What a ride.
With a pretty impressive guest list highlighted by Chris Evans, Ian Somerholder, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Sean Astin, and John Barrowman, along with fan favorites Manu Bennett, Felicia Day, Richard Hatch, and Marina Sirtis (along with a great many Power Rangers, Dean O’Gorman, Christopher Gorham, various voice actors…..), Salt Lake City fans did not lack for opportunities to see/listen to/get autographs from/get a photo with someone whose work they absolutely love.
I got photos with Sebastian Stan, Sean Astin, Hayley Atwell, and Anthony Daniels, and autographs from Richard Hatch on his Funko Capt Apollo and Felicia Day in her memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost). Check my review of that HERE.
And that’s what these events are ostensibly about.
Yes. I am a fan, first. How could you go to one these and not be?
I was able to see the panels for Sean Astin and Anthony Daniels (who, for some reason, I did not list above. Where do you put him on that list?), and they were great. Sean Astin rode into the ballroom atop a golf-cart, Pope Francis-style, and answered the moderator and audience’s questions exactly how you might expect him too: humbly, humorously or seriously, as the question warranted. Sometimes all three at once.
A really great time.
Anthony Daniels, conversely, simply strode onto the naked stage and promptly decided that he needed to be greeted by the fans as C-3PO had been by the Ewoks on Endor.
The audience, of course, happily complied.
What followed was 45 minutes of great Star Wars stories, because that’s what the audience wanted to hear. Three generations of fans of the Star Wars universe got a behind-the-scenes look at the greatest (yes, LoTR fans, GREATEST) trilogy of all time.
No fan questions here, but still, an awfully great panel.
Artist’s alley was full of great art, comics, and books, and I availed myself of many.
Artistic super-genius (or madman, if you ask him) Rob Prior painted a beautiful, white Chevy Camaro over the course of the 3 days, as the guests watched in amazement.
(and it wasn’t even done when I took these…)
So pretty…. want…..
Cosplayers abounded, as usual, and they were awesome.
to Daft Punk
the Tick and the Moth
Flo, the Progressive lady
and the tiniest Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road
they even had meet-up photo ops for common cosplaying themes. Here’s the Star Wars vs Star Trek photo, including SpockVegas
And many incarnations of Agent Peggy Carter, in honor of Hayley Atwell’s appearance.
The con also set a world record for the most comicbook character cosplayers in one photo op, breaking the record held by China, set a couple years ago.
So there’s that.
A really great event, overall. Again.
But there is no such thing as a perfect event.
From an organizational standpoint, this year’s Con seemed to go off about as well as the last FanX event. The RFID wristbands seemed to keep the lines moving, even though, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how having a computer check the thing versus having a person look at it makes it faster, but, whatever…
As is to be expected with an event featuring so many stars of this magnitude, the fan demand during the photo ops and autographs was nuts/insane/crazy. This lead inevitably to the massing of bodies around the queuing areas well ahead of time, with everyone wanting to be as close to the front of the lines as possible. I only saw a couple of instances of crowds running to line up, otherwise, it was just your normal, run-of-the-mill, insanity.
(I still stick to my belief that, in addition to the volunteers, the organizers should consider using the fans’ general good-will and excitement to help bring some order to these things. If there are a group of folks all waiting in the same area, just tell them to line up in one of the taped off lanes, and they’ll pretty much organize themselves until you’re ready for them. Just my 2 cents, of course.)
There was an unfortunate side effect of all the fans around the photo op area, by the way. I was informed that the 2 ladies’ rooms adjacent to that area were closed to fans. Not having seen the inside of the ladies’ rooms in the Salt Palace myself, I have to take various ladies’ words that the 20 stalls (x2) that were made off limits only made the lines at the other ladies’ rooms (which were, apparently, only half that size) even more crazy.
It’s an age old problem, of course: how many men’s/women’s restrooms do you need to keep up with, uh… demand?
Think ladies’ rooms at a rock concert. There’s never enough, and sometimes the closest restroom is too far away, especially when you’re fighting your way upstream like salmon.
Not sure of the fix there, except that the organizers be cognizant of the issue for next time, and remember to think “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”
That question can apply to any aspect of planning an event of this magnitude.
The unexpected will still happen of course: Murphy’s law dictates.
Also, on more than one occasion, the Salt Lake Comic Con app (very handy, by the way…) pushed notifications for panels and events that were wrong.
The real problem this weekend, of course, was that it was impossible to get to all of the panels you wanted to, whether it was the celebrity panels or the myriad of other panels catering to specific fan interests, such as the 40 Years of Rocky Horror panel or the Star Trek: Axanar panel, or even the panel pitting movie critics against the fans.
You just can’t see them all, at any convention. Much like Zaboo during Mega-Game-o-Rama-Con, your mind might literally snap if you try to do too much. Better to see what you can, enjoy it, but
bitterly resent the fact simply accept that you can’t see all of the things you want to at a convention. There’s just too much.
How can there be so many hours in a day and there STILL NOT BE ENOUGH TIME?
I was pretty bummed I couldn’t make the Chris Evans panel on Saturday, but the lottery for a seat didn’t fall my way (see my thoughts on that process HERE). I wasn’t too surprised to see that Hayley Atwell crashed it, though. She announced her intentions months ago when she brazenly leaked that she was coming to Salt Lake, well before her official announcement.
The last minute appearance of Alan Tudyk in the ConMan sneak peek panel was unexpected by everyone, as he was supposed to appear by Skype. I actually guessed this one that morning. It just seemed like the kind of thing he would do. Sadly, I missed that panel. I was waiting in line for a photo with Hayley Atwell.
Sorry, Alan, I love you, but… Hayley Atwell!
That’s about it for this time. The next FanX has already been scheduled for next March, over the 3 days leading up to Easter (24, 25, and 26). Maybe we’ll get a payoff on the teaser promo that they put together leading up to this event. Remember this?
That is STILL the arc reactor, and I didn’t see Robert Downey, Jr, this time, so…. just sayin’.
See you around the shadow.