To be considered for admittance to Saturday's first SLCNerd, you must first answer these questions at the door:
1. Do you speak the languages Sarati, Tengwar or Klingon?
2. Recite Roy Batty's speech at the end of "Blade Runner."
3. What early bootlegs of Hong Kong action flicks by Tsui Hark do you own?
Of course, I am kidding. You don't have to be a nerd to attend Salt Lake's version of Comic-Con at The Complex on Saturday. But you might improve your chances of winning the "Magic: The Gathering" card game if you are one.
SLCNerd is a first-of-its-kind gathering for nerds, geeks and the people who love (or tolerate) them. It's produced by Gangrene Productions and sponsored by Kaysville software-development and digital media service company mediaRif, the people behind the independent Gangrene Film Festival and other unique enterprises. "It's a big prom for nerds," said Ben Fuller of mediaRif.
The idea for this one-day festival came when Fuller and company mate Craig Nybo agreed that all those who believe George Lucas never should have given Greedo a gun needed a fun event to congregate and celebrate fans who have evolved from an underground subculture of tabletop miniature wargames into the mainstream.
Organizers aimed to create a family-friendly event where geeks and nerds would engage in their own daylong versions of the Geek Show Podcast, with live bands performing amid comic books, game tournaments and a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Benefit silent auction. "It's a day for Ben to be happy," said event emcee and "Monty Python" buff Jon Clark (a music-playing comedian whose guitar is stickered with the battle cry "Real Ewoks Don't Blink").
Fuller, Nybo and Clark are self-proclaimed geeks who know that "tabletop gaming" isn't another term for ping-pong and can distinguish between geeks and nerds. "Geeks revel in things they are passionate about," said Fuller, an aficionado of obscure comic books. "Nerds are trapped by it."
"A geek would haze the nerds," added Nybo, a zombie fanatic whose favorite current TV show is "The Walking Dead." He was quick to say that both geeks and nerds are invited, as well as those who don't consider themselves in either camp.
The organizers are excited about the event lineup, which includes The Utah Improv All-Stars, the Utah Rocket Club, The Hello! Sweetie Podcast hosts, and Larry Correia, best-selling author of the Monster Hunter International series, the Grimnoir Chronicles and the fantasy thriller Dead Six. Correia will play an exhibition game of Legend of Five Rings with the Writer Nerd Game Night Group.
"Security" for the event will be provided by Real Life Superhero Red Voltage and his allies in the Black Monday Society, and attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime characters, in a steampunk outfit, or anything else that strikes their fancy.
As for the estimated ending time of 11 p.m., after the event begins at 2 p.m.: Doesn't that seem excessive?
"For a lot of these people, nine hours of Dungeons & Dragons is nothing," said Clark, who knows. His wife and daughter are addicts of the game, which isn't as bad as it appears, he said. Clark hasn't had to see a chick flick in years.
P Doors open at 2 p.m. with games and cosplay; live music begins at 6 p.m.
When • Saturday, March 24.
Where • Rockwell Room, The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $10 at the door; all ages