Thursday, May 15, 2014
(Pre)Con-Man: Salt Lake Comic Con
Clicking around the ol' interwebs I came across the first guest announcement for Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Back to the Future's Christopher Lloyd, Ghostbusters' Ernie Hudson and Brisco County, Jr. himself Bruce Campbell will anchor the show which debuted last year. Apparently it was a big frigging deal too as it became the most attended first year convention in history with some 72,000 attendees showing up causing the Fire Marshall to only allow one entrant per one departure. Their next show, the Salt Lake Comic Con FanX event drew 100,000 goers and received some heavy support via Governor Gary Herbert declaring a holiday in honor of the convention. Their Facebook page has 95,000+ Likes making it the most popular Utah based page on the social network.
Salt Lake Comic Con seems to be a perfect example of the new breed of conventions, shows based around celebrity talent and selling autographs. From there you can plan spotlights and reunion panels for said celebs along with any well known artists and writers in addition to the exhibition floor hocking comics, art and swag as well as Artist Alley where you can pick up sketches, buttons and all that good stuff. Tickets are pretty reasonable with $60 bucks scoring you all 3 days of the show plus early entry to the floor and panels AND a free t-shirt! 2013's guest list included the likes of Adrian Paul, Burt Ward, Dean Cain, Henry Winkler?!, Manu Bennett, Scott Campbell and Stan Lee. Last year's programming was a nice offering with panels on Anime, Fantasy Films, Cosplay, Copyright Law, JRR Tolkien, Harry Potter, Sci-Fi Dating, writing, directing and much more. After 2013's stellar success, I can only imagine even bigger names showing up this year. But surging attendance comes with massive growing pains as we witnessed at Seattle's Emerald City Comicon where the show took over the segmented convention center with some areas not easily accessible and a staff of unprepared volunteers who didn't know where to direct traffic.
But shows like Salt Lake are great because they're big enough with plenty of attractions to keep you busy but nothing unmissable so you can come and go as you please then go see the city a bit. I've only spent enough time in Salt Lake to land, rent a car and drive to Park City so I'll be ready to take in some history and culture like the Olympic Park and Natural History Museum. Since it's not until September there's still plenty of time to find the best Gotta Eat! and Drank! spots around.
Celebs, cosplay and celebrating: