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Salt Lake Comic Con So Far…


Hello faithful readers, and everyone else.  The last two days have been fun filled days for sure as I have spent them at one of my favorite places, Salt Lake Comic Con.  I thought I would give you a rundown of the last two days, what worked and what didn’t, and some of the highlights for me so far.  If you’re planning on going today, then hopefully you will find this information helpful.

The Lines

If you have been following the con at all on Facebook or checking at the hashtags on twitter, then you have probably seen a few comments on the line situation.  Thursday was bad.  I saw comments from people who waited hours and hours to get in, despite having pre-registered at one of the Megaplex locations.  Many who were VIP or Gold ticket holders spent so much time in line that they barely got to spend any time in the con itself, some never did make it in.  I know I saw a line of people who had pre-registered, had their wristbands and were supposed to be in at 1 pm (an hour early) and weren’t even close to in by 2 pm.  My experience was not as bad as theirs.  It wasn’t great, but it was not as bad.  I only bought the multi-pass.  I felt like for me it was the best value.  I didn’t care about getting a shirt, getting into the vendor hall an hour early wasn’t a big deal to me either, and I felt that I should be able to get into most of the panels I wanted without the VIP status.  Plus, getting extra discounts on photo ops and autographs are not a big deal to me either.  That’s not why I come to these things, so for me, the multi-pass was fine.  I got to the con about 1:15 on Thursday, fully expecting to stand in a line.  When I got there, I saw two lines.  I asked the person at the back of one of the lines which line they were in. They said they believed they were in there line for people who had not pre-registered.  They also said they had just regular multi-passes, so I got in line behind them.  I would have preferred to ask a volunteer or someone representing SLCC, but there was no one in sight.  There were red-shirts (security), but they didn’t know what each line was. So I stood in line and I waited.  After about 40 minutes, and barely moving, I tweeted out that I was waiting in line, had no idea if it was the right line and had seen no volunteers.  SLCC must have seen a bunch of tweets and Facebook comments come in at that time, because around 5-10 minutes later we saw about 4-5 volunteers making their way down the line, informing people of which line was which.  I of course found out I was in the wrong line for general admission, and was directed to a third line that was at the other side of the entrance.  I went down there, and it was much shorter outside, and inside.  I waited about 20 minutes more in the registration line, and then in the line to get in to the con, but I was in just in time to make the first panel I wanted to see that day.  I was one of the lucky ones.  There were quite a few people that had a different experience.  When I left the con at just after 8, there was still a crowd of people on both the VIP and GA sides, that were waiting to get in, and I spoke with a volunteer on the trax ride home who explained he had been one of the volunteers who had to let people know that they were not getting in that day.  I felt bad for that guy, and for the people who had to wait so long in line and did not make it into the show.

That is what happened Thursday, at least for me.  You can look at that and think it is super negative, that this whole line thing is a huge negative for Salt Lake Comic Con, but I don’t.  It was not a good day, but what was really impressive to me was how responsive SLCC was. The next morning Bryan Brandenburg posted a comment on the Salt Lake Comic Con Facebook page apologizing and letting people know that they would have the issues fixed on Friday and it would be much better.  And they delivered on that.  They opened ups second entrance for folks who already had wristbands and they streamlined the whole process.  When I got there in the afternoon, I did not see a line outside at all.  We walked right in with our wristbands and walked right into the convention, and it was awesome.  I think most people had a similar experience. I think SLCC handled this tough situation better than most large organizations would.  They were responsive to what their fans were saying and were willing to recognize that some things should have been handled differently the day before.  Hats off to them for doing that and for how they handled it.  Hopefully this can be a learning experience for everyone, and the next FanX and Comic Con will be better.

