(Daily Herald) At this point, five years into the comic convention game, the popularity of FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention is pretty much a “tale as old as time,” so it’s only fitting that among the first guest announcements for the Sept. 6-8 show would be Paige O’Hara and Robbie Benson, well-known for their roles as Belle and the Beast in the 1991 Disney animated version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
Despite the fact that FanX is still over six months away, event co-founders Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg have been drumming up a steady stream of support for the fall show with a series of guest announcements that have also included “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “IT” star Tim Curry, “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Trek” lead Karl Urban and Paul Reubens, who is best known as the iconic character Pee-Wee Herman, with other slated guests including “Supernatural” star Mark Sheppard, “Stranger Things” favorite Gaten Matarazzo and Pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson.
“It’s always fun to start ramping up toward another event,” Farr said in an interview with the Daily Herald just prior to the announcement. “We are anticipating this to be our largest event ever.”
According to Farr, the announcement was spurred in part by response to celebrity guests from previous conventions, including Jodi Benson and Christopher Daniel Barnes, well-known as Ariel and Prince Eric in Disney’s animated 1989 film “The Little Mermaid.”
That’s kind of what led to the decision to go this direction, just because we had great success with Jodi Benson and Christopher Daniel Barnes,” Farr said. “They were ‘The Little Mermaid’ guests and they were so fun. … We really want to make the convention fan-driven, (gauging) how the fans respond to the actors we bring in, and it was just such a huge response, and I will also say I had a great response at home from my wife and little girl, too.”