Category Archives: Books

this is awesome

Anne and I sat on the floor in our living room, while Two Zombies Later played on the stereo (which I’d rechristened as a Hi-Fi for this special occasion.)

A half-empty box of The Happiest Days of Our Lives was on one side of us, a shipping container on the other, a stack of envelopes between us.

"This reminds me of when we did Dancing Barefoot," I said, as I struggled to put a book into an envelope.

"Me too" She said.

The book caught on the corner of the envelope, and tore it. For the third time. I crumpled it and threw it down into a growing pile of failed attempts.

"Except I don’t recall it being this tough to get the books into the envelopes." I said, "or maybe I just have stupid fingers today."

Ferris walked into the room, flopped down onto the rug next to Anne, and rolled onto her back.

"Someone is very happy to be with us in the living room," Anne said. Ferris wagged her tail in agreement: Thump. Thump. Thump.

"Ahem." I said. "I believe you mean ‘the shipping department.’"

She smiled.

"I like doing this with you again," she said.

I successfully worked the book into an envelope.

"Fourth time is the charm, I guess," I said.

"Go you." Anne said.

I turned the envelope over, and stuck a shipping label on the front side.

"This one’s going to Portland," I said. "That’s cool. I like Portland."

I put it with about several of its brothers into a shipping box, on loan from the United States Postal Service. I know that it’s on loan, because every flat surface on the box reminds me of this fact, and warns me against attempting anything ‘unauthorized’ with it. I will admit to spending a considerable amount of time pondering what sort of ‘unauthorized’ mayhem this box and I could have together. I wonder what kind of go-kart or fort it could make?

"You know what I love?" I said.


"Yes. You know what else I love?"


Thump. Thump. Thump.

"Yes. You know what else I love?"

We shared an impish look. Before she could answer, I said, "I love it that each of these books represents a person out there in the world who wants to read something I’ve written. Sending one box to a bookstore is one thing, but sending these directly to readers feel so much more . . ."


"I was going to say ‘real,’" I said, "but, yeah, ‘Awesome’ works, too."

I looked around me. My beautiful wife, my awesome dog, a box of books — my books, that I created — waiting to find their way into the hands and homes of people who want to read them.

"Yeah. This is awesome."

reminder: barnes and noble at the grove tonight

For all five of you who are in Los Angeles: I’ll be signing the Star Trek Manga at Barnes and Noble at The Grove tonight at 7:30. I talked to Erin at the SG Newswire about it yesterday.

This is one of the few stops where I won’t have The Happiest Days of Our Lives, because Barnes and Noble doesn’t have it in their system, and can’t sell it, but that’s the price of being an indie publisher who doesn’t play by The Man’s rules, I guess. \m/

Speaking of The Happiest Days of Our Lives, I took the first batch of orders to the post office yesterday, and I’m processing another big batch of orders this afternoon for delivery tomorrow. I can’t believe this is really happening!

one of the the happiest days of my life

Today is one of the happiest days of my life, because The Happiest Days of Our Lives officially goes on sale, starting . . . now. (Well, actually, starting about 96 hours ago, but you only knew that if you follow me on Twitter. Soft launch FTW!)

I love everything about this book. I loved writing the stories in
it. I loved working with Andrew to put them together into something that is more than just a collection of blog entries. I loved working with Sean to design and create the cover. I loved working with Russ to shake the cobwebs off of Monolith Press and restore power to this fully-operational battle station. I love the excitement I feel
right now, as I get ready to share it with anyone who wants to read it. I love the way it reminds me so much of how I felt when Dancing Barefoot was first published.

But what I love the most is
taking back control of my work and releasing it, marketing it, and
publishing it myself. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
is going to live or die based entirely on my efforts to promote it (first note to everyone: It’s not
a Star Trek book), which can be a little overwhelming if I think about
it too much, so instead of thinking about that, I’ve been thinking
about the path I’ve walked to get here, starting six and a half years ago, when I created Where’s My Burrito? at Geocities. As I wrote in Just A Geek,

My life as a husband and stepfather was very rewarding, but a desire to regain the success I’d enjoyed as a child and teenager pulled at me constantly. It kept me awake at night, and was a constant distraction. Like the Not Me ghost from Family Circus, Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn’t A Mistake slept between my wife and me in our bed, and ate with us at every meal. When I could have been playing with my stepkids, Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn’t A Mistake and I would sit and stare vacantly at the TV, wondering what could have been.

The weekend after the Hooters Incident (as it came to be known), my wife was out of town and Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn’t A Mistake and I found ourselves in front of my computer. I surfed the Internet, played Diablo II, created WinAmp playlists . . . I did everything I could to get that Hooters waitress out of my mind.

