As promised, this is the first of numerous posts reporting on Heroes and Villains. I will be meeting with my fantastic camera crews over the next few days (video: Scott Sowter and Shannon Smith; Stills Troy Spears) to put together the cosplay galleries, as well as to get copies of the interviews that I had with Amber Benson and Frazer Hines. I will include my more amateurish photos here for now until I get the higher quality images from my colleague Troy. This gallery is available at the end of the post.
The Pavillion at Penrith Panthers was absolutely lovely. Though smaller than Supanova, there were many great stall at which any self-respecting geek, nerd, or fanboy/girl could dispose of any cash they no longer wanted anymore. I will highlight some of the individual exhibitors later this week, including an interview with Adrian Harlor at the Gametraders stand.
As I have come to expect for an occassion organised by Culture Shock Events, despite the occasional unavoidable mishap, the event was overall very well organised and ran very smoothly, with clear times set for photo and autograph opportunities with stars as well as a good use of the main stage for panels with the guests. As there was only one stage, there was no issue with microphone cross chatter, which always seems to have an impact at Supanova.
The crowd was smaller than I would have expected, and I was anticipating a bit more cosplay. However, I hope word about this event spreads for next year such that more people support it and there is a greater selection of cosplay to enjoy.
The festivities actually began on the Friday evening. It was a cocktail party that was a little bit pricier, but it gave attendees a chance to mingle with the celebrity guests over a cold beer or a glass of wine. I was a bit star struck to start with, but after a shove from the lovely co-organiser Renee I got up the courage to have my first chats with both Frazer Hines and Amber Benson. Yes, those were the two stars I was most excited to meet, and they will feature heavily in my posts of the event. It was a lovely evening, with fine wine, fine food, and fine people. It was not only good to meet the guests, but also to meet a few of the other fans that were enjoying the weekend with us
Apologies in advance, but I did not attend the panels featuring Manu Bennett and Tyler Posey. I gather from the volume of screaming women from each, however, that they were quite popular. Unfortunately both Teen Wolf and Spartacus exist in my blind spots, however I do hope to rectify that error as soon as my university commitments ease a little more.
I attended Frazer Hines panel on the Saturday, which was a Q & A in which he shared many anecdotes about his time on Doctor Who, why he, Patrick Troughton, and Wendy Padbury all left at the same time, and amazed us with his incredibly authentic Patrick impersonation. It was very clear to all fans present that he and Patrick were close, and some beautiful stories from their friendship were shared.
The next panel I attended was on Sunday featuring Amber Benson. She was lovely and very gracious with her fans, amazing many with her memory recall for names, as many of her questions came from fans that had met her in the photo booth or at the autograph tables. She opened up to the crowd, belting out a few lines from the Buffy musical episode, and was in general very humorous and entertaining.
Finally I saw Frazer yet again on Sunday with his one man show, The Time Travelling Scot. It is definitely a show for the die-hard classic Who fans, as he jumps right in, sharing clips from all his episodes while on Doctor Who, and sharing stories and background to each. As a fan myself I was rapt.
Here is the first cosplay gallery we are uploading, which are snaps that I grabbed throughout the weekend. We will have a more comprehensive gallery available within the next 48 hours.