Heroes and Villain Fan Fest (HVFF) returned to San Jose, California for its third time and to the place where it all started. Since coming to HVFF the three years it’s been in San Jose, I’ve gotten to watch the festival grow and mature from how it started to how it is now. And I’m happy to report that the guest experience continues to improve and the comic enthused community continues to grow and thrive in the Bay Area.
Unfortunately, I was only able to check out the Sunday lineup but you can re-live the whole weekend in photos here. But let’s now jump into what went down on Sunday in HVFF San Jose.
I have to first start off by saying that I am so happy I ate breakfast right before attending the event because there was so much to see and do that I didn’t catch a break (or lunch for that matter) until 2pm. So take it from me, attend the whole weekend if you can.
So when you walk into the convention center, the check-in process still remained about the same. To check-in, there were booths for general ticket holders, VIPs, and media, which made getting your pass quick and easy. The only thing left to go before you entered the hall was bag check, but that was a breeze as well.
Once you enter the hall, you immediately get sucked into the madness where the open floor plan has its array of vendors where you can get your share of awesome art and merchandise to get signed by your favorite celebrity and to take home. Usually, most vendors can take card. I’m not sure about you, but I rarely carry cash.
Speaking of cash, the same rules that were implemented at past HVFFs applied to this one where you had to bring cash if you want to get any selfies, autographs or other photo opportunities with your favorite celebrities. There are ATMs at most major convention centers but probably best to stop by the bank the night before, just to be safe.
The major difference with the HVFF layout was that they moved the panels to a separate, enclosed room. Besides Stephen Amell’s panel, which was the first one of the day, it was pretty easy getting a seat and attending every panel with a good (or at least decent) view. The room held a good amount of people and the panels were back-to-back all day that the chances of you getting a good seat in at least one of them was really high.
Speaking of panels, talk about a packed schedule. Remember how I noted that I didn’t eat lunch until the afternoon? Well, this is why. The panel schedule was packed with great shows and celebrities that you didn’t want to miss anything. But since they were back-to-back, you really only had time to run and use the bathroom if you didn’t want to miss anything. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the Legends of Tomorrow panel but I got to see both Arrow panels where Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, and Emily Bett Rickards kicked it off, then the ladies of Arrow followed suit. Then immediately after, I got to catch the This is Us panel (and yeah, maybe I got the feels when the two got on stage … or maybe it was allergies!) Surprisingly, the panel room wasn’t full for this one, but it was a little after the lunch hour so maybe the timing played a part in that. But seriously, if you haven’t watched the show, please do. The show truly deserves more credit than it’s getting and I apologize in advance for the crying that will happen after every emotional episode.
As noted before, I really wish I could’ve stayed for the Legends of Tomorrow panel but my stomach was starting to eat itself. So an area that the HVFF team can consider improving on is the food options. The food options are very limiting to what the convention center offers. Sure, we can go outside of the building and venture off, but as most people like to do, everyone likes staying close to the attention. It would have been nice to see food trucks or carts outside in the open space of the convention center so there would be more food options than the typical convention center food (i.e. hot dogs, sandwiches, etc.) You can also pack your lunch, but if you’re doing last minute changes on your cosplay outfit, then you surely won’t be thinking about packing lunch for the weekend.
But once I got a quick bite, it was off to one of my favorite parts of the weekend and that’s checking out the artists and various vendors. I have my fair share of nerd gear and my collection continues to grow. I also love supporting local artists so I take any chance I can to support local business. After grabbing a few new art pieces, I booked it for the last panel of the day which was Zachary Levi’s panel. The dude is so charismatic and hilarious and just knows how to naturally captivate an audience that it definitely ended the HVFF weekend on a high note.
Overall, HVFF San Jose 2017 was the best run out of all the years. The festival continues to improve, the team continues to find ways on how to improve the guest’s experience, and the team continues to bring an array of celebrities that you really don’t know who will show up and that’s why you have to continue to attend.