That was way more than I had wanted to write on lines, so I’m sorry.  On to other things…

Thursday Highlights

For me, my two days so far have been totally different days.  On Thursday I went by myself and on Friday I had my wife and 5 kids with me.  You experience the Con totally different depending on the situation.  Thursday was full of panels.  The first 2 panels I attended were Doctor Who themed panels. As you can guess, from reading my site here, I love Doctor Who.  The first pane was the best of Doctor Who, and what they had done was put a poll on the SLCC website asking fans to vote on various Doctor Who categories.  At this panel, they then revealed the results, and it was a lot of fun.  The best part of the panel, however, was when toward the end, Paul McGann and Colin Baker showed up, surprising everybody.  You could feel how excited everyone got when the two of them entered the room.  Here were 2 Doctors in a panel full of people geeing out about Doctor Who.  They had their panel just after this one at 4 pm, but that was in the south ballroom, and this was in one of the smaller panel rooms, so it was much more “intimate”, which made it very cool.


After that panel, I hustled over to the Colin Baker/Paul McGann panel in the south ballroom.  Part of the way, I was even behind the golf cart that was transporting the two of them from the previous panel.  It was a much bigger crowd, and it always feels good to be around your fellow geeks.  These two gentlemen held a great Q and A session, and were very gracious in how they answered the fans questions.  I became a Doctor Who fan with the newer stuff, but have been wanting to get into the “classic Who” more and more, and seeing these two actors live made me want to go back and experience more of the 6th and 8the Doctors.  They were just very nice in how the responded to the audience and the questions.  One fan asked if he could come up and shake their hands, which they allowed him to do.  Another asked if her service dog could come up so the two of them could give her a treat.  Both agreed, and that was one of the highlights of the panel.  Great job from two very talented performers.


The last panel I attended was part one of the writer’s retreat, which was an excellent panel for someone like me.  I am trying to get my writing off the ground, but don’t really know how to get started.  They had some excellent suggestions.  This panel felt more like a class to me, in a very positive way.  I had my iPad out taking notes, because it wasn’t just for entertainment’s sake that I was there.

Day one ended with me running into an old friend from my missionary days, Audrey.  She was also there solo, and we ran into each other on the vendor floor.  It was great to catch up a little and help her find something for her husband and kids from the con.  That was the most interesting thing about going by myself.  In line, I made friends with the people in font of me, and we bonded immediately, because we were all geeks.  Then I went and met the folks from the Lord of the Laser Sword site (great site, please check it out here) in between a couple of my panels, and hung out with one of them at the Writer’s Retreat panel.  Then I hung out with Audrey for the last little bit.  Going by yourself, as a geek, to one of these conventions, does not mean you won’t find people to hang out with.

Friday Highlights

Friday was with my wife and kids.  With 5 kids, for us that meant no panels, plenty of time at the KidCon and a shortened day.  We went in the afternoon after school was out and the kids had some great costumes, and some great bags to carry their stuff that matched their costumes (future Geek-Craft coming soon).


The kids loved a lot of what there was to see.  They were mesmerized by the wrestling matches they have going on in the middle of the vendor floor.  They thought the Lego display was amazing, as well as there Lego brick artist that was there with his giant lego figures of Thor and Superman.


Our youngest spent most of her time just sitting and eating the snacks we brought for her.  That’s the definition of a good day to her.


They also enjoyed the robots and just seeing all the other people in costume.  The highlight for me, though, came toward the beginning of the day, when we stopped at the KidCon stage and enjoyed an acrobatic show.


The last half of the show they invited the kids to come up and participate and the loved it.  Kids love to get involved.

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It was a lot of fun.  I will be back tomorrow with a complete review of the Con in a special edition of This Week in Geek.

