2019 marked the 4th annual Silicon Valley Comic Con. SVCC takes place in San Jose, and seeks to combine the world of pop culture with science. At a time when so many popular characters like Iron Man and Doctor Strange rely on that blend of science and fantasy, it seems like a match made in heaven for convention attendees. Though the celebrity line up wasn’t as stellar as past years, there were many unique panels and exhibitors to keep people occupied. There were a few gems among the offerings at SVCC, but overall the schedule felt a bit thin.
For me personally, one of the highlights of this year’s con was spending time with Legion M. The ever-growing fan run content creation studio had a big presence in the entryway, and many panels throughout the weekend. I had the chance to chat with Alexandre O. Phillipe about his upcoming film Memory: The Origins of Alien. It is the first film Legion M holds exclusive distribution rights for, which is very exciting for any Legion member! You can find out more about how to support this amazing production studio here.
In addition to panels about Legion M movies, they also organized a live speed run of a popular Advanced Dungeons & Dragons dungeon. It was a lot of fun to see a live panel of players take to the stage an attempt to riddle their way out of perilous traps. I would love for this panel to return next year. The Dungeon Master for the panel was Luke Gygax, son of D&D co-creator Gary Gygax. It was certainly a long event, but I would have happily stayed for at least another hour.
It’s always a joy to walk around artist alley at any convention for me, and SVCC 2019 was no exception. I can’t say the same for the exhibit hall. Though there were a lot of great exhibitors, a large amount of floor space was dedicated to cable companies or other promotional organizations. These exhibits did little but take up space. It would have been great to see artist alley extended, or the artists downstairs brought upstairs with the other exhibitors. I will always prefer to see more unique content creators over big companies vying for money they don’t need.
I did attend SVCC in its first year, and I will say that it felt a bit more organized now than it did then. Security measures have improved, but there are still a lot of things that could be improved. Some very popular panels were booked in rooms that were far too small. The release of the schedule itself was staggered so much as to be borderline useless until the day of the event. Perhaps most distressing of all, this science/tech-focused convention can’t seem to create a functional mobile app. These are elements that other smaller cons even have nailed but for some reason elude SVCC. It’s not a convention that I prioritize for some of these reasons, but it is very accessible if you’re in the bay area. Be warned though, Saturday can get very busy. Friday night is a great time to attend if you want to meet some awesome artists and exhibitors.
This was my 3rd time attending the show, and I’m glad they moved it from earlier in the year when it would have had to compete with WonderCon.
I enjoyed the show and the mix of pop culture type stuff with science-y offerings (such as NASA) was terrific.
The artist alley was amazing as always with a lot of independent creators including Bobby Breed, Russell Nohelty, Fanbase Press, and many more terrific creators set up shop at the show.
The show had a quite a few highlights for me from the show including the Terminator reunion, the 2 different panels with stars from Gotham (the first with Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin and the second with McKenzie and Donal Logue), the spotlight panel for Anson Mount, and getting to speak with Paul and Jeff from Legion M again, Adam Savage’s spotlight panel, and wandering the artist alley and being in awe of the creators there.
Of course we can’t go to a comic con without mentioning the terrific cosplayers, and this con had quite a few of them!
All in all, it was a good show, and I plan to return to the show in 2020 when it moves from August to October (16th-18th).
Let us know if you’ve ever attended SVCC! We would love to hear more thoughts about this convention. You can reach Sam on Twitter at SamanthaMaybe or Instagram at SamMaybeReading and Dan on Twitter at fatj00.