Heroes, Zeroes & Geeks

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest 2018

I attended a crowded Heroes & Villains, my 1st Fan Fest in Edison, Not a Comicon! What’s the difference you ask? Well, allow me to explain: Comicon vs. Fan Fest vs. Furry Convention – where the truly detached come out to play. This is a gathering where you can watch a bunch of young adults and teenagers all dressed up as the same in a Coyote costume huddling together! Ripley’s Believe It – Or Say It Ain’t So!

A VIP ticket was $450 USD! Saturday, September 8th was Gotham Panel Day. Sunday, September 9th was The Flash Panel Day. Gotham Panel Day featured cast members: The Penguin, Barbara Gordon, Alfred the Butler, Master Bruce Wayne & Butch who were all seated joined by a sign language interpreter. You couldn’t hear the celebrities speak over the meager PA system being drowned out by the ambient clatter and I can’t read swift hand gestures.

For $20 USD, you could get your photo taken sitting behind the wheel of the bombastic Batmobile or actually siting on the fantastic Batcyle! Of course, both of these stylish futuristic vehicles were replicas of the original 1966 Batman TV series crime fighting arsenal. This price also included selecting a mini Batmobile model, a Bat themed poster and obtaining a cell photo.

Super Heroes Masquerading on Parade

Held in the middle of Newt Joisey, this Fan Fest resembled a low budget basement CosPlay presentation: In attendance were Fatgirl, The Flush, Blunder Woman and Bratman just to make fun of the shabby few. There was an average family each dressed up as a member of The Incredibles, cute and loathsome all at the same time! Scores of children were dressed up as their favorite super heroes or super villains!

There were several costume judging contests with super heroes and super heroines as well as evil super villains posturing together on stage. The oddball part of this public display was watching them all freeze on stage and holding their individual poses for a giant photograph as the fans were snapping away.

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Attention Whores Galore: there were Twin Black Canarys hamming it up and glamming it up in the path of any camera pointed in their direction. The two blondes were milking the attention of the amateur photographers who were fawning over them. Well they say, blondes have more fun. Women dressing up as comic book characters is always a colorful spectacle.

They had two whole rows of celebrity booths where Fan Fest fans would stand in line to get autographs and photographs for $40 a piece or the double package price of $70 USD! Did I mention that the Fest Fans had to stand in line and on line for quite some time? Now couldn’t these booth offers have been priced at a double deal rate at the slightly nicer cost of only $65 USD?

The Green Hornet: He Hunts the Biggest of all Game, Public Enemies who try to destroy our America

Low and Behold but what do my wandering eyes see: The Green Hornet and Kato! And wouldn’t you know it: my friends were nowhere nearby to take a photo of me with my second favorite super hero behind The Batman. I did get my picture taken with Captain Cold as Scarlet is a fan of The Flash. As a belated birthday gift, I presented Scarlet with a large Flash figure as we departed the Fan Fest.

The peculiar coincidence about seeing Green Hornet at the Fan Fest is that the Green Hornet television show launched on September 9, 1966, almost fifty-two years to the day. Nobody remembers who the Green Hornet is. The Green Arrow? No. The Green Lantern? No. I waited all my life for a modern Green Hornet film and we got a half decent spoof movie in January 2011, just in time for the Green Hornet’s seventy-fifth anniversary.

My friend had scored three expensive tickets and then graciously invited me to join my pseudo daughter Scarlet at the event. While my friend and I were causally chatting, out of nowhere comes this kid running pall-mall holding his hand over his mouth. He halts right in front of a large trashcan and begins to vomit. I turn to my friend and blurted: You missed my photo op! And she replied: It’s all fun and games until someone throws up in a trashcan.

Education in Edison

While we were in Edison, we took a small spin about the area and stopped to visit the Edison facility where he and his team worked on establishing patents from 1876 to 1884. There was a little Thomas Alva Edison gift shop to poke about for souvenirs. Edison was an amazing American inventor ahead of his time especially concerning the phonograph and was nicknames the Wizard of Menlo Park.

As our party of four were hungry, we deliberated about what to eat and then found a fantastic Indian cuisine restaurant and we ordered the best Indian carryout I have ever eaten. Wow, the lamb was hot-dam. It would appear there is a large Indian community nestled in Edison, possibly because one can easily travel to NYC from this location.

I journeyed from White Marsh to Metuchen switching from coaches to trains on differing rail lines and then onto buses and a brief subway ride! And I didn’t even get my photo taken with one of the random costumed Batmen in attendance. When arriving in Trenton, I discovered I had spent too much money and could have simply ridden back on the cheap lightrail line.

I was able to put my unused PA rail ticket to use for another journey on a later date right before it expired in March 2019, but The Monkees concert I had travelled to see that evening was postponed! What a byte on the keister. The NJ rail ticket went to waste. NJ Transit absconded my funds, ratfinks. It’s quite an offensive rip-off actually when you cannot utilize the train ticket on a later date.

John Lennon USPS Postage Stamp

The late John Lennon was finally honored on a U.S. postage stamp in a ceremony held in New York City, his adoptive home, on Friday, September 7, 2018. Lennon was a stamp collector himself as a youngster. I am a Beatles fan, a postage postmark collector, and was elated to learn that John Lennon’s image would adorn a U.S. Forever postage stamp. I am still hunting for the superior USPS Program package.

The image of John Lennon is one of my favorites of John from the photo session for his 1974 solo album Walls And Bridges. It was John’s last album of original material before Double Fantasy was released in 1980, and showcases his only #1 single in the USA after exiting The Beatles. Lennon had created a series of flaps that one could flip back and forth to change the images of Lennon on the exterior record jacket. Pretty humorous and a first special feature album presentation of its kind.

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Timothy Tilghman
Timothy Tilghman
Timothy Tilghman is a Columnist for NRN. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tilghman earned a Master of Arts degree in verbal and visual communications in December 2002. He has hosted a weekly radio program since June 2010. He has been a contributing Reporter to the Northern News since July 2013, which publishes weekly in Carroll County. Tilghman has written for two collegiate campus newspapers and published several independent newsletters.