The w00tstockSD and comic-con 2010 FAQ

In just about 48 hours, I head down to San Diego for w00tstock and Comic-con. Here is my effort to answer questions about both:

w00tstock

Q: Are tickets available?

A: Yes. You can get them from Ticketbastard, or from the box office.

Q: Ticketbastard says there aren't any seats! Do I have to stand for the whole show?

A: No. Ticketbastard is stupid. This is a seated show, for your comfort.

Q: Ticketbastard says the show is sold out!

A: Yeah. Ticketbastard is fucking stupid, an evil corporation that we all hate, and they're lying to you.

Q: Woah. Why so angry?

A: Because it's bullshit that Ticketbastard makes you pay almost as much in fees as you pay for the ticket. I don't know a single performer who doesn't hate that damn company.

Q: So if I buy my ticket at the box office, it costs less, and I don't give any money to an evil corporation you hate?

A: Now you're getting it.

Q: But what if the show sells out before I can get to the box office?!

A: That's always a possibility, but I think it's unlikely. There are a couple hundred seats available right now, so if you get to the box office around the time it opens, you should be fine.

Q: But standing in line sucks.

A: I hear you. However, standing in line for w00tstock means you're surrounded by your fellow nerds! How fun is that?! Someone could, for instance, start an ad-hoc LineCon. You could play games like Zombie Dice and Pieces of Eight! Think about how the possibilities! Also, Think Geek is going to be at w00tstock, giving away Geek A Week trading
cards
, and I heard that there may be ice cream for people in line.

Q: WHAT?!

A: Yep. I guess I should say that again -

Q: And put it in bold!

A: Well, I'd never think to do that myself, but since you suggested it … Think Geek is going to be at w00tstock, giving away Geek A Week trading
cards
, and I heard that there may be ice cream for people in line.

Edit: Quick addition/clarification to this: Len Peralta, creator of Geek A Week, says, "ThinkGeek will be giving away the cards at SDCC, but at w00tstock, I'll be the one giving them away – when they purchase a poster.  It's a Free Gift with purchase sort of deal."

Q: What if we don't get to the line early? THEN WHAT WILL WE DO?!

A: I don't know, man. It's a big, scary world, filled with uncertainty.

Q: Okay, okay. Fine. So, when does w00tstock start?

A: Doors open at 6:30pm, and the show begins at 7:30pm.

Q: Where is it?

A: 4th and B. You know, you could find all this information out at the w00tstock website.

Q: Is this going to be another one of those 3 hour shows that's really 5 hours?

A: No. We promise it won't be that long. We know you have lots of comic-conning to do, and we won't keep you out too late.

Q: I heard the show is 21 and over. That sucks! Why did you do that?

A: It wasn't our choice, and we didn't know until the venue was booked that it was 21+. We're really sorry that our under-21 fans can't come to the show. Like Save Ferris sang, it sucks to be under twenty-one. (If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty unhappy that my kids can't come and see the show.)

Q: Bah. I don't want my damn wiener kids listening, anyway.

A: I know, right?

Q: So who's in the show, anyway?

A: I'm glad you asked. Here's something I cut-and-pasted from the w00tstock site:

And we’re pleased to announce our first volley of guests:

And of course Wil, Adam, and Paul and Storm will all be performing,
and there will be a meet and greet after the show.

A: Oh, and also? There are surprise guests and other fun things we haven't told you about.

Q: Yeah, I saw that Surprise guests thing in the cut-and-paste. Jesus, Wheaton.

A: Sorry. My bad. I'm excited because I know who the surprise guests are.

Q: Can we record this show?

A: As long as your recording doesn't interfere with anyone else's enjoyment of the show, yes. Also, we ask that you release whatever you record or photograph under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.

Q: I have a stack of pictures I'd like you to sign after the show. Will you do that?

A: Within reason, we're happy to sign things for you after. I can only speak for myself, but if you bring me a big stack of things, I'm going to tell you to pick one. If I don't do that, it slows down the autograph line (which averages about 2 hours after each show).

Q: What if I wait until the end?

A: The last thing I want to do after performing for three hours and signing for two hours, is sign a big stack of things. I have my limits.

Q: Man, that's a real dick move, Wil Wheaton.

A: I'm sorry you feel that way.

Q: Hey! I'm a different person, and I totally understand!

A: Ah, I see your different font styling. Very nice. Thank you for understanding that I'm a human being with limits! That's awesome.

