Nov 17, 2016
Even though the city won't be in danger from extraterrestrial life or mad supervillains this weekend, Doctor Who, Jedis and superheroes alike will be convening in Batavia to partake in Foxprowl-Con.
This is the second year Foxprowl-Con will be coming to the city, and there will be some noticeable changes for those who went last year.
"I thought the big draw was going to be celebrities but locally that wasn’t the biggest thing," said Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl and Fowprowl-Con's organizer. "People were more excited about the whole interactive experience."
Although there won't be as many celebrity guests this year as opposed to last — eight compared to 18 — those who are coming this year include several big names.
- Ari Lehman, who played Jason in the original Friday the 13th.
- Lydia Criss, an author and photographer who released a book on the band KISS and is the former wife of Peter Criss, the band's original drummer.
- Bill Diamond, a puppet fabricator and performer, who has worked with Jim Henson on Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, The Great Muppet Caper, the Muppet Shorts and Fraggle Rock, and is also responsible for "Dr. Rock's Dinosaur Adventure" which aired on Fox television in the 1990s.
- Mark Dodson, a voice actor who did all the voices in the Gremlins movies, and was a voice in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Hannah Hall, who played young Jenny Curran in Forrest Gump, and yelled the line, "Run Forrest, run!" She also was in Rob's Zombie's Halloween, playing Judith Myers, the first victim, and was Cecilia Lisbon in The Virgin Suicides.
- Rashaad Santiago, who is from Batavia and the season six champion of Face Off where special effects make-up artists compete against each other.
- Steve Geiger, a Marvel comic artist.
- Kurt Lehner, character designer and animation artist at Disney.
"As far as activities go, we have over 60 different free panels, presentations, questions and answers, tutorials, interactive games and movies going on all day, every day," Hume said. "There are five separate rooms, and at any point of the day there is five separate things to do outside the main area of the convention. All those events are free."
He said Ookla the Mok, a nerd rock band, will be performing all three days, singing songs about superheroes and Star Trek. The Ghostbusters of Rochester, Rolling Hills Aslyum and Experience Entertainment will also be making appearances.
Board games will available for people to come and play for free and cosplay contests will be going on every day with prizes available for the best costumes. There will also be professional costume clubs at the convention, which will collect donations for charity.
The idea of Foxprowl-Con started forming Hume’s mind as a child. He was into collectables, Doctor Who and other fandoms.
"I used to attend Doctor Who conventions in Buffalo and Rochester in the early 1980s, and that kind of gave me the bug to want to do something like that someday," he said. "Later on I ended up opening the collectable shop, and this kind of stemmed from that."
Last year Foxprowl-Con drew in about 600 people, including from place such as Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Toronto and New Jersey. This year he's hoping 800 to 1,000 people to show up over the course of the weekend.
Hume called the convention a "labor of love," saying he’s juggling 80 vendors; 20 to 30 sponsors; dealing with attendees and questions; celebrity agents; airlines; the hotel and other logistics in order to create a successful convention.
"I have to pay attention to everybody when they need something, and it gets very overwhelming sometimes. That's why I said it's a labor of love — otherwise I would not be doing this again," he laughed.
Hume holds Foxprowl-Con in November because other local conventions tend to be held in the spring and summer, and this is the weekend where a lot isn't going on.
Ticket prices — which are the same for pre-sale and at the door — are $10 for a Friday pass, $20 for a Saturday pass, $15 for a Sunday pass and $30 for an all-weekend pass. People can also buy a weekend V.I.P pass for $80 which allows 30 minute early admission all three days, 10 minute early admission for celebrity panels for choice seating, express admission, special limited edition items in a gift bag, going to the head in autograph lines, and a free Foxprowl-Con t-shirt and exclusive print. Children 12 and under are free with a paid adult.
Doors open at Foxprowl Con, which is being held at the Quality Inn & Suites/Palm Island Indoor Waterpark on 8250 Park Rd. in Batavia, on Friday from 4-9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit www.foxprowlcon.com.