This Week in Geek- Week Ending August 30, 2014

August is almost over, which means a couple of things.  The summer blockbuster season is coming to a close.  This year was a slump compared to last year, and what will that mean for all these big budget super hero flicks coming down the pipe? End of August, beginning of September also means that Salt Lake Comic Con is almost here.  We are less than a week away, and your humble blogger can’t wait to be there among his native people: Geeks. Here are a few stories from this last week:

The Tick is Returning with Patrick Warburton


Technically, this news just broke today, but I would be an irresponsible blogger if I didn’t include it in this post.  People.com is reporting that the live action Tick televisions series is returning to Amazon and their streaming service.  Even better news, Patrick Warburton has reportedly already signed a contract with Amazon to return as the big guy for the series.  Honestly, would it have been the Tick if he wasn’t coming back?  This was a short-lived, quirky series, but a classic.  Plus, I love almost anything Patrick Warburton does.  He could make reading the phone book funny (for our younger readers, the phone book is a now extinct book that would come out each year with a listing of phone numbers in your area.  IT has now been replaced by the internet).  Take the opportunity to congratulate Warburton, as he appears at the Salt Lake Comic Con this upcoming week.  I wonder if this means we will see an upTICK in Tick cosplay…(see what I did there?  UpTICK, like the Tick? Get it?)

GOTG Continues Strong Box Office Showing


Guardians of the Galaxy was already the biggest hit of the summer, but as of this week, it has surpassed everyone to become the biggest domestic hit of the year, beating out Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  And, with nothing big coming out in the next month or so, it looks like it will continue to have a strong run.  Some experts are predicting that it could break the $300 million mark.  This is a huge hit for Marvel and their parent company, Disney.  This was a property that no one had ever heard of except for hardcore comics fans.  Now it is the biggest domestic movie of the year.  Behold the power of Marvel!

Hawkeye’s New Suit for Avengers: Age of Ultron


New set pics have revealed how Hawkeye will look in the new Avengers movie.  Personally, not a fan.  I don’t like the long coat.  IT just seems pointless and it would get in the way with all the running and there jumping.  I liked his look in Avengers, and that they carried that look into the comics.  I think Hawkeye is a very interesting character because he has no powers, at all, and he is trying to keep up with all these super powered team mates.  It’s pretty cool, and I felt like he looked pretty cool in the last film.  Despite not liking this look, I am eternally grateful that it isn’t this look:


Salt Lake Comic Con Rounding Out Their Guests


I know I give a lot of love to the Salt Lake Comic Con, but they are the biggest convention out my way.  I love that we have something like this here locally that I can now attend without spending a ton of money.  As we get closer to the con, they have been making the guest announcements left and right.  Some of the highlights recently have been Paul McGann and Colin Baker, who both played the Doctor in Doctor Who, as well as Ron Perlman, who played HellBoy in arguably one of the most underrated super hero movies ever, and Eric Roberts who played the Master opposite McGann’s Doctor in the Doctor Who TV Movie.  I expect that we will be hearing about more guests as the Con draws closer.  I have seen lots of people posting that Matt Smith is going to be there.  None of these people are Bryan Brandenburg or Dan Farr, so take it with a grain of salt, but maybe the rumors will pan out.  For a current list of the guests scheduled to be at the Salt Lake Comic Con, please click here.  You can also visit their site’s home page for more info on tickets, autographs and photo ops, and special events.

That’s it for now.  Please check back next week.  We should have plenty of follow-up from the Con and more geek news.

The Doctor 101 Part 4-The Doctors 4,5,6

Today we are continuing our series about Doctor Who.  Our last entry in the series was a while ago and covered the first 3 Doctors.  You can view that entry by clicking here.  My goal was to get through all the Doctors before August 23, when the new season premieres and we get our first real look at number 12, played by Peter Capaldi. Now, the numbers are going to get a little weird here soon, but don’t worry, we’ll make it through it together.  It won’t be until the next post anyway.  So, let’s begin with Doctors 4, 5, and 6.


