Hearing the two words ‘comic convention’ either sparks immediate happiness or total annoyance. If you’re among the eye-rollers, I get it, I really do. Cosplay might not be something you’re into. You probably imagine a convention center packed full of weird people talking about obscure anime. You likely think that attending SLCC would be akin to hanging out with your boyfriend or your brother… and twenty five thousand of his best friends. But I’m here to tell you that you are wrong. Salt Lake Comic Con is challenging modern perceptions of comic conventions one event at a time. You’ll have the opportunity to get celebrity photo ops or autographs, attend panels where these guests speak, line up to have an author sign your book, or wander through the booths looking for the perfect t-shirt. Here’s why SLCC is EXACTLY the event your looking for.
MEN. MEN. MORE MEN.
All types of men go to SLCC. All types. Let that sink in. Yes there will be a guy dressed as slave-Leia, but there will also be a guy wearing jeans and a plain tee. Whether these guys attend alone, with their friends, or with their families, you will see plenty of them and probably talk to one too. SLCC is a great place to meet other single people, especially if you’re looking for someone with similar interests. Waiting in line to meet James & Oliver Phelps? Ten steps back could be your next boyfriend standing with a lightning bolt painted on his forehead. May the odds be ever in your favor.
EVERY FANDOM IS HERE.
Are you secretly obsessed with Harry Potter? Did you binge watch the Vampire Diaries? Do you sometimes imagine Chris Evans sliding into your bed in a Captain America costume? You must enjoy Arrow, Dr. Who, Star Wars, Supernatural, American Horror Story, or Lord of the Rings right? The movie you’re obsessed with and the tv show you’re currently binging will likely be represented. Whether that be by a famous guest or a beautiful piece of artwork created by a local, you will have your moment.
SHOP ART AND MERCH.
The convention floor is covered in booths, separated into categories. Artist Alley is among the best places to stop. Each booth features different artwork made by locals, and every piece is as unique as the individual who created it. The best part is that there is something to buy for every budget. You can grab a photo print for as little as five dollars or spend a pretty penny on originals. Stray away from Artist Alley and enjoy the rest of the convention floor, and visit vendors selling a multitude of items from dollar comics to action figures. Do yourself a favor and don’t go home without making a purchase.
GO TO A WORKSHOP OR PANEL.
Are you wondering how to get your novel published? Do you want to hear Felicia Day geek out over her Supernatural costars? How do you feel about Sci-Fi Speed Dating? Your entire SLCC experience could completely be spent hearing different qualified panelists discuss their passions. Even if you have little interest in a subject, you’ll likely walk away with new perspective. Download the Salt Lake Comic Con app and select which panels you want to hit for a customized schedule just for you. Hit up Full of Sith, a podcast focused on Star Wars, and prepare for a debate in I Ship It: Fandom’s Favorite Couples.
COSPLAY IS ACTUALLY COOL.
Cosplay is the hip new word for wearing a costume and putting on that character’s persona. And no, it doesn’t have to be Halloween for you to participate. You can spend a few dollars making a pair of cat ears, or you can go all out sewing yourself a gown Elsa would cry for. The people at SLCC will appreciate your attire, no matter how elaborate or subtle. SLCC puts on a cosplay contest with real cash prizes that anyone can enter! You’ll be blown away when you witness the time people put into their hobbies.
DO IT FOR THE INSTAS.
This is 2015. I know you immediately post your favorite photos for your friends to see. SLCC caters toward the photo obsessed. Both the SLCC team and private organizations bring in backdrops, props, and movie replicas. The three trolls from the Hobbit are slated to make an appearance again this year! If you look closely you’ll find a few random Tardis’s set down on the convention floor. You may even find the 501st’s resident Wookie giving out kisses in front of a Coruscant backdrop. If you don’t want a picture everyone else has, ask a cosplayer to pose with you! They’ll be flattered and you’ll have a unique souvineer. By the time you leave SLCC your phone memory will likely be full, because you were glued to your camera.
PHOTOGRAPHS WITH CELEBS.
If you have extra cash to spend, you can make your every dream come true. For a price, you can get a photo op with your favorite celebrities. You’ll spend way too long in line and not enough time with them, but you’ll take home a professionally taken photograph. If that doesn’t appeal to you, at least hit up their booth in the celebrity area on the convention floor. This is when they sign autographs, and you may get a better chance to talk to them. They’ll also have cheaper prices for those of you who would rather just get a picture on your iPhone. I paid around $70 for a single professional photo with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), and then paid $35 for him to take about 15 photos on my phone. He actually talked to me during that too. You can guess which was more worth it.
IAN SOMERHALDER WILL SPEAK TO YOU.
If you can’t afford a photo or an autograph, but you’d like to talk to a more famous guest hit up their panel. When they open it up for audience questions, RUN to the front of the line. If you’re lucky you’ll get one on one time to present a question to your dream man (Ian Somerhalder anyone?) Don’t be the girl that asks for hug, because that just isn’t cool. Questioning the celeb on their love life or favorite flavor of jelly bean? Fair game.
If you’re still on the fence about picking up a ticket, SLCC offers a 10% student discount. Head to saltlakecomiccon.com to grab yours. You could spend your weekend doing mundane activities, or you could turn out to the Salt Palace for a little adventure. The choice is yours.