Salt Lake Comic Con hasn’t even started, and…

…already the knives are out.

In this instance, it’s a case of entitlement-itis.

But let’s rewind a moment.


[Shadow’s note: make sure you read this ALL THE WAY THROUGH, so you know EXACTLY what I’m saying here.]

Chris Evans, aka Captain America, is coming. And there was much rejoicing. Even though He was scheduled for a Saturday-only appearance, he was going to sign autographs and do photo ops FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.


Pretty cool, right? Take that, San Diego.

Well, then they announced that they would only pre-sell 500-ish photo ops, at $150 (I think that’s right) each. That’s a lot of money for a single star, but still…. Captain America. The photo ops went up, and 99.9% of the 120,000+ people expected to attend DID NOT get to buy one (including me, due to a website issue during checkout). I was upset, not at the limited number of photo ops, but that I got robbed by technology.

Shit happens.

There’s still a ton of great celebrities to see, photo-op, get autographs from, etc.

And do you realize that 500 photo ops, taking a fairly sedate 10 seconds each, means that Chris Evans will be standing for photos for 83+ minutes? And that’s not including any that they implied would be sold later. Even if it’s only another 100-150, that’s another 20-25 minutes of standing for photos. What if they add more than that? Remember that he was also going to be expected to sign probably 500-ish or more (I don’t have that number handy) autographs at his table, so that is certainly going to take a couple of hours, MINIMUM.

Plus he would probably be doing a panel, which is another hour.

Plus food and bathroom breaks (even Cap has to pee, right?), and that’s a pretty full freaking day.


Then the good folks at SLCC announced Sebastian Stan appearing on Friday only, and photo ops went up for sale again, on a limited basis, because of the limited time he would be appearing. Again, probably 99.9% of the 120,000+ fans DID NOT get a photo op. (I did this time: Yay!)


Hayley Atwell then announced a Saturday-only appearance, and her photo-ops also went up on a limited basis. (I was lucky to get this one because Morena Baccarin had to cancel: hang in there, @missmorenab)

But again, lots of folks didn’t get to purchase one. Why?

Because Salt Lake Comic Con is trying to keep things organized this time around, instead of letting problems develop and scrambling to fix them on the fly. I have been the leading detractor of Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg’s events on this subject. They both know me, almost by sight, but definitely by name, but I have never heard them say that I was unfair, and I have always pointed out the good things they do, and applaud them when their team is able to fix the issues that inevitably crop up in events of this size.

Read my coverage of previous events, and you’ll see.

Now, we have a new controversy. Chris Evans has decided that he will be coming in for Friday as well, and will have a panel with Anthony Mackie, The Falcon (not to mention a possible combo photo-op with Sebastian Stan; how cool would that be to get?). Now, if you don’t think that the South Ballroom of the Salt Palace isn’t going to be packed to the gills for that, then you have no business going to a comic con.



It’s going to be crazy.

So, in an attempt to mitigate that somewhat, Salt Lake Comic Con has decided to control access to the panel by assigning tickets to it by lottery. Sign up, and if you win a ticket, you’re in.

I didn’t see anything about an extra fee for the panel, merely the fact that they are trying to prevent 50,000 people from crushing one another to get in the ballroom.

By the way: remember the Star Trek Reunion panel? That was extra money to get in the door. This one isn’t, as far as I can tell.

But that’s not good enough for some people. People on facebook are already complaining about how VIPs should be automatically allowed into that panel, etc, etc.

Look, VIP passes are all well and good, but that isn’t one of the perks. You get a separate line to wait for your autographs and photo ops, you get a neat T-shirt, and you get to pretend you’re something special, better than the “little people,” but as soon as something happens to ruin the illusion and you realize that you’re not a special little snowflake, you get pissed off.

I suppose that’s your right. I’m sure you’ll be pissed at me for pointing it out to you.

But at least you get a shot to get in to this panel. I’m attending on a press credential, which means that I can’t even register to win a seat. No press folks can, unless they buy ANOTHER pass ($$) and then register and THEN hope to win a seat.

Can I whine, too, please?

No, I can not. This is the system that Dan and Bryan have put in place to prevent mass mobs from causing havoc in the venue. If you’re in, you’re in; if you’re not, you’re not. At least you’ll know ahead of time, and can plan accordingly. The organizers are identifying possible problems and coming up with solutions. Most importantly, they are communicating with the fans, trying to address problems BEFORE they arise, which is what I believe has been lacking in events past, and I have said as much, many times.

I mean, I wish I was able to get in that ballroom for this, but I have to live with the the choice I made when I decided that I wanted to cover the event as press. I’m not a VIP; I don’t get special lines… I’m just a guy with a blog.

I get in the doors for free, and I have–perhaps–an ounce more credibility when I ask an artist, writer, celeb for a comment or anything other than what every other fan gets. And I still mostly get ‘no,’ or ‘they don’t have time,’ so what can I do?

I’m happy to be going. I’m going to be happy that we have such a stellar line-up appearing. I am going to try to get into at least some of the panels that I want in the ballroom. I hope I can grab a moment or two with some famous folks to ask how they’re enjoying themselves here in Salt Lake.

I’m happy that I am able to drive 30 minutes and have an incredible time for 3 days. I’m going to be happy to watch my daughter smile like a demon for 3 days, and watch my wife swoon over the incredible wares the various vendors bring. I am going to people watch, commend people on their cosplay, and marvel at the various writers and artists, with so much talent and drive on display, trying to make their dreams come true.

I am going to geek out. Hard.

Remember what life was like for geeks in Utah 4 years ago? Yeah, baby: Dead zone.

So before you get all nasty, remember what we have, and try to appreciate it a little more.


3 thoughts on “Salt Lake Comic Con hasn’t even started, and…

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