Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lord Admiral Meets Wil Wheaton 2: The Revenge

Remember when we met Wil Wheaton back in May? You've probably forgotten all about it, but I'll tell you who hadn't: Wil Wheaton. That's right, my friends and I went to From the Land Beyond, a sci-fi and horror convention in Sacramento, and we ran into Wil Wheaton there (okay, so Wil Wheaton was pretty much the reason we went). As we were waiting in line for his show, having only just arrived, he came up to us and stopped to chat, telling us that he had gotten into PMOG on our recommendation. So he totally remembered us!

After talking for a bit, he kept going, and then the presentation that had been going on ended and the people started filing out. One of the people filing out was Richard Hatch... holy frak! I must have looked like a deer in headlights, as he gave me a smile, said "Hey," and kept going.

Wil Wheaton's reading was the same as the one we'd heard at SuperCon, but the interesting thing about it was that he tailored his presentation to the audience, with more horror movie references and such. Also, reruns of Wil Wheaton presentations are nothing to turn your nose up at. His impression of Jonathan Frakes as Commander Riker is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

We (well, mostly my friends) talked to him about the state of things today and "serious" topics that were the sorts of things you talk to your friends about while hanging out, not the sorts of thinigs you talk to famous people about at cons. I asked him if he still plays Warhammer 40K, and he told me about the Space Marines he had when he was a kid ("Blood Demons or something," he laughed, not sure what he had called his chapter). He said he no longer plays, as that was one of the hobbies he had to give up when time became a bigger concern. He also said that he used to play Magic: the Gathering when it first came out.

Which reminded me of something I've come to realize: Wil Wheaton really is "Just a Geek." When I first heard that the kid from Star Trek: TNG had a blog where he wrote about geeky things and that he had just (at the time) published a book entitled Just a Geek, I thought, sure, this guy is obviously just trying to wring some money out of having been on a SciFi show. Boy, was I wrong: Wil Wheaton is the real deal. This man is geek to the core, in the best and most endearing sense of the word. You name it, he's done it: D&D, WH40K, M:TG. He reads comics, loves Star Wars (and that other "Star" show you may have heard of), and countless other shows and books.

We bought a copy of both volumes of Star Trek: the Manga, both of which had Wil Wheaton stories in them, so he wrote "Collect them all!" in both, crossed out "all," and wrote "both."

As my friend Kage had bought a box of Star Trek: The Next Generation Customizable Card Game cards, we looked through it, hoping to find a Wesley Crusher card for Wil Wheaton to sign. We didn't get one; however, we did get a card of Wesley Crusher's girlfriend. We decided that was close enough, and Wil Wheaton obliged and signed it. He even took my suggestion and wrote "I hit that!" on the card.

I also got the chance to talk to Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol on the new Battlestar Galactica. He was very jovial and easygoing, and he cracked me up with what he wrote on the picture I bought of him. At first I asked him if he would beat up Wil Wheaton if Wil Wheaton called him a "toaster." (Since he and Wil Wheaton had been talking when I walked up). He said no, he was okay with it, since that's what he was. And so we got to talking about the show, and the new Caprica show they're making (which I forgot took place before the invention of the Cylons, so I looked like a total noob, but Aaron Douglas corrected me very patiently). I then bought a photo (I had figured I would talk to him first, and if he was cool, I would buy a photo, but if not, I wouldn't). He asked what he should write, so I said I'd think about it and so he asked for my name. While he wrote my name, I suggested he write "What up, my toaster?" and asked if that was offensive. "Oh, I know what I'll write," he said with a glint in his eye, and he happily wrote:

For Benny: If you call me a toaster again I will kick your FRAKKIN ASS!!"

Then there was a charity art auction, and nobody was bidding. Everything was going for between five to twenty dollars, I kid you not. The auctioneer seemed to not be sure whether to laugh or cry. So when I looked up from the conversation I was having with Wil Wheaton to see this piece of art going for ten dollars, I stepped forward and bid twelve. And won.

As it turns out, it's from a comic called Pigeons from Hell. Sound good? I was dubious, but the picture is awesome, so I figured it was a good purchase. Then I looked up the Pigeons from Hell comic upon returning home and found this:

A Dark Horse comic? Adapted by the guy who wrote Bubba Ho-Tep? Based on a story by Robert E. Howard?

Boy, did I luck out on this one.

And the picture looks awesome, too.

It was a truly unique experience, I must say. The con was much more lively than SuperCon had been, with Wil Wheaton's audience being much larger. People also seemed to be more into it, with some costumes here and there, and lots of people dressed to the nines in "dark" looks (some of which were quite impressive indeed). I am quite glad I went, and most indebted to my friends for the ride and the good company. Of course, special thanks go to Aaron Douglas and Wil Wheaton.

As a last note, we ran into a friend and coworker who was there with her fiancee. She loves Battlestar Galactica, Chief Tyrol, and especially Wil Wheaton, so getting to talk to them meant a lot to her. She's been through a lot lately, and that's quite an understatement. I should mention that when she spoke to Richard Hatch he, as a tongue-in-cheek favor, sealed her to her fiancee for 24 hours, in character as Tom Zareck. Now there's a great story to end this blog on, and huge thanks to Richard Hatch for being a truly classy gentleman.


bluefish said...

Richard Hatch and Wil Wheaton? Pshaw. I got to hang with a poet.

Marty said...

Next time you HAVE to get someone I know to autograph it and put my name on it. So you can say "This is for my brother who is stuck in Utah, please, sir." If you want me to, I'll even pay you for the picture/postage to ship it out to me. Okay dude? Please?

Anonymous said...

You are having way too much fun at these things. I'm concerned. Very. ;-)
Or maybe I am just envious. I can't quite decide.