SALT LAKE CITY - Fan love is the magic that makes comic conventions grow.
Last year’s inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con got a huge shot of fan love from residents all across the state, gathering crowds that earned it the title of the largest inaugural comic con in North America. Organizers are saying thank you for that with the brand-new Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, coming to the Salt Palace Convention Center April 17-19 with bigger stars and more events.
“The credit goes to the fans,” said Salt Lake Comic Con Co-founder Dan Farr. “So many fans came out last time, and it was the validation these celebrities needed. If they’re going to spend their time coming to events, they want to make sure there’s a lot of fans there.”
Some of the celebrities coming for the event include Wiliam Shatner from the original “Star Trek,” Karen Gillan from “Doctor Who” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Karl Urban from the new “Star Trek” movies and “Almost Human,” Natalie Dormer from “Game of Thrones,” Edward James Olmos from “Battlestar Galactica,” most of the original cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” several cast members from “The Walking Dead” and more.
In addition, there are costume contests, movie screenings, game competitions and panels on everything from fight choreography to UFOs to the stars of YouTube. The team from the Travel Channel show “Ghost Adventures” will be on hand to answer questions, as well as Salt Lake City-based ghost hunters.
“Comic con is really a pop culture event,” said Farr. “Anything that fans follow is appropriate.”
It’s that attitude, he feels, that helped the Salt Lake Comic Con break records.
“Other comic conventions don’t reach the mass public like they should,” he said.
It’s also inspired organizers to create the FanXperience, which is being held in addition to the comic con scheduled for this fall. If all goes well, it could become a permanent fixture.
“We didn’t want to wait a whole year to do another event,” he said. “So we experimented, and we’ll see how fans respond.”
Personally, Farr hopes he’ll see more of the wide-eyed enthusiasm that was such a hallmark of last year’s event.
“I love to see the fans get excited,” he said. “To me, that’s the payday. I get a charge out of it.”
The more of that excitement he sees, the more that Salt Lake Comic Con and FanXperience can soar to even greater heights.
“I really think we have the best fans on earth,” he said. “If we can break some more records this time, it will help us get more great celebrities going forward.”
For tickets or more information, visit saltlakecomiccon.com.