Memories of the Phoenix Comicon 2012

In about 22 hours, I leave for Origins Game Fair in Ohio. I've wanted to go to this convention since I was in high school, and I'm really excited to finally be attending.

Felicia and I are doing a bunch of TableTop stuff, and the organizers have even set aside time in our busy schedules for some gaming. If you're coming to the con, I'd love to accept any gaming dice you wish to add to my growing collection.

And now, a brief recap of the Phoenix Comicon:

I was hoping to be there Thursday through Sunday, but I got an awesome job that worked on Thursday and Friday, so I didn't get into town until Friday evening, with my wife and my son in tow.

We settled into our hotel, met up with our friends for dinner, and headed over to do the late show with Hardwick and the Nerdist crew. The podcast was entertaining, the audience was engaged, and we all stayed up WAY TOO LATE.

They gave me this IPA in the green room from O'Dell. It was cleverly named "Odell IPA." It was wonderful, and reminded me of Racer 5, with a touch of Ruination.

But the thing is, I couldn't say the name of it without cracking up and then quoting the infamous accident on the Knife Show from a few years ago. This joke carried us through the weekend, because Anne and I had a lot of O'Dell IPA while we were in town.

I went to sleep, woke up sooner than I wanted to, and made my way to the convention center. It was a merciful 80 degrees this year, instead of 184 like it was last year, which I bet made the cosplayers happy.

I signed lots of pictures and books, posed for some photos with my friends from Eureka, and then we did the Eureka panel.

Fun fact: Colin Ferguson and I are looney hockey fans. He likes the Habs, while I am Kings Fan Super Number One Top Fan Guy. But since we're both living in Los Angeles, and our team in the Stanley Cup Final, Colin suggested that we both wear Kings jerseys to the panel.

So I provided two jerseys from the early 90s:

image from

It was so awesome to troll 4000 people. Colin walked out to raucous applause, which almost immediately turned to boo-urns when they saw what he was wearing. When I came out onstage, it was even better, because I walked to the front and really played it up. I think it was mostly taken in the spirit it was intended, which made us both feel like we'd trolled successfully.

The panel was great, and it was so wonderful to hear from so many people that Eureka was and is important to them. I'm so proud of the show, and it still stings that I only got to work on it a little bit before the network formerly known as Sci-Fi sent it off to the Land of Wind and Ghosts.

After a much-needed break for a little bit of food, I went back to signing things and meeting people. The line was ridiculous, and I did my best to get through it without making anyone feel rushed. I was not prepared for how many people wanted to meet me, and I was a little overwhelmed a lot of the time. 

Storytime With Wil went better than expected. I performed a bunch of fiction, and told a couple of stories about me and Anne. I was especially happy that the audience seemed to enjoy The Monster In My Closet, and the thing I wrote about A Place Where Men Run Wild.

After storytime, we had a-fucking-mazing pizza at a place called BRICK (the wait for Pizzeria Bianco was until July), then met up with my friend April and her friends for the biggest and dirtiest game of Cards Against Humanity that I've ever played. I fell asleep at 11pm, and when I woke up at 8 on Sunday, it still wasn't enough sleep.

What the hell is that about, anyway? I thought you needed less sleep as you got older, not more. This is bullshit.

Sunday was very low key. I got there early and did a bit of shopping, including something AMAZING from Monkey Minion Press that will be revealed at the exact moment it is to be revealed, and not a second sooner. I also got a d12 Fez from Fez-o-rama, because I love the d12 and I hate that it's always in the d20's shadow. (Fun fact: that's why it's a d12 in the Tabletop logo.)

The show opened, and I did some photos with most of the Star Trek: TNG cast, before we did a huge TNG panel. There were easily 6000 people in the room of all ages, and several generations. I can't believe that, twenty-five years later, we can still get 6000 people into one room to celebrate what they love about the show. That's just awesome.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but those are the things that are clearest in my memory. I had a wonderful (if totally overwhelmed) time at the show, and I hope everyone who came out had a great a memorable experience. I'm already talking to the con about coming back next year. 

72 thoughts on “Memories of the Phoenix Comicon 2012”

  1. It was lovely to see you at PHX Con. Thank you for signing my Collector edition Mad Magazine. Story-time was good fun. My wife asked about how I felt about paying an extra fee to see you. I said, “It’s just like DLC for the con set!”. The TNG panel was AMAZEBALLS! I was pleased with my second row seat in the disabled section. My wife does lots of work stuff at SDCC. She is in charge of the teen collection at her library. So we will see you there! Andy Benjamin :}

  2. was great seeing you again. i do agree with the no sleep, i just now today have finally gotten enough sleep from this con, some reason kicked my butt this year.anyhoo hope you come back next year and i will hopfully remeber my dice this time.thanks for the gaming tips btw

  3. It was really great to meet you and thank you for being generous in regards to my Jesus-in-a-taco-chip story. (If you have no idea what that means, my point is, thanks for being awesome.) You handle overwhelmed like a pro.

  4. I was there for I think the first few of your appearances for the Phoenix Comicon way back in the day and year after year your popularity has multiplied with Con-Goers. It’s almost a tradition now to stop by and say hi to Wil Wheaton. I’m glad you’re experiencing this level of admiration because you deserve every bit of it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. It still stings for me as well. Eureka is a fantastic show. And your portrayal as the ever snobby and grouchy Dr. Parrish has been amusing. The good shows never last anymore.

  6. I really didn't like it that my castmates were making fun of that kid, who was obviously nervous, for saying "guyses." I thought it was really uncool and a little mean.

  7. Well said Dedtarget! I too have been a PHXCC regular for many years and always look forward to seeing you there, Wil. It wouldn’t be the same without you ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Your storytime event was awesome. It was great to see you again, and I’m glad Diana and Anne got to meet. (I was impressed to see that as soon as Anne saw me, she realized why Diana was introducing herself. Very exciting!) Looking forward to next year!
    Our offer to buy you beer if you ever make it into town has no expiration date, by the way. :)

  9. You mentioned Runination so I have to comment. Stone Brewery makes some of the best brews out there. Racer 5 is another favorite as well.
    Have you had a chance to go to the Stone restaurant? We ended up moving from L.A. right as they were getting it built so since were 1000 miles away we haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

  10. If you wear a Red Wings jersey to Ohio I might disown you.
    Kidding. But only slightly. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I won’t be at Orgins since we have only 1 car to tackle about 2 weeks of events in 4 days. Don’t these people know I NEED to game!?!
    So in my stead is Jamie Chambers, honorary Cbus person, GAMA awesome guy, friend of Felicia and oh yea he wrote the Firefly RPG. I’ve instructed him on pain of maiming his dice of all the places that makes Ohio awesome if you feel inclined to venture out (and I would- the food court closes early and is terrible and the big bar on 2 is HUGELY overpriced).
    If anyone says they are making a run over to the North Market- have them get you some food. It’s an open air market with some of the best food in the area- Recomend the Greek place (Honey Mustard Chicken- comes with salad and pita) or the Vietnamese place (#6 Grilled chicken and veggies over noodles and rice plus a summer roll*clear wrap wonton with clear noodles, shrimp and veggies with peanut sauce) and Jeni’s is there too(Burbon Pecan, spicy chocolate, brown butter almond brittle, reisling pear sorbet).
    For anyone going to ORIGINS- Places that are awesome include:
    Jeni’s Icecream – Local produce, locally made, fully awesome
    Dirty Frank’s HotDog Palace- Ever wondered what kimchee or siracha slaw would taste on a hotdog? They have it. Plus a dog with bacon, beef brisket, onion rings and cheese: DOGINATOR
    Barrel 44- Good Hooch (buy Jamie hooch)food is outstanding as well
    Barley’s (Downtown and just 3 miles away): Firkin Friday- hand pumped, hand crafted beer- seriously one of the most awesome things in life. I can’t stress this enough if you are any kind of a beer person. Route 33 location (the farther one) has the best BBQ in town and a HUGE ass screen to watch HOCKEY on. IJS. Hint.
    Northstar Cafe- the best Veggie burger you will ever eat and a healthy breakfast after drinking.
    Enjoy my hometown, gamers! I wish I was gonna be there.
    Also don’t be a dick. Cheers!

  11. Dear Will Wheaton,
    please excuse the formality but this is my first time really writing to well, for lack of a less dramatic term, Hero. I must say to say it was certainly an honor to meet you and once again thanks from all us geeks in Arizona Mr.Wheaton. and thanks on Behalf of The Marshals DND adventurer group for showing no matter how bad you may be treated at school We are the heroes of our table. I
    in the hopes of many future enjoyable cons to come to you,
    Daniel R. Branscome
    Healer for The Marshals

  12. I just wanted to say thanks for making Phoenix Comicon awesome for us. We were at the photo ops at 4pm on Sunday and know that you were in a hurry. You still took the time to talk to my 4yo daughter, hold her hand when she grabbed yours, and thank both her and her 6yo brother for watching the “train game show”. It made the whole weekend for us and we can’t wait to get a copy of the photo.

