Salt Lake City’s first ComicCon was held on September 5-7, 2013, at the Salt Palace Convention Center. According to the organizers, over 70,000 people attended on Saturday alone, and I can attest that the place was packed. As with the original San Diego ComicCon, the Salt Lake ComicCon was about a lot more than just comics. At this point the name ComicCon seems to be sort of a branding tool to indicate “big convention celebrating science-fiction & fantasy pop culture.” From what I hear, next year they will use the entire Salt Palace, which will double the available space. Hopefully, the surprisingly large attendance figures this year will make movie studios, publishers, and other important players in the entertainment industry decide to participate next year with the kind of special sneak previews and such that the San Diego ComicCon gets.
There were quite a few LDS authors/artists/creators in attendance: Aaron Johnston, Ally Condie, Brad R. Torgersen, Brandon Mull, Dan Willis, David Farland, Howard Tayler, Jake Black, James Dashner, Jessica Day George, Larry Correia, Laura and Tracy Hickman, Mette Ivie Harrison, Richard Paul Evans, Robison Wells, and many more. Shadow Mountain Publishing had a major presence selling books on the vendors’ floor.
There was only one panel that specifically dealt with Mormonism: “Mormon Culture and Comic Books.” I did not attend, so if someone who did wants to give a report in the comments, go for it. (Slightly related: One of the vendors whose booth caught my eye was From the Dust, which is a comic-book retelling of the Book of Mormon using anthropomorphic animals.)
The Deseret News ran a story about one particular panel of particular relevance to the Mormon-letters community: “Ender’s Game: 30 Years of Books and Comics to the Big Screen.” (Disclosure: I was on that panel.) By next year’s Salt Lake ComicCon, the movie version of Ender’s Game will already have come out, so perhaps there will be a panel about how great it was. Or not.