Yes, that’s how badly it hurt me: I was actively trying to get a Hooters waitress out of my mind. While my wife was out of town.

Somewhere in that day, while I was battling the forces of polygonal evil on Battle.Net, Prove To Everyone tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "Dude. You should make a website, and let the world know that you are still alive, and still acting."

I paused the game and looked back at him. I had wanted a presence on the Web for a long time, but I didn’t have the skills to build a website. I’d been given the names of several designers, but wanted to do the whole thing myself, for better or for worse.

"Oh my god. That’s a fantastic idea! Maybe we’ll even get noticed by Hollywood again!"

"Just make sure you make the website edgy." He said.

"If you were real, I’d cock-punch you for that." I said.

I quit the game, and went to Yahoo! Geocities where I created an account called “tvswilwheaton.” (Get it? "TV’s Wil Wheaton!" Because I’m still on TV, except I’m not.) Because I had absolutely no idea how to write HTML, and I knew nothing about tables, CSS, RSS feeds, or the W3C, I spent the next few hours clumsily learning my way around the Yahoo! Pagebuilder. I used their WYSIWYG editor to Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn’t A Mistake — ahem — “design” my very first webpage. The result was incredibly lame, but it was mine. I named it “Where’s My Burrito?” after one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons.

When it was done, Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn’t A Mistake and I shared a high-five. I was proud of what I’d created and I posted a link to it in a small Wil Wheaton online fan club and wondered if anyone would care.

Boy, did they care! I had over 700 visitors in a couple weeks, without being listed in a single search engine. The response excited me, and I started updating the site quite frequently, by hand-coding “news updates” into the main page.

I soon traded those news updates for this thing called a blog. I liked writing the blog so much, I eventually started my own website where I could update the blog more regularly. Just like Where’s My Burrito? it was lame, but it was mine. On the advice of my friend Loren, I moved the blog to the front page, and eventually made it the centerpiece of the entire site. Neither of us knew it at the time, but with that advice, Loren dropped a pebble into a pond, and the ripples it created have been incredible.

As I write this post today, on a day very much like the one I started writing the manuscript for Just A Geek, which lead to Dancing Barefoot, which lead to writing for the AV Club, which lead to writing for TV Squad, which lead to writing the Star Trek Manga, which lead to . . . well, everything else that I love about my work now, the whole thing feels kind of surreal. When I started that silly little page at Geocities six years ago, I had no idea that it would lead me down the path I walk today. If you’d asked me back then what I thought I’d be doing in six years, my answer would have included something about acting, even though I was having serious doubts in the dark of night about my ability to support my family while trying to be a full-time actor.

I never expected that I’d become a full-time writer, but today, I can’t imagine doing anything different with my life. In fact, as long as I get to keep doing voice acting, I don’t really care if I’m ever on camera again. Telling stories about the things that unite us and celebrating all things geek seems to be my purpose in life. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile that matters to people, if your comments and e-mails are any indication, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. They say that making a living doing what you love is how you know you’re living the dream. If that’s true, I don’t ever want to wake up.

a bite at the golden apple

The manga signing at Golden Apple last night was awesome. We drew a very large crowd by comic book in-store signing standards, and it was more like an informal party than anything else.

I’m telling you, if you’re local and into comics or Star Trek, you should come out to one of these things, because we have a lot of fun getting our geek on.

At last night’s event, the SoCal contingent of Enforcers from PAX was in full effect, so we posed for a picture to protect our rep against the Seattle Enforcers, who I understand are always taunting the SoCal Enforcers with tales of awesome. Well, who’s awesome now, beeches?!

I also got to meet filmmaker John Singleton, who was on his way to a dinner, but stopped to get his comics on the way.

"Wow, I am a huge admirer of your work," I said when we were introduced.

"I’m an admirer of yours, as well," he said, and I could tell that he meant it. A lifetime in the entertainment industry has given me a nearly flawless bullshit detector, and I was totally floored by his sincerity.

I stayed at the shop until they closed down, and picked up Batman #668, which will wrap up Grant Morrison’s outstanding run on the series. I also grabbed a 100 Bullets trade, a 1602 hardcover, and a book for Nolan called The Big Book of Hoaxes, which I think he’ll like. I now have so many unread comics, trade paperback, and graphic novels, I will have to take a full day to do nothing but read them. It’s a sacrifice, I know, but I’m willing to make it. Stiff upper lip and all that.

I met a bunch of people from TokyoPop, including the publisher. In the film and television world, this would be the equivalent of meeting a network or studio head, and those guys are always douchebags, but Mike from TokyoPop was a cool guy. In fact, everyone from TokyoPop was cool, and I felt like I was talking to people who are in this because they’re passionate about the work and excited about the future of Manga in America.

