Salt Lake Comic Con has come and gone yet again, packing masses of costumed dweebs into the Salt Palace to view panels and dig through the hundreds of booths on the show room floor. Amidst the hundreds of sabre vendors there were some real high lights and low lights, and we figured you’d want a run down.

Starting with the lowlights, we’ll give a quick hat tip to the cell carriers brave enough to set up a booth, nothing makes a nerd excited like knowing the internet they can’t use due to over-saturation is provided by the sales folk nearby. “Hey man, cool Turtles mask! Want an iPhone?” Nothing screams comics like an upgraded phone. Of course, no con would be complete without a booth from Teleperformance and America First Credit Union, we’re all heading to cons to find jobs and set up bank accounts, let’s celebrate our love of comics by learning about 401k’s, health benefits and investing towards our future. The final lowlight of the show room floor was as confusing as it was exciting, it may be my favorite booth for the absolute weirdness it presented to passers by. GOT BUNIONS?! Jean Brown research wants to know and since geeks account for 32% (this stat is totally made up by me just now) of all bunion occurrences, Salt Lake Comic Con is the perfect place to share your groundbreaking research on these obnoxious foot-destroyers. But don’t worry folks; we’ll make sure to put up a cardboard cut out of The Hulk to help us blend in.

While the worst of the Con were confusing and odd they were happily blurred by the crowds and definitely outclassed by the incredible booths available for viewing. While there were hundreds of spectacular booths with incredible art, collectibles, autographs, or video games I had to narrow it down to the few that were truly special. Without further ado, my favorite displays at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014.

Crooked Man Comics
Hailing from Colorado, this crew made the commute to show off their self-published comic with a Sin City styled spin. Nestled among the hundreds of artists in the Artists Alley, you can stop by and have a conversation with owner/creator Wil Spaedt about his work, definitely worth a view.

Andy Kuhn
The man behind the incredible art on IDW’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles run was hidden in a back corner of artists’ alley. Slinging gorgeous prints of his various TMNT covers and other works of art. Not only is he a friendly fellow, but he also plays in a punk band in New Mexico. While his presence wasn’t heavily publicized, you were lucky to come across him and buy his incredible work.

Steam Crow
Hailing from Arizona these folks were near the Kid Con, displaying their unique brand of art. Ranging from prints of Old-Timey cereal boxes with a monstrous twist, to gorgeous shoulder bags labeled “Robot Repair” this massive booth had unique items for an affordable price.

The geniuses behind the monsters in Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other incredible films, this booth once again took it to the next level. This was not only the highest budget booth in the building; it was also the most gorgeous. From the incredible animatronic Smaug that rested across the back display to the statues of the White Orc, Gandalf and Gollum that were strewn across the con their presence was definitely made known. If you had a few bucks to spend they were also selling gorgeous replica statues from their display cases, it was also safe to simply look … kind of.

Utah Games Guild Indie Booth
This was by far my favorite booth at the convention. The Utah Games Guild pulled together Indie Devs from all over Utah to set up one giant display. This booth featured incredible games from all over our awesome state, showing that there really is a game developer scene in Utah. This booth gave you time to get your hands on World of Keflings and Nutjitsu by Ninja Bee, Drop the Soap by Sheepleware, Fire Warrior by Eidolon Games, Legend of the Elderstar by Invictacide, Magnetic by Nature from TripleSlash, Momentum, Crashnauts, Frayed Knights 2, We Must Go Deeper, Siphon Quest, Together: Amna and Saif and Abduct Cletus. The game developers were readily available to show you their game, talk about development and help you try to survive their challenging experiences.

To say that Salt Lake Comic Con was massively successful could still be dubbed an understatement. The true success of the convention should be directly correlated to the incredible vendors making this a repeat or for some their inaugural home. While it is a financial risk to wander the floor with any spending cash, you can also have an incredible time learning about hundreds of new artists, comics, movies, and games, without having to go much further than your own back yard.

Check out the rest of our Salt Lake City Comic Con 2014 coverage!

Matt Brunk’s Photo Gallery

Megan Kennedy’s Photo Gallery