Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is stepping up as the major backer and the face of Silicon Valley Comic Con, the convention looking to bring SoCal producers into the orbit of NorCal disruptors and vice versa. The event will run from March 18-20 in San Jose, CA and feature appearances from William Shatner of Star Trek and Michael J. Fox of Back to the Future, but if there’s a selling point, it’s that the Woz himself is promising the convention will be like no other. In his first major public statement about the project, Woz suggested that the event would be dissimilar to its San Diego inspiration — a sleeker product for a more modern audience.
“I don’t like doing the same thing as everyone else,” Wozniak, who has a reputation as a pretty frank dude, told the Associated Press Wednesday.
The 30,000 attendees of the convention will not only bid on “ScreenUsed memorabilia auction” and visit the Stan Lee museum of action hero collectibles. They will attend a panel on the discussion of the quantum realm or browse the “app alley,” which will feature some of the area’s resident talent.
Perhaps it’s a sign that Wozniak still has some of the Apple magic coursing through his veins that he not only recognized the need for a Comic Con in the Valley of Nerds, but saw that focusing on science fiction throughout the various comic universes would make the event all the more unique and appealing in the high-tech mecca.
“A lot of science fiction starts out as a dream in your head where you go, ‘Wow, that would be cool,’ and then you have the actual technology people turn it into reality,” Wozniak said. “That is the process of creation.”
Wozniak’s presence at the head of the convention gives the event an air of authenticity. Woz was the programmer to Jobs’s salesman, so he has a very different type of street cred with the core audience here, young tech workers. Elon Musk aside, he’s the guy with the credibility to blur the line between the tech and sci-fi communities.
“The emotions we have for technology now are the same as we get for movies, celebrities and the whole pop culture side of our lives,” he said. He’s not wrong and, in that sense, he’s one of the great producers of all time.
If nothing else, his comments suggest that the event will be worth keeping an eye on. This isn’t going to be another cosplay-clad rehash. This is going to be something new.