Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Salt Lake Comic Con Experience

The crowd on Saturday. Over 90,000 people attending
just that one day. Yes, it's a little crazy.
(This picture from the SLCC Facebook page)
I've wanted to go to a comic con forever, well, not forever perhaps, but ever since I realized what a comic con even was and read all about the fun everyone was having down there in San Diego. It blew my mind when last year we suddenly had a comic con of our very own, in our very own neighborhood. Though, I didn't learn about it fast enough to actually attend.

So, to finally be at one this year was... awesome to say the least. A dream come true one might even say. But, did it live up to expectations? Was it all it's cracked up to be? Did it turn out as cool as I had dreamed about all these years?

I'd have to say yes! There were some bumps and a few disappointments, but mostly, we figured out the strategy and had a blast.

First of all, I must say, that I'm not a huge spender and to pay 50 bucks for an autorgraph and 100 bucks for a picture with a celebrity, for me, is insane. It's just not going to happen. Unless certain really high profile celebrities come (coughTomHiddlestoncough), and then I may try, though, I have a feeling if certain high profile celebrities come, I'll be fighting my way through such a huge crowd that I'm still not totally sure how I'd react! So for me, this experience did not include face to face moments with the celebrities, which I know is, for many people, the whole point of a comic con.

However, I did enjoy going to audience Q and A panels that these celebrities did. For many of them, we worked our way to the front of the huge room and did get a sort of close and personal look at them. Over the course of the three days, we saw:

** Cary Elewes aka. Westley from The Princess Bride, one of my all time favorite movies. And he was awesome. Such a nice guy and so very personal with the audience. I loved seeing him in action. And he still looks as cute as Westley ever did. We were 15 minutes late because we were stuck outside in the massive line, but I was happy just to have made it for most of it and that it "only" took us an hour to get in. It was the very first thing we did at the con, and I think probably one of my favorite moments.  I found someone's video on YouTube of highlights of his appearance:

**  Colin Baker and Paul McGann: former Dr. Whos.... namely number 6 and 8. They were fun, not quite as personal with the audience as Cary was. But I mean... Dr. Who!!! Hello! :)

Here's what they looked like in their Dr. days.

** Manu Bennett: the guy behind Azog the Pale Orc in The Hobbit. Also, he's Deathstroke in the TV show, Arrow. He's from New Zealand, half Maori and so very big and buff... and extremely sweet. I hadn't really heard of him until comic con, but now, I'm totally in love! Once again, he was awesome with the audience and very personable.

** Partrick Warburton: many different voices in many different things but my daughter was especially excited about his Kronk (from The Emperor's New Groove) performance. I guess he's also some dude on Seinfeld? Anyway, I had no idea who he was, but he was a ton of fun and yes... awesome with the audience, all the kids that asked questions, and even took a lady backstage with him to send a personal message to her sick husband. Sweet. So many sweet celebrities! I'm impressed!

** Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez  aka. Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro! Ah, I love this movie! And Efren came out and started talking like Pedro and it was awesome. And Jon did a bunch of Napoleon impressions and it was awesome. Weird thing though, Jon reminded me of Josh Groban, same sort of mannerisms, same build, etc. It was SO WEIRD. Yeah. I was freaked out a bit. Anyway, they were funny and we loved it.

** Lou Ferrigno aka. The Incredible Hulk! I didn't watch a ton of TV when I was growing up. For awhile there, we didn't even have one, but we DID watch this show. And to see this guy in person... so cool! And another very sweet man. His soapbox, so to speak, is to talk against bullying, so he did that a bit. I guess he got so teased as a kid because of his hearing problem and speech impediment and then he grew up to be a body builder and he came back and let those kids have it. Now they are all friends. What a story. What a cool guy. We were very close by this time and at the end, they had us "rush the stage" and I ended up right there front and center when he turned around and did his Hulk two armed flex and growl. I didn't get my camera out fast enough! But can you say... wow!! Wow!!!

Yeah, this.... right in front of me!

** Simon Helberg aka. Howard from The Big Bang Theory... a show I've never watched. So... yeah. We were just here in order to be in the room and have seats for John Barrowman two hours later! Strategy I tell you! It's very necessary. Anyway, this guy was very nervous I think. It was weird considering the confidence so many of the other celebrities seem to have. Or at least show. I felt a little bad for him. He looked like he was in pain!

** Stephen Amell aka. Oliver Queen in Arrow. Now this show I've wanted to
watch but just haven't fit it in yet. Watching at this very moment as I type this. Let's just say that this Stephen Amell guy... very impressive. Nice dude. Very nice all around. Loved seeing him even without knowing the show
very well.

