Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 – Opening Ceremonies


A convergence of technology and comics — why didn’t people think of this sooner? Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 officially kicked off its inaugural celebrations with an opening ceremony, where the special speaker was Steve “The Woz” Wozniak — co-founder of Apple, and one of the main players responsible for this event.

On the surface, people may think “oh yeah, comics, technology, geeks … it’s all the same thing.” However, there is a much deeper connection between these two nerd-driven fields. What most people don’t understand is that comic books are, in a way, the original engineering specs for the products we see today. Let’s take it further: comics are just another form of storytelling … and storytelling has driven human imagination since … er … the dawn of humankind. So it’s only natural that human advancement is tied intimately with the crazy what-if scenarios found in comics and science fiction.

Wozniak understands this, and makes it a point in his opening speech. Paraphrasing the man who brought us the first personal computer, “We’re all a little different, and it’s this quirkiness that drives invention.” He then talked about dreamers wanting to fly like Superman — who have now invented various ways to allow people to defy gravity. Or even wanting Superman’s x-ray vision — where scientists have now found ways to peer through walls and objects.

Because comics are the mind’s playground, it gives scientists and engineers insights into other possibilities with the things they’re working on today. A prime example: the mobile devices currently carried by almost every single man, woman, and child. Star Trek was the one that popularized this idea with the show’s communicator — the ever so famous flip-open device which was a staple of the away team. Star Trek was so inspirational that most phones found in the late 1990s and early 2000s were of a flip style.

The Woz’s speech wasn’t all philosophical and serious though. As a famous practical joker and someone known for his humor, Wozniak introduced his wax figure — created by the world-famous Madame Tussauds — while pretending to be another twin wax figure. Asking the audience which one was the “real Woz,” Wozniak held a frozen pose for a good few minutes.

Wozniak’s final words were for the audience to have fun. His hope is that Silicon Valley Comic Con will become a tradition in the Bay Area — which will very much depend on the feedback of the attendees. By combining technology and comic books, Silicon Valley Comic Con basically has everyone giving a big “Duh!” to the obvious marriage of two topics that should go hand-in-hand. This con isn’t just about superheroes, comics, and apps … it’s about imaginative storytelling inspiring great human achievement.

This is the first Silicon Valley Comic Con. It started with Preview Night on Friday, March 18, 2016 and will run through Sunday, March 20, 2016.