I have attended every single one of Salt Lake City’s comic book conventions since they began in 2013. This year, I decided to head out to San Jose, California to work for Silicon Valley Comic Con as a volunteer, which was held April 6th-8th. I thought it would be cool to go see how it held up compared to the phenomenal conventions that we have the pleasure of having here in our fair city.
Silicon Valley Comic Con was co-founded by Steve Wozniak and Rick White. It’s held at the San Jose Convention Center. They’ve attracted big names such as: Stan Lee, David Tennant, Sean Astin, Kristyn Ritter, Mads Mikkelson, Ian McDiarmid, and many many more. I had the pleasure of meeting, and chatting with some of these celebrities, and mentioned that I was from Salt Lake City. They had nothing but good things to say about our conventions, especially if they’ve had the opportunity to attend. Some even said they would love to come!
For the first couple days, I was working non-stop. I wasn’t able to enjoy the conventions offerings yet. Once I was finally able to walk around and check out the vendor floor, artist alley, and celebrity row, I was able to get a good idea of how it compares to our conventions. Right away I notice that there is almost no options as far as concessions go. I notice this first because I am starving. They had very basic concessions such as: hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and soda.
The second thing I noticed was how small celebrity row is. Granted, this convention hasn’t been around long, but I thought that maybe since this convention was being held in Silicon Valley, that maybe the lineup of guests would be much larger. This was not the case. I’m not sure if this was intentional, since it is a small convention, or if they weren’t able to acquire more. The bigger named celebrities that they did manage to acquire were indeed some big deal individuals.
The next thing I explored was the vendor floor. Of course, at events such as this, I always like to try to buy one or two cool things that I may not find elsewhere. Where I was expecting to see a vendor floor similar to our convention, I found this one to be about a third of the sizes ours. I covered the whole thing in about a half an hour, tops. Not to say there weren’t some really awesome vendors there, because there were plenty. Funko Pop! figures are something I HAVE to buy when attending a Con. I only found one vendor selling them, whereas Salt lake has too many of them to choose from! There were a few booths I came across where I mentioned if they attended Salt Lake’s FanX, they would make a killing! They seemed interested. I also found some steam punk goggles that were hand painted, so that I could use them as part of a cosplay I am working on. I mentioned that the style would be highly sought after in Salt Lake.
The last thing I ventured through was their Artist Alley. Though there were SO MANY talented artists, this again was a portion of the size of our convention's Artist Alley. I did end up buying some art from a gentleman by the name of Levi Craig selling these really cool Watercolor pieces. I can’t say no to anything involving Nightmare Before Christmas. You can see his work on his Facebook Levi Craig Arts.
I also got a magnet from another gentleman by the name of Lonnie Millsap, that made me laugh so hard I about started crying right in front of him! You can see his work on his Facebook page Bacon by Lonnie Millsap.
Overall, this was Wozniak’s third annual event, and it reminded me a lot of the size of Salt Lakes first event. Even then, I think Salt Lakes was more sizeable, and more successful. I still had a blast, met some awesome people in San Jose, and made some professional connections. I am confident that when Sean Astin comes back to Salt Lake, he’ll remember me!