The March 18-20, 2016 weekend is one that many will remember for some time. Most notably, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who was the one who brought a new comic con to the city of San Jose. His first version of Silicon Valley Comic Con (SVCC) saw nearly 60,000 people in attendance, according to a press release received by the Chico Movie Examiner. That’s the most ever for a convention of this type held in Northern California.
It all started with a ribbon cutting inside the San Jose Convention Center. The ceremony marking the start of SVCC saw Wozniak, Marvel creator Stan Lee, and “Back to the Future” star Christopher Lloyd in attendance. Since Wozniak is a big techie guy himself, each attendee’s wristband came with RFID technology, which required them to scan in when they entered the convention and also check out when they left. There was also an app which people could download to keep up to date on what all was taking place at the event.
Like most cons, SVCC featured numerous vendors selling comic books and other collectibles for fans. But unlike other cons, this one blended science and technology with pop culture. So, fans got to toy with things such as Oculus, for example. Guests in this category included “Mythbusters” host Adam Savage as well as engineers from companies such as Intel and LinkedIn.
On the celebrity side, fans got to meet and greet with big names from some big franchises such as “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future” and Marvel. Guests included William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Peter Mayhew, Michael J. Fox, Jeremy Renner, and Stan Lee. Each guest had their own panel that allowed fans to ask them questions, and there were also opportunities to get photos taken with their favorite celebrity.
But the greatest takeaway from SVCC, and any other con for that matter, is the brilliant cosplay from the attendees. One could walk around and see numerous versions of Deadpool and “Star Wars” characters, which were fun to experience. The real treat, however, is seeing how much effort and creativity went into a lot of costumes. One person dressed as “Casual Party Thor,” while another walked around as an AT-ST from “Star Wars.”
Ron McBane of Portland, Ore., had never attended a comic con of any kind before SVCC. McBane went on the final day of the event, since he was in town for his daughter’s wedding the night before, he told me. Dressing up as a Borg from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” McBane mentioned that his daughter and her now husband attend the San Diego Comic Con and also do it in costume. Since she couldn’t attend, McBane decided to check out the convention himself. His costume was such a hit with other attendees that he didn’t really get to check out the whole con.
“I’ve more just been wandering and posing [for pictures],” he said.
Sarah Adams of San Jose seemed to have enjoyed the convention itself, and liked how it blended both science and science fiction.
“That’s interesting, because after all, you think about science fiction, some of our science, like cell phones, are based off science fiction, and that’s very interesting to have that come to life and see,” she said.
Being part of the Rebel Legion costume club in the area, Adams spent a lot of time at the convention serving as security for certain panels and autographs. She said that was her favorite part of the whole event.
“I think that’s been a lot of fun – being able to help the convention in ways that most people don’t get a chance to see,” she added.
Wozniak said at the end of the event that there will be a “SVCC 2.0” next year. During the closing ceremonies, Stan Lee told Wozniak that he better be invited back, which garnered applause from the audience. Next year’s date is still being determined.