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. I really wanted to see your storytime, but it was sold out. Thank goodness for youtube. I did see the Eureka panel, which I enjoyed even though my viewing of the show is sporadic at best (I don’t watch a lot of tv anymore). And Saturday was the only day I could go so I missed the TNG panel (youtube to the rescue again maybe?). Thank you very much for the autograph. I have to admit that I was too (overwhelmed? flustered? geeked out?) to remember the answer to my question: What comic or comic series besides your own would you like to be part of adapting to film? I was thinking on-screen and something “mainstream” like Spiderman (you said you would do a cameo in a heartbeat!), but you showed how narrowly focused I am because you asked if I meant producing. So when you mentioned a series or author I brainfarted, so I’m hoping you could repeat it so I could look it up. Thanks again and I look forward to next year!

  2. I think the correct spelling of “guyses” is “guys’s” in the context of what they were asking. Yeah I know – horrible grammar. It’s not just an Arizona thing though, I’m from PA and they said it there too… I remember when I was little I used to say “youz guys” too. I don’t say either anymore. (At least I hope not)

  3. I have wanted to go to a Trek Convention in… oh… forever. I used to live in PA and didn’t have the money to go. I moved to Phoenix almost a decade ago and thought I’d be out to Vegas to one but of course life got in the way. Last year I found out about Comicons and that there was one in Phoenix. Missed that one but vowed at least to go to this one to see the TNG panel this year. I was crushed to find out I had to work the entire Memorial Day weekend! However, I slipped out of work for about an hour on an extended lunch to see you and the rest of the TNG cast. Thanks so much! My day (and weekend) of work went by so much better. I got the feeling Marina didn’t want to be there though – she seemed a little cranky. Or was I imagining it?

  4. Wil, it was awesome to see you again! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the storytime session. I had read all of what you presented but hearing it from you made it way better. My husband had not read them and I got to watch in anticipation to his reaction to There is a Monster in my Closet. So precious.
    I’d like to ask a favor…could I get a picture of you in the TARDIS mitts I made you since I did not get a chance to get a picture of you in them?

  5. I always end up missing all the cons for various reasons, even PAX, and that one is only a few hours away by train or car. *sigh*… Long live the d12! It just has such a pleasing shape. The perfect balance between pointy and roundy. 😛

  6. It really is too bad! I heard it was great. The others were entertaining as well. Hopefully next time I don’t have to choose between Hockey and Geekdom when it comes to bigger loyalties. And good luck against the Devils!

  7. Thanks for attending the Con! I’m glad to hear you had a good time here in Phoenix. I didn’t get to as many panels as I had hoped, but the TNG anniversary panel on Sunday was the best. Frankly, I don’t think it would have been nearly as enjoyable if you weren’t there. Brent Spiner was good, but you stole the show. I’m happy to hear you might make it back in 2013.
    Knowing you are an IPA and craft beer fan, you really must visit Papago Brewing the next time you’re in town. It’s pretty close to the ASU campus in Tempe. They have 30 craft micros on tap (plus cask) and another gazillion by the bottle, including a few from O’Dell. By the way, try the Lagunitas line next if you haven’t already. Papago always has a few of their own, but unlike lots of small breweries, the vast majority are not theirs. No, I don’t work there. I just love the place, and would gladly buy you a beer (or 10) the next time you swing through.
    Looking forward to hearing about your new project. Everything you have been doing with The Guild, Geek & Sundry, and on Big Bang Theory is great. Now, I’m headed to my favorite indie bookstore Changing Hands to buy one of your books. Which should I get first?
    Good luck to your Kings. I can’t stand the Devils. Let’s Go Pens (next year)!

  8. I’m really glad Phoenix makes you feel welcome and even gladder to hear you want to return, again. It is always great to see you and hear your perspective on oh so many things.
    I loved when you said that your heros were teachers [being a teacher] and how the different teachers had made your who you are. I double loved to hear of you were proudest of raising your two step sons and how Ryan asked you to adopt you [and how the rest of the panel were kinda “can’t top that” in a sort of admiring way.
    While it was fun to see so much of the TNG cast together and witness how you all interacted I was delighted to see how you and Brent Spiner [imho] were the heros of many of the fans that were there. Not that the others were unpopular by any means.
    I hope to see you at w00tstock in July!

  9. Nice! One of these days we will have to get our asses back out there and hopefully check it out. As a home-brewer Stone has made quite a few brews I had tried to emulate…the IPA’s especially. Im not sure if you have check out their Vertical beers (annual). There quite awesome (except for the chile one this past year…yuk).

