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Epic Salt Lake Comic Con 2015

Updated on September 18, 2017
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Nicole's always aimed for the stars since Jr. High School, gaining an interview with Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys for the school paper

Where The Real Party Is

Chris Evans Panel with Hayle Atwell and Anthony Mackie September 26, 2015
Chris Evans Panel with Hayle Atwell and Anthony Mackie September 26, 2015

It is hard to be different and feel like the odd man out. People call you “geek,” “nerd” or “freak” and you begin to feel like you do not belong anywhere in the world, except for maybe twice a year when you can let the your true self shine brighter than anything. Now it is too early for Halloween, even though it is just around the corner, however there is a convention that has been held every year since 1970...San Diego Comic Con International. If that is not to your liking or is too far away then try where the real party is at. Where people like Stan Lee have said “you people have the greatest Comic Con in the world.” The place where first timers, like Chris Evans, come to actually just be around fans without promoting a movie. It is the place that has vastly become the third largest Comic Con in the United States and is grasping pretty close to becoming number one. What is this place you may ask? Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ...welcome to the epic SALT LAKE COMIC CON.

Stan Lee Says, "Greatest Comic Con In The World."

We Broke The World Record

Fund Raising & Record Breaking

SLCC (Salt Lake Comic Con) has been going strong since it started September 5, 2013 and by September 7, 2013 over 70,00 people attended with ticket sales exceeding 50,000. Not only does SLCC go on in September, but it also has another Comic Con later in the year called Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience or FanX with more guest surprises. The first SLCC FanX was back on April 17, 2014 with over 100,00 people attending breaking it's own attendee record from back in September 2013 making it the third largest Comic Con in the United States. In September 2014 fire marshals had to close down the event on several occasions for safety reasons when the event sold out with over 120,000 attendees. That, however, did not stop SLCC from breaking it's own record as the best-attended convention in Utah and now the largest per ca-pita Comic Con in North America. The two men responsible for bringing Salt Lake our own record breaking Comic Con, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, have been going to other Comic Cons around the states looking for what what might make SLCC stand out even more and what better way to stand out than to try and break a Guinness Book World Record. The record held for the largest gathering of people dressed as, you guessed it, comic book characters in one place was previously held in Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China where 1,530 people came dressed up to the International Animation CCJOY LAND; however this did not set well with the United States, who wanted to bring that record back home, and who better to do that then the rapidly growing SLCC. On September 25, 2015, fans came dressed to the heel to make the impossible possible breaking China's record by 251 making the grand total of people in attendance 1,784. In an article from MarketWatch they found that SLCC, “had one hour to assemble people in comic book costumes, certify that the costumes are from comic books and count them using RFID technology.” Once the hour had reached it's marker, “the Guinness World Record Adjudicator made it official by announcing that,” SLCC, “had set the new Guinness World Record." Even celebrity guest, Manu Bennett, came dressed as his character Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, from the hit TV series Arrow. Then, when all was said and done with the Guinness World Record, 500 of those attendees help support a 5k run on September 26, 2015 called the Superhero Run. Sean Astin, a celebrity guest of SLCC, ran dressed as his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle character Raphael. Astin not only ran for the Superhero Run but also for #TeamRun3rd a foundation which is "an inspirational Twitter campaign, a global movement sharing dedications made on behalf of people's loved ones, causes and ideas. It was started by actor, activist and avid long-distance runner Sean Astin in January 2012, and has grown to encompass hundreds of runners, walkers and others around the globe who have taken its meaning and mission into their hearts." Like Run 3rd; The Superhero Run, “honors individuals who overcome life's challenges. We have runners who run in honor of loved ones battling chronic illness, but we also have people who run in honor of something they have personally overcome, or even in honor war vets, and military service. While the goal is to raise money for the new hospital, the purpose is really to honor people's inner superheros for being brave and lending inspiration." What was and is so epic about both the Guinness World Record, the Superhero Run and SLCC's involvement in both these projects is that it was to help raise awareness and funds for an extension on the South Davis Community Hospital. SLCC is a foundation all it's own by giving back to the people that contributes their time and energy in attending the Comic Con—in other words SLCC pays it forward to fans everywhere and anywhere that have made SLCC a possibility.

