Inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con has Roots from the 1980's
Saturday was super crowded compared to the Friday preview. It was a warm sunny day and it felt like Spring was starting to assert itself through the recent El Nino rainstorms. The main opening ceremonies took place where a few of Steve Wozniac's (Woz) partners and ranking handlers of the SVCC did a very impromptu introduction Woz and how the show came about. This is the inaugural show for Silicon Valley and it was noted they broke all kinds of records, such as attendance for the show. It is not however, the first show Woz has put on to bring together a community of people. In the early 80's, he put on the US Festival a community-centric music festival as a way to counter what he considered to be the "Me" generation of the 1970's. In today's social media fueled atmosphere, the 2010's sound a lot like the 1970's, and perhaps Woz is a couple years too late.
I believe there is pent-up demand for cool events in the actual valley part of the region that lends to its name. Many events are relegated by default to San Francisco, which is unfortunate, since San Jose has a geographically better suited area to host large events since it is more spread out and less hectic in general. It was mentioned that Woz was born in San Jose, and just a couple blocks away from the Convention Center is a street called Woz Way.
The wristbands, mentioned during the opening event, have and embedded chip in them that you have to press up against a board that doesn't really have any feedback and many people had trouble getting to work the first time around. Since you were also required to badge out in the same way, it created a highly congested entrance and exit zone for exhibits. The system could probably be improved a bit with having the entrance areas spread out more with more units available.
Woz came in dress as Obi-Wan Kenobi with a bunch of storm troopers that marched toward the front of the stage and then he just disappeared, apparently leaving the other hosts on stage hanging. After a little bit of conversation, they decide to reveal what is behind a red curtain, and it turns out Woz's wax sculpture was behind the curtain, but being ever the prankster, when it was revealed, he appeared standing posed next to the wax figure. He gave a great, brief speech that had a message about how people that are different should not be treated poorly and how his work in technology sought to address that issue and that this event was to celebrate them.
We also attended the Q&A panel with Nathan Fillion. He answered questions with fans and shared some funny stories, sometimes with really random responses. It was very conversational and from watching him in various shows, his personality came through here as it does in the characters he plays. One thing really apparent is there are a bunch of hardcore Firefly fans still holding out hope that the franchise will have another release in the future, which Fillion also shares the same interest. It was also clear that he has many admirers who enjoy his work and one touching moment was a fan who read a letter that brought a smile to his face. He also received a marriage proposal, which he accepted.
With the bigger crowds came more cosplayers that were officially invited to the show and ones streaming into the show from the general attendees. There were a great variety of characters, some I had no idea what they were, and also many repeat costumes. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn were the ones I saw the most. I tried to take a bunch of photos of them for the cosplay fans.
Note: Some thumbnails may not render, but click on the images to view them.