Local artists to interact with fans at Comic Con FanXperience

Local artists to interact with fans at Comic Con FanXperience

(Courtesy of Jake Parker)

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SALT LAKE CITY — As fans converge on the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, local artists are preparing to share their work.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the FanXperience, which starts Thursday and runs through Saturday, according to event organizers. Among the celebrity guests and vendors, visitors will also be able to find many local artists on Artist Alley.

Local illustrator Jake Parker has participated in Comic Cons around the country and said signing up for a table at the FanXperience in his own backyard was a no-brainer. He will be selling his graphic novels and prints while doing drawings.

"It’s kind of like you have the home court advantage,” he said.

Parker's artistic career has included a job at an animation studio where he worked on movies like the "Ice Age" films, "Rio," "Epic" and "Horton Hears a Who." While he was working in animation, he said he always did comics on the side.

In recent years he has chosen to focus his time on publishing, which allows him to explore stories of his own creation and share them with others. Parker has published two "Missile Mouse" graphic novels, which are based on a character he has been drawing since high school, with Scholastic. He described Missile Mouse as a James Bond-type character in mouse form who lives is in a universe similar to Star Wars.

Parker said Comic Con provides a fun opportunity to interact with others.

Local artists to interact with fans at Comic Con FanXperience
Photo: Courtesy of Jake Parker

"Most of the time I’m holed up in my basement studio working and this is a chance for me to get out and socialize and actually talk to friends who also do this," he said. "Then the really great part is to meet the people who actually read my stuff and like my stuff and get to know who they are.”

Another local artist, Dennis Millard, will be participating in Comic Con for the first time. He said he is excited to try something new and is already planning to arrange for another booth at the next Comic Con in September.

“It seems like a good opportunity to get things out and about and be a little bit better known,” he said.

Millard has had a long professional career as an artist. He started work as a freelance illustrator after he graduated from Utah State University in 1972. He has focused mostly on fine art in recent years, but said he is also interested in fantasy and Sci-Fi pieces. He will be selling prints of one of his recent works at the FanXperience.

He said the highlights of his career have included designing an album cover for Cher and doing package design for Mattel.

“Since I have been six or seven years old, I just considered myself an artist,” he said. “I was always drawing and it was the only thing that I’ve ever really been interested in making a life out of. When I got to the age where I was going to go to college I knew exactly what I wanted to do and there was just no doubt in my mind what I was going to be.”

A complete list of artists who have purchased booths can be found on the FanXperience website.


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