Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience 2015

This past weekend was a play hard, get your nerd on kind of weekend. And it was so much fun. Intense, exhausting and fun! And just in case you are into these kinds of things I thought I'd give my run down.

First of all, the thing about these comic cons is that there are several different sorts of things going on. I find that people usually fall into one or two of these categories. Here's how I see it breaking down:

** Cosplayers. Some people go to see and be seen. They dress up and they walk around hoping that lots of people want to take their picture. Or.. they walk around seeing how many pictures they take of other people's costumes. And let me just say. the costumes are amazing for the most part, and the walking around bit is in and of itself quite the show.

** Spenders. These people figure they've spent a ton just to get in, might as well keep on spending! For them, a big part of the experience is buying a ton of stuff in the vending area, the place were hundreds of booths are set up selling things from comic books, to tshirts, to swords, to paintings and posters, to all sorts of gizmos and gadgets. The things people will buy never seizes to amaze me.

** Face to Face Celebrity Time. If you buy a photo op or decide to get an autograph, you are in for another whole crazy experience. This means buying usually $100 more dollars then standing in line for your turn at the celebrity. But you walk away with an awesome picture and the feeling of having said celebrity's arm around your back! And if I understand right, you can also pay a smaller amount and just take a selfie with your own phone. Which sometimes means you by past the line, and might even get the arm around your back after all. Anyway, I'm a little jealous of the people who end up with pictures.

** Celebrity Q and A Panels: This being herded into a big huge room and seeing the celebrity come on stage and answer a ton of audience questions. While you don't get the arm around her back, and the up close look in their face, you do get a feeling for their real life personalities and enjoy lots and lots of laughs usually.

** Regular Panels: Going on throughout the whole event are tons and tons of presentations and panels and pretty much any nerdy topic you can think of. If a person doesn't want to fight the crowds so much and doesn't care about celebrities and feels they have spent as much money as they spend, then this is the part of the con they might enjoy best.

For us, this time, we decided to focus on the celebrity appearances and not worry so much about the panels and other things going on. Last time in September I felt like it was a good mix between the two, but this time... it was all celebrities... or nearly.

Lucifer from Supernatural
DAY ONE: Thursday

We started the day off straight away in the big ballroom to see Mark Pellegrino. He wasn't someone I knew from anything, but we really had to be in the room for Karen Gillan who came after him! But he was a lot of fun and very engaging with the audience. They love him as Lucifer from Supernatural. I really should know Supernatural, but I haven't made time to watch more than the first few episodes! Gasp! I know! He's also in Dexter and something else that I forgot at the moment. Oh! I remembered! Jacob on Lost of course!

My capture of Karen
on the Jumbotron!
Next up was Karen Gillan who recently got done with her gig as Amy Pond on Dr. Who. She was fabulous in that role and everyone just love her. So cute with her red hair, mini skirts and strong Scottish accent! She was also in Guardians of the Galaxy as Nebula. It was awesome to see her and hear her stories.

We actually left the big ball room to see a Star Wars panel after that. The speculated on what the new movie will be, which was kind of fun. They played the little teaser trailer, LOUD, and it gave me chills so bad! Gah, I can't wait to see what this movie ends up like!

Laurie aka. Andrea
Then back to the ballroom where we listened to Laurie Holden who plays (played!) Andrea on The
Walking Dead. SPOILER ALERT: She talked a lot about when their characters die how they go to a restaurant for a "dead party"  and everyone cries. It sounds like it's such a tight cast, which is sad when they never know when people will be killed off. She knew the day before. Can you even imagine? I was sad that the other two cast members from The Walking Dead (Glen and Beth) did not do a panel. They only did photo ops. Lame.

The last thing we went to that first day was a Marvel Universe Trivia game. We met up with Kami and her brother and they wanted to play! What? I was there just to watch! Anyway, it was fun to see the level of geek in that room and realize that the geekiness I think I have is NOTHING compared that!

(On the way home that evening, I got word that my grandpa, who had gotten really sick a few days before, was pretty much on his death bed.)

DAY TWO: Friday

Kami waiting in line. 
Toto waiting in line.
This second day was a big big day of celebrities for us! We had plans to camp out in the ballroom the entire 10 or so hours! We started the day off sitting on the floor, waiting in line, hoping they'd let us in. It didn't take long and pretty soon we were rushing to try and get seats as close to the front as we good. We didn't do too bad!

