Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2017 Wrap-Up

Well, it’s that time again. Time to look back at the last two days of wonderful geekiness that was FanX, 2017.

Yes, we only got two days instead of three this time, but hey, that’s way better than the ZERO we were originally scheduled, so…

FanX: 1, Naysayers: 0

At the opening press conference, Dan and Bryan talked about the event and the guests, and about how happy they were that Stan Lee was scheduled to attend, despite missing an event in New York last week.

Then, a brief cavalcade of stars:

Jess Harnell
Jess Harnell
Sam J Jones - Flash Gordon
Sam J Jones – Flash Gordon
All the stars
All the stars
Amy Gumenick
Amy Gumenick
Adrienne Wilkinson
Adrienne Wilkinson

I was able to speak briefly with Sam J Jones and Adrian Paul, along with Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Dan Farr. I will work that audio today and may make it available over on the podcast (VSMoviePodcast.com), so watch for it there if it doesn’t pop up here.

FanX: 2, Naysayers: 0

Now, as far as cosplay goes, the fans in Salt Lake never disappoint:

  

From Doctor Strange, to Daddy-Daughter Bounty Hunters,

 

To Captain Zap Brannigan and Barf and Bubba Fett,

 

From Bumblebee, to a certain Hobbit out for a stroll…

 

From Psylocke and the Scarlet Witch to an impromptu Spider-Man conference,

To Doctor Stra– wait a minute. Didn’t I just see you earlier?

FanX: 3, Naysayers: 0

Anyway…

Deadpool Jesus and Leprechaun Deadpool got along swimmingly,

until someone brought up “the One True religion,” and insisted street tacos are better than shepherd’s pie.

Regardless, Salt Lake City acquitted itself admirably, as usual.

FanX: 4, Naysayers: 0

As for Panels, well…

There was the Princess Bride reunion panel, with Chris Sarandon and Cary Elwes,

with stories of Andre the Giant, his ATV, and Cary breaking his foot week one of shooting, along with Chris Sarandon lamenting his lack of funny lines in the movie. Because, well, bad-guy.

The Highlander reunion panel was cool, also.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

but he can bring his cousin.

And (Warning: language ahead) despite Christopher Lambert implying that he didn’t want to talk about Highlander II, someone brought it up, and his ever-so-diplomatic way, he managed to use the word “fucking” in his description of the film.

Just like all the fans do, of course.

FanX: 5, Naysayers: 0

Of course, there was a lot of grousing about line management in the photo-op area, and I can’t necessarily disagree with some of that, but I don’t think the problem was in the area, per se, but rather the layout of the floor surrounding the photo ops.

I don’t know if this was a product of only having half our normal space of if they just tried something new, but the fact the entrance to the photo-op area was right in the middle of autograph row made for an extremely congested area. On Saturday, A lot of the delays wound up being caused by a camera malfunction, which certainly isn’t the fault of Dan and Bryan’s folks, but you’d think that Epic would have a quicker, plug-and-play, fix for this instead of a 40-minute delay. They do this for a living at conventions…

FanX: 5, Naysayers: 1

Some folks have also taken issue with the autograph voucher program they implemented this time around(some more vehemently than others, naturally), and I can see their point, because the initial redemption of those vouchers added an incredibly long line of waiting to people’s floor experiences. I put 45 minutes into that line first thing Friday morning, only to learn that Amy Gumenick’s couldn’t be redeemed yet because there was an issue with the photo we were supposed to use. So I had to go back to that table — twice — and wound up getting a ticket for her table for when the photos finally arrived.

Hey, that happens. We get it.

FanX: 5, Naysayers: 2

Might I suggest in the future, though, if these kind of “free” autographs are offered again, that the photos not be issued to the fans, but directly to the celebrity’s table, and that QR code redemption be done in the registration area (which is the best place for a long line of people to wait) instead of on the floor, clogging up the walking lanes. Exchange your QR codes at Registration (or Pre-registration, even) for the appropriate ticket, then the fans can just go onto the floor and start enjoying themselves when the doors open, instead of knowing they have another line and more waiting ahead of them, and they can make it to the celebrity table at their leisure.

Also, you could label the autograph vouchers as “VIP” for that guest’s autograph line, so those that have them can use the “faster” line at the table, as another kind of perk for those that partook of said voucher.

Just a thought (and knowing Dan and Bryan they’ll consider this option).

FanX: 6, Naysayers: 2

Anyway, predictable problems aside, I thought this version of FanX went pretty well, overall.

Except for the audible groan from the masses when Stan Lee had to cancel his appearance. Nobody wishes Stan ill; in fact, we wish him nothing but the best, but what a body blow to the fans. It’s tough not to think of the most dire results when you’re talking about someone his age getting sick, despite your best efforts to be positive.

He did do a twenty-minute Skype panel Saturday night. I managed to get and post the audio, and have cleaned it up as best I could to give you a taste of the conversation, along with some opening commentary.

FanX: 7, Naysayers: 2

Stay strong, Stan. We love you. We’d rather have you healthy than here. Though both would be great.

Oh, and apparently, we have a new fan in Zachary Levi, who called Dan and Bryan Friday night and asked if he could come back on Saturday. Of course they said yes, duh. I’m sorry I didn’t make it over to his table through the throngs of adoring fans. Maybe when he comes back (wink, wink).

And I heard that James Roday and Dule Hill had to take breaks during their autograph sessions because they’d never done them before and their hands were cramping up, but that they were having a great time, as well.

Looks like the fans in Salt Lake City have done it again. You may have found yourselves some recurring guests, lol.

FanX: 8 9, Naysayers: 2

Other than that… what did you all think of FanX 2017?

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