Gen Con 2015 is now behind us and what an amazing show it was! In fact, it was the biggest show in our young company history! But before I go into the photos and the fun, I have to tell you one of the most iconic stories that is going to go down in infamy. That time I went to pee and missed Wil Wheaton‘s visit to my booth.
It was Thursday afternoon and we had been going strong with the pre-order pick ups and sales. Thursday ended up as our biggest day at the show. In fact, Ted and I skipped lunch that day, we just had no time. That afternoon, I finally ran to the bathroom. I left my phone in the booth, which is CRAZY because I never go anywhere without my phone. But I was in a hurry and didn’t want to drop it in the toilet. Ew. So I ran around the corner to the restroom. On my way I stopped and talked with one of my Gen Con BFFs and another exhibitor about business. Then I ran into another exhibitor who I was introducing to LARPs the Series. Finally, I went back to the booth and it went like this:
Me: Ted I’m SO SORRY I was gone so long, I know you had to go too.
Ted: No, Shelley. No. I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
Me: What???? What’s wrong, Oh my God!
Ted: Wil Wheaton came to the booth and you missed him. I tried to call you, but your phone rang right next to me. He told his people about the journals and what a great idea they are. He hung out a little bit. He asked if I was the one who emailed him all the time and I said ‘no, that would be my business partner, Shelley.’ He left and I forgot to offer him a journal so I found him and did so. Then he was gone.
*currently taking a few minutes to pull my shit together*
Ok. So I did not immediately start sobbing in the booth. I had customers for eff’s sakes. But I was shaken. I looked around and Ted said he was long gone. I texted my sister and my daughter about my agony.
Daughter: OH NO MOM!
Sister: Only you.
I tried to go to the Titan’s Grave panel and it was sold out. I went by Geek & Sundry a few times. But it’s hard to be gone from the booth that long for a panel or to walk the floor because we were working hard to try to sell our asses off. In fact, I lost my voice because I was pitching the journals so hard.
I sat down on Friday night and wrote him another email, thanking him for taking the time to come by the booth. That’s when I cried, just a little. You see, I think he just seems so fun. I love to watch Tabletop. I’m a fan. And I’m really into building a business around doing things that I love. Just like Wil and his wife Anne and Felicia Day. *sigh*
At the time, I tweeted that this is simultaneously the worst and best Gen Con story EVER. And that’s true. But I would rather have had the story be: THE TIME WIL WHEATON STOPPED BY MY BOOTH AND WE CHATTED AND HE SIGNED IT.
There it is. BUT we did have a fantastic show. And made some amazing connections! We didn’t sell out, but we will next year.
And John Kovalic stopped by our booth! Amazingly, I was not in the bathroom when this happened so I got a picture with him!
Famed Munchkin Illustrator John Kovalic stopped by our booth!
Thanks to Gen Con, Scott, Megan, Jen, Roy, Tracey, Michelle, Doug, Kathy, Haley, Megan, Darrin, John, Dan, Liz and so many of our friends and family, we sold more journals than ever. And we were just so proud of the beautiful Gamer’s Journals that Tracey Gurney designed. We really wanted to make something beautiful and unique as a thank you to the Gen Con Community for all of their support during our 2014 Kickstarter.
Here’s our Gen Con love letter in pictures. We can’t wait to get started on 2016!
He can’t run or hide when there’s work to do, but he tries.
90 degrees and 80% humidity. So fun?
Sweaty selfie with the green king thing next to our booth
Up til midnight Wednesday making Tardis Key Necklaces. We sold out though!
Thank GOD for Jimmy John’s delivery!
Liz Neale, actress from LARPs the Series pre ordered a Gamer’s Journal!
Liz Neale from LARPs the Series. She’s so awesome!
His protection tattoo is dedicated to his friend who told him to watch Supernatural
Michelle brought us coffee and sassy pins!
This Addams Family cosplay was the hit of Gen Con
Ted should have been Wednesday
Those dice did not work that well
Tracey’s fan thingz are so rad
John Kovalic drawing in my journal – YAY!
Board Game designer Bruno Cathala drawing in my journal!
Jon Verrall from LARPs The Series
He’s holding a con journal! <3
She was a big help and brought sunshine to our booth
Famed Munchkin Illustrator John Kovalic stopped by our booth!
We love our friend Michelle and she is the BEST journaler ever.
