Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCom) began Sept. 5, 2013 and provided fans with all things nerdy in Utah. Dan Farr, producer of SLCom, is bringing the fun of Comic Con to Utah again, with FanX in April, before round two of Comic Con in Sept. 2014.
“The reality is that [FanX is] going to feel like the same show we experienced in September, just bigger” says Farr. “It’ll be over double the floor space than what we had in September and we’re anticipating a pretty strong increase in attendees as well. If somebody attended Comic Con in September, then they’re going to feel at home at FanX.”
SLCom broke records in its inaugural year, exceeding the 30,000 ticket pre-sale record by maxing out with 70,000 at-door tickets sold by Saturday afternoon. The success was an indicator that events like this have a home in Utah, as predicted by Farr himself in other interviews.
Fun fact: Farr was originally recruited to SLCC for its basketball program in 1991.
“While I was [at SLCC] I got my associate’s in business and then when I finished there I went on to the University of Utah and got my business bachelor’s degree there,” says Farr about his attendance at SLCC. “I really felt like the path of going to Salt Lake Community College first to do my generals and then focus on the business, because I knew I wanted to do a business, I just didn’t know what business I wanted to do.”
After graduating from the University of Utah he co-founded DAZ 3D in 2000. The company created visual designs like those on fast food drink cups, but its 3-D designs were what put Farr in the convention scene.
“There’s just something electric in the air when you get see people having such a great time,” says Farr about what inspired him to bring the Comic Con experience to Utah.
“For me, I really enjoy watching the fans. I love the people that will take months of their time, and some people years, building costumes just to wear to an event like this or people that are bring multi-generations. Parents are bringing their kids, or grandparents are bringing their grandkids into an event to see celebrities that they were fans of while growing up. That’s the type of energy that really sucks me into it.”
No stranger to stress, Farr has had to deal with last minute celebrity appearances and cancellations, an exponential increase in attendees with limited staff, and catering to the many different fans in Utah.
Farr and company have been preparing for FanX by increasing the number of volunteers and the quality of training that they receive, increasing the floor space, and listening to fans on social media.
The most recent guest announced was celebrity Karl Urban. Urban is most recently known for portraying Bones McCoy from the Star Trek reboot and Judge Dredd from the film “Dredd.”
“It’s kind of hard to explain the energy that you feel at a Comic Con event unless you attend it,” says Farr. “I just really enjoy seeing people have a great time and being a part of producing something that has that impact on people.”