Wednesday, July 06, 2016

"Arrow" and "Flash" stars converge on Heroes and Villains con in New York

Many thanks once again to guest blogger Brian Lombard, filing this fab report from the field after meeting cast members from a couple of our favorite shows this past weekend at the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest ...

While many Americans were spending the holiday weekend in their backyards or at baseball games, fans of the TV series’ “Arrow” and “Flash” descended on the Big Apple for the Heroes and Villains convention. Both casts were well represented, and they were joined by actors from their sister shows “Gotham” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” I love all of these shows, so my attendance was a foregone conclusion.

I always love the opportunity to get a star’s autograph, and this convention offered plenty of opportunities for that. First on my list was Neal McDonough, known in the “Arrowverse” as the evil Damien Darhk. I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him get assimilated by the Borg back in “Star Trek: First Contact,” but I always like to ask the stars about their lesser-known roles. Or at least ones that aren’t generally asked about at sci-fi conventions. With that mind, I asked him about “Walking Tall,” a film he made with Duane “The Rock” Johnson in 2004.

“That was fun,” McDonough said. “Duane is such a nice guy and we just had so much fun making that movie.”

Remembering that Damien Darkh seems to have an extraordinarily long life span, I asked McDonough just how old he’s supposed to be anyway.

“158,” he quipped, with a wink in his eye.

Next up was John Barrowman, perennial villain/ally/villain Malcolm Merlyn. Before “Arrow,” Barrowman made his name in the “Doctor Who” spin-off “Torchwood,” a series I know nothing about. I noticed he was wearing a Superman ring on his finger, and I decided to comment on that instead.

“Nice ring, Mr. Barrowman.”

“Thank you. You don’t know how many people like my ring ….. Brian" (reading my name on the post it note).

“Well, I didn’t want to bore you with another 'Arrow' question you’ve heard before.”

“Not at all. I’m just delighted I could throw a double entendre at you and it went right over your head.”

Nervous chuckle. “Thanks, Mr. Barrowman. I really enjoy the show.”

The other thing I like about these shows is the opportunity we get to have our photos taken with the stars. Budget be damned, there were two I simply had to have – Danielle Panabaker, aka Caitlyn Snow from “The Flash,” and a duo shot with “Arrow’s” Stephen Amell and David Ramsey. Unlike many conventions I’ve been to in the past, the photo sessions were very well-run and efficient. The lines moved very quickly and I had my prints in less than a minute. That said, you have to respect the actor’s time, and not bog them down during this process.

Once the photo ops were over, I went back for a few more autographs. I’m a big fan of Captain Lance, so I made my way to meet his alter ego, Paul Blackthorne. He was away doing his own photo ops at the time, so I was now first in his line, which quickly grew and grew. Fortunately we didn’t have too long to wait.

When he returned, I introduced myself and he thanked me for coming. He seemed the jovial type, so I asked him if Captain Lance was planning to attend any more of his daughters’ funerals next season (two girls with three funerals between them). He had a laugh at that, and said “God, I hope not. I don’t think his heart could take it. Been down that road too many times!”

I thanked him and quickly moved on to my final get of the day, Willa Holland, aka Thea Queen, aka Speedy. I met her, I got her autograph, and it was all very impersonal.

All in all, a fantastic convention.

Brian Lombard, shown above with Stephen Amell and David Ramsey, is quite fond of television both classic and modern. Check out his book "Bradypalooza: The Unauthorized Guide to TV's Favorite Family" on Amazon.

Photos courtesy of Brian Lombard;
please do not copy without permission.

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