Salt Lake Comic Con is a serious convention for serious geeks.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 has ended, some of us have mostly recovered, and the spoils of the weekend are being sorted and posted. Some of us made new friends, some realized countless hours in a hot crowded building has an overall negative impact to general body odor, and some of us found reminders that it is good to be a geek. Over the three-day event, Salt Lake Comic Con attracted 120,000+ unique visitors, putting SLCC2014 in the same arena as San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con (time will tell if SLCC can maintain this, or compete at this level).
This convention began with the customary press conference, a chance for the event organizers to show off a bit and to introduce a few guests and make a few last announcements. I’ve sat through a few of these now, so this was nothing new and not much notable happened. Except for Manu Bennett, who offered the first $1,000 he makes at Salt Lake Comic Con to a local family with a child in cancer treatment, and challenged his fellow guests to help make a difference in these kid’s lives. The kids in questions were special guests from Make-A-Wish Foundation and Millie’s Princess Foundation, who were given a celebrity treatment as well.
After the press conference wrapped up, I hit the convention floor, and immediately got lost. I am not at all joking about that. There was a labyrinth of booths and vendors everywhere. Nearly every inch of the Salt Palace Convention Center floor was in use. I had a few goals; first, find my friends at the Evermore booth. Second, find my way back. Third, find my WPR co-conspirator Xopher so we can start hitting panels and making new friends.
First up on the panel schedule for us was Cary Elwes who was remarkable (as you can read in Xopher’s write up). Next for me, was time-lord duo of Paul Mcgann and Colin Baker, Doctors 8 and 6. Then a nice lunch break about 5 pm, then back to the ballroom to watch the deviously uncensored Ron Perlman. Who seemed to take great pleasure in making people feel just a little uncomfortable. Personally, I found this a most endearing quality. He talked briefly about creating his own production company, and the Amazon original pilot Hand Of God. He spoke briefly about Hell Boy 3, saying he feels obligated to the supportive fans to complete the series; finally, he plugged Book of life as he talked about the voice work he has been doing.
Next up was the ever charming Bruce Campbell, whose panel was more of a one man show than a traditional question and answer panel. He filled time by searching the crowd for individuals with demonstrable talents to showcase on stage while he briefly interviewed them. He is one individual that can charm the pants off a crowd, and then charm them right back on backward. Working the crowd he brought up a former Marine, a tap-dancing singer, a psychologist, and three slightly double jointed contortionists. While it was comedic gold, it left something to be desired for finding some insight to be man behind the chin. The highlight of the panel was the moment he turned it over for questions, the first question, from Salt Lake Comic Con “Biz Dev Guy” Jarrod Phillips, who did not direct his question to Bruce Campbell. He instead asked a very important question of his girlfriend Melissa Mae. To spoil the surprise, she said yes.
The next panel on my list was Alan Tudyk and his amazing bag of shit. For anyone that was not present to witness this first hand I should explain. He brought with him a bag, full of random items to gift to those that ask him questions during the panel. This seems to be an ingenious way to say thank you to fans, and a way to clear out a junk drawer at the same time. Rather than a traditional question and answer panel, Alan Tudyk brough each person to ask him a question on stage, and traded questions, he would answer their question, if they would answer his. At the end of the exchange, he pulled something out of the bag, provided the background on the item, signed it, and handed it over. For anyone wondering, he is every bit as amusing as you would imagine. One highlight was his re-enacting the famous opening scene from Firefly with toy dinosaurs.
Day three of Salt Lake Comic Con began with Stephen Amell, who teased the audience with news of the third season of Arrow. For those that missed out; Black Canary will be returning, Malcolm Merlin will be a regular, there will be a two night Flash crossover, we will see a sort of origin story for Felicity Smoak, and there is a confrontation two and a half years coming. If that wasn’t enough, he eluded to a team up around episode 8 that could very well be described as a mini Justice League. Stories involving John Barrowman aside the highlight of this panel was the question “If you could be any other DC hero who would you be?” and Stephen’s answer “Iron Man”.
Immediately after the Green Arrow was the Dark Archer himself John Barrowman. I have tried to put this into words on a page, but it escapes me, so I found someone that was kind enough to record and post (almost) the entire thing, which I will share with you now: