Shatner, Lee and record-breaking crowds: Inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con ends with a bang

Published: Monday, Sept. 9 2013 9:55 a.m. MDT

Lee also rarely appears at Comic Cons and didn’t join the Salt Lake event until late. It was Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk, who convinced Lee to attend the event.

Lee inducted Ferrigno into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame on Monday. Ferrigno encouraged Lee to attend Salt Lake Comic Con.

“He said he’d beat me up if I didn’t come,” Lee said.

By Saturday, Lee was in Salt Lake signing autographs, posing for pictures and speaking to a crowd of more than 4,000.

Fans get behind-the-scenes look

One of the many draws to Comic Cons across the world is the chance for fans, vendors and special guests to interact. Salt Lake Comic Con was no exception.

Saturday, the convention hosted panels by two of its biggest guests — Lee and Shatner.

During both panels fans had the rare opportunity to ask the guests any question.

When asked whom he would like to play him in a movie about his life, Shatner immediately said, "Chris Pine," to the laughter of the audience. (Chris Pine currently stars as Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek films, the same character Shatner began playing in 1966).

Shatner also shared behind-the-scenes pranks on the set of “Star Trek” between him and co-star Leonard Nimoy (Spock).

The actors only had 30 minutes of lunch — a rare break during long days of filming, according to Shatner.

“That half hour was very precious for those of us (who) wanted to eat. So by the time they said, 'It’s time for lu —' I was gone and the first person (in the cafeteria),” Shatner said. “By the time Leonard got there I was gone, so Leonard bought a bike.”

For days the two raced to the cafeteria, with Shatner chaining up Nimoy’s bike, hiding it in his dressing room and even having the lighting crew help him put it in the set’s rafters.

Shatner also encouraged audience participation during his Q&A.

“There’s one episode, I don’t remember the name but you’ll tell me, where we all age,” Shatner said while talking with an attendee.

A few members of the audience quickly shouted “The Deadly Years” as the audience laughed.

“Are you Googling this or something?” Shatner responded.

Lee also teased the audience, in his case about their love and knowledge of the Marvel universe.

“I’m going to tell you something but I don’t want it to leave this room: These are fictitious characters. We write about them, but — I don’t want to disillusion you,” Lee said.

Through out the Q&A, the 90-year-old Lee charmed the audience with his joking manner and stories of working with Marvel.

Lee has been involved with comic books for more than 60 years and created some of Marvel’s most iconic characters, including Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spider-Man.

When asked what inspired him to create so many iconic characters, Lee’s first response was, "Greed."

“It was a job. That’s all it was, but I guess I’ve got lucky,” Lee said.

Today, Lee’s creations have inspired some of the biggest blockbusters of the past decade. Lee often makes cameo appearances in the films.

“The movies were great, as you know,” Lee said. “I have very little to do with the movies, but everyone gives me credit. And I’m such a phony that I let them.”

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