A: Okay, I think that covers most of the FAQs about w00tstock. If you have more, leave them in comments, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Comic-Con

I'm kind of all over the place at Comic-Con this year. I'm on four different panels across two days, and I'm doing one signing on Friday.

Here's my schedule:

Friday:

11am – 11:45am: signing in the Warner Brothers booth in the exhibitor's hall. I understand that Warner has made some Evil Wil Wheaton posters for me to sign and give away. I'm not sure what their rules are, because I've never signed for a studio like this, but I would expect they'll want me to only sign their stuff.

12:45pm-1:45pm: The Big Bang Theory panel. I'm moderating! I'm going to spend the first few minutes asking the cast and executive producers some questions of my own, then open the floor to fans.

8:45pm: I'm introducing the screening of my episode of Eureka, All The Rage.

Saturday:

11am: I'm on the Leverage panel. Holy shit, I was invited to be on the Leverage panel!

2pm-3pm: I'm on The Guild panel. Axis of Anarchy RULES!

At the moment, that's my entire schedule. There's a small chance I may add one signing on Saturday, but the details of that are being worked out.

You may have noticed that I didn't list the halls where those panels are. That's because I don't know, and I'm counting on someone pointing me in the right direction and telling me, "If something gets in your way … TURN!" I'm sure the program or website can give you the information that you seek.

Okay, that's all for now. If you have on-topic questions, go ahead and ask them here; I'll be here as long as it takes for me to drink this Futuremug of tea, and then back again a little later after I walk my dogs.

32 thoughts on “The w00tstockSD and comic-con 2010 FAQ”

  1. I am looking forward to this! I won’t be going but I have friends who are going and taking video of the whole thing for me. I’m most excited to see Phil’s presentation. One day, hopefully I’ll be able to make a live show.
    Break a leg!

  2. It's up to them, but our guests have always stayed after the show for signings, pictures, high-fives, and photo-bombing.

  3. I’ve only been to small, intimate science fiction cons like at the Lake Charles, Louisiana Civic Center. I’d like to come to Comic-Con but I’m afraid it will be big and scary and I won’t get to do or see anything I like because of the crowds. If I go, do you have any advice for having a good time?

  4. Off the top of my head:
    * Wear comfortable shoes.
    * Stay hydrated.
    * Expect enormous crowds.
    * Be patient.
    * Be friendly.
    * Don't be a dick.

  5. The line out front should be a lot of fun, like minded people all being a part of something. Also, in case anyone wants to contribute, The NeverHood Show will be on the line interviewing folks with digital recorders for our 1 hour w00tstock coverage show to air later in the week. We would love to hear how you heard of w00tstock, how you got there, and just get an idea of just how much fun being there REALLY is! We will also have a LIMITED number of 8X10′s of the guy’s (Yes they are FREE) so if you really would like to get an autograph on something besides a napkin (Or if you forgot that W. Crusher action figure at home), we will have a few to give away. No interview required. No donation required or accepted. I do this because I enjoy it, let’s all just have fun! Hope to see you there too Wil! -Ethan Tudor W. “The NeverHood Show” at Blogtalkradio.com

  6. “If something gets in your way…. TURN!”
    Ah, I saw what you did there. Love that movie! :P
    I sold back my SDCC ticket in order to buy w00tstock tickets. I mean, I wouldn’t have been able to afford the hotel for SDCC anyway, so I would’ve refunded it regardless, but when I heard about w00tstock, I was determined to go, even if it meant sleeping in my car on the side of the road afterwards. I am SUPER EXCITED to see w00tstock in all its glory! If it’s even half as awesome as the youtube videos and everything makes it seem, I’m gonna have the time of my geek life. :)

  7. Ticketbastard UK is bad but the US one is way worse. Can’t believe they charge me for picking up my ticket at Will Call. So, does that mean tickets don’t have seat numbers and we just sit wherever? ie. Queue early to get a good seat?

  8. Hey Wil,
    If you go to http://sched.comic-con.org/ (official Comic Con scheduling hook-up), search for your name, you can see all of your panels.
    Big Bang Theory: Ballroom 20
    Eureka: Room 6A
    Leverage: Indigo Ballroom at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront
    The Guild: Indigo Ballroom at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront
    AND, on the right hand side is a link to the Convention Center’s maps. Hope this helps. Can’t wait to see you!

