After Walker Stalker/Heroes & Villains FanFest San Jose 2018 ended last December, there was no announcement for the 2019 show. Six months later, I started looking for a reason. I found an comment on the official Facebook page for Walker Stalker in March that there would be no San Jose show in 2019. A similar announcement went up on the unofficial Facebook page for Heroes & Villains FanFest San Jose in August. Reasons cited was the venue being unavailable for the desired dates and the show wouldn’t make money. That wasn’t the entire story. The organizers behind Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains Fan Fest are in deep trouble with fans, stars and vendors.
For some time, I’ve wanted to make a video about Heroes & Villains FanFest not returning to San Jose this year. Because I wasn’t a Walking Dead fan, I couldn’t really dig into what was going on with the organization that both events. The Beat recently came out with an excellent summary by Heidi MacDonald of what has been going on behind the scenes.
If you’re not familiar with Heroes & Villains FanFest, this event is for the fans of the Arrowverse TV series: Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and the new Batwoman. I’ve attended Heroes & Villains FanFest for the last three years. But not necessarily to meet the Arrowverse stars.
- At the 2016 show, I met Chloe Bennet from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series and watched The Rayford Brothers perform Johnny B. Goode as Batman, Robin and Riddler.
- At the 2017 show, I watched Ming Na-Wen from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. call out co-star and Silicon Valley resident, Brett Dalton, for not attending the show.
- The 2018 show was different since this was the first time that Heroes & Villains FanFest and Walker Stalker Con together in San Jose and had no one I wanted to meet from either Arrowverse or Walking Dead.
Since the 2018 show was lackluster than the previous shows, it didn’t surprise me that the organizers cancelled San Jose for 2019. San Jose as a show location wasn’t the real problem. The organization got into financial trouble for doing too much with two touring shows at the same time. The Better Business Bureau gave the organization an F for their business practices. Some people accused the current owner for running a Ponzi scheme by announcing shows and collecting the money, and he recently stepped down as an organizer. The new person to replace him is trying to straighten out the mess and set both shows on a stronger financial foundation.
The first major announcement is that Walker Stalker Con will stop touring and all future shows will be in Atlanta. That makes sense because The Walking Dead records in Georgia. Unfortunately, the stars of the Walking Dead have announced a boycott and won’t attend any Walker Stalker show. A show without guests to draw in attendees isn’t much of a show. The future of Walker Stalker is very much in doubt.
Heroes & Villains FanFest will continue to tour for already announced cities in 2019. No San Jose in the future. That’s a disappointment since I really enjoyed the San Jose show when they had Marvel guests. Given current troubles with the organization, I might hesitate to attend FanFest in the next year or two.
There is some good news. Wizard World is returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in Oakland on Friday, November 22, 2019, through Sunday, November 24, 2019. The last time Wizard World had a show in the Bay Area was San Jose in 2015. Funny how FanFest took over from 2016 through 2018 after Wizard World left and Wizard World is returning after FanFest had left San Jose this year. From what I’ve read about Wizard World, their organizers are a lot better.