Crazy for Comic-Con

Julie Derhak, A&E Editor

It was an invasion of the geeks! Salt Lake City hosted what has become the largest 1st year Comic Convention (Comic Con) in the United States Septem­ber 5-7 with over 50,000 tickets sold. The Empire’s finest, Starfleet’s sharpest, and Gotham’s brightest all came together for three crazy days at the Salt Palace. The massive atten­dance and lengthy lines all crowded for the conven­tion’s celebrities, cosplay­ers, comics, artwork, and panels alike.

With over 200 booths, there was a vendor for everyone. From the Artist Alley to the Fear Factory, SLCC provided a wide variety of geekdom. Many Bingham students and teachers attended the pop-culture events.

“I was among my people,” Bingham English teacher Sara Newberry comment­ed on SLCC. “It was really cool to just walk the lines and even waiting in line, because as you walk down the line you make friends as you go.”

With plenty of compa­nies selling trinkets and collectibles for every sort of fan, shopping on the Con floor was a focus for some people.

“It was crowded and awesome but not good on my wallet,” said junior Josh Simpson. “I burned like fifty bucks.” The Eye of Sauron lego-ized from The Lord of the Rings was an impressing feature that sopho­more David Wayman liked.

“I hope they come back again next year and top themselves.”

Senior Hyrum Orton dressed as Superman and said SLCC had his “mind blown.” Being a first year Con, there were some hiccups throughout the three days. Many people reported that security was very lax and that crowd management was poor. The small crew of employees and volunteers were ill prepared for the unexpectedly high numbers on Saturday. By late afternoon on the Saturday, the local fire marshals were turning away VIP and regular pass holders.

Sophomore Samantha Keddington had a lot of fun at the con­vention. Although it was her first con, she wasn’t bothered by the crazy crowds.

“I was expecting more people so it wasn’t that bad,” Samantha said.

Top celebrities who served as guests at the Con included Stan Lee (father of Marvel Comics), William Shatner (original Captain Kirk), and Adam West (original Batman). Local authors also attend­ed including Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), James Dash­ner (The Maze Runner), and Robison Wells (Variant).

There were over 150 pan­els/workshops that gave insight, entertainment, and discussions to the attendees. There was even an Artist Alley which con­tained a diversity of artists and styles.

“I was really impressed at the level of talent they had there and just watching all of the artists as they worked was awesome,” said Mrs. Newberry who spent most of her time in the Artist Alley.

Another dominant aspect of SLCC was the costumes, which ranged from he Doctor (Doctor Who) to Deadpool (Marvel Comics). Junior Jensen Martin spent three months creating a costume she calls Pimp Castle, inspired from the game Minecraft. She entered the conven­tion’s cosplay contest where people were able to exibit the costumes they designed. Although she didn’t win, she enjoyed the experince.

“It was showy, and there were surprisingly a lot of cosplayers there,” said Jensen.

Mrs. Newberry is also into cosplay and has de­signed over fifty costumes. She attended Saturday dressed up.

Shannon Deonier, a Utah cosplayer dressed as Gai Tsutsugami from Guilty Crown, added to the atmo­sphere of unique cosplays at the Con. For over a decade Deonier has been cosplaying.

“It’s a growing experi­ence and an opportunity to learn so many different skills and meeting amaz­ing new friends,” Deonier explained. “Professionals can always learn more.”

The total revenue for the Con is estimated to be around $1 – $2 million dollars, which also spiked Utah’s local economy with estimates of $31 million.

“Because [Comic Con] was so successful, it proves that we have a good market,” said economics teacher Kevin Moritz. “People outside of Utah are surprised that we have a city and a rich culture. There’s a thriving geek scene here, especially on the west coast. Like Sundance, Salt Lake City Comic Con can eventually become big like San Diego Comic Con.”

SDCC, which started in 1970, attracted over 130,000 people in 2010. With the staggering high numbers that Salt Lake City Comic Con attracted for its first year, it could easily become as big as San Diego in a few years.

Vice President of Market­ing SLCC partner Bryan Brandenburg set off with a heavy campaign to publicize the Con through social media, especially Facebook, which rolled the ball of popularity quickly.

Due to the high success SLCC received this year, SLCC 2014 is already un­derway and projected for January.