(Deseret News) SALT LAKE CITY — Despite a tumultuous year, Salt Lake’s popular fan convention reported an uptick in attendance over three days of downtown nerdvana.

Attendance estimates for FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention were at about 110,000 in the final hours of the event Saturday, pulling ahead of its 2016 and 2017 numbers, said the event’s co-founder, Bryan Brandenburg.

The popular arts convention was forced to move away from its original name, Salt Lake Comic Con, after losing at trial in a trademark dispute with uber event San Diego Comic-Con International over the term “comic con.” That blow was followed by a controversy that played out publicly over the convention’s response to allegations that Utah author Richard Paul Evans interacted inappropriately with other authors at previous events.

“The joke is that ‘flat is the new black’ in the convention industry, so for us to be ahead of our previous two years with the name change and everything else, we’re feeling pretty good,” Brandenburg said.

The event fills the Salt Palace Convention each September with fans of all ages and genres who turn out for celebrity appearances, mountains of merchandise and clever costuming. And according to Brandenburg, an increasing number of those fans are coming from outside Utah. Where about 15 percent of previous convention crowds have been out-of-towners, the numbers for this week’s event were closer to 23 percent(…)

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