Dreams Do Come True: Meeting Stan Lee [Supanova Brisbane 2017 – Day 2]
Here is Part 2 of my experience meeting Stan Lee at Supanova Brisbane 2017 & having my dream finally come true. Part 1 can be found here.
The next day was a lot more interesting. I spent the bulk of the morning running back and forth taking pictures for Attack On Geek and stopping to chat with attendees. Comic book lovers loved to talk comics and despite some taking up a lot of time, I couldn’t help but indulge. Of course, then, it was time for things to get a little strange as I waited in a very long line to meet Millie Bobby Brown, the up and coming young actress taking the pop culture world by storm with her portrayal of Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things.
It was amazing just how many people came out to see the thirteen year old star. The photo and autograph lines for her were almost as long as those for Stan Lee! Crazy! Nevertheless, I waited for ages and managed to see other stars doing signings such as Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte, Legends of Tomorrow’s Franz Drameh, Buffy The Vampire’s James Masters and The Librarians’ Christian Kane (who I actually had the opportunity to interview but none of the timings worked due to Stan Lee and Millie Bobby Brown session times, long lines and other commitments I had already made. I was really gutted that I couldn’t make the interview session. Perhaps in the future.)
Right before she began he signing session, Millie stood up on one of the tables, said a loud “hello” to everyone and then took a photo of the entire crowd before sitting down to start signing. I thought that I would have at least some time to chat with her while getting my Eleven Funko Pop Vinyl figure autographed, but sadly due to the crowd, I was ushered through the same way I was with Stan Lee. The same happened with my photo with Millie. Due to her age, her fans were all informed not to request any poses or to really engage with her at all, and therefore my photo with her was rather plain. Still, though, it was so cool to see her shine and be a real trooper. One of the highlights was seeing her actually come out to the waiting area and address everyone in line, saying that she’ll be ‘with everyone really soon” and that they will be doing things “very quickly so that everyone gets a go”. Hard to believe she’s a super-powered and slightly freaky creature on Stranger Things when she’s so adorable in real life.
After that I ran to attend the Stan Lee panel. I had missed out on the day before as I couldn’t get in due to a technical error with my pass, and so, I was determined not to miss out again. Again, there was a bit of an issue as my pass was only for Friday and so the only way I would be able to sit in was to wait in the enormous general admission line. Thankfully, one of the vendors I had spoken to the day before heard of my situation and managed to hook me up, getting me inside to the VIP line with him. While we waited patiently for the panel to begin, we had a fantastic chat about Stan Lee and the comic book illustration history. I learnt a lot that day.
The moment Stan Lee was announced was the moment all felt right in the world. Lee walked up on stage by himself, without any help and was joyful, jovial, hilarious and extremely ‘with it’. His hour long panel was filled with laughs, insightful tidbits and a lot of wisecracking jokes. I was so glad to have had the opportunity to see him that way as I really was upset at how old he appeared the day before. Perhaps he was just tired and needed a rest. He definitely was energetic at the panel and was simply brilliant. A fantastic orator despite slowly going deaf!
The panel was one of the most fantastic panels I’d ever been to and I walked out feeling incredibly happy, like I could walk on air! I especially loved that he got up and thanked us all for coming by saying that we were “all truly great!” followed by his catch phrase, “Excelsior!”. Oh what an experience.
After that, I had scheduled a talk with a comic book exhibitor and had to madly dash to speak with him about comics and to get some insight into the comic book market in Australia. We chatted about the future of comic book collecting and of course, since I was standing so close to the Stan Lee Collectibles stand, I was drawn back to them for another look at what was on offer.
With the event coming to a close, I was knackered and starving. After having some dinner and recollecting the events of the day, I packed my belongings, as I was checking out the following day, and crashed.
My Sunday was a lot more relaxing and I was able to just check out all the stores again. I said my goodbyes to all of those that I had met, some of whom were just so super nice and hooked me up with some discounted comics. Not only that but one of the vendors was so taken with the fact that I enjoyed old 1960s and 1970s comics, that he gave me a copy of The Phantom for free!! I couldn’t believe it and was just so extremely grateful. I never expected anything like that to ever happen and was just so happy that having to leave for the airport made me feel a little sad.
My time at Brisbane was a whirlwind adventure and one I will never, ever forget. I can’t believe that I got to finally, after all these years, meet Stan Lee and fulfill the dream I never thought was achievable. Not only did what I thought was impossible happen, I also made some amazing new friends and managed to have the time of my life with a community I truly respect.
The moral of the story here, and a lesson which I’ve now learnt, is to never, ever give up on your dreams. It might sound silly, but the Universe really does provide. It may not be today, maybe not even tomorrow, but someday, the things you never thought possible might just happen to you in the most brilliant of ways!