Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2014: Andrew's POV

Comic Con has always been a mixed bag for me. I enjoy the company and seeing the fanboys and fangirls I know shed any sense of proprietary as a favorite star walks onto the stage. I do not enjoy the crowded hallways and the difficulty of satisfying mandatory bodily requirements -- bladder fullness = 1/time to next panel.

With Simone not going on Saturday, I almost decided not to go. Once FanX announced Patrick Stewart, I felt a strange giddiness that could only mean that I too was a fanboy. With the fanboy tractor beam on, I put on the cleanest nerdy t-shirt I could find and put the 10th doctor's sonic in my pocket in case of car troubles and headed out.

I had only two goals: see Patrick Stewart and get an autograph from Karen Gillan for Simone. Unfortunately, Comic Con is a cruel mistress, and I would only get to do one of these things. Before that epic reveal, let's take a brief detour to the Evermore booth. Evermore is the world's first adventure park built in our very own Utah and as the name implies it is designed to have ever-more things to do.

Evermore has a Victorian England theme

There are no rides at this park, instead visitors are plunged into an English village fully stocked with actors that are pretending to go about their daily affairs and are quite surprised to find such oddly dressed visitors in their mist. Depending on the season, the park carries an additional theme -- in the fall the village has a cursed item that is causing appropriately ghoulish on-goings. I applaud the vision of the park, and I only hope the execution delivers on the immersive experience that is being promised.

Now to give you what you really wanted -- a blurry picture of Patrick Stewart.

The worst picture of Patrick Stewart ever taken

Yes, unfortunately, this means I never got the Karen Gillan autograph for Simone. But it wasn't for lack of trying -- she was never at her booth, and in fact, I'm beginning to believe that she was never really at FanX at all. Instead of actually bringing her to FanX, they simply put up a sign for her at an empty booth. Well played FanX, well played.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the lineup at FanX but there is still a dark cloud looming over the whole convention: the VIP line. Rooms must be cleared to make room for VIPers (who aren't actually VIP of course, but as is often the case simply those who have paid more). While this is no doubt very profitable, it really detracts from the experience and strips the convention of the feeling of brotherhood that is present at the San Diego Comic Con. I hope that in the future the convention will go to a flat ticket price, that allows for every fan to stand (okay actually sit in line) as an equal.
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