Seems I've been traveling the Western Triad lately- Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. Only home in CO for about two weeks after Spring Training, just long enough to write a couple of freelance articles, update websites, and see what I missed on the PS4 before heading to SLC for a week.
The SLC trip was social and last minute- basically just to catch up with old friends and to go a little crazy before heading back to PHX tomorrow for another month of baseball. While walking around downtown SLC late Thursday morning, I came across a teenage kid dressed in all black with a long unbuttoned trench coat. He was walking with a purpose and the wind caught his coat revealing a vest full of handguns and ammo. My eyebrows instantly raised and I quickly looked around to see if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing.
It seemed everyone noticed the young man, but no one was alarmed. In fact, a few people smiled at him. Unsure if I should tackle the kid or run away, I played it cool and continued walking because that's what everyone else was doing.
I made it about another block when I noticed someone else dressed a bit strange. Still chalking it up to the eccentrics of downtown life, I kept walking. Finally I came across the full squad of the Power Rangers and it clicked- Salt Lake Comic Con! As I passed the Salt Palace, the place was swarming with super heroes, characters, villains, and witty pop culture jokes. I instantly got on my phone and purchased a ticket for the following day.
I was a bit unprepared, not only did I just realize the convention was happening but Salt Lake Comic Con FanX was my first true entertainment and sci-fi convention. I wasn't sure who was going to be there, what panels were taking place, or any of the events- I just knew I couldn't pass it up.
I purchased my ticket early this year for the Denver Comic Con and have been looking forward to it for a very long time, with plans of possibly covering it or at least doing a thorough review. SLCC just fell into my lap. Big props to event organizers for creating an awesome mobile app. Being on the run, I didn't have a printer and the app kept track of my ticket with a scannable QR code- so handy! The app also came with a full schedule and a handy little button that allowed me to make my own person schedule for the events / panels I wanted to see- all with a sweet map that showed me where to go. I was quite impressed with the whole thing- it worked really well for me, especially being so ill-prepared.
I took the first hour to cruise the showroom floor full of vendors. There was literally so much to see that I know I missed at least 60% of it. Stoked for the panels, I hit up "Humor in Writing" which was a few authors giving tips on how to interject humor into your writing but mostly just telling funny stories. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
The second panel I saw was Screen Writing 101, which gave you real world advice on constructing a screenplay. I liked it a lot because the panelist talked a lot about their failures and how brutal the industry can be. The moderator (can't remember who- see really unprepared) was kind of a dick but I really liked this kat named Adam Simon. Michael Stackpole also had a lot of good points to contribute.
After that, I tried to browse the artist section of the convention but there was just so much to see! I missed a ton. From there I went to Panel Named Jayne, kind of a tribute / fanboy panel of Adam Baldwin. I was actually really disappointed with this panel- the moderator read line for line what was on the PowerPoint slides (which annoys me- add something to the presentation, we can all read).
Besides a bit more walking around and taking in all of the awesome cosplayers (who were outstanding!), that's about all I had time for. What I loved so much about the event was energy and the people- I loved how happy everyone was. I loved the smiles. I loved the high fives. Everyone was so carefree, proud, and excited. Even though all of the masks were on, people seemed to truly be themselves. I've been to a lot of conventions throughout the years- CMJ, SXSW, AAA Radio, MLB Winter Meetings- but this was hands down the most entertaining, fun, and had the best overall attitude.
Salt Lake Comic Con shattered all sorts of records with over 100,000 fans attending. It's now the 3rd largest Con in the US, and the number one Con per capita. It's the largest convention of ANY kind in Utah and it currently has the most active FaceBook page site in the state. Keep in mind, this all happened while Wonder Con was going on the same weekend.
I can't wait for the Denver Comic Con and I'm seriously considering upgrading my ticket for all 3 days. I didn't realize there'd truly be that much to see. I also enjoyed the panels quite a bit- those are worth it in themselves. If you have the chance to go to a Con- any Con- do it! Completely unique experience.
Needless to say, I feel so incredibly motivated and creative. The whole event, mostly due to the cosplay, was so inspiring! Can't wait to continue with my work- it would be a dream to be invited to such an event and one day contribute- give back and help create that excitement for someone else. I think tomorrow's plane ride will be filled with writing!
Also caught a Salt Lake Real game while I was there- very nice stadium. The team is undefeated- keep up the streak! Brewvies is still alive and kicking- watched Her and thought it was very well made / written. The head cook and a few waitresses at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Morelia, still remembered me after all these years! Great food as always- had it twice! Best of all was seeing all of my friends- high school and on. Good trip.