A truly fun experience!

Falling For Fan Fest

Published on April 10th, 2017 | Updated on April 11th, 2017 | By FanFest

Fan Fest, for Fan by Fans… enough said!

Snow Storm? S’no’w Problem!

Heroes and Villain Fan Fest 2016, Snowmageddon
Blizzard view of Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in Secaucus 2016. Credit: Sandra Roberts (via

Sheer chance brought me to my first Heroes and Villains Fan Fest (HVFF) in January of 2016 in Secaucus, NJ. Yup, for all those that remember… ‘snowmageddon’. What could have turned into a disappointing weekend for all involved, turned out to be a delightful experience never to be forgotten. Having to cancel the first day of the con didn’t stop any of the fun! Social media became the main source of impromptu gatherings and festivities for those trapped in nearby hotels. Lobbies became the place to meet some amazing artists and vendors. A local restaurant hosted a myriad of celebs that were in town as guests of HVFF. Lucky fans walked in to grab some food and walked out with great memories of meeting their favorite on-screen heroes while they too waited out the storm. Stories quickly circulated of people braving the blustery snow to catch up with the latest sightings. The atmosphere was of childlike exuberance!

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest 2016, Nocking Point, Stephen Amel, John Barrowman
Stephen Amell and John Barrowman entertaining the crowd during the Nocking Point party in New Jersey 2016. Credit: Linda Marie

As I was checking social media later in the day, I came across the cheeky John Barrowman dancing around an empty convention floor singing There’s Nobody At The Con. Mr. Barrowman went on to announce that the Nocking Point Wine party, hosted by Arrow star Stephen Amell, was still ON! From stellar karaoke, to meeting new friends, to surprise guests, to laughing until your stomach hurt… you truly forgot about winter’s blast. To say that party was awesome is an absolute understatement. It is the Nocking Point party to which all others are compared.

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest 2016, Cosplay
Cosplay strong at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest 2016. Credit: Linda Marie

Finding Family

The convention did resume as scheduled the following morning and all fans were in the best of spirits. Cosplayers as far as the eye could see! Every effort was made by the incredibly hard working staff and volunteers to accommodate and/or compensate all fans. The ever generous HVFF management even planned a re-do of the entire event in July. It was another amazing weekend to re-connected with people I now call my friends. Even as I travel to other comic conventions, I meet people who experienced that infamous snowy weekend. We all agree that we would not have changed a thing.

Walker Stalker Con Philly, Rob Prior, Chandler Riggs
Chandler Riggs adds his touch to Rob Prior’s artwork. Credit: Linda Marie

Heroes To Horror

I never would have guessed that being caught up in what was declared as a ‘state of emergency’ would wind up being an experience I’d cherish for years to come! I was absolutely hooked. Two weeks later I attended my first Walker Stalker Con in Edison, NJ. I must confess, I had not watched one single episode of The Walking Dead at that point. My theory was, if it is run by Fan Fest, it’s gonna be great! It was. I definitely found myself in the right place at the right time as I observed artist Rob Prior work his magic. Rob was in the midst of creating a Walking Dead Carl Grimes painting when Chandler Riggs himself stepped in to add his touch. The fans were in awe. Being surrounded by such passionate horror enthusiasts and seeing them react to their favorite Walking Dead cast members, I knew I had to dive in. The rest is history.

Walker Stalker Philly, Fan Fest Team
Team photo at Walker Stalker Philly 2016. Credit: Linda Marie

Feasting On Fan Fest

I soon made my way to Walker Stalker Philadelphia, Heroes and Villains Fan Fest Atlanta, and most recently the combined Fan Fest event in Chicago. I have attended conventions both large and small and of different varieties but, I will tell you this, a fan can never go wrong in joining the excitement at HVFF or WSC. Fan Fest cares. Fan Fest is family. I have been blessed to connect with several individuals that work hard behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly and am absolutely grateful for all the access allowed to me during their awesome events. Special thanks to Michael Guthas, Liz Solo and Cory Hewitt.

Fan Fest Chicago 2017, Linda Marie
Loving Fan Fest Fest Chicago 2017. Credit: Linda Marie

Write On!

In addition to being welcome by so many wonderful people in the Fan Fest organization, I was recently accepted onto the stellar writing team for Fan Fest News! Fan Fest News is a site that not only serves as coverage for all things Walker Stalker Con and Heroes and Villains Fan Fest but, is also a great source for all the latest news in pop culture. It is my hope to become your top notch comic con correspondent and so much more. Thank you Shannon Toohey and all those responsible in helping to make the Fan Fest organization great!


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