Some Thoughts on My History with Salt Lake Comic Con

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If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that my history with our beloved Salt Lake Comic Con and its organizers Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg is a long and winding one.

They know who I am, let’s put it that way. Especially Dan.

(Don’t believe me, just search this site for the oldest entries about various SLCC events and you’ll see).

Some of my earliest posts were about the myriad problems the first event had, and my coverage of all SIX of the Salt Lake events has never wavered in its exercise of two things: the fan’s perspective, and the critic’s eye (whether as a credentialed “Press” member or not).

Early on, it felt like the critic’s eye was more active than the fan’s perspective. And, in reality, it was. There were such shortcomings in those first couple of events—not in anything as pedestrian as poor guest lists, we’ve always had great showings in that area—but in the fact that organizers, staff, and volunteers found themselves unprepared/overwhelmed again and again by situations they didn’t expect, mostly based on the sheer number of fans who attended the events, but others through lack of vision and communication (a topic I touched on early and often, and still do, as occasion warrants).

But, overall, the balance of good to bad across the last three years has clearly been on the positive side. The opportunities that Salt Lake City have been given by Dan and Bryan are too numerous to quantify, nor directly compare to any negatives which have occurred (and they have occurred).

There are those who may disagree with me on this, but they are likely speaking from a strictly fan-based perspective. With the critical eye, setting aside my own personal negative “fan” experiences (which I’ve had), it is easy to see that, on the whole, Salt Lake City fans have had little to complain about when it comes to our events.

Seriously, when the most pervasive complaint is always that “Fan-base X is overrepresented,” but it’s not the same fanbase at any two events, well, that’s a first-world problem.

Might we be relegated to having only a single event a year, now that Dan and Bryan have expanded the FanX brand outside of Utah? Oh, no. How spoiled we’ve become.

Indeed, I would love to be able to afford a trip to one of the overseas events to see how it stacks up against our own, but that’s not in the cards. I will simply have to be thankful that it is our brand, not San Diego, not New York, that has grown and thrived in so short a time.

Should we be worried that our annual Comic Con might grow into a monster like San Diego or New York? Worried, no (unless you mean that we won’t be able to move around because of all the people…). Excited, yes. If we weren’t growing, if we simply stayed a 40-50 thousand person Comic Con, we wouldn’t be getting the caliber of guests that we have been for so young an event.

Does anyone believe that Captain America, Falcon, Peggy Carter, and the Winter Soldier are ALL going to come to the Backwoods Comic Con AT THE SAME TIME?

That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. We all know the answer.

Indeed, just last month, many of us got a chance to listen to and meet a man who WALKED ON THE MOON.

The. Moon.

Think that happens at every event like this?

Rhetorical. See above.

My point is, we—all of us—need to be thankful for the opportunities the folks over at Salt Lake Comic Con have given us—and continue to give us. will they always do everything we wish they would do? Of course not.

But I don’t think that they will ever short-change the fans in pursuit of something as base as money, though they are entitled to try to make some.

Just breathe, people. Just breathe.

147 days.


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