Heroes & Villains Fanfest: New York 2016

NYNJ-1By Jason Borelli

Under normal circumstances, I am not driven by celebrities when I attend conventions. I look for deals, attend panels, and obtain sketches . . . not necessarily in that order. Sometimes, I hit a panel with somebody famous headlining. When I last attended Comic-Con in 2009, I hit Hall H super early for a panel on Doctor Who, as the David Tennant era was coming to a close. I wasn't a stone's throw from Tennant or Russell T. Davies, but I count it as a Doctor meeting.

Last November, I finally got around to hitting Long Island Who in Hauppauge, NY. Wound up staying at a hotel for two nights, but it beat commuting a few hours each way. Despite the chill and an underwhelming "live screening" of a new episode (not the organizers' fault that "Sleep No More" was a bit of a dud), I managed to get out and meet new people. Katy Manning (Jo Grant) hugged me twice. For Carole Ann Ford, I got a picture of her as Susan Foreman with calculations on a chalkboard behind her. I told her that I recognized the formula for quadratic equations. She asked me what that was about. I sputtered out an answer that I have since forgotten, and I wouldn't blame the professors from my college to give me the business for wasting their time.

Cut to today. I will be attending Heroes & Villains Fan Fest this weekend. Technically, it's taking place in Secaucus, NJ, but it'll take me a half hour to get there, so I'll allow it. There will be artists that scratch my itch for sketches, but the guest lineup is interesting. If you're a fan of superhero genre TV shows, this might be your con. There's going to be a lot of CW stars, headed by Stephen Amell. Haley Atwell will be there, a month after ABC pulled the plug on Agent Carter. Gotham? Four actors, including Sean Pertwee. I think meeting the son of a Doctor would count as an official encounter, especially given the uncanny resemblance. Watching Alfred cross swords with Azrael, I can't help but think of the sword fight between the Doctor and the Master in "The Sea Devils." And on top of all that? John Barrowman. Sure, Malcolm Merlyn might make for a pain as a recurring nemesis on Arrow, but I've heard fun stories about Barrowman's panels.

While I doubt that H&V will be as intimate as Long Island Who, I'm hoping to find stuff while I'm there. For instance . . is David Ramsey as jacked as he looks on television playing John Diggle? Is Charlotte Ross as big a hugger as Donna Smoak? And how much of a fan following does Katie Cassidy have, especially since the death of Laurel Lance went mostly unlamented at the forum I frequent? With New York Comic Con three months away, H&V should make for a good warmup.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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