Review of Salt Lake Comic Con 2016

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Salt Lake Comic Con 2016

Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday September 1 – Saturday September 3, 2016

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

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Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) 2016 was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Some of the guests included: Mark Hamill, William Shatner, Stephen Amell, Famke Janssen, Robert Englund, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and even John Cena!

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Multiple fandoms were represented through the guest list: Star Wars, Star Trek, MARVEL, DC Comics, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Arrow, The Walking Dead, Voice Actors, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

SLCC 2016 features included: 501st Legion Alpine Garrison, life-size action figure box, Pop Life, arcade gaming, Azog statue, Borg Alcove, “Baby” 1967 Chevy Impala, Captain America Harley, Gaming Lounge, Gandalf statue, General Lee, Ghostbusters SLC, Gollum statue, Han Solo in Carbonite, HEROIC cosplay group, Pop Life Iron Throne, Jurassic Jeep, Kids Heroes Foundation, Mandalorian Mercs, R2 Droid Builders Show, REACH cosplay group, Rebel Legion, Rocket Raccoon statue, Saber Guild, Silver Surfer statue, Sparrow, Speeder, Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet, Character Booking Story Time cosplay group, TARDIS, Troll statues, Umbrella Corporation Utah Hive, Utah Browncoats, Walking Dead Honda, and Wish Upon a Party cosplay entertainers.

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Mark Hamill kicked off Salt Lake Comic Con with a panel in Vivent Arena, where the Utah Jazz NBA team plays their games. 10,000 packed the arena to listen to Mark, who began the panel with a disclaimer that he was contractually obligated to not talk about the new Star Wars film. He did however talk about all manner of other topics. He explained how his original Star Wars name was Luke Starkiller, but the name was changed to Skywalker. Mark did not like the name change, he thought it sounded too much like fly swatter.

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The Evolution of Magical Girls panel was hosted by members of Love and Justice: A Serious Sailor Moon Podcast. The panelists were: Kelby LeNorman, Emma Fyffe, and Lola Binkerd. The panel dove into the history of magical girls, mentioning magical staples like Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, and many others. It continued on to discuss the deconstruction of the genre, which happening in the past decade when anime like Madoka Magica took everything we knew about magical girls and turned it upside down. The genre has even gone as far as creating the first magical boy anime, Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! I truly appreciated the amount of research that the panelists put into this panel. They created a powerpoint presentation with fun facts, video clips, history, and other features. The panelists were knowledgeable on the topic and that was wonderful to see.

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The Twisted Toonz panel was a blast as always. It’s a panel that a stumbled on by accident one comic con and have been back to every comic con since. The voice actors are hilarious and do a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life. This year’s toonz panel was a table read of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If you haven’t attended a Twisted Toonz panel, it consists of voice actors reading scenes from a film in their various voices.

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Thanks to everyone that attended our Introduction to Anime panel.  I’ll post the details of the panel later, but we talked about what anime is, what makes it unique, a history, genres, comparisons to popular fandoms, where to find it, and finally why we all love anime! It was a fun panel to be a part of with fellow Anime Happy Hour members Brittany Evans and Lindsay Starke.

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I didn’t know much about John Cena before his panel, but I learned he’s a pretty nice guy. He does a lot of charity work and seems to use his celebrity status for the benefit of others. Also, he enjoyed acting in the Trainwreck film.

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History of Comics by the Decade: 1970’s was an amazing panel due to the knowledgeable panelists and presentation preparation. The panelists were: Andrew Malin, Trent Hunsaker, Chris Hoffman, and Joshua Butterfield. I am not overly familiar with 1970s comics but have a newfound admiration for the decade. I learned that the character Wolverine’s origin story originated as an actual wolverine that somehow turned human.

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Thanks to everyone that attended our panel on The Latest and Greatest in Anime. Our usual Anime Happy Hour crew was all present: Breanne Evans, Brittany Evans, Lindsay Evans, and myself. We were joined by Alec Unsicker and it was great to have him on the panel. I will be posting the details of the panel separately and look forward to it because this panel contained a lot of new anime that we were excited to present.

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The cosplay at SLCC has improved with each passing year. I was excited to see the Overwatch cosplayers. I’ve been anticipating them since I bought Overwatch the first week it came out and saw the cosplay potential. It did not disappoint. I expected a lot of Jokers and Harley Quinns due to the recent release of Suicide Squad. Although there was no shortage of those two, each cosplayer was unique and presented their own take on the characters. Another popular set of characters were Pokémon, which were a treat to see due to the various monsters represented. I saw a Snorlax that laid around the convention center, a Dugtrio cruising around with all three, several Pikachu, and countless trainers. One of my favorite moments was witnessing a Team Rocket reciting the entire creed, complete with their third member stating, “Meowth, that’s right!”. I love the newly popular T-Rex cosplay that was present at the con. I just think it’s hilarious to see them storming around.

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Photos courtesy of Breanne Evans. Feel free to use, but please give credit to Fragglepuss.com for taking the photo.

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