UPDATE: Photo of Manu Bennett at the TORn “Hobbit” preview panel.
SALT LAKE CITY — Once scheduled for a smaller venue in the suburbs, the first ever Salt Lake Comic Con filled Utah’s capital city’s largest convention venue and had it bursting at the seams Saturday. For a time the hundreds waiting outside were not allowed to enter except at a 1-out-1-in rate. Word on the dealer’s floor said it was because the fire marshal closed the space but that rumor was never confirmed.
Reports in the media called the event “record setting” for a first-year convention, and that is possibly true, but such stats aren’t readily available. In any case, it was a massive event with celebrities that included William Kircher (Bifur) and Manu Bennett (Azog) and other pop-culture icons like William Shatner and Adam West.
TheOneRing.net was part of the fun as well, with staffer (and this writer) Larry D. Curtis (MrCere) attending with the show in his (my) hometown. the SLComic Con invited TORn to present a panel about Smaug and serve on other panels as well, with topics including Fantasy Films, all things Tolkien, Geek Culture and film school.
Bennett and Kircher were kind enough to drop by TheOneRing panel that also included author and TORn friend Paul Genesse. He helped moderate the panel and showed incredible enthusiasm for the material.
TheOneRing also managed a booth on the at time very crowded floor supported by incredible friends at Badali Jewelry and Weta Workshop making its first U.S. appearance outside of the San Diego Comic Con. TORn helped back in a small way to staff the Weta booth and send those with questions about where to purchase The One Ring to Badali’s very nearby booth. Artist David Powell was also kind enough to sign posters of his art for fans.
The Salt Palace Convention Center can be expanded and the SLCC will return next year. TheOneRing.net hopes to be part of the show. Thanks to Dan McBride and Blonde Ninja for their support of the TORn booth. Thanks also to the many financial supports at the event and to Salt Lake Comic Con for letting us be a part of the show. If you attended and would like TORn to return, you can use the contact info here to let them know.
If anybody has images of Bennett and Kircher attending the TORn panel, please send them in! We were busy having a panel and didn’t get any photos.