shows and getting the chance to chat with the actors that I see on screen was amazing. Plus, being a Bay Area native, having these big name celebrities in my hometown was the cherry on top of the experience!
This FanFest had it all: celebrity autographs and pictures, live panels, vendors galore, as well as fun installations for the kids (or kids at heart) including a sticky wall, bounce house, indoor zip line, a toy gun shooting range, and cosplay contest. So there was definitely something for everyone. And honestly, a few hours flew by just walking the immense San Jose Convention Center floor. There were large area of space though which was nice since cosplayers had ample room to take photos but they also provided several backdrops with images and branding to take photos with.
All in all, Heroes and Villains FanFest was a lot of fun. I attended only one day with the first part of the day being a volunteer but the atmosphere was exciting and generally attendees were super stoked the entire time. I definitely recommend checking out this FanFest next year as well as Walker Stalker Con in a city near you.
If this is your first time visiting Shortboxed, thanks for stopping by! We want to provide a place online where people new to comics can come and learn about the culture and be introduced to some amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We’re always adding new content, so please come back soon! You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @shortboxed.