Thirty thousand. That’s an approximation of how many people are gathered in Salt Lake City to participate in their first annual Comic-Con. Speaking as a frequent traveler of the Utah area, this is simultaneously the most baffling and delightful geek happening to ever come from the state. From the moment it was announced to this day, my friends and I have whispered to ourselves, “Are you positive it’s true? Absolutely positive?”
But there’s no denying this crowd of every spectrum — from child to grandmother, businessman to otaku– despite the naysayers, Utah has drawn up an impressive crowd. Costume rentals across the city are backed up and out of stock, and, by the plethora of cosplays around the place, it has paid off.
It began at Thursday from four o’clock onwards and closed Saturday, with no signs of stopping until midnight on the dot. The night was still young and the con-goers on a high that transcended beyond the late hour. For hours on the streets and in the booked hotels, fans raved about it. Yes, Comic-Con did well bringing a convention to Utah.
The theme for cosplays seems to have, as an unspoken rule, been Doctor Who as the place is crawling with David Tennant look-likes. Every so often one spots a Smith bowtie or Baker scarf trailing in the halls, but Ten’s the people’s choice. But, then again, we already knew that, didn’t we?
Beyond the cosplays, Comic Con features a small-scale production of what the original San Diego counterpart offers. Guests? We’ve got guests. Celebrities from Star Wars to Star Trek to Batman have gathered here to kick off the event. As an unexpected bonus, Stan Lee himself signed on. With the success of this year, the 2014 Comic-Con already has promises of bringing in more celebrities next year.
Panels focused on everything from William Shatner and Adam West to a guide on how to enter a reality television show. Yesterday was Zombie Prom and the day before that a special feature for those of us geeks single and looking to change that: Sci-Fi Speed Dating. Which, though ineligible to attend the event, I heard was a rousing time.
“In terms of opening day sales, we broke records,” said an enthusiastic con-goer as he brandished his spoils from the day before. “I spent all of my money!”
Cosplays, Zombie Prom, Stan Lee autographs… I ask you, what more does a convention needs?
What does its success signify for the future of Salt Lake Comic-Con? That it will have one, of course. The Midwestern area has proved its mettle and ability to round up an enthusiastic amount of participants beyond what was expected by anyone. Long life SLC Comic-Con!