And speaking of the Manga, there’s another review out today, from

The first volume really had a fan fiction feel to it, and frankly, the
art work left a lot to be desired in many cases.  In this volume, the
stories have more punch, and the design is better.  Perhaps some of the
talent behind the stories is to account for this.  One of the writers
is Wil Wheaton- yes, that Wil Wheaton of TNG fame.  He shows he has the
right stuff as a writer for the franchise with his work “Cura Te Ipsum”
which headlines the book.  Damaged engines, Scotty getting new crystals
from the middle of a war zone, and McCoy wrestling with his conscience
and the Prime Directive whilst seeing a civilization tear itself apart
are prominent elements in the classic tale that could easily have been
an episode in the original series.  You can see the author has caught
the essence of what the classic shows were all about and has cleverly
distilled it in a compact manga format.

Dude! I’m 2 for 2! Awesome.

Our next stop is at the West Hollywood Bookfair this Sunday, where we’ll have a Q&A, then we’re down in Manhattan Beach next week at Comic Bug for the final comic shop stop on the tour.

They’re here!

They're here!

My printer shipped a limited number of The Happiest Days of Our Lives to me earlier this year, so I could take them with me to the various conventions I appeared at over the Summer.

The remainder of the first printing arrived about twenty minutes ago, and it’s quite fitting that I feel the way I did in this picture:

reminder: golden apple this wednesday for the manga, which gets a good review

Note: There’s a time change for Golden Apple. It’s updated below.

Hi, I’m Wil, and I like blog post titles that are obnoxiously long. Thanks for stopping by, San Diego.

Star Trek: The Manga – Kakan ni Shinkou has been released, and is showing up in comic shops and book stores all over the place. I had a bit of a squee moment this weekend when Nolan and I found it in a Borders, marking the first time in my life as a writer that one of my books was stocked in the correct section.

My story kicks off the collection, and is described by Comic Book Bin thusly:

In Cura Te Ipsum, the U.S.S. Enterprise
is crippled, far away from the nearest Federation Starbase, and badly
in need of dilithium crystals.  They find dilithium on a planet in the
middle of a brutal civil war/blood feud. Captain James T. Kirk
sees an opportunity to guide the planet’s warring factions towards
peace, but will he be violating the Federation’s Prime Directive not to
interfere in the affairs of non-Federation planets?

Comic Book Bin gives us an A-, and says:

Star Trek: the
manga – Kakan ni Shinkou rings true enough to be more than fan fiction,
and for all practical purposes contains some of the best Star Trek
comics ever done.  Veteran Trek creator Diane Duane, Trek actor Wil
Wheaton, rising star of manga Bettina Kurkoski deliver star
performances with their contributions to this volume.

Dude! Awesome!

I’ll be at Golden Apple Comics this Wednesday with many of the other writers and artists for a Q&A and signing as we continue our SoCal tour:

Wednesday, September 26
Golden Apple

7711 Melrose Ave., Hollywood

Happiest News

The softcovers of The Happiest Days of Our Lives have just shipped, according to my printer, so I should be able to start taking orders next week. The limited edition hardcovers are taking much longer, and won’t be here until the week of October 8, but I think it’s close enough that I can start taking pre-orders for both versions next week.

I’m talking with David Lawrence about doing an audio version. We’re hoping to record the first week of October, so it’s ready to go at the same time as the printed versions.

Since I’m doing this book entirely on my own, I’m going to be drawing heavily on community support to help promote it, starting right now: if you got The Happiest Days of Our Lives this summer from one of my convention appearances, would you let me know what you thought, so I can make sure my marketing efforts reflect what readers are getting from the book?

From the people I’ve talked to already, I’m starting to get the sense that it inspires nostalgic memories of their own, which leads to discussing a lot of the shared experiences we who grew up in the 70s and came of age in the 80s share: Star Wars figures, video games, RPGS, things like that. I also hear that even if you’ve read these stories online, it’s an entirely different experience to read them in print.

Andrew and I are working on a media kit like the one we did for Dancing Barefoot, and Roughy and I are busy building all the appropriate ordering and product pages at Monolith Press.

Questions? Comments? You know what to do.

the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have

Today is Towel Day, a day when all geeks can carry their towels with them in tribute to the hoopiest frood of them all, Douglas Adams.

I absolutely love that I’m recording an all-geek podcast on this most sacred of days.

Updated: Oh! You know what I love even more? Spending 2.5 hours working on the podcast, then losing the entire thing to some weird confluence of system lockups and crashes.

I’m taking a long, long, long don’t-break-anything walk, and I’ll try again in the morning. Sigh.

dropped to the sun alone

Anne and Ryan were out on Friday, which left Nolan and me to goof off at home when I got back from working on Legion of Super Heroes.