  9. bigmoneygrip:
    The key thing right now is to obtain a pass for Comic Con, which since they had sold out pretty much again (some returned passes were up for sale recently), it is unlikely you will be able to walk up to the door and purchase a ticket. There will likely be some people scalping badges, but who knows how much they will be asking for them.

  10. As a former* TM employee and fan of your blog, I just wanted to add a little insight to the FAQ:
    1. I just tried to buy tickets on Ticketmaster, and the event is not sold out. Simply choose “Best Available” and it’ll find tickets for you.
    2. Ticketmaster can only sell tickets based on the information the venue gives them. So if it appears to be a standing room thing, then that’s what 4th & B told them.
    3. Fees: That $2 facility fee is the venue’s–TM won’t see a dime. As for the $8.40 service fee, they probably share that too. Not all of it–they provide a highly convenient service and should be paid for it. But part of it also covers fees to be paid to the credit card companies (who are more evil than TM by FAR). And here’s the dirty little secret of the ticketing industry: TM service fees include rebates back to the venue and/or promoter. They’ve been taking the “Ticketbastard” beating for YEARS for a fee that’s inflated by their clients to boost profits.
    4. TM actually isn’t allowed to hook performers up as much as they’d like to. The layers between performer and fan go deeper than the ticketing. There’s also agents, managers, promoters, venues, labels, you name it. Any time TM has been able to cut out the middle men & connect the performer directly with fans they’ve had great success… and pissed off all their promoter & venue clients who then lose their cut.
    5. Especially LiveNation, who just bought them out after they couldn’t build the ticketing system as good as TM’s.
    *Although TM was generally good to me as an employee I eventually had to quit because it was bad for my soul. I couldn’t tell any new friends where I worked without them either calling me an evil bastard or trying to hit me up for free tickets. I know people will always hate them, but I try to set the record straight where I can, if only for my friends that still work there.

  11. Will you be answering similar FAQs about GenCon? Questions such as: Will you be DMing any D&D games at GenCon and, if so, where do I sign up?

  12. Awesome, this post brightened my day a bit. Especially the ticketbastard info. Looking forward to Wootstock SDCC! Thank you for all the info!

  13. Does anyone know if VtW or anyone else will be doing live streaming of SDCC panels like they did for PHXCC? That was totally awesome for those of us unable to attend.

  14. Mr Wheaton Sir,
    I would like to ask, nay, implore you yo bring Wootstock to Australia. We all woot down here, and we have nothing native like wootstock, I’m sure you would sell out if you held it in any major city, i.e Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.
    I must admit I know the chances are slim, What with you Adam, Paul and Storm’s careers taking off, and Australia is the little guy so often forgotten by the rich and famously successful
    sigh
    But you know if you could maybe think about it.

  15. NEED A TICKET?
    I bought a ticket, and now I can’t come, so I’m selling my ticket on StubHub.com for $30.
    It’s $30 because I’m willing to eat the TicketBastard fees just for the sake of recouping some of my money and getting you a good deal on a ticket. Just go to stubhub.com and search for w00tstock and you’ll see it.
    I hope someone gets to enjoy the show in my stead.

  16. Wow, this sounds amazing. I hate that I live in MN right now. Also, I hope that as soon as you get the PAX schedule, you’ll post it here like this. The 3-day passes are sold out, and I’m praying to Zombie Jesus that I can get a Saturday pass and still be able to catch you speak, or meet you. Have fun dorkin out!

  17. DJ,
    “3. Fees: That $2 facility fee is the venue’s–TM won’t see a dime. As for the $8.40 service fee, they probably share that too. Not all of it–they provide a highly convenient service and should be paid for it. But part of it also covers fees to be paid to the credit card companies (who are more evil than TM by FAR). ”
    CC companies are indeed, evil, but they’re uniformly evil at a low level that no one notices. They typically charge 2.5 or 3 percent of a purchase back to the processor to large vendors–and since TM is the 800 pound gorilla in terms of ticket sales, they certainly get those good rates. So that’s $1, maybe $1.50 of the purchase.
    The $2 facility charge, the rest of the $8.40, and the $3 extra charge to pick the ticket up at a “ticketmaster retailer” or $2.50 for the priviledge of printing my own (WTF?) goes to either ticketmaster or the venue.
    Ticketmaster may not be the source of all the evil in this situation, but they’re pocketing a heck of a lot of cash per body through the door.
    Craig Steffen

