TOMS RIVER – Batman was born when Bruce Wayne’s parents met their end in Crime Alley. Spider-Man was created when Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. And the Superhero Superfest had its origin this year at what organizers say will be an annual event.
The Pine Belt Arena, which is on the grounds of Toms River High School North, hosted the show. It was made up of dozens of tables and vendors surrounding audience seating for several events throughout the day. There were also separate areas for activities such as a Jedi Academy or a Hogwarts class.
The vendors sold comics, of course, but also figurines and quite a bit of games. There were a lot of local businesses, such as insurance companies or travel agencies. The workers staffing those tables frequently wore costumes or engaged the public in comic-inspired games.
There was a healthy amount of people in costume, and random attendees would flag a cosplayer down to get a picture taken with them. An Artist’s Alley, made up of people making their own art and comics, was pretty busy during the day.
Bill Barbato, events coordinator for Press Communications, which ran the show, said the convention will be the “first of many.”
He estimated more than 800 people in attendance. “It’s a great showing for a first time event.”
Their goal was to create a family-friendly event for children and adults to pursue their passions, and celebrate art and creativity, he said.
The show advertised appearances by Fear The Walking Dead’s Danay Garcia, and footballers Sean Landeta, Eric Dorsey, and Stephen Baker.
Unfortunately, one of the guests was not able to make it. Rene Auberjonois, best known in Sci-Fi circles for his role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, called the showrunners and apologized profusely for being too ill to make the trip.