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Salt Lake Comic Con welcomes all

The WETA booth from New Zealand will be at the Salt Palace starting Sept. 5 at Salt Lake Comic Con.

Sun Advocate reporter

Get ready Utah, the GEEX and freaks are headed your way. For the first time, Salt Lake City will host its very own Comic-Con. Growing from a successful social media and print campaign, Salt Lake Comic Con has developed the inertia of a run away train, drawing big crowds and pop culture icons to the beehive state.

According to Salt Lake Comic Con Founder Dan Farr, whose company is producing the show, the initial challenge of letting everyone know that Comic-Con was coming to Utah was only surpassed by the challenge of letting people know just how great the show will be.

The inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con will take place from Sept. 5-7 at the Salt Palace.

"For us one of the most interesting parts of producing this show was to take inventory of what people think of when they hear Comic Con," said Farr. "Most have heard the term but have very little knowledge of what it means. They don't know how epic this is."

While getting the word out always presents a challenge, from film to television, comic book charaters have become Hollywood's main stream go to. Box office numbers seen by Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel show that this trend is far from over and only gaining strength. Similarly, Comic Con conventions all across the country have exploded in attendance.

For years, the largest convention to hit Utah has been the Outdoor Retailer's Expo. According to pre-purchase ticket information, that is about to change. Based on the numbers Farr is seeing, Utah's first Comic Con is set to significantly exceed records for convention attendance of any kind in the state.

The massive turnout shown in Denver earlier this year, when 6,000 people were turned away during the first day demonstrated the drawing power of these events. Denver's success gave Utah players a preview of exactly what was coming their way.

"Comic Con is no longer a fringe event, there is something there for everyone," said Farr.

The idea of joining Comic Con with the GEEX Expo, which features gaming and electronic media, came from fact that the annual GEEX show has a similar flavor to Comic-Con. Farr approached Media One, who puts on the GEEX Convention and asked if they would be interested in joining forces.

"Joining with them has been great because of the power they have in the print media arena and because of the logistical sense they possess just from putting on other conventions," said Farr. "I needed a partner, so I could focus on building the content of show."

Starting with Comic Con's massive fan base, producers started a social media campaign that launched the show from its initial location at the South Town Expo Center to the larger Salt Palace.

"We started with a very strong campaign on Facebook and then this show took on a life of its own," said Farr. "It had such inertia, that coupled with the power of social media allowed us to feed off of that energy."

Deciding on a bold course of action, Farr began reaching out to bigger celebrities and more well known comic book artists. As the number of attendees has gone through the roof, the production group felt comfortable inviting bigger stars.

"There are so many big draw artists and creators here locally," said Farr. "In this experience I have been shown how many accomplished and talented people we have right here in this area. Their presence coupled with the pop icons we have invited should make this a truly special event."

Among those descending on the Salt Palace starting on Sept. 5 will be the WETA Booth which is a giant among giants. The production booth will be in Salt Lake from New Zealand with the Middle Earth booth. This booth has never been anywhere in America other than Comic Con's original location in San Diego.

Comic legends attending include the original TV Batman and Robin, Adam West and Burt Ward. From Star Wars' Peter Mayhew, Ray Park and David Prowse will all be at the show. Additionally, William Shatner, Lou Ferrigno and Kevin Sorbo will all be in attendance.

Because of the issues in Denver, those looking to attend the show from any distance are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets. Pre-purchase not only insures admittance but cuts down on the time it takes to get into the show.

Tickets to the Sept. 5-7 show are still available and can be purchased online at

Simply put, this convention is a one stop event for the best in gaming, comics, TV, movies, technology and pop culture, how could a geek refuse.

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