  13. Walked out after I saw the Kings jersey. F that. And I’d fully expect you to do the same if the roles were reversed and the Coyotes had won. It’s the price of being a fan.

  14. You have to be a lot older than you are before that less-sleep thing starts to kick in. My dad is 80 and it’s just now starting. I am massively disappointed because I’d always hoped for it around, I dunno, 35 or so. But 35 is long long gone, and I haven’t lost my need for sleep. In fact, as you note, I seem to need more.

  15. Wil,
    Thanks for making the con even more awesome than it already was. I’m the guy who had the badge made for you. I saw you wearing it at both Storytime and the the TNG Panel, which was awesome. My girlfriend(now fiance after con) and I wore ours all weekend.
    Storytime was awesome. You have a really great performance style and it’s really entertaining. I really think they should get a bigger room for you though, although I don’t think there is one other than the ballroom.
    Also, Brick is awesome. My friends and I stumbled on it sunday night after the con and ended up getting a bunch of stuff including a Carnivore pizza which was amazing.
    Enough rambling!

  16. Thanks for coming to PhxCC this year Wil. This was my 2nd year at the Con and my 2nd year seeing you. Both SwWWs were very cool to hear and see and I look forward to seeing you again.
    I thought my favorite thing you talked about was at the TNG panel when you answered the question of what you were most proud of in your life. You answered with raising your two step-sons and having your 19 yr old son ask that you adopt him. So very cool. I did the same thing with my own step-father when I was in high school so I can appreciate the importance of that milestone in both your lives.
    Thanks again. Keep writing, I’ll keep reading.

  17. Two additional local restaurants are:
    Paul’s on Fifth Avenue – Cozy, quiet and has some of the best Italian dishes I have had the pleasure to eat. Anything Alfredo is where it’s at. (In my opinion of course!)
    Orange Leaf Frozen Yoghurt – A little pricey, but totally worth it! My favourite flavour is the Brownie Batter one! Taste exactly like chocolate brownies and Heaven.
    Both of those restaurants are located in downtown Grandview, which isn’t that far from The Convention Centre.
    If you like books and small, independent bookstores, The Book Loft is where it’s at! 32 rooms stuffed with books of any genre you can think of! Perhaps, even some you didn’t even know existed! This amazing local haunt is located in German Village, which is just outside downtown Columbus.
    And finally if you have time, also in German Village is Schiller Park, not far from the Book Loft. Every Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sun evening at 8pm, they put on a play. Currently the play is Robin Hood. It’s totally free, but donations are accepted!
    I hope you enjoy your stay here in our “big town”! I am so excited to see you this Friday!

  18. I really wish I could see Robin Hood, I hear it’s been really good!
    I’m stuck up at the Lake with twins and I don’t get down to Cbus as much as I’d like!

  19. Thanks Wil! My wife and kids and I went and said hi, got the Fawkes comic signed (BTW, I realize now I took an illegal picture, thanks for not giving us a hard time about that, my kid would have been scarred ^more^ forever).
    Later on that day, my wife mentioned Tabletop, I was all like ‘What’s that?’.. Then I checked it out, later we played Pandemic and the BSG game fueled by Tabletop Mojo. Then I was all like ‘Who is Freddie Wong?’.. Yeah, really… Then I checked THAT dudes Youtube Channel out. WHERE HAVE I BEEN THE LAST 3 YEARS?!
    Thanks for bringing this struggling SAP and nerd back up to nerd speed… Gotta Run, I have 3 years of FreddieW videos to watch. -Wes

  20. I was so glad to finally get to come and see you and the PCC in all its glory! I have never been before and it was great. I saw the Nerdist w you on Friday, Storytime Sat, and had a pic with you Sunday. So much fun! We also visited the gaming room on Sat night and it was nice to try out some of the games I had seen on Tabletop but not tried. Glad to hear you may come again next year. I was nice to get to hear you tell some of your stories instead of just reading them.

  21. Thanks for stopping by the Fez-o-rama booth! It is always a treat to get to see you and thank you for supporting the D12. That one was a limited edition of only 20 but I may have to do a Wilw Edition… what are your favorite colors?

  22. I’m so sorry I missed this con… I was even in Phoenix at the time, teaching a totally unrelated subject. Tied up with that, I had no way of making it. The cool thing was,around the same time you were playing Cards Against Humanity, so were we. I hastily printed out a copy and we (a bunch of cops from New Mexico) played an epic game.
    I’m sorry i did not get to meet you. You have always been one of my heros, as far back as I can remember. If you ever find yourself in Albuquerque and could use a cops help, let me know!

