28, April 2017

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017

This past weekend was Silicon Valley Comic Con, held at the San Jose Convention Center. In its second year, I was hoping they learned from their mistakes. It was very chaotic and cramped last year, the food situation was a mess, and the lines getting in/out were a nightmare.

They fixed all of those issues. It was amazing.

We arrived Friday after a long drive in Bay Area traffic (we even left early!). We had to badge in/out, but this time it was at the entrance to the convention center instead of at the top of the stairs, which was so convenient. The main vendor hall was open, and a few of the celebrities were available for signing. The area was arranged differently this year. The aisles were wider, and the spacing was perfect. You never felt cramped. We walked through the lanes, admiring artwork and digging through racks of figures. The sellers were pleasant, and we found treasures. Last year, the big celebrities were signing in the same hall. This year, they were across in the grand ballroom. Panels were held across the street, which unfortunately meant we didn’t attend any. The downstairs had a kids’ area, a mini arcade, the screen items auction, and additional artists. My only complaint was that there were no food vendors inside the convention center. With the con open from 5-9 on a Friday night, I was really hoping they would have some food available so we didn’t have to wait until 9 to eat. I think there were food trucks in the park across the street, though, which was another area we missed.

Day 2 is always cosplay day, and this was no exception. We only made it about halfway through the vendors on Friday, so we finished that in the morning. We found some amazing artwork, Bladerunner/Star Wars mashups and an Ahsoka and X-23 drawings. Food was open, and the lines were much more manageable than last time. After lunch, it was time to become Darth Revan and Bastila Shan from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I spent weeks on our costumes as they were the most complicated I’d ever attempted. They were a wild success. We’ve never had so many people take pictures of and with us. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to be them again.

On Sunday, we went for our autographs.The theme this year was Star Trek and its anniversary, so most of the Next Generation cast was there, along with Shatner and a few characters from the other series. Mybusters were there, Adam, Tory, and Kari. Flash Gordon now and then, along with Tom Felton, the Sesame Street cast, and some members of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Even Carrie Fisher’s dog, Gary, made an appearance. With all of these bigs names, there was only a schedule for photo ops. Celebrities came and signed whenever they wanted for as long as they wanted. It was a different way of doing things, but, considering how many times I’ve waited for a celebrity to show or had them leave early, it wasn’t necessarily a bad way. However, there was one scheduled signing, and that was from Woz. As two people with CS degrees, a chance to meet the man who changed computers and world wasn’t one we could pass up. And so, Grayson got to meet his hero, and I got to meet a legend. Then we crashed our friends’ photo session with John Cusack and met another gem. We also met Robert O’Reilly, who played Gowron on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This year they had more props from movies. We saw Terminators and Blade Runner cars and Superman suits. NASA and SETI had giant sections with tons of activities and smart people. There was so much to see and do, and I know we missed some of it.

Overall, the second year was so much better logistic-wise than the first. Everything ran better, the crowds were controlled, there was plenty of air conditioning, and everyone was happy. Another wonderful year. But maybe a better schedule for year three?


Big Trouble in Little China cosplay

John Cusack!

Darth Revan and Bastila Shan



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