After two wildly successful events, Salt Lake Comic Con shouldn't have to prove anything to anyone. However, after the opening press conference, it is clear that the second annual comic book and pop culture convention is swinging for the fences.
Opening the festivities was none other than the original Incredible Hulk himself Lou Ferrigno, who introduced founders and show producers Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg. Also in attendance at this morning's opening press conference included Jason David Frank (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Manu Bennett (Arrow), Vic Mignogna (Dragon Ball Z) and I Dream of Jeannie's Barbara Eden and Bill Daily. While there was no mention of the notorious lawsuit Salt Lake Comic Con is facing against San Diego Comic Con, there was plenty of love to go around.
Ferrigno offered much love for both Farr and Brandenburg, telling the press in attendance, “This is the best convention I've ever been to.” Mignogna, before leading the crowd in a rousing sing-along of Journey's “Don't Stop Believing”, shared a little story of how he met Farr.
“Dan [Farr] and I met two years ago in New Orleans,” Mignogna recounted, “telling me he was planning a little intimate gathering of fans. He lied.”
When both Farr and Brandenburg had a chance to talk, it was still far from all business. Though they did talk about the estimated 130,000 attendees planned for this year's Salt Lake Comic Con, as well as the extra space for artists, vendors, and panels (“We're taking up almost the entire Salt Palace [Convention Center] this year,” Brandenburg explained), the press conference was solely dedicated to the heroes.
Special attention was brought to several children from Make-A-Wish and Millie's Princess Foundation, who seemed to steal the hearts of many of the guests. Bennett, specifically, promised the first $1,000 he earned from the convention to the family of a little girl, currently suffering from leukemia, and challenged all his fellow special guests to do the same.
Also on stage were several local first-responders and armed forces, who Farr could not thank enough for their continued service and sacrifice. This year, Salt Lake Comic Con donated over 15,000 to these brave men and women, as well as under-privileged across the State.
The Second Annual Salt Lake Comic Con is going on from September 4 to September 6 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Tickets can still be purchased here.