  23. Your quick visit to my girlfriend’s table to buy a button Sunday morning set the tone for the rest of the day for us. It was our most successful year ever. Thanks for stopping by, man. Also, I need a Batman wallet, now.

  24. Thanks for being there, Wil! We saw you from afar in the Game Room while playing No Thanks. You were chatting with a few folks, not getting mobbed, just chatting (probably post-game session). It was cool and reminds me of what Cons really are about. Thanks for being cool.

  25. Origins is becoming a family event and this year my kids are extra excited. We are all big Eureka fans and my husband and I Big Bang plus the shows from our youths so we hope to run into you and Felicia. Though my husband won’t let me give away any of his dice I guess he follows the theory that you can never have too many also.

  26. Definitely awesome, and the people are super nice as well. It was a tough decision (Doctor Who, Elder Gods…), but my D&D past as a Barbarian sealed the deal.

  27. Great to have you back in Phoenix again Wil! My wife and I loved your Storytime and the TNG panel. Thanks for defending that poor, nervous kid with your usual good humor – “Remember that panel where Marina made lots of friends?” “Lots and lots of friends…”. You rock. See you next year!

  28. Not commenting about the Con, but I want to share a nerdy mom story. I was an early Star Trek fan – of the original series and NG – as I grew out of my twenties my interests became a little scattered, but believe me I knew who Wesley Crusher was in my day! Zoom forward many years, now I have a 20 year old and a 15 year old boy. I read your blog and immensely enjoy The Guild and Tabletop. Tabletop so much so that I have recently purchased several board games that I never would have brought into the house previously (Tsuro, Ticket to Ride, Zombie Dice, Settler’s). My boys and their friends particularly enjoy Tsuro, which has been renamed “Durgen Crashers” by the fifteen year olds; it has also become much more war-like than I think it was intended.
    So family and friends have been enjoying many raucous weekends playing board games, and one of the “oh-so-cool” 15 year olds asked me where I had found out about all of these games. I rambled on about Tabletop explaining about Wil Wheaton and one of them said – “OOOOH, Whil Wheaton, from Big Bang!” (much emphasis on the WH – like in the word who). Suddenly, I was waaay cool for knowing all about this YouTube Channel and The Guild…and so on. After all, you know, boys and games and stuff!
    Reading about your joy in connecting with your son over beer brewing, I knew you would appreciate being the connection between a parent and child, also, how much fun you have introduced to our family!

  29. Wil having read your everything on the web for almost a year; I was hoping that the person that came to our comic-con would be the same. I am very glad to see that you didn’t disappoint. Although I missed you at story time (foolish me thought I would able to purchase a ticket when I got there) I still enjoyed listening you at the Eureka and TNG panels. I thought the best part was at the TNG panel when you were telling the story about how you got into the last TNG movie and how you felt you were too young to understand what you had been given while on the show and how much it meant to you now. I am honored to say that got to hear you speak and look forward to seeing you next year. I felt a little guilty dumping dice on you while doing the photo shoot but you said you wanted them. BTW I hope the ensign joke doesn’t get back to Patrick or he might make you pay up ๐Ÿ˜› crap wrote way too much…..[edit] just saw the long post above me now I don’t feel as bad

  30. As usual, it was great to see you, Wil. Storytime was awesomeness-in-an-hour; even without Scalzi, I think it should still be called the Awesome Hour.
    I tried to make it back to pick up the comics on Sunday, but fate and a million diversions intervened. Can I purchase signed copies anywhere (where the $ go to you, not some ebay reseller)?
    We look forward to seeing you next year. And yes, I will ask for an interview before that show, as well. One of these days! Muhahahaha!

  31. SQUEE that you showed up this year, UBERSQUEE that you’re planning for next year already!
    Four years ago, I could walk right up to your table, trade you shiny gold rocks for words that are hawesome, and have a chat. This year I was too chicken to even get in line. Result: did not get 3WM signed, did not offer you my never-will-be-played box of Civilization for Tabletop.
    Will be pre-ordering Plushie Wil as soon as possible. Adventures with Dark Lord Richard, ChooChooBear, McPedro, and Little Vampire will happen.

  32. I'm eventually going to do an event at House of Secrets in Burbank, and I know that you could order one from them.

  33. Have fun at origins! Even though it is in Ohio… Ha. (Michigan always “looks down” on Ohio.)
    I will be working or with Claire and will have no chance to make the 3 hour drive. Sadface.
    I’ll be waving to you the whole time though, so wave back!

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