(DAILY HERALD) Chuck Norris doesn’t go to fan conventions. Fan conventions come to him. So the fact that Chuck Norris is slated to be a guest at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018 this September? Well, it’s something.

Norris was one of several guests announced as additions to the fall convention lineup at a press conference at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday morning.

Known for his work in action films, as well as directing, producing, writing and as a martial artist, Norris has quite the reputation, and his announcement brought a slew of Chuck Norris jokes instantly to the FanX fan pages on Facebook. He was announced along with Tom Welling (Superman, of “Smallville” fame), model and actress Tricia Helfer, John Wesley Shipp (Barry Allen’s father and Garrick/Flash on the CW’s “Flash” and Barry Allen himself in CBS’s “The Flash”) and the cast of anime web series RWBY, including Kara Eberle, Lindsay Jones, Vic Mignogna and Arryn Zech.

 The group joins a wide selection of previously announced celebrity guests, including Tim Curry, Karl Urban, Evangeline Lilly, Paul Reubens, Mark Sheppard and Jennifer Morrison.

“Even prior to announcing the guests announced today, we had a lineup every bit as strong as our first event was by the time the event came around,” FanX co-founder Dan Farr said in an interview following the press conference. “Just the quality and caliber of the guests we have and the level, then to add Chuck (Norris) and Tom (Welling) to that – we already have a great lineup without more guests.”

For concerned fans, though, Farr assures that there will be plenty more guests announced between now and the convention, set for Sept. 6-8 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, and it’s all because of the support that the convention has gained from fans since its inception.

“We get so much great support in our community,” Farr said. “As I traveled this weekend to two other conventions, constantly different celebrities, people and business managers would tell me that our show has become the golden standard. … The best people in the industry want to come here because of our people.”

That support isn’t just for the annual conventions, either. According to Farr, there were over 100 cosplayers in attendance at the press conference Wednesday, and the fan reaction to announcements was immediate.

It was our biggest turnout yet,” Farr said, noting how fantastic the cosplayers were in particular.

“We have the best cosplayers around.”

But according to Farr, that extends just beyond the costumes and conventions.

“A big thing for me was to see how much of a lifestyle it is rather than just an event that comes to town,” he said. “It’s a great lifestyle for everybody, and the event is something that people plan for year round. It’s not just like going to a concert where it’s a one-time thing.”

 Since it first began in 2013, the event has continued to grow and evolve, with most recent changes including the creation of the League of Utah Volunteers (LUV) and a new program called the FanX S.T.E.A.M. Competition.

LUV is a program created with the goal of uniting FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention fans in volunteering not just at the convention but also in their communities.

The S.T.E.A.M. competition stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, with a competition segment that unites the S.T.E.A.M. aspects of comic books and science fiction with educational opportunities for students of all ages.

“It basically awards a focus on science and the technology that supports fantasy and sci-fi, like why can superman fly? It’s geared toward getting kids involved.”

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