Salt Lake Comic Con 2017: Coda

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Sunday – 24 September 2017
This past weekend, Salt Lake City was host to the fifth annual Salt Lake Comic Con (#SLCC17) – a three-day celebration of fandom. I missed the first day – Thanks, Universe! – but attended Friday and Saturday.


Friday saw me testing out a new variation of my Green Lantern costume – Varsity Green Lantern:

I met up with and played tour guide for my friend, Denise, who ventured south from Canada to check out the Con – I had talked about SLCC to her earlier in the year and suggested that she see and compare it to Calgary’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and San Diego’s event. And, she did.

The first part of the day was spent scouting the Con, checking out things to see once Sara! and Team DiVa arrived. One of my goals was to get the little ladies to meet Shea Fontana, author of DC SuperHero Girls comics, of which they are fans. Sara whipped up a Hawkgirl costume – including molding the helmet out of Worbla (first time she’d ever used it!) – and the girls went as the DC SuperHero Girls versions of Katana (Diana) and Bumblebee (V)

Warrior women!


Mission: ACCOMPLISHED – Team DiVa meets Shea Fontana

I was going to have some of their books signed… but managed to leave them in my car. D’oh! I told them that I would get them signed the next day. They were, fortunately, alright with this option. We then walked around, waiting for the girls to decide what they wanted to buy as a souvenir before they left – Vanessa wound up getting a Tentacle Kitty (work-safe); Diana, a parasol. A little later, Sara took the ladies off for dinner and pre-bedtime hanging out; Denise and I roamed and took in some panels before the show closed for the evening.


I unveiled another new variation on an old theme: Nick Fury, as redesigned by Marvel artist Declan Shalvey. The idea for this came over a year ago, when Marvel was setting up their Civil War II storyline.


I went to my local comic shop and the guys congratulated me for being on the cover of a comic. Having no idea wheat they were talking about, they showed me the book:


At that point, I tweeted Mr. Shalvey, leading to this exchange:

Thus, I decided to work up a costume based on that:

I was rather pleased with how it turned out.

For my second day at the con, I was scheduled to participate in two panels.


  • Get Out!: Modern Horror Classic and 2017’s Most Important Film
    • I was just a panelist on this, along with:
      • Sean Means (moderator), film critic for the Salt Lake Tribune
      • Melissa Perez, panelist on Black Girl Nerds
      • Melissa Merlot, comedian and panelist on The LEFT Show
      • Dr. Paul White, professor at The University of Utah, and
      • Debra Jenson, professor at Utah State University

The “Comics as a Tool” panel was fantastic! My fellow panelists had some great anecdotal stories to share about how they – and either their children or children they’ve worked with – have used comics in the home and classroom. We also had a number of great questions from the audience. It was early in the morning (and not the largest turnout), but parents and teachers (!) came to hear what we had to say about using comics to help children begin to read and using comics to help young readers who are experiencing difficulty with reading.

After that, there was wandering, people-watching, picture-taking, and lunch.  Post-lunch, I took Denise to experience the joy of RubySnap. She’s threatened to send cross-border requests for cookies; I may have created a monster.  Back to the con for more roaming before my last panel.

The Get Out! panel was just fun. Sean did a masterful job of guiding the discussion. We delved into the social commentary behind the movie, how it turned a number of norms on their ears, and issues of power and control. The hour we had for that panel felt far too short; I would have loved to have had another hour or more to peel back more layers of the movie. The audience not only asked good questions, but they also made a few salient points.

Following the panel, we went to the Grand Ballroom to watch the results of the Cosplay Contest. To be honest, I first went into the ballroom because of the music they were playing – I had to know what was going on. We entered during the period when the judges were voting on the winners and honorable mentions and there was a dance party going on at the front of the room. I wondered if Melodywise Cosplay was there… and, lo, did she walk across the stage moments later.

And then, all too soon, Salt Lake Comic Con 2017 was no more than a memory.

Thank you to the staff, volunteers, guests, and fans who continue to make Salt Lake Comic Con such a fun experience.


Epilogue 1:

As I mentioned, I’d invited Denise down to compare Salt Lake Comic Con with other cons she’d attended. Her commentary:

  1. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality, quantity, and variety of cosplay.
  2. The people were so friendly and polite, it was almost like still being in Canada. 😃
  3. I loved the variety and diversity of the panels.
  4. I don’t have the same feeling I do at the end of SDCC, where I had fun and enjoyed myself, but I need the year to recover so I can do it again. If there was another SLCC next weekend, I’d be right there.

Although, my favorite of her comments was something she tweeted the next day:

Epilogue 2:

As noted earlier, I did Saturday’s costume based on a Twitter conversation with Declan Shalvey last year.  Naturally, I sent him a picture of the costume, which elicited this reply:

Needless to say: My day was completely made.


Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2017

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Sunday – 19 March 2017
This past Friday and Saturday, Salt Lake Comic Con presented their third Fan Experience or “FanX” event. Two days of celebrities, artists, authors, panels, and vendors celebrating all manner of fandoms, not just comic-related ones.

I attended both days. The first day, I didn’t have a particular agenda in mind, so I wandered the floor. It served as a good opportunity to check out artists and vendors. I also hung out at the Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection booth for a while. The second day, I brought my friend, Andy, to his first-ever con. It was like watching the proverbial kid in a candy store. I was content to roam around with him, as he took in everything.

Also, on Day Two, I was a panelist on the “Diversity in Cosplay” panel.

My co-panelists were:

Our panel opened with Jay explaining “why” there still needed to be this kind of panel. From there, it explored topics including: gender-bending/race-bending/and body type-bending and making cosplay your own (not worrying about what others might think or say), what got us into cosplay, our favorite cosplay, our most proud moments in cosplay. We also took a number of good questions from the audience. It was an honor to be a part of the panel and a pleasure to meet my fellow panelists. If you aren’t familiar with their work, please take a few minutes to check them out.

After the panel, there was a bit more wandering before calling it a day.

In all, I found this FanX to be another great con experience; I look forward to what the the Salt Lake Comic Con team plans for September.

And now, the pictures!

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016: Coda

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Saturday – 03 September 2016
Salt Lake Comic Con
2016 has come to an end.

This was, quite possibly, my most fun time at the con to date. I had a great time seeing friends, reacquainting with others, meeting new people and being a panelist for the first time! (Hopefully, I’ll get to do it again next year!) There were some things and people that I did not have the opportunity to see, but I really can’t complain about this year’s con experience.

This morning, Sara and I took Team DiVa to the Con (ahem… “the costume party”), so that they could see people in costumes. We found “a few” Captains Marvel, to Diana’s glee, but we had a hard time finding a Ms. Marvel for Vanessa. I was hoping to see the young lady (also pictured below) that I saw on Friday; she was nowhere to be found today. Sara managed to find both a Captain AND a Ms. Marvel – at the same time – who were both happy to take pictures with the girls. This happened while I was having a brief meet-and-greet with Phill LaMarr (Pulp Fiction, Mad TV, the voice of Green Lantern John Stewart on Justice League). WHEW!

We left Comic Con, so the girls could have lunch and some down time. I realized that I needed some recovery time, as well.

I returned to the Con a little after 5 PM… to find that the main floor was closing at 7 PM. Fortunately, I had managed to check off most of the boxes on my “To Do” list during the earlier visit. I visited with the Dr. Volt’s crew and managed to get more than three pictures of cosplayers today. I wrapped up the evening attending a panel with three-fourths of the lovely ladies from the Hello Sweetie Podcast, and three other panelists.

I think that Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 was fantastic convention and hope that it was a great success for all involved. I’d also like to thank and congratulate the staff and crew of Salt Lake Comic Con for putting on a great event… and for letting me be a part of it this year! I look forward to what SLCC 2017 brings.

And here are the pictures…




Salt Lake Comic Con 2016: Day One – Aftermath

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Thursday – 01 September 2016
For a No Bad News Thursday, today wasn’t horrid. It didn’t start off as what I would have called “perfect,” things came together by the end of the day and it ended with a bang! The day started with me at work and not at the Mark Hamill and William Shatner Salt Lake Comic Con panels that I had originally planned on attending. Oh, well. (As the song says: “I guess this is growing up…“) The work day came and went I left work a little early and made my way downtown.

People. Everywhere.

Many/most of them were in costume. It was great to see the array of characters and the work that people put into their outfits. (I only took one picture.) Of the standouts I recall, there was:

  • A really great Rule 63 Flash (Jay Garrick)
  • Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers),
  • Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan),
  • Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell, in a costume that looked to be primarily body paint),
  • An armored “trooper” that I don’t think that it was a Stormtrooper, and
  • Squirrel Girl.

I made it to the convention center, picked up my badge, and hung out at the Dr. Volt’s Comics booth before heading to my panel discussions.

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016

Wile E. Coyote… Special Guest! (What!? It has the same initials as “Super Genius!”)

Leigh George Kade (Geekshow Podcast and Frisch) moderated both discussions. They were fun and hopefully informative. Audience members asked a number of good questions across a decent spectrum from – we even fielded a few questions after each panel ended. I think that augurs well. (And, if it doesn’t… just let me sit here and enjoy my little delusion. Thank you.) The fifty minutes passed far too quickly – it felt like we had just gotten a good head of steam built up when the “Five Minutes” sign was waved. Hopefully, I’ll get an opportunity to be a panelist at a future con; if not, I’ve scratched an item off my bucket list that I didn’t even know was on the list!

