Salt Lake Comic Con 2015
Salt Lake City, Utah
Day 3, Saturday September 26th 2015
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Chris Evans kicked off day three with a morning panel. He was joined by Anthony Mackie. Despite the enormous Grand Ballroom, there were still not enough seats to accommodate the demand for Chris Evans. SLCC was aware of this beforehand and had instituted a lottery system to get into the panel.
Speaking of panels and panel entry, the system for panel entry seems to be improving with each convention put on in Salt Lake City. Lines still form, but they are managed better than some of the other conventions I have attended of a similar size. For example, Anime Expo in California is a total disaster when it comes to lines. Attendees wait in line for hours to get into a single panel, which is bad, but the worst part is the lines to get into panels are sometimes not in front of the panel room, with no instruction on where the line is located. Some of the lines at that convention are outside the convention center in a completely different area. When the time comes to enter a panel, the line is led by a volunteer and the crowd follows them halfway across the convention center. I think there is room for improvement at SLCC, but I know that the convention has improved every time in line management, which shows they are working on it.
The Doctor and Violence was another morning panel on Saturday. The panelists were: Michelle Talkington, Ryan Harvey, Chase Myers, Presley Alexander, Kyle J. Steenblik, and Tyson Huber. The main question brought up, is the Doctor a good man? The question brought different opinions and the audience was split on the decision. The conclusion was that the Doctor changes based on the reincarnation and sometimes he is better than others. Sometimes the Doctor is violent and other times he is opposed to violence. However, he is constantly put in the situation where he must use some sort of violence for the greater good. In that case, is he truly violent, or is he not violent because he is using the minimal amount of force or having someone else do the violence for him?
Vic Mignogna is a voice actor and musician known for his anime dub roles like Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Broly in Dragon Ball Z, and Tamaki Suoh in Ouren High School Host Club. He is a regular in Utah, appearing at multiple SLCC events in addition to the Anime Banzai convention in Layton, Utah on several occasions. His panel got off to an interesting start when he thanked Pheonix Comic Con for having him…Of course the audience was silent and confused as that happened. Vic then apologized profusely for his mistake. The panel was interesting, Vic spoke mainly on the importance of accepting everyone for who they are, not bullying others, and not being mean on the internet. I agree with everything he said, but it seemed kind of odd to get so heavy for an entire panel at a geek convention. He was a really nice guy though.
Twisted Toonz: Voice Actor Script Read – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was probably the funniest panel I attended at SLCC this year. It was exactly what it sounds like, several voice actors reading the lines of Harry Potter in the voices of their characters. The panelists were: Jeff Zannini, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, Dee Bradley Baker, and Maurice LaMarche. The panel was such a hit at FanX that it was moved to the Grand Ballroom, where it filled the room. Their panels can be found on YouTube, so check it out if you want a good laugh.
On Friday the convention set out to break the Guinness World Record for “The Largest Gathering of Comic Book Characters”. That record was shattered! There were 1,784 cosplayers gathered, breaking the previous record of 1,530 that was set in China. Congratulations to SLCC and all the cosplayers in breaking a world record!
The Latest and Greatest in Anime was presented by our Anime Happy Hour and Fragglepuss.com crew, which is: John Evans, Breanne Evans, Brittany Evans, and Lindsay Starke. Thanks to everybody that attended the panel, we really appreciate the support. We covered new anime from the past year. In the panel we reviewed new anime that started airing in the past year. There are a significant number of new anime, 50+ each season, so it is not possible to review everything that has started airing. I will be posting a full recap of the panel on Fragglepuss.com sometime soon. If you were unable to attend the panel, you can find the recap on this website, or you can find the full audio of the panel on the Anime Happy Hour YouTube channel. We apologize that we did not have a large enough panel room to accommodate everyone that wanted to join our panel. We want as many people as possible to come to the panel, but it is not our call how large of a panel room we get. If you are feeling up to it, you can email Salt Lake Comic Con and let them know that we should get a larger room next time. Be nice though, we don’t want to cause problems, we just want SLCC to know there are lots of anime fans at comic con!
John Barrowman’s panel was amazing! He is such a great person. He came out doing a live video on Facebook, and the crowd went nuts! Not only was John fun and entertaining, he was genuine. He told the story of when he and his husband got married, and how they stayed at the courthouse for hours afterwards to be the witnesses for other gay couples because many of the other couples had no one left to be a witness for them. After he told the story he sang A Thousand Years and he sounded so great. John answered a bunch of questions and then closed out the panel by singing I Am What I Am. I am usually content to attend a panel once, but if John Barrowman comes back to Salt Lake, I will definitely be attending his panel again.
The Cosplay contest/celebration closed out the Grand Ballrooom on the final day of SLCC 2015. The contest began by bringing out the honorable mentions, giving them an opportunity to showcase the cosplay they had worked so hard on. Next was a showing of a Supernatural parody video by The Hillywood Show, finished off by a live dance performance by Hillywood, complete with dozens of dancers in the audience. The cosplay contest consisted of novice, intermediate, master, and group categories, all of which had impressive cosplay.
Saturday was the most crowded day at SLCC. The vendor area was packed, which is to be expected on the main day of such a large event. The Salt Palace convention center was full and the attendees went all out for the final day. One of the things I enjoy about this convention is that you can just hang out and watch so much cosplay go by. As a whole, SLCC was a great time. The panels were enjoyable and diverse, the vendor area was robust with a variety of wares, and the geeks were out in full force.
Photos courtesy of Breanne Evans. Feel free to use but please give credit to Fragglepuss.com