It’s our first year at WonderCon and we are so frickin excited! We’ll be in booth 124 with our new Variant cover show exclusive Anaheim 2015 Con*Quest Journals!
We’re in booth 124 by Artist Alley!
Take a closer look at our variant journal! It’s a limited edition printed cover, literally sewn to corrugated cardboard and then bound with rings and canvas. It has 15 con themed pages plus 2 Ultra Pro sleeves and a business card page!
Questly is taking on Anaheim and a rabid, red-short wearing mouse! You can pre-order our WonderCon Show Exclusive Con*Quest Journal HERE and pick it up in booth 124 at the show.
The 3 ring, canvas bound front and back covers are printed on quality paper stock and sewn to corrugated board for a completely handcrafted, unique feel. Our custom long handled tote bag is included in this pre-order!
Each journal has 14 pages including Artist Quest for artist alley, Autograph Quest, Panel Quest for panel notes and Cosplay Quest, to capture the costume contest fun! We’ve included an uncoated matte page for pencil sketches. Two Ultra Pro sleeves are in the back to keep your comics and artwork safe, as well as business card page.
UPDATE: See all of the WonderCon exclusives on the CCI WCA page HERE!
We are so outrageously happy and excited to announce that we have signed a license agreement with Gen Con® to produce a Gen Con branded Con*Quest Adventure Journal™, tote bag, mini journal, and tabletop gaming pages! The full press release is on our website HERE.
During last year’s successful Kickstarter campaign, we were so blown away from the fantastic support we received from the Gen Con gaming community. And during the show, we had backers and customers who shared their pages with us and how they used their Con*Quest Adventure Journal™ to take demo notes, doodle, get autographs and generally make it fit their experience. We knew we could take it a step further by creating a new journal just for them. That’s what we set out to do.
Demo notes from an awesome KS backer.
We will be designing a special custom canvas cover, featuring the Gen Con logo, along with long handled tote bag, Con*Panion™ Mini Journal and new inside journal pages.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be reaching out to the tabletop gaming community, our customers, our backers from last year and pretty much anyone who will listen to get feedback and design these new journal pages that will become a valuable tool for attendees at the show. We can’t wait to get started and we are SO EXCITED to be working with Gen Con to make this happen.
I love this journal! We are so excited to launch our new show exclusive variant cover journals. Taking inspiration from the ongoing tradition of comics to create a show exclusive variant cover issue for each comic con, our fantastic artist, James Koenig, has put Questly with a dragon wrapped around the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on the cover of our Wizard World Indianapolis Con*Quest Journal. This new journal is only $25 and is available for pre-order to pick up in the booth HERE.
Variant Cover Adventure Time comic with art by Ian McGinty
I wanted to share why we are trying this new journal. Our very first idea for the journal back in January 2014 was that it would be a city and show specific book, celebrating the event and becoming not only a place to stick your con stuff, but also a collectible of it’s own.
Our very first, very rough mock-up of the Con*Quest Journal
When we began working with our manufacturer, we realized that to produce small dated quantities with that specific show would be cost prohibitive. So we designed our red canvas journal to be our deluxe version, one that was big enough, with enough pages for a big con or for several small cons. But our dream to make a collectible show journal was always there.
We vended at several shows in 2014 and 100% of the people we talked to said “What a great idea!” when we explained what the journal was. This was great feedback and we are so proud of how far we came in one year.
We also knew it was time to take the business to the next level. While vending a shows, we knew that attendees loved show exclusives. They waited in line for them, pre-ordered them and proudly showed them off. We also realized that some people might be prefer to have the option of a slimmer book at a lower price point.
That’s why we are working now to add a new journal to our lineup. We think the variant cover show exclusives are the perfect addition! We want to have custom art created for each convention and release the art when they are made available for pre-order. We want to create something so unique, that each year attendees will be watching to see what the new design will look like and then add it to their shelf of Con*Quest Journals. We want to be one of the first booths that people visit to pick up their new journal.
We are testing this out at Wizard World Indianapolis and plan to keep going with it for Supernatural, WonderCon, C2E2 and the other shows on our schedule. Keep an eye out for the new cover art and if you’re going to show, preorder one or just stop by our booth. If you have suggestions on things you’d like to see in the journal, please share! We love to talk about how we can keep making it better and better.
Thanks for the support and remember to Journal Your Con!