San Diego Comic Con was always an event I wanted to attend, but never got a chance to due to either financial or timing reasons, so when the opportunity to attend Silicon Valley Comic Con presented itself I gave my bank account and pep talk and YOLO’d myself into purchasing a Stan Lee meet and greet. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny.
Ironically, I never got into comics. I grew up with an older male cousin who introduced me to comic books, but as a reader I wasn’t a fan of the short blurbs. I was however, impressed by the graphics and characters. That’s what pulled me into watching the X-Men animated series every Saturday morning in the 90s. The obsession then crossed over to trading cards, which I bought at the liquor store across the street from my apartment anytime I had spare change. I can vividly remember the excitement of ripping open a pack and obtaining a card I didn’t already have. I still have all my cards in a box. Somewhere. I hope.
In short, SV Comic Con was the nerdiest, most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of. I knew I would have a good time, I just didn’t know I would geek out as hard as I did. The second I got into the registration line, I saw someone in Gandalf cosplay and got more excited than the day I met Brandon Crawford. The best part was seeing everyone dress up and have fun regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity. It felt as if it was one of the last places on Earth where you could escape reality and not be judged for it. There were so many great costumes, but I got shy to ask for photos once it got crowded #alltheregrets.
Obviously, the highlight of my day was breathing the same air Stan Lee breathed. He’s on my bucketlist of who I’d want to meet, only to be accompanied by the Obamas (If I could go back into time, I would’ve loved to have met Jim Henson as well). I’m a fan of good people. Visionaries. And most of all, those who have the audacity to create alternate universes where the good always prevails. I couldn’t help but look around the convention center that day in awe by all the people who were influenced by this man, so to say I was honored to meet him is an understatement.
I wish I could say Stan Lee was a jubilant old man, full of life, and smiling with every fan he met. The truth is, he fell asleep taking the photo with the couple before me. When it was my turn, he didn’t move or speak. Was I disappointed? NO. I was happy that at 95 years old he was there to begin with. I was however, concerned about whether he was there for the fans or because he was being taken advantage of by those who should be looking out for his best interest. I suppose we’ll never know. I can only hope Stan knows how happy he a bunch of nerds that day, and that there are plenty of people like myself who would take back their meet and greet just to make sure he was being taken care of. EXCELSIOR!