I suppose that I’m not the only person that received an email from Salt Lake Comic Con in the last day or so providing an additional $10 off a pass to FanX this March, simply because I (or You) have bought a ticket to a Salt Lake Comic Con event in the past.
That’s all well and good, of course, and any discount is great (I’ve already bought my family’s tix for FanX, so I’ll find a home for these vouchers, I’m sure), but the thing that really struck me about the email was that most of it was dedicated to a kind of walk down memory lane.
From its humble opening aspirations, to it’s now high-profile standing among comic cons, Dan and Bryan take the opportunity of this email to thank me (or You, or All Of Us, really) for supporting them, for growing with them, for helping the event become what it is.
Looking back on the vast array of talent that has come to Salt Lake City for Comic Con and FanX is truly impressive, and the message is that it is because of the fan support–our support–that Dan and Bryan are able to make those magical moments happen with what is becoming predictable regularity.
But I wanted to take a moment, if I may, to turn the tables on Dan and Bryan and say, “Thank you,” for even attempting to create such an event.
Let’s not forget that the original plan was to have Salt Lake Comic Con at the South Towne Expo Center, but outgrew it barely a month after it was announced.
It outgrew a venue before it ever took place.
What bravery must it have taken for Dan and Bryan to continue on, then, knowing (or not) how incredibly intricate the “little convention” in Salt Lake was going to become. It takes almost no courage to buy a ticket to a convention, but so very much to try to coordinate such a thing, especially once you realize almost immediately that your original plans were going to be inadequate to the task.
Surely, then, Dan and Bryan deserve all the kudos and accolades they have received for taking that leap of faith, and continuing to take it, year after year; setting the bar ever higher in terms of fan expectation and expense and RISK. They have accepted legitimate criticisms with an eye towards improvement, and unreasonable criticisms with class.
On a personal note, let me say that, not only have they done the near impossible in four short years, but they have done so while continuing to support local artists, vendors, cosplayers, and, yes, even bloggers like me, allowing us all the privilege of being recognized by Salt Lake Comic Con as having something to contribute to the effort, to the experience.
Of telling us all that “you matter.”
I would like to return that sentiment here, and remind Dan and Bryan, along with their whole cadre of support personnel, that they matter. They matter to the legions of fans across the state, and they matter to me, personally and professionally, as well.
Salt Lake Comic Con has allowed me to indulge in something I hadn’t consciously known I wanted to be involved in, and for that I am grateful. I continue to do so, both with them and other conventions around the country, and I hope to continue that as the years go on.
And so, as we creep ever closer to Christmas, and a probable guest announcement under the tree, let me say one more time: “Thank you.”
Thank you for taking the chance on such an event. Thank you for sticking with it, and growing it, when others might have been satisfied. Thank you for your endless inclusion of the local community, and for your willingness to support charitable causes that might otherwise have gone unnoticed save for the involvement of “Salt Lake Comic Con.” Thank you for seeking out new artists, new fandoms, new everything, and allowing them their chances to shine; their chances to say “here I am!”
I freely acknowledge that these words are not adequate enough to encapsulate the positivity of the Salt Lake fan communities which you support so well, but I hope that you, Dan and Bryan, will take a moment and remember that, as much as you both have been here in constructing and growing this event, so, too, have we been here in support of you and your efforts, because appreciate them heartily.
So, “Thank you, Dan and Bryan. See you in March.”