** John Barrowman aka. Captian Jack Harkness from Dr. Who... and a bunch of other stuff. We love him! What a dude. I was fangirling when I saw him in Celebrity Row signing authographs. So cute! And we were really looking forward to his panel. However, even though he was cute and funny and very energentic... he was not what we expected. It turned into a bit of a gay rights lecture... and lots of pretty inappropriate gay jokes (especially considering the family sort of auidence) and... we didn't even know he was gay! So it was a bit to wrap our head around. I can handle the gay thing... but I wasn't so keen on the content of the panel . Oh, well. It happens. But... we did love his singing at the end. He's got an amazing voice! Here's the video I took... scratch that.. the video someone else took... I'm too lazy to upload my own video!

** Barbara Eden aka. Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie. Another show that I managed to watch during my kid years... probably after school specials or something. Such a fun show. Good memories. It was awesome to see her. We managed to move to the third row, center, by this time of the day.

I should have stayed there and enjoyed Stan Lee (who I don't really know other than he created Marvel) and Leonard Nimoy, who was joining the con by Skype, but I also really wanted to see Danny Glover... so I left and moved on!

** Danny Glover who I especially loved in Silverado... but many other movies too. It was cool to see him. He eneded up talking quite a bit about civil rights and etc. But it was cool to hear some of his history and that he remembered his grandma (or aunt) who was actually a freed slave. Also, he talked about how his grandma was so very bugged at him when she saw how he acted in The Color Purple. You know, he wasn't too nice in that movie.

In between all this celebrity stuff, we went to a few panels. I showed up to some writing ones featuring some of my favorite local authors like Bree Despain, J.R. Johannson, Natalie Whipple, Lisa Mangum, etc. We also went to a YouTubers panel. That was fun. And then, finally, a panel (well two guys) talking about the Skinwalker Ranch. Now, as it turns out, I'm extremely interested in skinwalkers these days, so I was very much looking forward to this one! However, they didn't talk much about actual skinwalkers because on this ranch, many more paranormal things are going on besides skinwalker sightings... things like UFOs and dinosaurs. They actually think it could be a time portal. Wait, what? I know!! Did you hear that? A TIME PORTAL! How cool and creepy and fantastic is that? Anway, if you want to know more about this place.... click here on the Skinwalker Ranch site. Some crazy stuff.

But... they did talk about skinwalkers a bit.. and I guess the one guy was actually abucted by one. He didn't want to talk about it much though... hello... I was dying! I wanted to know it all. But I could tell it freaked them out. And it was hard to talk about. Which is a thing, you know, having a hard time talking about them. But still, I wanted to know and now I want to buy the guy's book but it's out of print.

In between the panels and the celebrities, we managed to walk about a bit. That's when we took some pcitures and tried to shop. I wanted to at least buy a tshirt and maybe a Loki print, but didn't find the perfect one of either thing. So it never happened. Anyway, here's some of the pictures we took:

This is the line for Alan Tudyk.. . aka. Wash in Firefly and Wat
in A Night's Tale. Sadly. we did not get in. After this,we learned
that if you want a certain celebrity... go to the class before him!

In the end, the experience was wonderful and so much fun. The crowds were crazy, but can be avoided if you have strategy. The lines to get in were crazy but they figured it out for the other two days. Everything was crazy, but in a fun way. I loved it. I'll go again!

(P.S. As for my "official" Comic Con blogger status? Eh, that turned out to not be as cool a thing as I expected. They've only published one of my posts... I sent them three. We'll see... maybe there'll be more eventually, but I'm not holding my breath. It didn't send any more readers my direction that I know of either. Oh, well. It was a fun thought! And they did give me my ticket to the con after all!)

(P.P.S... sorry, what a long post! Gold star for you if you read the whole freaking thing!)


  1. That looks like an amazing time, and to meet so many people :) Sorry the content wasn't that great for John Barrowman . Did you see Torchwood ???

    1. Julie: I haven't watched Torchwood yet... is it good?

  2. Sad! You missed Alan Tudyk. :( I'm glad you got to meet all the others you did, though. :D

  3. You did so much stuff!! I'm impressed. Those crowds looks a little gnarly.

    1. Jessica: Yep, crazy crowds, but survivable.

  4. Mom my and I were going to go but I had a family emergency and had to leave UT early. I have been to a lot of cons and this one looks just as fun as the rest of them! Sorry your official comic con thing didn't work out. Bummer. At least you got a free ticket.

    1. Angie: Oh, sad! That would have been fun to have you there. I would have loved to say hi!

  5. Looks like you had a good time, I've only been to one (two?) Comic Cons (though never THE Comic Con) - they were always a lot of fun, even though most of it isn't really my bag. Since I'm in Atlanta I thought about going to DragonCon this year - but it always falls on the same weekend as the Decatur Book Festival - which is obviously MUCH more my bag. Girl's gotta have priorities. :)

    I agree that $50 -- $100 for pictures/autographs is INSANE.

    1. April: I still kind of want to go to THE Comic Con, even though we are pitting ourselves against them to become fierce Comic Con rivals! Yeah, some if it's not my thing either, but I do get into pop culture, so there's that.

  6. This is simply too cool for words! I'm glad you had such a great time :)

    1. Katie: Yep, pretty dang cool! Thanks for checking out my way too long recap! :)



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