OGDEN — Don’t think of it as just another pop culture convention.
Think of it more like an un-convention.
A new “comic con” is coming to town next year, one that will be centered in downtown Junction City.
“The idea was to do something that would be uniquely Ogden,” said Russ Adams, operations manager for Ogden UnCon. “We named it Ogden UnCon to meet with the city’s ‘Ogden: Still Untamed’ brand.”
The inaugural Ogden UnCon is scheduled for June 7-9, 2019, at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center. Organizers are working furiously to put together the three-day event; tickets went on sale Oct. 1 at www.ogdenuncon.com.
Adams said they’ve got early-bird ticket pricing right now, so “everything’s as cheap as it’s going to get.” And although they haven’t sold any tickets in Utah yet, they have seen sales from as far away as California and New Jersey.
“Our first ticket sales were to a lady in Baltimore,” he said. “She saw in a ‘Black Sails’ chatroom that someone had shared our post.”
Adams thinks it’s the unconventional approach to this convention — including, for example, actors from “Black Sails,” the STARZ original series about the golden age of piracy — that will attract attendees.
“We’re looking for the unconventional,” Adams said. “There’s only so much Marvel you can deal with. I’m a Batman fan to the core, but even DC, it’s like, ‘C’mon, we’ve got to look at other things that excite this group.’”
Among the confirmed guests at next year’s Ogden UnCon are Toby Stephens, Zach McGowan, Sophia, Chris Kattan, Naomi Grossman, Amy Hill, Jay Bonansinga, Tracee Lee Cocco, Neil Kaplan, Wesley Eure, Kathy Coleman, Phil Paley, Mort Castle, Walter Welsh and Unicole Unicron.
In addition to the guest artists, workshops, competitions and more, the convention will feature a Pitchfest Writing Contest for authors, and a contest for auditioning in front of casting directors.
“It’s a pop culture convention that embraces all of the art,” Adams said. “I think we’ve got something for everybody. We’ve even got pirates.”
Adams said he pictures a convention that “doesn’t stop” — a 24-hour-a-day affair with elements that will keep visitors going all night long.
“Our goal is to keep you going until you fall down,” he said. “Around the clock. We want to give you so much for your ticket price that you couldn’t possibly do all you have to do in the three days.”
Adams says it was the Air Force that transplanted him to Ogden in 1997. After a decade in the service, he started his own special-effects studio and worked on such films as “50 First Dates” and the second and third sequels to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He has also been involved with the Syfy cable network show “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge.”
Over the course of four years, Adams says he attended 50 comic cons. That background has allowed him to become acquainted with the process of organizing a convention as well as cultivate contacts in the industry.
The Ogden UnCon organizers have set up shop on Washington Boulevard, in what for decades was the iconic Clifton’s Dress Shop.
“There’s pink walls, but we’re trying to live with it,” Adams jokes.
He said they originally had another building lined up for Ogden UnCon’s office and storage space, but that deal fell through and the owners of Clifton’s were generous enough to help out.
Adams said he hadn’t planned on opening a retail space, but due to the zoning code for the building decided to start a cosplay gallery. Handmade costumes are on display from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday, in the UnCon headquarters at 2254 Washington Blvd.
“People can walk in, take a look at stuff, get a sense of what Ogden UnCon will be and get excited,” he said. “The exhibits change out every month.”
The end goal for Ogden UnCon, according to Adams, is two-fold. First to make sure everyone’s comic-con experience is as good as it gets, and second, to be a source of pride for the Ogden community.
“This is an amazing city, but it doesn’t always get the attention it should,” he said.