Yesterday was the start of the 3rd Annual Salt Lake Comic Con. Or very first press conference started off with a bang. As service men and women lined the stage next to local cosplayers, SLCC’s MC (Chris Provost) brought out the voice of the Animaniacs (Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, and Jess Harnell) to kick things off with a hearty “Hello Salt Lake City”. They then turned the time over to the founders of SLCC, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg for guest introductions and to talk about the numbers for this year’s convention.
According to the Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes, SLCC ’15 is in line to break the records that SLCC has set in the past. According to Reyes, SLCC has the largest number of attendees per capita, and it brings in a large amount of revenue to the surrounding businesses. Reyes also said that in conversations with Bryan Brandenburg, that Brandenburg wants SLCC to bring “the hero out” of it’s attendees.
After Reyes’ remarks, Brandenburg and Farr talked a little about the new technologies of SLCC ’15. They mentioned that with the help of the partnership between SLCC and GrowTix that wait times to get in the exhibit floor went for hours to minutes. Brandenburg gave a little more insight into the ZipQ technology that lets VIPs tap their wristbands to stand in a virtual line for panels that they really want to get into.
When Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg were finished with their remarks, the floor was opened up for the press to talk with the guests that were at the press conference. While we wanted t talk to every single guest, I wanted to keep it short and sweet. The first guests we talked with were Rob Paulson, Tress MacNeille, and Jess Harnell (The Animaniacs). We asked what their favorite songs were, and if they thought that the Animaniacs could still be considered as a teaching tool for kids of this and future generations. They all agreed that the songs could be a great teaching tool for kids with songs that teach kids the states and capitols, the countries of the world, and the Presidents of the United States, just to name a few. They talked about how the show received a Peabody Award (1994) for their songs, and joked about what they wanted to do with said award.
Next we talked with a couple of our favorite Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Austin St. John, Karan Ashley). J asked Austin about his favorite episode, and then Austin and J started talking about the episode with Pudgy Pig (season 1 episode 6). I asked Austin how young he was when he started training and if he had any advice for when parents should start their kids in martial arts. He said that their are two ways you can teach your kids, you can either force them into it or you can help them grow a love of it. He said that his upbringing was the former and that his dad. He recommends that parents start their kids young, but instead of going to a traditional dojo, that parents should do hand-eye coordination exercises with their kids until they have the attention span required for traditional training. I’m hoping I get another shot at asking Karan Ashley some more questions as I didn’t want to take up a lot of time at the interview table.
I introduced J to his favorite voice actor Dee Bradley Baker (Perry the Platypus, Captain Rex). They talked about Phineas and Ferb, and Baker told J that he only had to make the Perry noise once and then the show would just re use that as needed. After a few minutes of talking, Baker gave J a little card with Perry and an autograph.
Before leaving the press conference area, I wanted to see if we could talk with Manu Bennett (Arrow, Spartacus, The Hobbit) for a quick second. I just wanted to let him know how much I love his work. J said he was too shy to talk, but being the amazing guy that he is, Manu was able to get J to talk with him and get a picture with him as well.
It was hard to not notice that the number of Thursday attendees seems to have doubled if not tripled since FanX. The floor was harder to navigate, but it was still amazing. There are so many things to see this weekend, and if you don’t have a ticket yet, get one. You don’t want to miss what is going on at Salt Lake Comic Con 2015. I hope to have more for you on Day 2’s wrap up.