More than 80,000 pop culture fanatics waited as long as three hours to get tickets to Salt Lake’s first-ever Comic Con this weekend at the Salt Lake Palace Convention Center.
Others were disappointed Saturday morning as fire marshals arrived and employees announced the Comic Con was sold out due to overcrowding. But those 80,000-plus who made it in didn’t waste a moment. There were even a few accidents due to the overcrowding that invoked ambulance calls.
Fans, from children to retirees, crowded the expo floor to see hundreds of vendors and artists share fantasy and science-fiction art, entertainment, and literature.
One vendor, Simba Mazadi, explained his booth.
“We are here representing Pokemon, and we are here basically teaching people how to play Pokemon for free; we also have video game tournaments.”
He continued by saying he was having a blast and loved seeing the energy of everyone around him and felt electrified being apart of something so great.
One author, Samuel Stubbs, a former BYU student who majored in Asian studies, managed a booth in the artist section with his co-author Valarie Mechling. They were promoting their book “The Tale of Telsharu.”
“It’s been awesome; it’s been fun to see all the different groups,” Stubbs said. “All the different fan groups that come and all the costumes that celebrate their love of different pop culture and different icons — I think it’s great. I think it’s fun.”
Another area in the expo was an art exhibit manned by Christoph Vasche. It displayed a sneak preview of art to be shown in Fantasy Con 2014 in Las Vegas, which will be put on by Josh Patel, said Vasche.
Along the back wall of the expo area, there were actors from movie franchises such as Star Trek, Batman, Superman, the Hulk, Star Wars, Power Rangers, Harry Potter, The Never-ending story, Buffy and many more.
Along with signing autographs, hundreds of actors and entertainers led panel discussions and workshops from 9 a.m. to 9:00
Adam West, the first Batman, and William Shatner, Star Trek’s first Captain Kirk, made their first debut together in over 50 years doing a panel Friday night.
Fans started waiting in line an hour and a half prior to the show to assure their seat to see Shatner and West.
“It was cool to see them together on stage being spontaneous,” said Jordan Michael, UVU student from California. “Adam West is a really funny guy.”
Fantasy/sci-fi enthusiasts dressed up in every type of costume from the Grinch, to Ironman, to zombies.
“It’s so fun because Comic Con is a place where a group of people with common interests can come together and be themselves,” said Stacie Pitt, an attendee who dressed as Loki from “Thor.” “They can dress as weird as they want and it’s totally normal.”