We had big plans: some Magic: The Gathering, a little Brawl, and maybe some OGRE and heads-up poker.

But when I got home, the goddamn pine tree in the front yard dropped a huge ball of pollen down on my car, and I spent the next four hours on the couch sneezing and trying to fight off the allergy-induced headache that felt like it was going to split my head in twain. Good times. Good times.

Nolan ended up playing Diablo II while I watched the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles pwn the Los Angeles Angels of Not Los Angeles Because We Play In Orange County But Our Idiot Owner Wants To Have Los Angeles In Our Name Because He’s A Moron.

For those of you who missed the sixth inning massacre, the final board was:

LAD – 16 25 1

Of course, the Dodgers did their best to blow their fifteen run lead, by letting Carter come in and give up three hits and a run, and though I normally don’t like games that are total blowouts, watching the Dodgers on the winning side of it for a change, and especially at the expense of the stupid Angels who swept us last year, was awesome. I should also add that the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles shutout the Los Angeles Because We Play In Orange County But Our Idiot Owner Wants To Have Los Angeles In Our Name Because He’s A Moron to complete the sweep, and move up to 1/2 a game out of first in what is probably the weakest division this side of 7 year-olds playing little league.

Speaking of the Dodgers, yesterday, my dad took me to Chavez Ravine for some LAD vs LAANLABWPOCBOIOWHLAIOWBHAM action, and it was awesome. There are pictures in my buzznet blog, including a shot of Tommy Lasorda, who is the closest to royalty you’ll see at Dodger Stadium, who got a standing ovation from our entire section when he walked from his seat to wherever it is you go when you’re Tommy Fucking Lasorda and you rule.

Anyway, back to Friday: After the only team on the field worthy of having Los Angeles in their name blew the game wide open, I picked up my bag of comics from Free Comic Book Day, and finally had a look at the books I picked up. Most of them were a solid "meh," but that’s the whole point of FCBD: to see new stuff that may not excite everyone, but introduce new readers to new material. If you’re a guy like me who is already pretty narrow in tastes, it’s unlikely you’re going to find much that excites you. However, there were a few things that I really liked that I’ll pick up next time I’m at my friendly local comics shop:

The Bongo freebie was also funny (and funnier than the average episode of the Simpsons these days, which is not meant as a backhanded complement) and the Fantagraphics Funnybook was fantastic.

Around ten, my antihistamines finally started to work, and my headache began to subside as it was overtaken by drowsiness. I fell asleep watching Dark City, which is still a hell of a lot of fun to watch, whether you’ve got a head filled with antihistamines or not.

Today, Anne and I opened up a new front in the War on Shit All Over Our House and Yard (Operation Enduring Yardwork) and pruned the hell out of a tree in the front yard, as well as tearing out all the weeds that had attempted to establish a beachhead in one of our front yard planters. Rain threatened all day today, but never arrived, which was great, because the combination of breeze and humidity provided just the right level of comfort for fighting the forces of Bermuda grass and their allies the tree-looking things that spring up all over the goddamn place. In a fit of planning ahead, I did my best Sean Penn imitation and snorted a whole bunch of Flonase (relax, I have a prescription) before I started the work today, and I was able to work for about five hours before simple exhaustion overcame me (rather than the sneezing and allergy-related misery I experienced Friday night.)

After all my yard work was done, I decided to take a break and play a little poker at PokerStars, so I hopped into a 4-player heads-up sit-n-go (I was inspired after watching the Heads-up Championship on NBC this morning.) I really like those matches, because most of the players at the lower buy-ins are very straightforward (so you know your pair of kings is no good when they bet into you on an A-high board) and you only have to beat two players to win three buy-ins, instead of 8 players in a regular sit-n-go. At one point, my first round opponent had me down to just a few big blinds, but I got insanely lucky and bounced back, tilting him in the process and taking it down. My second round opponent had the classic online tell: he’d check the "check/fold" box when he was in the BB if he didn’t like his hand, so I’d call and if he insta-checked, I knew I could bet no matter what on the flop and get him to fold. I rode the right combination of luck and trusting my reads to victory, turning my mighty five dollar buy-in into twenty dollars when I flopped TP and a flush draw with AT and got him to call me with KT when my flush missed.

Okay, now it’s time to go watch The Simpsons, in the lame hope that it manges to be funny this week.

Uh, okay, the whole opening bit with the attacking couches? Brilliant. Even if the rest of the show veers off into that weird Jesusland they’ve been hitting so frequently this season, that was worth the price of admission.

Wait. The baseball bit? Very funny. This "homer is the relationship counselor" bit? The polar opposite of funny. Are they hiring old 1970s sit-com writers? This is like a rejected Three’s Company script. Give me another monorail, please. Please, I beg you.