Thoughts on Salt Lake Comic Con 2015

IMG_3396(Showing off my swag)

Salt Lake Comic Con is an event best described in pictures and the five senses.

I stayed in a great hotel called the Hyatt House a few blocks away from the Salt Palace Convention Center. There I began each morning with a complimentary buffet breakfast of eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, french toast or pancakes with syrup, cottage cheese, and grapefruit slices. It was delicious. This amazing feast got my mornings off to a great start and fueled my days at the event.

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Selling books behind the booth was a wonderful experience. It was an opportunity to meet new people, and a gathering place for dozens of people I know and love that I haven’t seen in a while. There were plenty of hugs and handshakes to go around. Here we are setting up Thursday morning before the general masses arrive.

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And here are the awaiting masses buzzing with excitement as they gather in Saturday morning’s line outside the convention center.

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Sharing the row with familiar authors and artists was a lot of fun.

IMG_3153Sara Butler and I pretty much made plans to take over the world one book at a time.

IMG_3148Jay Barnson and John Olsen rocked their steampunk cosplays.

IMG_3151Holli Anderson and Jason King were super chill.

IMG_3171 Alyson Grauer flew in from Chicago to hang with the Xchyler Publishing clan, and Candice Thomas took up shop with the Rebel Alliance book booth in Artist Alley.

IMG_3188Paul Genesse was part of the Steampunk Rock Opera. Sadly, I could not attend said Steampunk Rock Opera because I had another great panel to be on at the same time.

IMG_3201 Johnny Worthen was really nice, and about as colorful as his tie-dye hat and t-shirt would lead you to believe–in a good way.

IMG_3223Jodi Milner went all out in cosplay on Saturday, enjoying the event as a VIP attendee.

IMG_3197And we got to sit next to this really nice, awesome guy…retired professional wrestler Ron Simmons.

Panels were a blast. Not only did I have fun discussing horror and the writing process, but I learned a lot about craft, technique, and perspectives from my fellow panelists. The audience members who came up with great questions and who expressed their delight in the topics we covered were the sweetest moments of the experience. I want to extend my gratitude to everyone who came and listened to us. We artists and authors wouldn’t be creating as much as we can and do without our audience. Here I am on the Outlining Vs. Discovery Writing panel, next to Larry Correia, Jill Williamson, Kevin J. Anderson, Charles E. Gannon, and Tyler Jolley. Special thanks to Scott Taylor for taking these.

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The creativity of the masses is exhilarating. From cosplay, to event activities, to celebrity guests, to vendors who come to sell the gamut from Dippin’ Dots and Thai food, to professionally manufactured geek gear and collectibles, to one-of-a-kind artwork, custom costuming, and accessories. There was so much to see. Here were some of my favorite costumes and displays.

IMG_3172A Clone War veteran…

IMG_3183Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po disguised as the Emperor’s concubines, from Disney’s Mulan.

IMG_3191A Star Wars AT-AT Walker balloon sculpture. Guy with a near-empty gallon of orange juice sits behind it for scale…

This epic headless horseman animatronic from Nightmare on 13th Haunted House in Salt Lake City.

IMG_3199Oh, yes, and I met The Devil…

The enticing smell of cinnamon roasted almonds, hot food, and cotton candy seemed to follow me everywhere I went. I inevitably walked away with a few sweets as well as a couple of t-shirts, fossils, a poster, a World Horror Convention membership, and lots of new friends.

Thanks to everyone who made this event so memorable in so many ways. There was so much talent gathered in one place, and the enthusiasm was through the roof. Until next year, Salt Lake Comic Con!

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology and loves exploring the science of human origins.

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