This past Labor Day holiday saw a ton of conventions happening all around the US. Dragon Con, one of the ultimate conventions on the East Coast, brought tons of nerds together to celebrate the 3-day holiday. PAX West and Long Beach Comic Con also happened this weekend and to our north, Fan Expo Canada saw Nathan Fillion up to his usual shenanigans. But this weekend also marked the 2nd year of San Francisco Comic Con which definitely leveled up from last year’s smaller venue of the Marriott Marquis to Moscone West a la reminiscent of the Wondercon of previous years. I was fortunate to attend all 3 days of this convention with my 3 year old son and I’m going to be comparing my experience from last year’s humble beginnings to this year’s epic event which saw a heatwave in the Bay Area! But that didn’t stop us nerds from coming out in full force!
This year, since the venue was much larger, the layout was well structured on the exhibit floor with ample room to walk the aisles. Plus, there were a ton of exhibitors which is a step up from last year since most artists had cramped space. This year, Artist Alley was a bit more contained in specific row and I was able to find new artists to follow and support just by perusing their offerings. The collectible hunt was also great since there were a lot more exhibitors offering toys and figures throughout the floor. I was able to hunt down a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Habro Black Series Thrawn! Plus, if you were hunting Funko Pops for your collection, then you could choose from at least 3 vendors with walls of Pops! And the huge draw for this convention, in my opinion, was the celebrity autographs and photos which was located at the back of the exhibit floor in their own area. I didn’t have a problem with lining up this year but it was definitely popular and that was great to see. Tons of Whovians came to meet Peter Capaldi, the 12th Doctor, while I was stoked to meet Summer Glau from Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Plus, to top it all off, my son and nephews were able to meet Darth Maul himself, Ray Park, who was super cool and took the time to chat and high-five each of them!
Attending all 3 days were tough with a 3 year old in tow but I’m glad to have shared this experience with him. Before I get to what I think is the best thing about this convention, I have to bring up the thing that I didn’t enjoy at all and that was the kid’s area. Last year, even though it was small, they had tons of stuff to keep the kids occupied. This year, even with a larger room, it felt a bit sad. Yes, they had Legos, tables to color and draw, and Megamind the movie playing in the corner but it still felt disappointing. Maybe my experience from D23 with a movie watching experience of an outdoor park with grass looking pillows and such has spoiled me but I know this is something SFCC can really step up their game for next year.
Since I teased the best thing about this convention earlier, let’s chat about that now: cosplay! There were a ton of cosplayers and that made me happy since I’ve witnessed the decline of cosplayers at other cons recently. Not in SF! So many Spider-Mans and Deadpools, it was ridiculous! And some really good creative ones as well! I spied a sweet Spider Woman as she entered the exhibit floor (I was heading up the escalator at the time) and one of my favorite stand outs was Pickle Rick from Rick and Morty. The cosplay scene was really great this year and I’m happy to be able to capture a few pics with my son.
Overall, the convention was great, especially with only 1 year under its belt. They still need to work out maximizing the space they had on the 2nd and 3rd floors but it was a welcomed change to the smaller venue last year. Again, having space to walk and peruse the exhibitor booths were nice. And I was surprised and elated that it was crowded on Sunday as well! That’s a great sign and hopefully allows this convention to grow. I personally don’t want another Wondercon because the movie studios and such will skew the feeling of this convention. They have a great recipe to grow and create an experience that all nerds will enjoy!
I hope you check out this convention next year. It’s worth going for one day (or two). That’s enough one to hunt for collectibles, meet a celebrity, and snap a few pics of some awesome costumes! Here is what I walked away with from this convention. Some great limited art from Nooligan, a Bay Area artist based out of Sacramento, were among favorites that I hope to frame a put up!
* All images except FEATURED IMAGE are from jeremy’s personal gallery
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