Utah has quickly become a hotspot for nerd culture in the previous years. Conventions like Anime Banzai and Anime Salt Lake take rein of the otaku crowd while other conventions like Salt City SteamFest adhere to the steampunk niche.
Those conventions are only a few of what Utah has to offer, and while they cater to niche audiences, Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCom) hopes to be able to cater to the rest of the Utah nerd populace.
“I think [SLCom] definitely is a titan of its own accord,” says Tenisha “Nivi” Hicks, the Cosplay Contest Director for Salt Lake Comic Con.
SLCom caused a stir in the convention community when it was first announced early in 2013, the attention coming mostly from boldly taking the famous Comic Con name.
The promise of a local Comic Con for Utah is an undertaking, but with the announcement of high profile celebrities such as Lou Ferrigno and Kevin Sorbo, the idea of a true Comic Con started to seem like a possible reality.
“I do believe it is vigorously grabbing attention in such a swift way that other conventions don’t have,” says Hicks, “But that can be expected when you slap such a name as ‘Comic Con’ at the end of your event that has had years of developmental experience in other locations to somewhat build off of.”
Recent months have demonstrated an explosion in the attention towards SLCom, starting with selling enough tickets to move the convention from its previous locale, the South Towne Expo Center, to the Salt Palace Convention Center.
Recent announcements have also included new guests such as Adam West, William Shatner and Ray Park.
Even more recently, SLCOM announced on its website that it had reached over 20,000 tickets sold, 11 days before the opening of the convention.
“I think it has a great chance of growing if things are done with the fans constantly in mind, outside of merely what the director ‘thinks’ the fans want,” says Hicks.
The growth that SLCom has demonstrated can be attributed to the fans, as many guests were chosen by fan votes and petitions. Amongst those guests are individuals like Burt Ward and Jessica Nigri.
SLCom starts on Thursday, Sept. 5 and goes until Saturday, Sept. 7. Tickets are available online at www.SaltLakeComicCon.com and at the door.