For the last several years, every year around July we looked towards San Diego and sighed a little. Comic Con. Would that we could go. This year, to add insult to injury, we happened to be IN Califonia for a family reunion and vacation. But alas, we were still unable to go to Comic Con San Diego. To be honest, we didn’t even try. We had already been doomed months before, when we weren’t ready at the stroke of midnight to buy the darn tickets. Besides, the family reunion part of it was happening right at the same time.
Our disappointment was short lived though, for Comic Con was coming to Utah! At first, it just seemed interesting. It might be something a bit bigger than the Steamfest I’d recently attended, and probably quite a bit bigger than the dying local convention, Conduit. One of its biggest problems is lack of organization. Ever since I’ve attended, it’s always had that, but a recent ousting of the hardest working and relatively most organized volunteers plus an undertone of antagonism towards its being a family friendly con, as it had always been – have injured it, possibly to the point of death. But I digress.
As the weeks grew closer, Salt Lake’s Comic Con grew bigger. It started off with the announcement of William Shatner. That alone, was reason enough for me to go. When Jonathan Frakes also signed on, I bought myself a ticket. Because I was going for Geekatplay, both to network and cover it, I got a VIP pass. A few weeks later, as it grew even bigger, my geeky but not very “conventional” husband also bought a ticket, for Saturday because he still wasn’t willing to give up some personal days.
When Dan Farr got the ball rolling, he expected about 10,000 attendees. But the geekdom of our good home Utah far exceeded his expectations. Comic Con Salt Lake grew, and it grew. It sold out of the smaller South Towne Convention Center and moved downtown to the Salt Palace. It hit 25,000 attendees, then 30,000 and people began wondering if we could outpace the first Comic Con of New York.
At that point, X96, the radio station that we provide event photography for asked us to cover it, which meant press passes and Vladimir wearing his two cameras around the con.
And then, in the days leading up to it, something magical happened. Lou Ferrigno, the original and awesome Hulk, personally asked Stan Lee to come to Salt Lake.
Salt Lake wasn’t quite ready for what happened next. It was going to be a crazy weekend and we’ve got some great images.