For now: Sleep.
And tomorrow: Work… and Salt Lake Comic Con: Day Two!

The Return of the Justice League

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Wednesday – 27 July 2016
For nearly a year, the folks at Cartoon Network and Warner Brothers have been dropping breadcrumbs about a new Justice League-related series that seemed like it would be called “JLA.”

Check out the far right end of the posters...

Check out the far right end of the posters…

Then this much less oblique picture popped up a few months ago:

Justice League Action

The Justice League is back…

The poster below came with the news that Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman for over 20 years, would be returning to the role for this series.  We would later find out that Mark Hamill would also be reprising the voice of The Joker.

Justice League Action... and this time, they brought friends!

…and they’re bringing some friends…


Some of the faces - friendly and otherwise - that you'll see on Justice League Action.

…probably even more friends than this!

At Comic Con, last week, they even trotted out one more picture…

I like Wonder Woman's slightly edgier look in this one.

Just in case you forgot who the big guns are…

…and a synopsis…

Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman lead the DC Comics Super Heroes against their most infamous foes in adventures packed with relentless thrills, fun and action. No need to wait for the good stuff to start, each eleven-minute episode jumps in with lightning-paced action and heroics. Whether defending the Earth, facing invaders from space, or battling the bizarre forces of magic, the always-rotating team of Justice League heroes, are up to any challenge.

…before presenting an actual teaser trailer:

No premiere date has been announced, as yet.

A Few Articles About Women in Comics and Fandom

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28 April 2014
There have been some excellent articles about women in comics/fandom over the past couple of weeks. Below are some of the items that I’ve come across. There’s a link to each article, followed by a brief excerpt. Check them out.

Comics Alliance: Ask Chris #193 – Let’s Pitch a Wonder Woman Movie
Q: I am sick of hearing that a Wonder Woman movie is too hard. I know how I would do it, but what’s your pitch for a Wonder Woman film? — @Bibphile78

A: A few weeks ago, I probably would’ve backed off of this question, for two simple reasons. The first is that I was pretty sure my specific tastes don’t really match up with what goes into a big-budget Hollywood film, but that was before we knew Marvel was spending a ton of money on a live-action arena show involving dirtbikes and skateboard tricks, and that they’d cast someone who once played Velma in a Scooby-Doo movie to play Aja in a big-budget Jem and the Holograms picture. At this point? I’m pretty sure I’ve somehow ended up being the target market for mass media, and believe me, I’m as surprised about that as you are. So what the hell, let’s pitch a Wonder Woman movie.

The Mary Sue: Greg Rucka Has Something Important to Say About Your Gatekeeping of Women in Geek Culture
[Editor’s Note: With creator Greg Rucka’s permission, we’re republishing a piece he wrote on his personal blog in its entirety. Some strong language to follow from a husband and father who’s fed up. The topic of conversation? The above t-shirt design spotted at WonderCon this past weekend.]

I rarely use this to just blog. I’m going to just blog now, so you can all just ignore this if it’s not to your liking.

Warning. Contents under pressure.  

The Daily Dot: Every Review of Black Widow in ‘Captain America’ Is Wrong
As a pop culture fan, you get used to the fact that mainstream critics are rarely going to share your glowing adoration of trashy entertainment. Justin Bieber albums may sell like hotcakes, but that’s not because they get good reviews.

For me, it’s superhero movies. The genre may have come a long way over the past decade or so, but most film critics are still less than thrilled to evaluate the latest installment of Wolverine Punches the Bad Guy. Luckily, it’s no skin off my back if some middle-aged dude at the New York Times can’t tell the difference between Quicksilver and The Flash.

The divide between fans and critics only becomes a problem when I notice professional reviewers making judgments based on their own preconceptions, rather than what actually took place onscreen. There is no better example of this than the ongoing coverage of Scarlett Johansson’s role as Black Widow in The Avengers franchise. Regardless of what ScarJo says, does, or wears while playing this character, countless well-respected film critics continue to mistake her for a vacuous 1960s Bond Girl.

Comics Alliance: Lady She-Woman: Female Superhero Codenames and Identity
Monica Rambeau is on her fourth superhero codename. In the pages of Mighty Avengers she’s Spectrum, having previously gone by Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar. The Captain Marvel identity now belongs to Carol Danvers, also on her fourth codename after Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird. Her first codename now belongs to Kamala Khan, the fourth Ms. Marvel after Danvers, Sharon Ventura and Karla Sofen.

