Friday, July 16, 2010

Phoenix Comicon Day 2-May 29th, 2010

Day 2 did not start out as well as Day 1. I went bike riding with my dad, then took a shower and a nap. It took both Becky & I longer than we had planned to get on the road, and on the light rail we received the AZ Browncoats tweet that Geek Prom tickets were going to sell out!! We had an opportunity to buy them Friday, but didn't, becuase we didn't realize that there were only a limited amount. So we were sorely disappointed by the time we arrived at the Con and the tickets were gone. Grrr. Next year, Geek Prom, next year.

After that disappointment, we made our way to the Star Trek panel, with Wil Wheaton, Levar Burton, and Jonathon Frakes. It was the first time that those 3 had been on stage together at a Con! The three of them played off each other very well, and it was interesting to hear the comments about working on Star Trek. Again, Wil Wheaton was hilarious, and all 3 got some very interesting questions from the crowd.

After that we wandered around the vendor hall again, and then went to check into our hotel. Turns out, the Phoenix Hyatt was overbooked from the Comicon and Volleyball convention, so they comped a room for us at the Wyndham! That turned out to be awesome, since our sole reason for getting the room was to attend Geek Prom. Despite a flurry of Twitter and Facebook pleas, we never were able to obtain tickets. Instead we enjoyed our free room, had dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub so we could watch the Phoenix Suns lose to the Lakers (boo, hiss). I had never been to the Rose & Crown before, and it turned out to be a jewel. We got to eat in these large cushy living room-type chairs, and enjoyed meaty hamburgers and cold beers while watching the game. Later that we evening we ventured back to the convention hall for a bit of Star Trek jeopardy at the con. It was nice to just walk around town with Becky, free of kids and significant others and relax.

Phoenix Comicon Friday May 28th: Meeting Wil Wheaton

My best friend Becky & I are both uber-nerds, and have been dubbed the "nerd twins" by her loving husband. In order to expand our nerdiness, we attended our first ever Phoenix Comicon at the convention center in downtown Phoenix. I got off work at 2, and Becky took the light rail downtown to meet me at the convention. It was fun waiting for her and seeing all the people who had already been in the con, with costumes galore. I'm sure all the regular business people were wondering what the heck was going on.

Once Becky arrived, we made our way into the building, and wandered the vendor hall. We had missed the NASA panel, but there was still plenty to see before the Wil Wheaton Awesome Hour. One of the more interesting panels we attended was the Learning to Speak Na'vi presentation. Note the fan in full Avatar make-up. He said it took over 6 hours!! The presentors had arranged for a skype call with the professor who created the Na'vi language, and despite a few minor technical glitches, it was an educational experience.

Afterwards we attended the Wil Wheaton Awesome hour which was, in fact, AWESOME. I had never heard him speak in person before, and he did not disappoint. He was funny, intelligent, a great story teller, and extraordinarily down to earth. He spoke for quite a while, telling a few funny stories from his blog, and giving advice on parenting using video games. Then he took questions from the audience, and answered mine about being "Evil Wil Wheaton" on the Big Bang Theory. After the lecture we waited in line with our free Star Trek posters for autographs (which a very cool Wil Wheaton signed without charging a fee) and I bought a special limited edition of his new book, which was already signed, but he personalized for me. I haven't read the new book yet, but I will blog about that and Just A Geek, which I have read, separately, for they are deserving of their own entry.

Having procured our autographs and a photo with Wil, we left the Con, but didn't get very far before we noticed the Red Cross Blood Mobile. Free Comic Books with donations!! Luckily both Becky and I were eligible (me by 2 days) so we waited and gave our very popular B+ blood for loot. The blood techs were mystified by the more costumed people at the convention and said Becky and I were the most normal ones they had seen all day. I'm not sure if that was good or bad. . .