Devin Edwards has loved the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. He has been able to meet Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who Edwards loved as a child. Edwards has appreciated the graciousness of Elijah Wood and Tom Holland in being rather gracious and willing to talk with Edwards’ children. He appreciated Holland responding so well to one of Edwards’ children giving Holland a picture of Spider-Man that the child drew.
Given the recent increase of Utah’s COVID-19 cases, the outlook of the 2020 FanX is “looking bleak,” according to an email from the convention.
What does Edwards think about that?
“They should cancel it,” he said. “I don’t see how anyone can maintain safety with the 100,000-plus group.”
Edwards, a therapist in Price, Utah, also wondered how many celebrities would risk coming in the midst of COVID-19.
“I think it’s best to go ahead and let it go and maybe try to bring back the spring event,” Edwards said. “Maybe have two big events in 2021 … a big spring event and a big fall event.”
FanX didn’t hold a spring event this year (this was planned before the pandemic hit).
If the event does to forward and there is an option for attendees to move their tickets to next year, Edwards will probably do that.
He is high-risk, being diabetic, he said.
FanX attendees already talk about getting sick after the convention.
“We already know it spreads,” Edwards said. “I don’t want to roll the dice with something that could end my life.”
When COVID-19 started in March, folks thought that by summertime, the pandemic might have passed – that there would be some “breakthrough,” he noted.
“We leveled off for a moment and now we are skyrocketing back up as we have re-opened (Utah),” Edwards said. “Of course I am going to be sad … it’s something my family looks forward to and something I think we have attended every year, so it’s going to be sad to go a year without one, but as soon as it’s safe, I can’t wait to get back there.”
He added: “I think it would be great to do a spring event and postpone it for a little while.”
Celebrities who have been booked through FanX have been reality-show hosts and animated voice actors and there hasn’t been a booking since April.
“I get why they wouldn’t want to come,” Edwards said while also considering FanX’s business perspective — he wondered how the convention could pay for the celebrities to come and how it could be profitable for the celebrities to come.
“I don’t want to do a photo op with masks and you are just seeing their eyes,” Edwards said. “That’s not something I would want to pay $80 for.”
He also believes that the “don’t tread on me” attitude of many attendees, with a “rebelliousness against medicine” and a refusal to wear masks, makes it difficult for FanX co-founder Dan Farr to continue with the convention.
“He’s kind of damned if he does; damned if he doesn’t,” Edwards said before asking if people will try to bring litigation against Farr and FanX “for their poor choices,” Edwards said.
“It seems there is a lot of risk for Dan Farr and FanX to go forward with,” Edwards said.
If Edwards’ children are not going to to go school in August (and “there’s a good chance they won’t,” he said), Edwards is not going to send them to FanX, he said.
“As much as it’s going to disappoint people, (FanX is) going to make the right decision in putting … safety first,” he said.
“If everyone is in masks, (it) ruins the magic of what this has always been for me,” Edwards said.
He added that if folks and celebrities are “yelling” at each other from six feet away, “that’s not the memorable thing I want for my family.”
If FanX was able to book Chris Hemsworth and Edwards was to spend as much money as would be required for his family to meet him, he doesn’t want that to be behind a “plexiglass screen.”
“No thanks! I’ll wait a year,” he said.