As FanX returned to Salt Lake there were some things missing. On Friday, January 30, 215, there were no lines reaching down the street and around the corner and inside there were no shoulder to shoulder crowds.
This year’s FanX was planned as a smaller event. Only 50,000 tickets were put on sale and the number of vendors inside were limited. A new check-in system also streamlined things.That translated to more space to move around, but less to see. There were some gems hidden among the booths, you just had to look for them.
Ben Byrd was in Artist Alley. Ben sells whimsical drawings featuring characters from Harry Potter, Disney and other pop culture favorites. He started selling his art about two years ago when he attended a gift show in Sandy. He rented a booth at comic con and plans to keep coming back to all of the events. There were several other artists featured with a wide array of styles and mediums. There is enough variety featured to satisfy anyone’s taste.
Lance Conrad was there promoting his books from Dawnstar Press. A stop at his booth in Artist Alley meant he happily told you about the plot. Greg Brown was also close by offering comic caricatures. He could turn you into a superhero in two minutes. TJ and Rick were here from Helena, Montana promoting a self published comic book entitled, Enigma. They sold 72 copies on the first day.
There were things to see everywhere you turned. From chocolates in the form of Star Wars characters to a booth that sold ears and wings. A massage table for tired attendees, a Lego exhibit that had to be seen to be believed, and booths selling all kinds of toys, comics and t-shirts were also featured. And while not as many people dressed up there were still imaginative costumes. Inspector Gadget roamed the floor along with dinosaurs, a very realistic Chewbacca and several people dressed as Dr. Who characters to celebrate some of the actors from the show in attendance.
Some people go for the celebrities, but there were plenty of other thing to do including a cosplay contest, sci-fi speed dating, “Zom-B” laser tag, game board gatherings and panels on everything from “Fairy Tales from the Dark Side,” to “Disabilities in Pop Culture.”
Salt Lake Comic Con continues to grow with the comic con events and FanX. Now all they need to make it is to lure the big two; DC Comics and Marvel, to sponsor booths. Then Salt Lake would have a true comic con experience.
Story by Connie Lewis
Photos by Mark Salgado