  18. I just cannot understand the complaining about how the evil of TM in particular and CC companies in general. Both provide an extremely useful service. So fantastically useful that people will pay those fees and be glad for the privilege.
    Once upon a time everybody had to get to the bank on Friday in order to have enough money for the weekend. Once ATMs came out that was alleviated somewhat but you still had to carry around actual cash. Now a days I rarely carry or even use cash. I can buy anything I want almost anywhere I want with my credit or debit card. If they get stolen I am responsible for almost nothing. Contrast that with having $500 or your checkbook stolen and you will understand why credit card companies are not evil but amazingly useful.
    As far as Ticketmaster goes, reading some of the history and background behind why they became successful will give you a similar perspective as my tale of CC and cash. I recently purchased Lady Gaga tickets for my wife while we were on vacation. I got good seats and paid with my credit card.
    In the old days I would have needed to go to the damn box office, maybe wait in line, and be sure to have enough cash. If I missed the initial rush I might only be able to get the bad seats. I can tell you that is not a superior system.
    Looking online about why people hate Ticketmaster it seems to come down to the convenience charges. At least they are up front about the charges. They could build it into every ticket price and never mention it and I bet most people would think it was an amazing system.

  19. I’m not really sure why people think the CC processors are evil. The flat fee portion of the fee can kill you if you’re trying to sell very low-cost items, but I do understand that Visa and MC have their own costs associated with processing the charge. Usually when I hear people talk about evil CC companies, they’re referring to the banks that actually lend the money, because of their predatory lending practices and ability to change terms of the loan on pre-existing balances…
    For Ticketmaster, it’s not that we don’t think they deserve to make a profit for the service they provide. It’s that most of the fees don’t relate to the service they provide, they’re just tacked on as an extra charge for no reason. The Order Processing Fee is what everyone would expect to pay. That covers the costs of TM providing their service, of course with some profit margin. But then there’s the Convenience Charge. What does it cover? The convenience is having TM process your order rather than going to the BO to do it yourself. But you’ve already paid the Processing Fee. What other “Convenience” does the convenience charge cover? The “Delivery Price” is also incredibly galling. Why does it cost $2.50 for me to print it out myself? Not only is there nothing for TM to do in this case, but it’s actually saving them from having to print it out and take the time to ship it! And, finally, there’s the venue fee. No, that money doesn’t go to TM, but to the venue. However, that fee is how TM entices the venues to keep re-signing their exclusivity contracts. If the venues didn’t make extra money by selling through TM, they’d have no reason to go along with that, and competition could step in. Which is probably the biggest problem with TM. Since they have exclusivity agreements with almost all the venues (At least in the US), no one can come in and compete, so TM is free to charge whatever fees they want. It’s the epitome of an abuse of monopoly power, but I guess since you can always go to the box office itself, government regulators don’t consider TM to be a monopoly.

  20. I suppose it is useless to fight against people who complain about lending practices. People have been complained from the beginning of history about lending issues.
    As far as ticketmaster abusing their monopoly I will have to disagree. I have found no evidence online that indicates they are using their monopoly to squeeze out other services, like microsoft for example. The only problem seems to be that they may so much money for everyone involved that no one else can beat them except by charging even more money. TM would charge less money if fewer people bought tickets that is just simple economics. That they consistently manage to sell a lot of tickets just goes to show that their pricing is appropriate for the market. So the essential complaint against ticketmaster works out to be, “but I don’t want to pay so much.”
    Yet they still pay.

  21. I had a great time. Thanks for doing the show. just wish I could have gotten my w00tstock poster signed by you all. Had to leave and go back to my responsibilities!

  22. I saw you in the Leverage and Guild panels. Awesome:)
    For the record, I had no interest in any TNG episodes unless you were in them. Seriously, I would turn off the tv and if you were only featured for a minute or two, I felt like watching was pointless. I had such a crush… I’m 32 now and I don’t remember how old I was then but I definitely had no idea what a usenet group was, no email/usenet/internet until college for me (1995/6-2000).
    I also got your autograph after the guild panel, that seemed like something I would prefer over the Community panel:) You are were all so gracious and friendly, and Felicia was very sweet chatting with the little girls and taking pictures:)
    I can’t wait to see you in Eureka, didn’t make that panel… just can’t get to everything you want to see at Comicon;)
    Lastly, I read your book ‘Just a Geek.’ Last book that made me laugh that much was ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’ Very enjoyable read. Keep doing what you’re doing. Love it:)

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