He brought us the personal computer. He brought us the US Festival. And now Steve Wozniak has brought us Silicon Valley Comic Con. Held the weekend of March 18-20 in San Jose’s Convention Center, the event featured panels, celebrity guests, and of course the ever dangerous vendor room. Your humble narrator met Mrs Narrator at a Doctor Who convention, so we had to head out to SVCC to see what was happening.

Silicon Valley Comic Con

Friday was the only day we attended, and it was called a “preview” as it was for only four hours in the evening. The limited time meant being constantly on the go, lacking the time to stake out a spot for any events featuring star ship captains (that’s what your English teacher meant by foreshadowing), so please forgive any screen shots of the video feed, or times when I wasn’t very close to my subject.

Arriving just as the doors were flung open, we joined the small crowd filing into the main hall. There weren’t as many costumes as I’d seen in photos from San Diego’s Comic Con, though that changed as time passed. One familiar aspect was the use of RFD wristbands to enter, and exit (glad that isn’t necessary when Leaving Space Mountain).


There was much to capture one’s attention in this hall. Lines were already forming for the Stan Lee museum, but there was a lot of eye candy from some local enthusiasts.






Exhibitors included the nearby Children’s Discovery Museum getting in on the robot action, gadgetry for turning pancakes into art; and, a first for me and something I found really cool, a 3D printer in action.






There were, of course, artists of all types, far too many to mention here. But since this fellow named Ben Russel had some featuring Hattie AND a guitar wielding Storm Trooper? Well, Ben, this note’s for you.


With members of the cast appearing later in the weekend it seemed only appropriate for there to be a photo opportunity with the DeLorean Time Machine from Back To The Future. Well, a street legal replica actually driven by Christopher Lloyd at charitable functions. There’s no such thing as a time machine, so there can’t really be a replica of something that doesn’t…..Hey Look, Cars!



There were a multitude of ways to lighten the load of one’s wallet. Toys ranging from mice to radioactive reptiles were abundant, and there was a decent chance of finding that last pin to complete one’s collection. DC and Marvel can coexist when commerce is involved, and one booth had some authentic props for anybody with a need for a giant spider from Jumanji.






As the crowds built, the number of costumes grew.  The . . . um . . . costume this woman was almost wearing proved to be very popular (Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Park).

Cut me some slack, I had to post this for news-related reasons. 😉


Plus some of the Avengers could be spotted throughout the room.



There were quite a few celebrities in attendance.



Panel discussions are always an important aspect of these types of conventions. As the weekend progressed there would be options ranging from serious tech to anime. We popped in on a discussion in one of the meeting rooms where a group of artists were discussing heroines in comic books.



But a much larger space was required for the featured guest of the evening, TJ Hooker himself, William Shatner.


OK, that may seem a bit snarky. No doubt, since almost any statement I’ve ever made about Shatner has been derisive or condescending. I mention that to put this next statement into context; the man is an absolute master at an event such as this. He always engaged the person asking the question. Some kids asked things that he likely got sick of answering decades ago (favorite Star Trek episode, anyone?), but he would turn it back to them so they could talk about their favorite, and they’d proceed with an actual conversation. He was sharp, witty and thoroughly entertaining.
Shat03 Shat02
The first question came from the guy outlined by the spotlight in the photo above. That’s correct, we got banter between Captain Kirk and the Wonderful Wizard of Woz. The question itself, some poetry nonsense,  was quickly shoved aside for a discussion (well, more of a kiss up love fest) of who pushes the advancements the most, the tech guy or the Sci Fi guy. Let’s call it a draw.
So was this an exciting beginning or a one-off festival? Based on some statements Wozniak made to the press, it seems he doesn’t even know the answer. We’ll see, won’t we? But that will be another Day By The Bay.