Do you mind if I don’t talk politics for a minute?
You don’t mind? Nice…
Since FanX 2016 just got over a week or so ago, I thought that I’d post a bit about my thoughts on Salt Lake Comic Con.
In 2013, Salt Lake City got its very own Comic Con. Two aging nerds, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, got together, got funding, and made a plan. It seemed to be an instant hit with around 72,000 attendees. I skipped that year, mostly due to money, time, and lack of interest (I didn’t want to be just another sheep in the nerdy crowd. I know, don’t judge). I admit, as much as I dump on Hollywood and the fakery that goes on there, I’m a total fanboy for actors I like who have appeared in movies that I watch over and over.
That first year, they were able to cobble together some greying, C-List guests. They did get Shatner though, and that was pretty impressive.
The following year, they started off the year with something they called “FanX.” I really think that the organizers just wanted to keep the momentum going and figured that they could do that by offering another convention 6 months after their successful debut.
Well, FanX took off as well, and has become a pretty popular event, mostly because they tend to listen to the fans, take poles to find out who the fans would like to see, and they limit the tickets so that it is a smaller event. I like that.
The one thing that I don’t like about SLCC’s set up, and I must be honest here, is that they have a tiered ticketing system that I have not seen on other convention’s web sites.
At SLCC you can buy passes per day, or a single pass for all 3 days. But if you really want to shell out the dough, you can purchase a “Gold” pass that allows you to get into the expo hall an hour before the proles in general admission. The “Gold” people aren't so bad, but the people who really opened up their wallets are the “VIP” pass people. Some are cool and don’t cause any problems, but I’ve found that a vast majority of them are ass-hats. They’ve paid a ton of money for their purple wrist band so that they can stand in special (shorter) lines and they are going to take it out on all of the volunteers, the vendors, and on any of the little people who piss them off. Whenever I see a complaint in the comments section of the SLCC website or on social media, it’s always a “VIP” pass holder who thinks that they paid too much and didn’t get enough from it.
I really do think that SLCC should do away with the VIP and Gold passes, but I also realize that they make a lot of money from these people.
Rumors have been flying around the interwebs that Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) is moving their FanX expo out of Utah, and out of the United States. Infact, that they are taking it to Asia.
I usually don’t pay much attention to rumors being floated on social media, but this one had the ring of truth. Some time ago FanX and Funco Pop partnered up to take FanX on the road, and do a couple of conventions in Thailand, China, and somewhere else in Asia. But there has never been an announcement about doing away with FanX in Utah.
So where did the rumor start?
I’m not sure, but I have an idea.
Ever since SLCC started, they have been very giving to the geek community in Utah. The 501st, Rebel Legion, Droid Builders, Ghostbusters, Utah Browncoats, Umbrella Corp, I’m sure that I’m forgetting others, have all been invited as special guests and given generous booth space to set up jail cells, photo backdrops, cantinas, all sorts of stuff. On top of that, each group was offered times and rooms to do small panels so that they could build membership, which would then build interest in SLCC. It was a mutual win-win.
This year’s FanX was a little different. Booth space was very stingy and as much as I looked on the schedule, I could not find panels for each of the groups. One of the Mandalorian Mercs told me that they only had a single panel for Star Wars fandom in general.
So I really think that the idea that FanX was leaving Utah, originated with members of the fan groups who kind of felt slighted and were trying to figure out what had changed at SLCC.
Now, if FanX left Salt Lake, and we were left with only SLCC every September, I wouldn’t be too upset. The fact is, it’s hard for my family to do two conventions every year. They’re expensive.
But there are several people who were really upset about the rumor, and who started blaming everyone under the sun (as we normally do, here in Utah), including the LDS church, Republicans, LGBT’s, Grandmothers, Elves, Gnomes, and Klingons for the change.
But, it seems that the rumor mill is wrong, once again.
Just this morning, Bryan Brandenburg posted on his facebook wall:
So, there you go.
No FanX, per se, but something really awesome in the works.
Better start saving my pennies… again.