Organizers cap ticket sales for FanX, for a more intimate experience for fans — and “intimate” means around 50,000 in attendance, compared with the 100,000-plus at Salt Lake Comic Con in September. With the shorter run, organizers also have dropped prices for multi-day passes.
Weaving through the schedule of celebrity appearances, panel discussions, book signings, and special events — plus trips to the vendor floor and Artist Alley, as well as just gawking at the creative gamut of cosplayers — it’s hard to know what’s worth seeing. With that in mind, here are 10 expected highlights (in roughly chronological order) that promise to make FanX 2017 a unique experience.
1. Stan the Man
Without Stan Lee, it’s hard to imagine comic books and comic conventions would be the cultural monsters they are now. Lee is credited with creating Spider-Man, The Hulk, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Thor, the X-Men and many other characters of the Marvel Comics universe. Lee is 94, and it’s expected that his event to kick off FanX 2017 will be his last visit to Salt Lake City, health permitting. Show him some love while he’s still around to appreciate it. (Friday, 11 a.m., Grand Ballroom.)
Wallace Shawn is an acclaimed writer, theater director, and actor — but most fans know him as the rotund criminal mastermind Vizzini in “The Princess Bride,” or as the Grand Nagus, leader of the Ferengi, in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” or as the voice of the dinosaur Rex in the “Toy Story” franchise. Shawn also was the “my” in the conversational cult classic “My Dinner With Andre,” whose fandom has been woefully underrepresented at past comic conventions. (Friday, 1 p.m., Grand Ballroom.)
3. ‘Chuck’ amok
Zachary Levi is one of the last big stars announced for FanX. Levi first made a splash as the stereo-equipment guy who became a secret agent on the TV series “Chuck.” He also voiced the character Flynn Ryder in Disney’s “Tangled” and appeared in “Thor: The Dark World” as one of Thor’s Asgardian comrades. (Friday, 4 p.m., Grand Ballroom.) (..)