Friday, May 5, 2017

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 & 2017

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 & 2017

We were there for the first one!

2016 was the year we saw Nichelle Nichols.  Yes, that is a terrible photo...I should practice with my camera before I need it.  She was just delightful.  Told little story snippets about Star Trek, her interactions with NASA, meeting MLK, wanting to be on Broadway.  And then she sang Summertime for us.  OMG, so lovely, she would have rocked on Broadway.  Bonus:  the moderator on the right is Rod Roddenberry who talked about growing up on the set with Nichelle.

We were able to attend quite a few panels.  Scientists associated with the first detection of gravitational waves walked us through the basics-super cool!  
Ever thought about all those made-up languages in books and movies?  Me either, until I went to the panel on conlang, or constructed languages.  Learned a ton!  Intro to how it is done, how many people do it, most for their own enjoyment, and their organization and meetings.
History overview from Wizards of the Coast.

A little bit of cosplay-there was actually a lot we didn't see since we were rushing from panel to panel.  Lots of Deadpool and Harley Quinn this year.

The costume contest was totally fun.  The smaller panels I went to had intelligent/thoughtful speakers and respectful/interesting audiences.  Our whole group went to a Nerds of Color Fandom panel and I went to Playing in Someone Else's Sandbox (when you get to/have to write in an already established universe).   I know some reviews have focused on the big name panels, but I just avoided those-too crowded and annoying to try and get into.  Why bother when the smaller ones are cooler anyway.

 The opening night featured Shatner.  A bit rambling, but fun enough.  The closing however was Stan Lee (and his daughter) We were far back in the audience so that is picture of video screen-ugg again.  That was a treat.  I'm so happy whenever I see one of his cameos and think about how pleased he must be to see so many people loving something he started.

I didn't think I would purchase anything...

but I was wrong.  There were a ton of delightful things, I'm pleased I didn't buy more!  The area had robots, Back To The Future DeLorean, VR stuff and a real live Nebula Award.
New to me was Rancho Obi-Wan a collection of art inspired by Star Wars, way better than just 'stuff from Star Wars'.  

but this was free!!

Overall we had a great time.  Go Friday night to preview artists alley and try to avoid it on Saturday and you are golden.

And then we went to the second one-I couldn't resist the idea of a con in our own backyard.  And I love the add in of actual scientists!

This is Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer talking about how we might die from asteroids, how we can prevent it (not too hard since we are paying attention) and how the movies can get it so so wrong.  You can read all about it in his book Death From the Skies!!

On Friday night we also checked out all the stuff to buy and artists alley.  Not crowded at all-best time to go.

Saturday started with the Science March-missed a couple of panels but hopefully we won't have to do it again next year (sigh).

The group who brings you Vespas is working on a cute cargo carrying robot.  Basically they are creating a pleasant version of the Luggage of Discworld.  You go to the grocery store on foot or bike, load up 40 lbs of stuff into it and it follows you home.  Prototype videos look promising!
Many delicious items were eaten-chicken katsu burger!  Potato croquettes!

We listened to Brent Anderson talk about working on AstroCity for the past 20 years.  

Then a panel about creating your universe in different media (books, video games, VR) by John Davidson, Richard Garriott, Andy Weir, Gary Witter, Mac Walters, Jessica Brillhart.
The crowd-enough to be interesting but not stupidly packed full!

We watched the Cosplay for over an hour-fewer Harley Quinns and way more Star Fleet.  The best were three women dressed in Star Fleet uniforms if they have been in the 1930-40s, Dapper-ish.  Perfect hair, shoes, and attitudes that matched the uniforms.  Also, a whole family of Robins-super cute.

We missed the costume contest and the dance despite our funky green wrist bands.  Instead we went tot he showing of Star Trek Continues, the fan made 5th year of the series.  Fantastic-I had no idea so many were so dedicated.  I want to see the rest of the series.

Sunday started with a panel about making armor for your cosplay and while they were clearly experts they were not storytellers.  Our second panel was David and James Codeglia who are film makers and amazing storytellers.
In order to shoot their 5 minutes for the fan remake of RoboCop, they recreated the robot ED-209 out of cardboard, wood, aluminum, spray paint, vacuum molded plastic, and blood sweat and tears.  Brilliantly, they filmed everything along the way, including mistakes.  They were delightful-watch it here, my photos of the creation don't do it justice.

Our final panel of the con was titled "The Early Roots of Space Opera"  You never know what you will get, this turned out to be one Alexey Romanovsky going over poetry, philosophy and religion on the way to Space Opera.

Finally our purchases!  Some fun stickers and comics this time around.

All very worthwhile...see you next year :)

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