The year was 1974 and the third Doctor’s time was coming to an end.  It was time for someone new to come in and take up the Doctor’s mantle, and that someone was Tom Baker.  Baker brought something special to the Doctor.  He is probably one of the most iconic regenerations out there.  Each Doctor had his signature look and style, but Baker’s was iconic.  The hat, the long coat and even longer, multi-colored scarf.  If you are not super familiar with the show, maybe you’ve just heard of it before, chances are this is the image of the Doctor that you know.  Of course, it wasn’t just the clothes.  Tom Baker brought a new presence to the Doctor that has endeared him with the fans for decades since.  The curls and the big, toothy grin.  There was a lot to love about this new Doctor.  He wasn’t all lovable all the time, either.  Often times he was very stern and somewhat condescending to his young companions and the alien monsters he encountered.  He was the Doctor, and he knew that was something special.  A big reason he is beloved by fans of the classic series id that he was also the longest tenured Doctor, portraying our favorite Time Lord from 1974 to 1981.  Many fans practically grew up with this Doctor over the 7 years that Baker was on the show.  Some of the most memorable things about Doctor Who come from this run, including the scarf, K-9 (the robot dog) and Sarah Jane, a fan favorite companion.  Granted, she started with the 3rd Doctor, but her most memorable time was with Baker.  Baker has continued to play the Doctor in numerous Big Finish  audio stories about the 4th Doctor.  He has also appeared as the Doctor in the Simpsons, and most recently, he made an appearance at the end of “The Day of the Doctor,” playing “the Curator” who seemed to know an awful lot about the Doctor and Gallifrey.  This of course led to all sorts of theories about who the Curator really is.  A future regeneration, visiting some old familiar, favorite faces? Who knows? (touches finger to nose)


1981, and Tom Baker’s time as the Doctor is drawing to a close.  How do you fill such enormous shoes?  Tom Baker was the Doctor at the peak of Doctor Who’s popularity.  How can anyone come in and fill those shoes?  Peter Davison was going to try.  He shows up as the 5th Doctor, and we get something brand new.  All the Doctors up to this point had been older.  For their young companions they had been like father or grandfather figures.  Sometimes stern, sometimes lovable, but always older.  Until Davison.  He appeared considerably younger than the other Doctors, and somehow more relatable to young people.  The producers again tried to go with  a signature look, this time a cricket sweater, long tan jacket, hat and a piece of celery on the lapel.  The thing that stood out, though, was his youthful face and longish blond hair.  It was a move to draw in more young people, a whole new generation of Doctor Who fans.  It worked for one young lad, who remembered Davison’s Doctor as his inspiration for playing Doctor Who and fantasizing about someday being one of his companions.  That boy grew up to be actor David Tenant, who was cast as the 10th Doctor.  He didn’t just get to go on adventures with the Doctor, he got to go as the Doctor. In another strange coincidence, he ended up with Davison’s daughter.  She also appeared on the show during his run as the Doctor’s daughter.


In March, 1984, Peter Davison’s time as the Doctor was cut short, and it came to an end.  Enter, now, the 6th Doctor, played by Colin Baker.  Where Davison’s Doctor had been youthful and fun, Baker’s was youthful and full of himself.  He did not get along with his first companion and his whole tenure was full of darker, more violent story lines.  Knowing that his Doctor would have a darker personality, Baker had wanted him to be in all black.  Instead the producers decided on the colorful ensemble you see above.  His costume was iconic, for completely different reasons than Tom Baker’s.  It was iconic for being so bad and ugly.  Baker’s time as the Doctor on the television screen was short-lived.  He really only made it through 2 seasons, the second of which was shortened.  He was not overly popular with the fans at the time, so it was time to go in a different direction. That being said, he has stayed close to the Doctor Who franchise and makes appearances at fan events in England regularly.  He also lends his voice often to the Big Finish sound recordings and also made an appearance in a behind the scenes look at the Doctor Who 50th special.

So there you have Doctors 4-6.  I will not be waiting so long this time to publish my entry on Doctors 7 and 8 and a surprise Doctor.  That post should come out on Friday evening.  Please let me know if there is anything that should have been mentioned about these Doctors.  Thank you for reading.