Salt Lake Comic Con 2015
Day 1, Thursday September 24th 2015
Salt Lake City, Utah
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) 2015 kicked off with a bang! You know it is going to be a great geek convention when you are surrounded by trolls and the TARDIS before you even enter the convention center. Upon entering the convention there is a variety of photo opportunities: The Iron Throne, the car from Supernatural, Han Solo in carbonite, Gandalf, Smeogal, the SLCC car, and a quality Back to the Future backdrop.
A major part of the comic con convention is the celebrities. SLCC brought in celebrities from all sorts of backgrounds, with the main attraction being the Captain America crew of Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie. Other celebrities included: Ian Somerhalder, Felicia Day, James and Oliver Phelps, John Barrowman, Jenna Louise Coleman, Sean Astin, Alan Tudyk via Skype, Anthony Daniels, Manu Bennett, Scott Wilson, Marina Sirtis, Denis O’ Hare, Dean O’ Gorman, Dee Bradley Baker, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, Walter Koenig, Kristin Bauer, and many more. The list goes on and on. I was sad that Emma Caulfield cancelled, but I guess that is just the way it goes. In addition to all the actors there were authors, comic creators, artists, and professional cosplayers.
SLCC introduced ZipQ this year, which is a new reservation system for panels available to VIP pass holders. It allows VIPs to make a reservation for a panel in order to spend less time in line. SLCC is also using the RFID wristbands for the second time, which seem to have worked at the previous convention and worked well for day one of this con.
The “Funko Presents Pop! Life World Tour” joined SLCC. The POP! Life World Tour has made appearances in Bangkok, Manila, and San Diego. The tour made a stop at SLCC before continuing to Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. The exhibition features Funko’s POP Asia and Hikari collectible toy lines as well as life size statues, stunning art prints and Funko prototypes. The life size statues included, among others, a C3P0 that was a fan favorite.
SLCC has always provided fun food and beverage options at previous conventions, and they are once again providing food stations like Peter Parker’s Pizza and beer options at the Hobbit House Inn. I realize it is kind of cheesy, but I think it’s fun and adds to the experience.
Kid Con is present once again at SLCC, with all sorts of activities for the younger comic con crowd. Two pirate ships have crashed into the convention and are allowing children to climb all over them. There is an obstacle course with tubes, tunnels, and all sorts of obstacles requiring dexterity to complete. A robot building area allows the kids to bring out their mechanical side. An exciting addition to Kid Con this year is the Saber Guild Star Wars training, which is a Star Wars approved training for kids, with SLCC being one of few locations with this official training.
The board game area, video game area, and arcade have been moved to be close to one another. If you are searching for a four player battle, check out Pac Man Battle Royale in the arcade. If you want to sit back and play a board game, there is a whole game library available to check out and enjoy. If you are more inclined to the video games, just head past the board game area to reach the video game arena.
The Utah Lego Users Group has been a staple at SLCC since year one and is back with all-new displays. My favorite of the convention is the Hunger Games set that included the arena from Catching Fire, the train, and the entrance where the tributes are introduced, complete with a crowd of Lego spectators from all universes.
The only panel I attended on day one was Anime in the 1990s. The panelists were Aaron Lee Yaeger, John Saffell, Emma Fyffe, and Warky T. Chocobo. It was a light-hearted panel that went over all manner of 1990s anime, from Ranma ½ to Tenchi Muyo. The panelists were upbeat, the crowd was fun, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
Day one at Salt Lake Comic Con was an overall good time. The cosplay was out in full force and was a joy to admire. It seems that the cosplay is getting better with each passing SLCC. Speaking of the force, it was good to see some R2D2 units rollinf around the convention. The vendor area and artist alley were impressive, as always. I found a booth I have never seen before, Super Emo Friends. Their booth was so funny, they draw characters from different universes and add an emo saying at the bottom of the drawing, showing how the character really feels inside with all their feelings. If you are at SLCC, you can find them at booth Teal 24.
Photos courtesy of Breanne Evans. Feel free to share photos, but please give credit to Fragglepuss.com.