But Carol is actually the third woman (and seventh character) to call herself Captain Marvel in the Marvel Universe. The second woman was Phyla-Vell, who was the fourth Captain Marvel after she was the second Quasar, before she was the first Martyr, before she saved herself the trouble of another codename by dying. Oh, those women! They never know who they are!

I’m being facetious, of course. These characters don’t choose their identities; they’re given them by writers and editors. If there’s a problem here, it’s not the women, but how they’re treated.



Salt Lake Comic Con: The Recap

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Tuesday – 10 September 2013
This past weekend, Salt Lake City hosted its first Comic Con, the aptly named Salt Lake Comic Con:


The event was originally scheduled to take place at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. When the organizers realized that tickets for the event were selling faster than they anticipated, they expanded to another hall in the Expo Center. When sales continued to exceed expectations, the venue changed from Sandy to the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City. I haven’t seen official final numbers, but I have heard that over 70,000 tickets were sold for the event:


This places Salt Lake Comic Con in the top five cons of 2012-2013* in its inaugural year.

After a good deal of deliberation, schedule planning and adjustment, I decided to attend the convention. It would be the first Comic Con – or any other non-train or car show, for that matter – that I attended. I went for two of the convention’s three days: Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, I left work early and spent a little more than three hours at Comic Con. The hall was full of attendees, guests and vendors, all of whom were there to share in their common love of comics, science fiction and… just plain fun. The crowds weren’t bad Thursday evening. There were a lot of people in costume, which is to be expected at a convention catering to a comic-centric crowd. This young lady was quite possibly my favorite cosplayer of the day:


She was passing by in a wheelchair, when I noticed her. I asked her if she’d mind if I took a picture of her and her costume. She gave a quick look at her father, who was pushing her chair. He gave her a smiling nod of approval. She gave a quick smile, stood up and posed… sans smile, just as you’d expect from Raven, especially from the Teen Titans and/or Teen Titans Go! cartoons.

After talking with the guys from Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection for a while, I walked around and looked at various exhibitors’ booths and displays, including a great The Hobbit-themed booth from WETA:


Friday, I was only able to attend for a few hours, but I decided to go in costume, in my Nick Fury outfit:


Attending in costume was a slightly different experience than going in street clothes. I was approached by people – including a number of young children (or their parents, in the case of shy kids) – asking if they could take my picture. When I was trying to decide whether or not to go in costume, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that. After the fact, I can say: It was actually quite a bit of fun, especially when I saw the kids’ faces light up when I said that I’d take a picture with them.  And let’s face it, when a trio of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and Captain America ask if they can get a picture with you, you say “Yes.”


I wasn’t able to attend on Saturday, but heard about the chaos of the day from a few people. It seems that the bulk of the con attendees came on Saturday. This wasn’t surprising, as it was the only day that surprise guest Stan Lee was going to be at the Con. The number of people attempting to enter the convention center was so great that the Salt Lake Fire Marshall came and limited the number of people able to enter at one time. As people left, they had to get back into the growing line if they wished to get back in.

There were a few points of contention, from what I’ve learned. Most of the complaints seem to stem from a lack of communication and dissemination of information between staff members on Thursday. This led to some confusion about things like where panels were being held and who would be available for guest signings at what time. I also heard that the lines of communication were greatly improved on Friday and Saturday. I’d chalk most of the issues up to “first year growing pains.”

All told, I had a fun – though abbreviated – time at the first Salt Lake Comic Con. As my time was limited, I didn’t attend any panel discussions or stand in line for any autographs/photographs from the celebrity guests. With a bit more advance planning, perhaps I’ll do those things next year. From the attendee point of view, I thought that Salt Lake Comic Con was a good event. If the bumps and scrapes from this year are addressed and corrected for next year’s Comic Con, I expect that it will be even better.

The gallery of pictures I took can be seen here. I wasn’t able to get many pictures on Friday, due to both time constraints and being stopped by people wanting to take my picture. Hopefully, next year, I’ll be able to get more.

* – As of 08 September 2013

Four-Color Coverage: “And back again…!”

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Sunday – 31 October 2010
It’s literally been more than a month of Sundays (07 Sept 2010) since I’ve posted here.  I have a draft of a post from a few weeks back that may still see the light of day, but we’ll see how that goes…

In the past month-and-a-half, 4CC (and my other sites) have changed hosting companies. The overall transition has been rather painless, but making sure that all of the behind-the-scenes details have been taken care of has been a slow process. (It’s been slow mostly due to the fact that I have had other things that were a bit higher priority on my docket.)

In the past nearly-eight weeks, there have been a lot of good books that have hit the shelves. There have also been some good features on the big and small screens. I hope to touch on some of them in the next week or two.  In the mean time, here are a few tide-me-overs:

And that’s it for now!