Saturday, July 22, 2017
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SVCC 2016

 

The MightyVille team hit up this year's first-ever Silicon Valley Comic Con in San Jose! Joe Kach had some fun, took lots of photos, and chatted with friends old and new. Read on for his mixed feelings about the show and tons of cool Cosplay and show shots.

 

What was once the Big WOW! ComicFest has evolved into the brand new convention, Silicon Valley Comic Con. When the promoters Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee promised a growth in both content and attendees, they were not kidding.  Numbers were huge ... I think around 60,000 people showed up across the three days (and it was quite obvious).

 

LINES!

 

My feelings towards the show are mixed: On the one hand, I love any and all conventions that come to the Bay Area. There has been a con vacuum since WonderCon left and no one has been able to fill that hole quite right. And unfortunately SVCC still has a little ways to go. 

I welcome the mix of technology and pop culture, in fact, the two go hand-in-hand. Seeing lots of cool new tech on display was a highlight. But it also started to get redundant. Multiple vendors seemed to be featuring variations of the same product to mixed levels of success (I swear I saw about four Virtual Reality booths). But was all of it worth sacrificing the comic book presence? It's called "Silicon Valley COMIC Con," yet the majority of guest and vendors had nothing to do with comics, or tangential and best. While we had some legendary artists and writers in attendance (Stan Lee, Bob Layton, Tom Raney, Ryan Sook, etc.), not a single one was actively working on any comic book currently. Not a single panel featured current comic book creators or titles. I was hoping to get an interview for you, my dear readers, from someone, but due to large crowds and lack of comic world guests, alas, I was unable to. Attempts to interview the television and film celebrities were returned unrequited, mainly do to the sheer volume of consumers. 

 

BOB LAYTON SIGNS IRON MAN

 

That's my primary complaint. The rest mirror a lot of what I have seen online: registration lines were unattended or managed by volunteers who didn't really understand the process. Many of the volunteers did not know where panels were held. I almost missed the Deadpool Film Panel due to a volunteer directing me to a completely wrong part of the convention center. When lines stopped moving, no volunteer could answer why. The amount of misinformation outweighed the "I don't knows" and that's never a good thing. There were two displays I wanted to attend: The Star Wars Collectibles Museum and Stan Lee's Comic Art Museum, but both of those had long lines, too (which also means they were pretty cool). Between that and the crowds making it hard to move around as it was, I was unable to check out what I'm sure would have been some cool displays. Not only was the convention not prepared for these crowds, the city of San Jose was caught off guard, too. Every single place to eat near the convention center had lines out the door (Note to restaurant owners in the area: when there's a convention of this size in town, maybe rethink the "Closed from 2-5" policy), and I believe the snack bar in the convention sold out of food before the day ended. 

On the plus side, I was able to (very briefly) met Stan Lee and got him to sign my copy of Captain America #101 (for a fee, of course).  I spoke to Bob Layton for a bit, where he told me all about John Favreau's hate towards the Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle story arc, and how he did Civil War before Civil War was a thing during the Armor Wars days. Ryan Sook and I discussed the wonderful experiment he was part of called Wednesday Comics, and Tom Raney was surprised to hear that some people actually found his Stormwatch run with Warren Ellis to be underrated and game-changing. It was nice to see our old friend Lee from Lee's Comics who shared that he did quite well selling a lot of vintage titles, which was nice to hear since I wasn't sure how many attendees actually read or bought comics. Finally, seeing our friend Henry from extraordinarily fun and geeky Geek Speak Show always puts a smile on my face. Also: wax museums are frickin' cool! 

 

THE GEEK SPEAK SHOW

 

What I loved most about The Big WOW! Comic Fest was the show's attention to comic books. Silicon Valley Comic Con seemed to sacrifice that piece, why, I'm not sure. Possibly to make room for more tech and allow a larger budget for celebrities like Jon Heder?  If the show's handlers can increase the comic book presence and up their ability to manage crowds, we may just have something here. 

Check out my photos from the show below!

 

 

Who else attended this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con? Sound off below!

 

More Event Coverage on MightyVille:

STAR TREK: THE ULTIMATE VOYAGE - A 50th Anniversary Concert Tour

By Plane, by Train, and by Foot - Our First Journey to Midtown Comics!

Nicole's NC Comicon 2015 MightyVille Cosplay Photo Journal

 

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