Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) is less than a week away and will run from September 21-23 (because it’s Utah and would they ever do anything big on a Sunday? Of course not.). For those of you who are not aware of SLCC, this will be the 5th-annual edition of the con, but it also has an “off season” con called FanX that promotes itself to a smaller fanbase.
Now what makes SLCC a notable experience is the sheer number of people who attend the con. In 2014, its second year in operation, SLCC attracted 120,000 attendees, making it the third-largest convention in the U.S. that year (behind SDCC and NYCC).
In its first year of operation, I had purchased tickets fairly early on. Then it turns out they had sold so many tickets they needed to move the entire convention from the venue they were planning to use, which is in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley, to the main Salt Lake City Convention Center in the center of the city. Needless to say, Utah has the fanbase.
The con is fun for me. I enjoy shopping the floor vendors and hitting up the panels, which are mostly fans talking about various aspects of any fandom you could think of. Then, there’s the chance to watch celebrities being interviewed. My favorite celebrity panel I watched has to be John de Lancie, who played Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He had just such fantastic stories that I had never heard before. It made it a joy to sit and listen to him speak about several of the “behind the scenes” aspects of the stuff he has worked on.
The one unfortunate part about SLCC is that it hasn’t been able to grab the big companies yet, like Disney and Warner Bros. to make official panels and announcements, but I can’t image with attendances like this we aren’t going to be seeing something down the road. But since Utah is such a family friendly state (seriously, there are a lot of kids in the state), SLCC caters to that crowd which includes me and my daughter. Every year we make it our annual tradition to do “Princess Day” where I take her to the con with me and we hunt down all of the princesses. They also have a room just for the kids called “KidCon” where there is a Princess Tea Party, you can do an obstacle course, they have activity stations for the kids to build stuff as well as shows and activities all geared towards the younger generation.
Well fast forward to this year and we are looking at another huge year. They have already announced a plethora of celebrity guests, including Dick Van Dyke, Elijah Wood, Val Kilmer, Christopher Lloyd and Michael Rooker, among many others.
But I guess the biggest news is that I have been asked to join in on a panel. For those of you who don’t know, my personal education is in paleontology and I have a slight obsession with dinosaurs and dinosaurs in pop culture, in general. So I was asked to be on a panel about these dinosaurs. Specifically, the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and how they relate to the real life dinosaurs that we as scientists find and describe. Here is the official panel description:
“We all know Jurassic Park, and we all know the dinosaurs in it, like the Velociraptor. Or do we? In this panel we will tell you about the dinosaur that should have been the star of not only Jurassic Park but also many pop culture dinosaur shows: The Utahraptor.”
So, if you happen to be headed to Salt Lake Comic Con, hit me up if you see me. I’ll be the guy with the bright purple AiPT! shirt on most likely (or maybe dressed up as Flynn Rider).