For me, every San Diego Comic-Con I attend brings with it a different agenda — be it covering panels and events for Entertainment Weekly, flacking my second career as a comic book writer, or generally serving as an EW ambassador to all things geek — but they all involve meeting people. And that’s my favorite part of Comic-Con; not the first looks at the coming hotness, or the free booze, it’s the people. So, without further ado, here are the three people I was most giddy about having run into this year.
1. Nathan Fillion. This wasn’t the first time I’d met Captain Tightpants — he showed me how to drink virtual beer from his iPhone at last year’s EW/Syfy party — but I like to rekindle our bond of manliness when I can. So, at this year’s party, I rolled up on the Castle star, standing there looking all rugged, and reintroduced myself. He said, “Yeah, man. I remember you. We met here last year.” I nodded. Then he pointed to a spot under a gazebo, saying “But over there.” I nodded again. “And you’ve got some more grey in your hair.” I told him that my children are sapping my color. “You got pictures? Lemme see ’em.” Nathan Fillion wanted to see pictures of my kids. That dude gets an EW nutguard for life.
PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Benson/WireImage
2. Stan Lee. Let me begin this story with an almost ridiculous sentence: As Daughtry came off the stage at last Friday’s Wrath of Con party, I was talking to comics artist extraordinaire Jim Lee. And Jim was going to go over and pay homage to the Pope of Comic Books, Stan Lee (in case you don’t know, they’re not related). And Jim asked if I wanted to meet him. So I follow Jim as he walks to an enclosed banquette, passes through two levels of security, says hi to Daughtry, and approaches Stan. The editor emeritus of Marvel Comics is tired and has lost his voice, or so I’m told, and can’t really talk, but Stan extends a hand and says, “Good to meet you. You having a good time?” “At San Diego, Stan? Always.” Classy.
3. Jane Espenson. I am, as the record will show, a massive Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. And I’ve been following that writing staff, led by Joss Whedon, as they’ve tripped along their careers. I’m not entirely sure why Jane Espenson pinged loudest on my radar — could have something to do with her sense of humor, or the emotion she brought to the characters — but as she moved from Buffy to Angel, then to Firefly, then to Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse, I’ve paid close attention to her work. She’s been incredibly open about her writing; for a long while, she’d run her own blog which offered writing advice to newbies and pros alike, and now she’s begun Twittering (@capricaseven) her experiences as the showrunner of Syfy’s Caprica. I’m a bit of a geek for Jane, so to find her at the Syfy party was a rare treat. And she was the sweetest person ever. We talked for almost 30 minutes about her time on Galactica (and she listened to my feelings about finale), writing Buffy comics, her love for Michael Slezak’s Idol coverage, and finally getting to run her own writers’ room on Caprica. It was a rare treat. Even more fun, dare I say, than meeting Joss himself for the first time.