Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCom) seemingly came out of nowhere in September of 2013 and left as quickly and brightly as it came. Attendees were left wondering two important questions: Will it come back in 2014 and how can it top its incredible year one success?
The answer came in the form of a press announcement indicating that fans would not only experience Comic Con once again in September, but twice a year with FanX starting in April.
View more of Lindsay Daniels’ photos from FanX at the end of this story.
Comic Con would also top itself with more celebrities, ranging from authors and artists to A-list celebrities. Early announcements included Kelly Hu, Ioan Gruffudd and Jason David Frank. Celebrity announcements ended on Thursday night with Sir Patrick Stewart.
SLCom not only increased the number of guests, panels, events and volunteers, but it also increased the floor-space by taking the majority of the Salt Palace Convention Center. The increased floor space also helped accommodate the increased number of attendees.
Early on Thursday when Governor Gary Herbert announced April 17 as Salt Lake Comic Con Heroes Day, he, alongside founders Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg said they estimated that FanX would have over 100,000 attendees.
It was announced on Friday that SLCom’s FanX had become the third largest Comic Con in the country and the biggest convention to be held in Utah.
Preparations for the increased number helped the convention feel easy and calm on all three days. In the three days, there were panels that reached maximum allowance, guest spotlight events with lines spanning the length of several hallways and hundreds of vendors and artists. In spite of this, the convention never reached a boiling point that risked getting shut down by the Fire Marshal, as the 2013 SLCom almost had.
FanX had support, not just from fans, but from the state as a whole. The governor’s office has supported the convention since its 2013 counterpart. Commercials were airing months before the date, and collaborations between local powerhouses X96 and PCLaptops helped spread ticket sales and attendance.
Computer sales at PCLaptops allowed customers to obtain a free pass to FanX, and local radio station X96 helped host the after-convention events – the FanX Red Carpet Event at Club Elevate and the FanX Pub Crawl. Working with Megaplex Theatres and The Gateway, an anime festival of panels and Japanese language films ran adjacent to the Salt Palace event.
It should also be noted that in the months to come, Farr had taken part in a multitude of interviews. In these interviews, Farr shared his love and passion for Comic Con, but more importantly talked about what makes FanX the convention to attend.
Photography by Lindsay Daniels