Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2016
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thursday March 24 – Saturday March 26, 2016
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) FanX 2016 was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is different than the other SLCC convention in how they bring in a widely diverse set of fandoms. Guests included: Buzz Aldrin, Jeremy Renner, Kate Beckinsale, Nick Carter, Gillian Anderson, Matt Smith, George Takei, Danai Gurira, Jason Isaacs, Summer Glau, Chandler Riggs, Peter Facinelli, Alex Kingston, LeVar Burton, Tom Kenny, Alan Tudyk, and many more. The goal is to reach out to more than just geek culture. I say they succeeded.
A little more than a week ago SLCC announced a partnership with Pop Life Entertainment, the creators of the Funko Pop figures. The exciting news for SLCC attendees is that they will be able to look for a larger Pop presence at SLCC, including more exclusive Funkos!
The Walking Dead Experience was a new feature at FanX, which is an interactive zombie outbreak produced and created by Michael Counts and Walker Stalker. The experience is an immersive theatrical attraction with special effects and performers which runs for 30-90 minutes.
“Who is Kylo Ren?” was the first panel of FanX I attended. The panelists were: Bryan Young, Danielle UberAlles, Robert J. Defendi, Holly Frey, and Jimmy Martin. It was a fun panel all about Kylo Ren and his place in the Star Wars universe. Who knows where he’ll end up and if we will love him or hate him in the end.
The Video Game Music panel was another one I attended on Thursday. The panelists were: Rika Muranaka, Mark Dago, Daniel Fischer, Joe Greathouse, and David Payne. The main panelist was Muranaka, a composer for countless video games, including Metal Gear Solid. Muranaka explained the process of making video game music and let the audience know hip-hop is some of her favorite music to make.
Choose Your Own Supernatural Apocalypse is a raucous panel if I’ve ever seen one! It is an audience participation panel geared toward fans of the Supernatural series. The crowd was loud as the panelists asked for help in choosing their adventure and teams in the audience attempted to sway members of other teams to their side. There was a guitar and singing and everything! The panelists were: Holli Anderson, Jason King, Craig Nybo, and David J. West.
We had a wonderful time presenting our panel on The Latest and Greatest in Anime. The panelists were the same: John Evans, Breanne Evans, Brittany Evans, and Lindsay Starke. We talked about some of the best new anime that has starting airing in the past year. Thanks to FanX for giving us a larger panel room this year so that everybody could attend and thanks to everyone that attended the panel. We love presenting our anime panels and appreciate you coming to them. I will be putting up the detailed panel info so keep a look out for that!
The main point I took from the George Takei panel is that he is a busy man fighting for the rights of everybody out there. He spent a decent amount of time explaining how diverse Star Trek was in its casting, which was ahead of its time. He recently completed his Broadway musical, Allegiance, which is story of love, hope and forgiveness inspired by his life experience.
Rick and Morty: Traveling Through Social Issues was a fun panel for reminiscing about the best parts of the show. The panelists were: Charity O’Haodagain, Kohl Glass, Andy Wilson, Travis Hysell, Aaron Burton, and Katie Burton.
The Doctor Who panel with Alex Kingston, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Davison and Matt Smith was an absolute treat for any Doctor Who fan, myself included. I love panels with multiple people from a series because you’re able to hear comparisons between their times on the show. However, my favorite question was from the little boy that asked a question to Matt Smith. The boy introduced himself, look at Matt and said, “I have a question for Matt Smith…(awkward pause)…Do you like Ghostbusters?”. “Yes, I love Ghostbusters” Matt replied. It was fantastic, I just adore hearing kids ask fun questions like that. They have a curiosity that must be answered.
The last panel I attended was “From Deadpool to the Justice League: A Discussion with Kevin Maguire and Fabian Nicieza”. Maguire is known for his penciling artwork on Justice League, Batman Confidential, Captain America and X-Men. Nicieza has is a comic book writer who has worked on a variety of comics and is well known for creating Deadpool. The two have worked together on several projects, including a four-issue miniseries of Captain America. Nicieza wanted it to be clear that Deadpool is not a parody of any other character, especially not Deathstroke.
I am always impressed with the cosplay at FanX. My award for “Most Popular New Cosplay” goes to Rey from Star Wars. I saw many Rey cosplays, which I was fine with because she kicked butt in that movie. My award for “Where Did They Go?” goes to Link cosplays, which were few and far between.
I enjoyed the diversity of panels at this year’s FanX. There were so many interesting panels that I was unable to attend them all. I wanted to make it to a horror film panel but couldn’t because I was already in another awesome panel at the same time. The vendor booths were decent as always. I’m always looking for new anime merchandise and there was no shortage. I love the creativity in the artist alley. Even though I don’t have the space for any more wall art I’m still buying more because the artists are so clever with mashing up two of my favorite fandoms. I was also glad they brought back the TARDIS, orcs, Gandalf, and other photo opportunities.
Photos courtesy of Breanne Evans. Feel free to use, but please give credit to Fragglepuss.com for taking the photo.