January 1st, new year… new goals. While some people start planning out their new years gym resolutions, set professional goals for themselves at work, or try to reach out to friends they haven’t been in touch with recently (or all of the above), there are some people who immediately plot out their vacations and mini-trips throughout the year; or maybe I’m the only one that does that.
One think that active nerds, geeks and cosplayers always like to plan out, is their convention schedules. I find myself doing this annually, attending some of my favorite cons for a second…third… or even fourth year in a row. However, I also like to throw in a new con every year, mostly just to say that I’ve attended that convention but also to get a change of scenery.
One convention that I can honestly say has been and will be on my ‘repeat’ list is both Heroes and Villains Fan Fest and Walker Stalker Con. Some of you that are reading this may say ‘she writes for Fan Fest, naturally she will say that’. Actually, I bought tickets to my first Heroes and Villains months before I even started writing for Fan Fest. It was for Heroes and Villains in San Jose, California. Ironically, this convention fell right before one of my Military Activations, so I thought… why not? I’ll attend one more con before I go away. They have people from Arrow, The Flash, Gotham and Once Upon A Time there; and also, I’ve never been there before. So I made that journey across the United States, got a hotel room with my friend Sandy, and we flew out that Friday morning.
Having been to conventions ranging from Wizard World to smaller cons local cons by me, I was not sure what to expect. Would I actually get to meet Stephen Amell? Would I be able to afford an autograph from Caity Lotz? Questions were flying through my mind.
However, almost immediately after walking into the convention center where it was being held, I knew that flying across the country was incredibly worth it.
The celebrity guest were actually walking across the floor, just talking to their fans as if they were long lost friends. I saw actors and actresses at their tables taking selfies, sharing jokes and even having elongated conversations with their fans at their tables. Just witnessing that was an experience all on its own. At one point, John Barrowman took out a nerf gun and was shooting darts at David Ramsay for no reason at all… just because!!
Heroes and Villains is one of those conventions where it isn’t just about what guests are there… it really is all about that fan experience. James, the founder of Heroes and Villains and , really does a spectacular job along with his staff to ensure that every single fan has an experience that they can truly treasure and remember.
Everything from the Q&A Panels to the Photo ops, from the table signings to the kids corner; James and his staff never miss a beat and always provide a one-of-a-kind phenomenal convention experience. It is truly amazing experience, where you get that interaction with your favorite celebrities that you cannot find at most other cons.
Check out this adorable video of Stephen interacting with a young Cosplayer dressed as Felicity Smoak:
Let me take a quick minute to state that I always enjoy every single con I go to (NYCC, Wizard World, etc.) and that I would no way speak poorly about them, because they are also quite enjoyable!
One thing that I absolutely admire about HVFF and WSC is that they both provide free admission to all military personnel. As a Soldier myself, I have felt extremely honored to have a convention provide us with such an amazing experience as this. Also, the volunteers have been some of the most spectacular and amazing people that I know; I cannot credit them enough!!
So if you have not attended a Heroes and Villains or a Walker Stalker, be sure to put them on your list. With new locations slowly making their way in, it is a con that everyone can truly enjoy! If you’re looking for that warm, homey and interactive conventions, these cons are truly the one for you!
James and Stephen even put their heads together to come up with the a spur the moment one day convention to support the victims of the tragic shooting in Orlando last year. There is a heart that comes along with this convention that you won’t find anywhere else; and I’m not just talking about in the convention world… I’m talking about in the world today.
Thank you, James and Stephen for everything that you have done. Your support for the Orlando Community, along with the various fan bases, has been extremely moving and motivating.
Heroes and Villains is exactly the kind of convention that that fandom craves. It’s one-of-a-kind, exceptional and it isn’t just a con…. it is an EXPERIENCE!!
Julia recently published her first novel, titled; Anomic. She is currently co-authoring a novel called ‘Snow Falls’. She has a B.A in Communications with concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations. She is also in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree in Business. When she isn’t writing, she is co-owner of a film production studio called ‘Valentine Productions LLC’ and she frequently spends her weekends acting in films, or being a stuntwoman.