Great Scott!
First up was Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future fame. He was funny, as you'd expect, but had a hard time understanding everyone's questions. He talked a lot about One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which was a huge deal for him. He liked the third Back to the Future the best, since it was a western.

I tried really hard to get the smile.

Here's the smile!

We moved forward a few seats and Brandon Routh! Oh my
gosh, but he is cute! He played Superman in Superman Returns and was picked in part because of his uncanny resemblance to Christopher Reeve. But I know him currently from Arrow where he plays Ray Palmer and is about to embark on his adventures as The Atom. Anyway, the whole audience swooned whenever he broke into a smile. I was not the only one!
had an excellent view of the next dude,

Nichelle Nicholes
Nichelle Nichols, from the original Star Trek series was up next. How cool
to see such an icon from TV history! She's done a lot in her career and it was fun to learn about it all.

We stayed put for Felicia Day even though we really had no clue who she is! However, people POURED into that one screamed like crazy for her. She is dang popular! She is in Supernatural too, and did Dr. Horrible's Sing Along  Blog, and is in a lot of YouTube things. I can't remember what else. But she was fun!

We didn't want to leave the room, basically, because after her was Tom Felton and we knew he would be huge too! Yes, he's Draco
Tom Felton
Malfoy from Harry Potter! And what a cute, sweet, lovely (he used that word a lot!) person he was. Man, he's a good actor, yes? You think of him as just a slime and so conniving and sneery, but no, that's just his character after all! :) Funny how that happens! We loved his stories about Harry Potter, and learning that in fell in love in real life with a Griffendor extra and that his blond hair was died even blonder for all those years. He defends his character and feels he was redeemed in the end.

The Holding Pen!
Our line friends! They looked
totally authentic!
After that they kicked everyone out because it was time to get ready for the big Dr. Who Experience. This was the event that we had to pay extra for! And so we left and got shuffled into different lines according to what we paid, and what wrist band we had. I called it the holding pen. By the time we got out there, the line was already completely out of control, and it only got worse. We sat there for an hour and half, which wasn't that bad except that several times they made us think that we would move any second, only to let us stand there forever still! And after awhile, it got to be the time for them to start and we were still out there in line. I was thinking, they can't start until all these people get in there, right? Well, they finally let us in and it started just after that. And we screamed and screamed and screamed! So cool to see Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, along with his companion, Karen Gillan also Billie Piper who played Rose, both the 9th and 10th Doctor's companion. They were awesome with their stories and their laid back-ness. It was worth the extra money. We filmed them a bit. We tried to upload it but it was too long. Stay tuned and perhaps I'll post that later when we figure it out!

You can't see him good,
but this was how
close we were.
When that was over, we moved closer for Ralph Macchio who was up next. My 18 year old self was DYING at the fact that the Karate Kid was RIGHT THERE! As cute as ever! The very same hugebrown eyes and amazing smile! He looks so good still! We came right home that weekend and watched Karate Kid... again for me, for the first time for my daughter. I was like... see what I mean? See how cute he his?? Lol! Now I want to watch The Outsiders again too. I hardly remember that movie.

The last panel of the day was Ray Park, and by this time we were
How can this guy be Darth Maul?
so close to the front! Go us! He played Darth Maul in Star Wars The Phantom Menace. And guess what? He was sweet and funny too! What's with the villains who are sweet and nice in real life??? :) We loved him and in fact, if we had to rank all the celebrities as to which ones were our favorites, he just might get the top spot. At the end, he had all (well, all the ones that ran up) the kids come up on stage with him and he shook their hands, learned their names and taught them a Darth Maul move. It was so awesome. He's a martial arts teachers and you could totally tell that he loves kids and
is so good with them.
Ray Park teaches kids
Darth Maul moves!

It was an exhausting day, but we had SO MUCH FUN!

DAY THREE: Saturday

Billie on the Jumbotron
We started the day out in line again, waiting to get back into the big ballroom. First up was Billie Piper, from Dr. Who, who had her own panel, like Karen did the other day. What a sweetie she is too, and seems so down to earth. We learned that she was a teenage pop star in Britain before she got the Dr. Who gig. We came home and looked her up. Eh, we didn't fall in love with her songs. But we sure love her as Rose!

