Salt Lake Comic Con – Day One Press Release

In rides Dan Farr on a motorcycle, driven by none other than the local celebrity Jazz Bear (Bear rides a motorcycle everywhere). He hops off to thunderous applause and addresses the press. His first words, “My parents would kill me if they saw me on a motorcycle.”

Joking aside though, Dan proceeds to share his appreciation with several of the gathered celebrities and press. Among them were Lou Ferrigno, Richard Hatch, and Peter Mayhew. Mr. Farr shares a story about a man named Stan.

Stan Lee was invited quite some time ago to come to Salt Lake Comic Con. The legendary comic creator deliberated for a long time on this choice. Finally, (as in yesterday, Sept. 4) he agreed to visit on Saturday (Sept. 7). But Dan also explained some of the reasons behind his final agreement. Lou, who considered Stan to be one of his idols growing up (long before putting on the green makeup) personally flew out to talk to Stan. Stan’s agent was calling him.  And finally, Salt Lake Comic Con pre-sales hit 30,000 tickets as of Wednesday morning (the day before the Con). New York Comic Con currently holds the record at 33,000 attendees. That record will not last the weekend.

Dan Farr

After Dan’s opening remarks, the press was free to interrogate the gathered group of celebrities, roughly a dozen. I was unable to corner Lou, but I did talk to Peter and Dan. Although I interviewed Dan second, I want to share my quick interview with him first.

I asked Dan two questions, and my 12 year old daughter chirped in a third:

Question: How much time did you spend working on this project to make it happen?

Answer: I thought about doing this for several years. After leaving my old company, I spent just over a year working on this.

 

Question: From the popularity, I can assume this will be an ongoing event?

Answer (paraphrased): Oh yes, this will be happening for a long time. (Dan was grinning from ear to ear at this point. He was very excited to see the energy hit his native city of Salt Lake).

 

Question, from my twelve year old: What was involved in putting this on?

Answer: A lot of visiting other Comic Cons, doing research but having a lot of fun doing it.

(I asked if networking was also a big part and he agreed).

Dan was quite a nice guy and even posed for pictures with my two daughters.

 

Peter Mayhew

Now, on to Peter Mayhew. Peter was seated in his big wheel chair with his cane nearby. It was great meeting Peter and shaking his hand. As you can assume from someone who is 7’3” tall, he has very big hands. Peter’s story brought a tear to my eye. I knew from reading an article online that he was undergoing knee surgery to regain the ability to walk. I didn’t know, until I spoke with W. Ryan Ziegler how serious the surgery or recovery time were. Salt Lake Comic Con is the last convention before he undergoes the multiple surgeries required to replace his knees. His surgery is Monday, September 9th.

 

I asked Peter two questions, which he answered smiling (great guy, by the way):

Question: How did you decide to go into acting?

Answer: I was just the right person in the right place at the right time.

 

Question: As you were growing up, who was your hero?

Answer: Alec Guinness

 

This struck me as an incredible story. His hero, growing up, was Sir Alec Guinness, who was, of course, Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars Trilogy. How would you like to be the right person in the right place at the right time and star in a movie series next to your idol?

 

But the true story behind Peter is his strength in dealing with his knees and legs. Peter has had a cane with him for years, and it has degenerated enough that he spends most of his time in a wheelchair now. I asked Ryan for information on the Kickstarter program to help fund and educate others about Peter’s struggles and surgery. He was happy to share this site with me:

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lenswithaview/standing-in-the-stars-the-peter-mayhew-story?ref=live

If you get the chance, read up on Peter’s history and what they are hoping to accomplish with the Kickstarter program.  Tissues sold separately.

Thanks for reading and I hope to bring you more from Salt Lake Comic Con soon!

Special Note:  This article is duplicated on my other blog site, www.arcaneguardians.com

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