Con Review: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2018

Silicon Valley Comic Con returned to San Jose for another big year, bringing a plethora of comic and TV stars to the city. Held at the San Jose Convention Center, the event spanned three days filled with things to do and see.

The convention offered a nice array of events and activities, with a wide range of panels covering topics from cosplay to illustrations. While there were multiple panel rooms off in the side halls, the largest area was set aside for the main events, where the big guests would speak in moderated panels before packed crowds.

For those who couldn’t get through the lines into the panel room, though, the convention wisely set up television screens around the area to stream the event. That way even those who couldn’t find a seat would still be able to watch and enjoy the main events.

Outside the main halls, there were a few areas of interest for people wandering around. There was a kids’ area, with hands-on activities for younger attendees, as well as an area to teach people the basics of lightsaber fighting. Adam Savage of “Mythbusters” fame had a room to showcase some of his projects, and several arcade and pinball games were set up in a spacious area.

One new addition was an area for “Dungeons & Dragons” organized play, sponsored by the Bay area Gamer Guild. They had experienced dungeon masters running Adventurers League modules throughout the weekend, specifically chosen to be good introductions for new players, and offered pre-generated characters to let anyone join. First-time adventurers were always welcomed, with DMs willing to walk them through the game’s mechanics.

Inside the main hall, attendees were welcomed to multiple rows of vendors and dealers. There were all the usual trappings of a convention, from comics to collectible figures, but there were also booths for NASA or a tattoo parlor specializing in nerdy designs. There was also an artist alley of decent size, featuring a nice array of fan artists selling their wares.

Naturally, there were plenty of cosplayers wandering around. Attendees of all ages wore their favorite costumes, representing a wide array of series and genres. Of course, as many came to see the guests, there was no shortage of Hobbits, time travelers, or alcoholic super-powered private eyes.

Yes, SVCC went all-out with the guests this year. Stan Lee was a headliner, of course, although while he had recovered from his bout with pneumonia, he was still rather tired throughout the weekend. Drawing equally large crowds was David Tennant, known for his role as the 10th Doctor in “Doctor Who,” Killgrave in “Jessica Jones,” and the new voice of Scrooge McDuck in “Ducktales.”

The heroine of “Jessica Jones,” Krysten Ritter, was also in attendance, along with Freema Agyeman, who played Martha Jones in “Doctor Who” alongside David.

“Star Wars” fans also had plenty of great guests to meet, such as Ian McDiarmid, Ray Park, and Temuera Morrison. For those who prefer fantasy to sci-fi, they could meet Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in “Lord of the Rings.”

Yet the guest list didn’t stop there, with even more guests ranging from actors to comic artists to particularly popular cosplayers. Some were doing meet-and-greets with fans, others had paid autograph sessions and photo ops which could cost anywhere from $40 to well over $100, depending on the guest. Attendees had to budget wisely to meet the guests they really wanted to see.

There was a noticeable increase in security this year, following events at other comic cons where attendees brought in weapons. In addition to peace bonding props and having attendees scan their wristbands upon entering and exiting, there were metal detectors and bag checks set up upon entry. Overall, though, they didn’t slow down entry that much, and the need for added security is understandable in today’s environment.

Overall, Silicon Valley Comic Con 2018 proved an enjoyable event, with a wide range of guests to see and activities to enjoy. For those looking for a comic con experience in the bay area, it’s certainly a fine choice.

Photos provide by Agent P. G33ktography, visit his official Facebook page for more.
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About rpleasant

A would-be writer, who enjoys living the geek life and indulging in comics, cosplay, anime, and more. He hopes to one day have something created that other people can enjoy and review, but until then continues to work on various projects such as parodies and short stories.

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