Salt-lake-scity ccc.jpg

It isn’t primarily a comic-con, but Salt Lake City Comic Con’s FanX starts today, a three day show with a focus on nerdlebrities: Glen and Beth will be there; Walter White Jr will be there; Jamie Lannister will be there, Judge Doom, Doctor Who and even Princess Leia! A few comics guests as well, including Neal Adams. And a LOT of SF authors—Utah is actually the nerdiest state, and there’s a lot of support for this kind of material.


Past SLC Comic Con events have had huge crowds and some logistical programs. I’m not sure if this is new for FanX, but they have instituted RFID bracelets and tapping in and out, as they do at New York Comic-Con.

If nothing else, FanX has pretty snappy instructional graphics.

Which reminds me, the trademark lawsuit over the use of the term “Comic-Con” files by the San Diego Comic-Con folks is ongoing—CCI settled with the Newspaper Agency Corp., which promoted the SLC shows, and they can no longer produce anything that looks “confusingly similar” to the CCI trademarks. The rest of the suit, against the SLC show running group, is still on. Maybe The Beat’s resident legal expert Jeff Trexler can weigh in on this one at some point?

At any rate, none of this legal stuff should affect the con goers, who will doubtless have a swell time.


  1. I’m going today (as a spectator, not an exhibitor this time), and I helped a friend set up his booth last night. Artist Alley is significantly smaller than it was in September, and the full convention center floor is not open all the way this time. I’m looking forward to what I hope will me a more low-key and less crowded experience.

  2. There are 160 Artist Alley tables. (and 60 “dealer tables”?)
    The show only uses Halls A-E + 1, avoiding the clumsy right-angled layout of the previous show. (283,500 sq.ft.)

    The show floor PDF:
    has square footage breakdowns by color-coded region, as well as totals:
    201 booths for a grand total of 38,300 sq.ft.

    Most interesting? ABC4 has a large booth at #1341. This is unusual for comic cons, but standard for consumer shows. Generally, a local news outlet sponsors a show. The show gets publicity. The outlet gets exclusives, as well as a burnished reputation if the event is non-profit (like a charity walk/run).

    Also curious: Comcast has a large booth.

  3. It’s not quite the same as Wil Wheaton on Reddit, but I do try to respond to shout-outs here!

    I’ve been following the SDCC/SLCC lawsuit closely, and the accounts given here and elsewhere are doing a great job in describing what’s at stake and what’s been happening. SDCC is enforcing its mark as trademark holders do — Google Ray Felix superhero for another example – and SLCC is responding as many alleged infringers do, arguing that the mark is actually generic.

    I’m not going to predict which side will win, but I at least want to note a couple things worth mentioning. First, one doesn’t have to read too closely between the lines of the original complaint to infer that what sparked the lawsuit was proximity. If SLCC’s hadn’t placed its promotional branded car near SDCC and San Diego hotels, I wonder if the lawsuit would have been filed. A likely triggering event: a reported phone call from a hotel, possibly the Manchester Grand Hyatt, asking SDCC about the car. Legally, this is cited as evidence re likelihood of confusion, but its significance goes beyond that.

    On a related front, there’s some interesting legal backstory re the crux of SDCC’s defense to the assertion that Comic-Con has become generic – namely, that the Comic-Con marks are incontestable under 15 USC Sec. 1065, since they’ve been in continuous use for more than 5 years since the date of registration. On the surface, this may seem like an odd argument, since the statute and subsequent case law are clear that incontestability does not apply if a mark is or has become generic. However, Comic-Con’s lawyers are no doubt encouraged by a relatively recent 9th Circuit case, KP Permanent Make-Up v Lasting Impression I,, which in a similar context applied the presumption of validity of registered marks to shoot down a claim that the term “micro color” had become generic.

    This doesn’t mean that SLCC has a hopeless case. The key takeaway is that it’s not easy or inexpensive to persuade a court that people see a long-registered mark as a generic concept rather than a brand. If the case doesn’t settle out, it will be interesting to see the evidence both sides muster in trying to show what Comic-Con now means.

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