I’ve made no secret of my excitement for this week’s first annual Salt Lake Comic-Con, which has already sold 30,000 tickets (more are still available) and amassed an impressive roster of celebrities, authors, and artists. The convention, which is trying to be more family-friendly than others, will have no shortage of memorable events both for those who want to people-watch and those who are truly die-hard comic, science fiction, and fantasy geeks. Taking place this Thursday through Saturday (September 5-7) at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, the Con is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious events Utah has seen in years.
For your consideration, may I suggest a day-by-day, hour-by-hour list of fun things to do. Keep in mind that there are multiple events every hour and my biases skew towards film and television. There are plenty of events for comic-lovers and aspiring producers, actors, writers, authors, and artists, as well as more film/TV/celebrity events than those listed here, so you really do want to take a look at the full schedule before making your decisions. This is just a sample of things to consider. Also, make sure to visit the event floor with vendors galore. I’ll often be at the Cedar Fort Publishing and Media booth (929) signing copies of my book 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th
2:00 pm- CTU PROVO: 5th Anniversary Screening. Part of the Con’s film festival, this feature-length action-comedy finds two Jack Bauer enthusiasts (Alan Seawright and me) teaming up with underqualified counter-terrorist agents to thwart a terrorist threat against the city of Provo. Donny Osmond appears throughout the film as a criminal mastermind, while Jimmy Chunga (The Singles Ward) and Rick Macy (The Testaments) co-star.
4:00 pm- JRR Tolkien to Peter Jackson: A Look at All Things Middle Earth. This panel explores the world of hobbits, kings, dwarves, elves, wizards, and orcs on the page and screen.
4:00 pm- Meet the 501st: The Galactic Empire Comes to Salt Lake Comic-Con. The famed real-life legion of Star Wars stormtroopers invades Utah.
5:00 pm- Q:A: Peter Mayhew and David Prowse. The actors inside the Chewbacca and Darth Vader suits in the original Star Wars trilogy discuss bringing the iconic characters to life!
6:00 pm- Ender’s Game- 30 Years of Books and Comics to the Big Screen- This panel explores the literary history and cinematic future of LDS author Orson Scott Card’s science fiction opus.
6:00 pm- The Incredible Hulk- Lou Ferrigno- The original actor who brought The Hulk to life reflects on the TV show and its legacy.
7:00 pm- Anatomy of a Fan-film- Join me and other actors/directors as we discuss the often highly-entertaining world of fans making their own passion project films.
8:00 pm- Why Fairy Tales Will Never Go Away. A look at fairy tales and their place in modern pop culture.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th
Noon to 8:00 pm- Weta Digital. The effects team behind The Hobbit, King Kong, The Lord of the Rings, and Avatar show off their props, costumes, models and miniatures, and more.
Noon to 8:00 pm- The 501st Legion’s “Blast-a-Trooper.” Arm yourself and your kids with Nerf guns and have blaster fights with Star Wars storm-troopers. Voluntary, optional donations will go to charity.
Noon- Fablehaven and Beyond. Fantasy author (and Latter-day Saint) Brandon Mull discusses his work.