SALT LAKE CITY — FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention — formerly known as Salt LakeComic Con — may not be coming until Sept. 6-8, but cosplay fans still had plenty to be excited about during a press conference at the Utah State Capitol on April 11.
Beneath the rotunda of the historic building, a slew of classic characters — from stormtroopers to Spiderman — gathered to hear the newest list of celebrities that would be attending the 2018 convention.
Dressed as “X-Men’s” Wolverine, Fountain Green, Sanpete County, native Jake Putnam carried his child in a stroller up the Capitol steps to hear the announcement — a small price to pay to hear in person that Tom Welling (Clark Kent in “Smallville”) and Chuck Norris (title role in “Walker, Texas Ranger”) would be among the eight latest celebrity guests joining the roster for FanX.
“I’m here because I love to cosplay. I love the environment,” Putnam said. “I’ve collected comics for like 30 years now. Wolverine is my favorite character.”
As the Deseret News reported, other guests announced Wednesday included Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”), John Wesley Shipp (“The Flash”) and the cast of the anime web series “RWBY,” Lindsay Jones, Arryn Zech, Kara Eberle and Vic Mignogna. The convention’s founders, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, also announced new volunteer and education initiatives at the conference.
Fans reveled in the news by taking pictures and admiring costumes, giving the event a family air. But for some, “family” at cosplay events is not only a figurative expression but a literal one. Layton resident Kaylynn Wolfe actually met her husband at a comic convention, and now that they have a son, making the press conference a family affair — while dressed as the family from “The Incredibles,” of course — was only natural.
“We are a family of cosplayers. That’s our favorite part,” Wolfe said. “We have such a fun community of people who understand this world and understand the joy of dressing up like a superhero or a princess, and we all just get to hang out and have a lot of fun.”
Sometimes the joy of dressing up can come not from playing the part of a hero, but from taking on the role of a villain. Becca Gunyan, who has attended the Salt Lake Comic Convention for five years now, loves nothing better than dressing up as the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland.”
“(The Queen of Hearts is) just a combination of me. She’s super sassy … and people always think she’s evil, but she has the best fun side to her. She’s playful and fun and the more I’ve done her, the more she’s me. … My favorite is walking through crowds and just parting them because I am the queen and I get my way. And people just move to the side," Gunyan said with a laugh.Comment on this story
Marissa Moody from Salt Lake City, dressed as Giselle from “Enchanted,” even sewed her own dress for the occasion. Although she’s already spent 140 hours on the project, she said there’s still beading on the skirt and bodice to go.
Equally devoted to cosplay is Carlos Trevizo from West Valley City, who has been creating his own life-sized personal droid from scratch the past several months — something he was excited to show off at the press conference.
“Throughout the years I’ve become more and more attached to (cosplay) to where I have my own droid, my own suit,” he said. “Basically, I love cosplay. Utah’s the place.”