  10. Meh… nevermind. I just watched the full panel on YouTube and Marina wasn’t cranky. I think I was the one that was cranky because I had to go back to work. But you guys’s were the best part of my weekend nevertheless.

  11. Wil,
    Thanks for taking the time to come out to our little Con again this year. After growing up in San Diego and seeing what happened out there, it’s nice to have a more friendly Con for the fans.
    Thanks also for signing my Evil Wil Wheaton “The Code” shirt, it’s going up in the game room while the normal “Code” shirt is now in normal rotation for wearing to work (thank goodness for casual offices!).
    Hope to catch your panel next year!

  12. Hello Wil,
    This was my third year coming to Phoenix Comicon. I first came in 2010 mostly due to wanting to meet James Marsters(Spike from Buffy) and I’m so glad for that not only because I got to meet James, but now I have such a wonderful time going to the convention due to that reason and becoming a Wil Wheaton fan. I also have to say that you are probably one of the nicest and genuine celebrities that I have ever met. I enjoyed your work in Star Trek the Next Generation and other projects that I have seen you in. But you really made a fan of me on how you react to your fans. The way that you seem to care about your fans and your family is truly something else. Yes, a lot of people I met from these conventions have been nice but you seem to really be a down to earth kind of guy. That is so refreshing to see and I can’t help to be a fan of yours.
    I missed your story time this year and I’m disappointed about that but maybe next time. I only really follow a couple of celebrities and what they are currently doing and now I think that very short list will now include you.
    I really do hope you will come back to Phoenix Comicon next year since it really won’t be the same without you. And that really is the truth.
    Although, don’t get me started on the whole LA Kings thing which I know it was all done with fun. LOL But still, as a Phoenix sports fan, I really do dislike LA teams a whole lot. Except, probably LA Clippers. I can’t hate on them too much. LOL Anyways, here is hoping you have a good rest of the year and that Phoenix will see you again in 2013.

  13. Just wanted to mention that I really enjoyed the Munchkin episode of Tabletop. It had good examples of most situations and complications that can come up during a game. Well done.
    My favourite moment however was Sandeep not getting your Nananana-19 reference and you saying “You’re too young.” as I do things like that, too (I’m 42).

  14. I really enjoyed seeing you in Phoenix, your panels were a lot of fun! I will admit that I also felt a bit…put off by the whole ‘guyses’ thing. I just wanted to put this out there so I’ll have an idea of what to do next time.
    The gaming room was upstairs in the Hyatt and, on two consecutive nights, I walked into the lobby on my way upstairs and stopped dead with you right in front of me. It was Friday and Saturday evenings and on both occasions it looked as though you were grouping up with friends to go eat/hang out/shop/whatever. I stood there, trying to decide if I wanted to be that guy. The one that walks up and apologizes for barging into your personal time…but still does it anyway.
    Both times I came to the conclusion that it’d be best to catch you during a signing…which I was forced to miss due to a Dad-related business taking precedence.
    So, next time should I just walk up and be like: “Hey man, you were tha bomb in Toy Soldiers, would you sign my playmat?”

  15. Hey there, I just wanted to say thank you for coming out to Origins in Columbus, it’s so rare we get awesome people like you and Felicia Day out in our neck of the woods (we need to get the Nerdist crew out here somehow!!). It was fun getting a photo with you, and it was really awesome having you sign my Memories of the Future mug. I wasn’t sure how you’d react when I walked up with it, and seeing how excited you were about it really made my day :) I’m really excited for volume 2 and the next set of podcasts!
    I didn’t really get a chance to say this at the time, but I wanted to thank you for all the great work you’ve done for the geeks/nerds of the world, and for inspiring people to get excited and make new things. I was a big fan of TNG when I was young and always like Wesley’s character, but it wasn’t until I heard you on the Nerdist podcast and looked up what you were doing these days that I realized just how much you’ve been up to! It’s really admirable what you’ve accomplished in your career, and I’ve loved learning about your journey to where you are now, I think it’s something every artist (of which I’m one) can learn from. The path to success in the arts is never a straight line, but it’s always full of unexpected and exciting things! I wish you the best of luck in all your current and future projects, and hopefully I can see you at a convention again someday! :)

  16. You are always welcomed & appreciated here in AZ. I LOVED seeing you at PHX CC and I finally had the nerve to talk to you and get a picture signed. Squeee! And thank you for saying teachers are heroes-I’m a teacher and it meant a lot to me.

Comments are closed.