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What’s up Arrow Squad?! You may be wondering what this new episode is doing in your feed, so let me assure you, we had a good reason for releasing this in Arrow’s off week. The Shadow and I (Miss Ice) attended the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in San Jose, CA over the weekend of November 21 & 22, the first of what we hope to be many like-conventions. This installment is a live recording we did on Saturday night after the festivities ended for the day. Included at the end of this blog post is a photo gallery, so don’t miss that.
What can I say about Heroes & Villains? It was absolutely fantastic. Everything about it ran smoothly, felt right, and was enormously entertaining. This fan fest was a byproduct of the Walker Stalker conventions that have become enormously popular throughout the U.S., and now branching out into Europe. Stephen Amell was invited to a Walker Stalker convention as a guest, a panelist, and the idea for Heroes & Villains was birthed from that experience. While this was the first HVFF (Heroes and Villains Fan Fest), it was not the first convention thrown by those in charge. It was a well-oiled machine, and it shows.
By the time Shadow, Miss Light (The Shadow’s wife), and I sat down to record our reactions to Day 1, we’d experienced a very unique side of a con. As many of you know, The Shadow and I attended DragonCon in September — my second time, his first — and we had the opportunity to see many of the same folks there. HVFF is not DragonCon. If I had to compare it to anything, I’d compare it to a mashup of Comic Con and Wizard World, but even then the comparison falls short; it’s not as big as Comic Con, but the selection of vendors is absolutely similar to Wizard World. The entertainment, selection and quality of the guest panelists was stellar, but better than Wizard World, but that may have to do with He Who Orchestrated it all.
HVFF revolved heavily around the cast of Arrow, with the addition of Danielle Panabaker, Robbie Amell, Lana Parilla, Rebecca Mader, and Karen Gillan as additional outlying, but nonetheless entertaining, guests. As the central theme is heroes and villains, familiarity with these actors who attended leaves little to the imagination as why they were present.
I don’t know anything about the actors’ opinions of attending; whether it was something they wanted to do, whether it was a favor to Stephen, whether the concept as a whole is something they are getting behind. But if any of them had negative opinions or a general disinterest in being there, they did not show it. It was genuinely fun — and funny — to listen to stories, witness the interactions between the cast members, and have the opportunity to probe the brains of the folks who bring our favorite comic book stories to life.
Much of what happened on the panels reminds me of stories Kevin tells about DragonCon. The whole, “You just never know what’s going to happen!” sort of angle. John Barrowman randomly crashed The Lance’s panel, dancing and half-mooning the audience; Neal McDonaugh attacked John Barrowman with a nerf gun, to which Barrowman retaliated with silly string; an extremely emotionally-distraught fan sat on stage with David Ramsey during the last fourth of his panel; and Stephen and Robbie Amell played Corn Hole with a couple of Sharks fans. It was different, it was dynamic, and we had a total blast.
In the podcast, we relate our highlights from Day 1. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to record a Day 2 podcast due to timing, but we hope to gradually tell stories through pictures, via Twitter and Facebook, over the next couple weeks! Be sure you are in touch with us through social media!
We cannot give a higher recommendation for a fan convention to someone like you. If you’re reading this blog post, I’m staking the probability of your love of Arrow or The Flash fairly high. There is another fan fest scheduled for a weekend in January out East. All the details on that one can be found at the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest website.
The epic two night crossover event is happening December 1 and 2! Get caught up on The Flash by listening to Tony and Joe over at Central City Underground! We will be recording a podcast crossover with the guys from CCU and are so excited to be able to share that with you all!