Heroes & Villains FanFest and Walker Stalker Con shared not only the same space, but the same badges and attendees. However, it wouldn’t be right to call it “two cons for the price of one,” as it was essentially one convention with two halves. On one side of the guest area, booths were set up for attendees to meet their favorite actors from the CW’s shows based on DC Comics, like Brandon Routh or Tom Cavanaugh. On the other side, actors from “The Walking Dead” had their own booths, including Chandler Riggs and Khary Payton. Other guests included Val Kilmer, Jon Bernthal, and several other actors familiar to fans of comics.
In addition to the autograph sessions, attendees could buy tickets for professional photo ops. Otherwise, they could wait through the lines (which would vary in length based on if they had attendee, VIP, or Gold/Platinum badges) to get their goods signed and selfies taken. Prices varied from guest to guest, but they were typically between $30-60.
Outside of the guest areas, the Dealers Hall contained all the usual vendors one sees at cons. There were comic books, photographs, memorabilia, prop weapons and more for sale, along with several unique booths from artists and craftsmen selling handmade goods.
However, a few staples from previous years were notably absent. Previous FanFests had unique attractions like an inflatable zipline or bounce house set up, which added something new to the events. Similarly. the panel stage had been moved from near the Dealers Hall to its own separate room, so attendees could no longer watch the panels while browsing the halls or getting food. While this was not a debilitating loss, they did add a certain uniqueness to previous conventions that were more than welcome, so they were missed nonetheless.
There were other attractions, though, such as a zombie shooting booth, where attendees could fire laser tag-style guns at targets in a room filled with screaming animatronic zombies. Players earned points based on their hits which could be exchanged for prizes.
Beside that was a truck for virtual reality gaming. To the side of that were a few photo areas, including a set based on “Stranger Things” and an area with a zombified Santa Claus. There was also a cosplay repair station there, which was helpful for cosplayers with costumes in need of a quick fix.
Speaking of cosplayers, there were some fantastic ones in attendance. Plenty came dressed as their favorite characters from “Arrow,” “The Flash,” or “The Walking Dead,” but the variety of characters stretched through comics, anime, and television. From children dressed as their favorite Pokemon to adults in working Iron Man armor, there were plenty of fans showing off their favorite costumes.
Attendance was clearly high as well, as each day began with lines of attendees waiting in seemingly endless lines for the main hall to open. In spite of the numbers, the lines were still managed well and moved fast, so it never felt like anything was lagging. The convention continues to grow, but is managing its lines and crowds quite well.
Overall, Heroes & Villains FanFest (plus Walker Stalker Con) was a fun convention and a great way to spend the weekend. While some of the touches it had in previous years were missed, it still brought plenty of excellent guests from a wide range of TV shows, and had a delightful atmosphere from open until close.
Agent P G33ktography