Carrie Fisher on the Jumbotron!
Then they had a last minute surprise panel with Carrie Fisher! She wasn't going to do one because of her contract which doesn't allow her to talk about the new Star Wars at all! Boy they are freaking nervous about stuff leaking with regard to that movie! Anyway, she was only on the stage for a half hour and what a weird half hour that was. She is a DIVA in all sense of the word. A very strange duck. And she doesn't look at all like a certain character we know as Princess Leia. If you stare at her hard, you can kind of see it in her eyes. Just barely. Anyway, she hammed it up and joked around, had her dog come on stage with her, and pretty much didn't answer one question. But we all screamed and loved it just the same. I mean, hello. Princess Leia!

We didn't know where else to go and besides we wanted to keep our seats, so we stayed put for the next panel which was the Lannister twins from Game of Thrones. Okay, so that was a weird panel too. Yeah, even the panel was not great of young ears! What a twisted show this is, yes? I've only watched one episode and that was enough for me. Anyway, we squirmed until that one was over. I must say though, Jamie Lannister is very nice to look at. He's from Denmark by the way. :)

Paul on the Jumbotron
Paul Wesley and Pheobe Tonkin from The Vampire Diaries was next. It was hard to believe that Stefan was right there! I was so into that show. I haven't watched it for awhile now though. And the Pheobe girl, I didn't know her. I think she's on The Originals... a spin off, which I haven't watched but I should because it also stars Elijah! Too bad he wasn't there! But they were cute and fun too. Paul Wesley looks like what I pictured Edward (from Twilight) to look like in my head. Oh, well.

After that we were sort of lost as what to do. We actually left the ballroom and wandered around, shot some GoPro video and ate a piece of pizza. We wandered through celebrity row and stumbled into the line for the photo ops. And were busted! Boy they hustled us out there fast! Then, we found our way back to the ball room where we caught the end of the panel with Jim Cummings and other voice actors. They were awesome. The audience was rolling on the floor with laughter. We were tripped out at hearing the voice of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger come out his mouth! Great stuff!

The rest of the day was a little boring we wandered through a few random panels. Mostly we were just overwhelmingly tired and ready to come home! But we ended up listening to one about the movie industry. It turned out to be mostly about acting, but we were hoping to hear some about other aspects like editing, make up artists, cinematography etc. But oh, well. Then we went to one were we learned about the movie they are making for I am Not a Serial Killer. They hope to get that inot Sundance next year. I would love to go to it! Also, we went to one about the general art of stories, in all it's mediums. I'm fascinated with this, but the panel was, eh. And finally, we ended the day learning about the history of The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Pretty interesting!

On the way home, I stopped off at my mom and dad's house and held my grandpa's hand for minute and said goodbye to him. He passed on Monday morning, so, I'm glad I made the effort, tired as I was, to see him one last time. Bittersweet stuff. It was time. But we'll miss him!

And then we came home and crashed! What a fun time Comic Con is! I can't wait to do it again! :)


  1. Nice recap! Felicia Day is the QUEEN of geeks by the way. She started in a little thing called The Guild. It was all about World of Warcraft. Stuey might know her. It was a fun weekend. Thanks for hanging out with me and my bro. It was fun! I fall into a lot of those categories up there.

    1. p.s. Roy Parker was one of my favorites too ;)

    2. Kami: I asked him, he has no clue who she is. that Guild thing is on YouTube, which he doesn't do . And it's Ray Park! LOL! :) (I looked him up to make sure I wasn't going crazy.)

  2. Awesome recap. It sounds like you had a ton of fun. I'm slightly jealous. One of these days, I'll bite the bullet and spend the money to go.

  3. I can't believe you don't know who Felicia Day is! She is fun! Also, Carrie Fisher is really really weird... she has had shock treatment to treat her issues and I think that adds more issues...

  4. I don't think my comment made it through the first time :( (This keeps happening to me when I'm on my laptop ...). Trying to remember what I said!

    It sounds like you had such a fun day - I felt like I was right there with you (almost!). And I never realized Karen Gillan played Nebula!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa. I'm glad you had the chance to see him before he passed on.

  5. So cool! I love that the panels allowed to to get a feel for some of the people's real personalities.



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