Creators of Salt Lake Comic Con Dan Farr & Bryan Brandenburg

Amazing Guests

Voices Of The Animaniacs Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen and Tress MacNeille at the Salt Lake Comic Con Press Conference September 24, 2015.
Voices Of The Animaniacs Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen and Tress MacNeille at the Salt Lake Comic Con Press Conference September 24, 2015.

Marina Sirtis

Christpoher Gorham

R2-D2

Farr was so kind in saying that, “you are the reason Stan Lee said called this the greatest Comic Con around. Because of you guys.” Well because of you guys—you fans, us fans—Brandenburg and Farr have been going far and wide to different Comic Cons around the United States trying to make SLCC even bigger and more epic you. In fact, because of SLCC's reputation; returning guest Marina Sirtis, aka Counselor Diana Troi of Star Trek Next Generation, could not praise it enough to Hayley Atwell's and Chris Evans' agency convincing them to let Evans join the SLCC family of celebrity guests. Not only did Evans come, but he managed to bring along some of his friends: Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie to name a few—making #SLCC15 even more, well, #EPIC. Though Evans, Atwell, Mackie and Stan did not come join the fun until Friday and Saturday there where some other fabulous guests that came for all three days of the Comic Con such as Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen and Tress MacNeille the voices of the Animaniacs, Star Wars' Anthony Daniels, Scott Wilson from The Walking Dead Dragonball Z's Vic Mignogna, Dean O'Groman from The Hobbit and from Once Upon A Time Christopher Gorman.

Sean Astin

Felicia Day

Unsung Heroes And Ms. America

Unsung Heroes at Salt Lake Comic Con Press Conference 2015.
Unsung Heroes at Salt Lake Comic Con Press Conference 2015.

Though these guests are amazing in their own right and play heroes on the silver screen and on television; there were some unsung heroes at SLCC that risk their lives everyday—wither it is a tour across the sea, patrolling your streets or nursing you back to health. These men and woman put their lives in jeopardy to make sure “we the fans” are alive and well to be able to attend the Comic Con and extend that had to our favorite actors too. Sometimes the job is not easy and sometimes we can be pretty hard on these unsung heroes, but if not for them there would be a vast amount of ciaos in the world. In my mind's eye there is no bigger form of gratitude then when you are at a Comic Con or anywhere and you see a child come up to an unsung hero, be it army officer or firefighter, and want a picture with them or their autograph; especially after the child's parent has said, “you can get you picture taken with any of the superheros.” There was also another rarity in special guests that not many have heard about, Ms. America. Unlike Miss America, Ms. America is to empower women across the nation by celebrating “their accomplishments, encourage involvement in community service, use the 'crown for a purpose' to make a difference and to promote, honor and advance the status of women.” Their mission is showing the world the real beauty and heroism of a woman by speaking words of kindness, seeking out the good in people, sharing food with the hungry and knowledge that you never walk alone. When going for the title of Ms. America the contestants do not use two categories that the Miss America pageant are highly scored on, talent and swimsuit. The contestants are scored based on interview, evening gown, sportswear and on-stage questioning. Ms. America shows that, “the beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years-only grows!” With Ms. America joining forces with SLCC it shows that women can be just as strong and heroic as men and it shows young girls that women are not mainly sex objects, but fierce heroins.

Unsung Heroes at Salt Lake Comic Con Press Conference 2015.
Unsung Heroes at Salt Lake Comic Con Press Conference 2015.

Room For Improvment

With all the great qualities of meeting celebrities, dressing up as your favorite character and being the third Comic Con in the United States there should not be the need for improvement. Unfortunately—as Rumplestiltskin says, “whatever you traffic in comes with a price,” and SLCC is no exception. While down on Celebrity Row when a volunteer was asked a question indirectly they automatically knew the answer or knew exactly who you needed to talk to to get the answer you were looking for. However ask the question directly to the volunteer they either did not listen to you, stared blankly at you or they acted like you did not even belong there and would not even try to answer your question; even to other volunteers. When asked about Sean Astin's two conflicting times after his 1:00pm panel his “assistant” said that it could be anywhere between those times or even after. Astin's “assistant” stated that, “Sean hasn't had a break since he got here,” that morning. The day of Chris Evans' panel was COMPLETELY underestimated when it came time for him to do the panel and for the people attending. The panel was to be from 10:00am-11:50am, per the schedule at Evans' booth, but because Evans' was doing so much with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the panel did not start until half an hour to 45 minutes later giving Evans' a total of about 15 minutes to talk. Before Evans' panel started there was a lot of people who were ADA needing to sit in the front few rows. Volunteers in the panel did not know what to do with the excess ADA people making the people with wheelchairs and sciatic nerve problems stand in the middle of the isles while the volunteers twiddled their thumbs about the situation. One ADA attendee stated, “I was trying to sit down because my hip was killing me and a volunteer basically took the chair out from under me.” A volunteer was asked about two middle rows in the mid section of the room and all they said was, “those are for the executives.” with an air of not really caring where the excess ADA sat. Volunteers put them in the corner of no man's land in the room where a camera boom was in the way of the stage making them watch Evans' panel on a screen while in the front few rows. The two middle rows in the mid section of the room was only filled 3/4 of the way up and no one offered to help the ADA people in no man's land take up some of the seats that were empty. While in line at Evans' booth, volunteers and “assistants” where passing photos of Evans' for him to sign for people so fast it was like he was a typewriter with a pen and he did not get a chance to see who the photos or objects belonged to. When leaving his line there was a mix up about the pictures he had signed and it gotten to the point where Evans' felt like he had to apologize for something that was not his fault. Exiting the SLCC an ADA person was trying to leave through a door that was more convenient for her but a volunteer would not allow her to. The ADA woman did not want to give her name but said I could quote her saying, “they allowed a mother and her son out that way because it was behind the bounce house and if you weren't going to the bounce house you could not go out that way no matter if you were ADA or not. I have a sciatic nerve in my hip that is quite painful right now and they're making me take the long way around to leave. Yes I have a cane, but I'm actually using it. I'm not dress up, I'm not a cosplayer and my cane isn't a prop. The way SLCC is treating ADA people today is a joke.” Witnessing what happened during SLCC people there say that there is definite room for improvement.

Where Improvements Need To Be Made

Over planning is always better then under planning. More accommodations need to be taken into account when it comes to the ADA instead of the executives; SLCC over planned for them but not for ADA and

See results

In the case of Chris Evans' since he had to do so much Make-A-Wish efforts reschedule the panel for another time or another day instead of shortening the time for the attendees coming to the panel.

See results

Attending celebrity guests need to be given a scheduled break for about 1/2 hour to an hour to recuperate from photo ops, autographs and panels.

See results

Breaks should be put up on the schedule in front of the booths so the attendees do not have to guess when the guest. is coming back.

See results

Volunteers at Celebrity Row need to be more approachable to not only the guest that they are there to help, but also to attendees and other volunteers.

See results

Volunteers at Celebrity Row need to listen to the question that is being asked them and not assume it means something else.

See results

Do not just throw the photographs or objects at the guests to sign them, they should be given time outside of photo ops to chit-chat with their fans.

See results

It is only fair that attendees that could only afford a ticket to Salt Lake Comic Con be able to take a selfie with a camera or phone with a guest and not be charged for doing so.

See results

You Never Know Who Might Show Up

All in all SLCC has great potential in becoming number one and with that potential comes great responsibility and with FanX coming up March 24-26, 2016 it proves to be that #SLCC16 is going to be bigger, better and more #EPIC with more piazza. If you have suggestions on who you'd like to come to SLCC post them on SLCC's offical website, Facbook pages or on Twitter. The more suggestions they get the more likely you will get to cross that person or event off your bucket list. One thing is for sure you can cross "being different" off your list because at SLCC different is the new cool.

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