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(almost) Meeting Stan Lee: Our Super Hero!

by  |  January 26th, 2011  |  Blog  |  3 Comments

Since I was a kid I’ve dreamt of the day I’d get to meet Stan Lee. A literary genius who’s created a legacy of  Super Heroes, built on honor and integrity. I kid you not when I say that meeting Stan Lee has been on my Bucket List since I was 6 when I got my first Spiderman comic! On Saturday, I almost got to meet him…

About 3 weeks ago, I found out Stan was doing a “personal appearance” at a place we’ll refer to here as… “The Titty Twister” (as in ‘From Dusk ’til Dawn, where they engage in a battle against a band of blood thirsty vampires). Autograph tickets, were $35, plus a chance to meet Stan Lee one on one! I rallied the ABM troops, and Nathan drove the 45 minutes to get the tickets for us because you can’t order them online or over the phone (pretty sophisticated operation). We got 3 tickets. Finally, I’ll get to meet my life long hero, and so will my son Holden, who’s only a year and a half old! Holden’s my little ‘True Believer’, so exciting…

$35.00 Stan Lee autograph ticket.

So the day goes something like this; We wake up early around 7 am on Saturday. “Stan Lee! Stan Lee! Stan Lee!”. We all get ready and have breakfast. Candace then dresses Holden up and styles his hair, after all we wanted to look good when we meet Stan Lee. I explain to my son the importance of what today means to daddy, and will one day mean to him as well, which is why he needs to be on his best behavior. At  9am we leave to go pick up Nathan. Once we get Nathan, we roll out…

We arrive at “The Titty Twister” 45 mins later (aka $25 in gas later). As we enter, we’re greeted by the smell of 200 booths all selling the exact same DVD, comic book, action figure, video game, trading card and movie poster (fyi the good posters are just for display, not sale). Candace gets the idea to find a cool t-shirt for Holden to meet Stan ‘The Man” in… after much looking and digging through “The Titty Twister” we turn up an Avengers T-Shirt, it’s got the whole gang on it. This is gonna be so cool, Stan’s gonna see all the time and preparation we put into our little True Believer, just to meet him. He’s gonna be so flattered…

Welcome to The Titty Twister, your autograph will be next! Muhahah!

“Stan Lee! Stan Lee! Stan Lee!”

We get in line, approximately 400 people. And we wait… and wait… and wait… and then finally something happens. Stan arrives! The crowd is now chanting, “Stan Lee… Stan Lee… Stan Lee…” But wait something’s off, it’s not quite right…

When Stan Lee arrives, he’s surrounded by a rogue band of blood thirsty mercenaries! What the hell is going on here? Should I call 911? Is Stan in trouble? Does he need my help? Then I slowly begin to realize they’re his security detail. Think I’m exaggerating? The main guy pushing his way through the crowd looks like one of Lee’s comic creations gone horribly awry! Brother, let me tell you I’m 6’5″ tall, and this dude was at least 7′ tall, and guaranteed to strike fear in the heart’s of little children everywhere. I think maybe he eats souls as a light snack to hold him over until his next feeding. These guys look like those guys you see in the movies guarding the Cartels’ Villa in the middle of a jungle.

Sorry kid, you don't get to meet Stan Lee today.

Stan gets to the signing table, and signs his comics and posters for, oh I don’t know… maybe a half hour or so… then he needs to take break. A half hour later, signing resumes. As we get closer, I can see what’s going on. Stan’s bodyguard is inspecting each piece of memorabilia. Basically, and again I kid you not, a little kid hands over a rolled up poster. He looks down the elongated tube, both sides mind you, then unravels and shakes it out! I know, amazing! He’s a trained tactical poster inspecting specialist. Then, get this… he hands the poster over to a second guy. The second guy then hands the poster over to a woman. The woman then hands the poster to Stan Lee. Stan Lee then signs and hands the poster to another guy (the last guy- remember in Saving Private Ryan when Tom Sizemore tells Tom Hanks he’ll wear Matt Damon like he’s his underwear. This guy took that literally and just hoovers ever so closely to Stan Lee). The guy then slides the poster down to the end of the table to be collected.

It’s all quite personal really. Stan is a signing machine! I have never seen someone sign quite like this… ever. I mean I’ve heard stories, but… it’s as if he’s trying to break a Guinness Record.

The line inches forward, our turn is coming up. Don’t worry son, I’ll protect you from the scary man, (gulp) I hope! We’re next, I hand my precious antique comic book, covered with plastic for handling on one side, over to ‘Meat Hooks’, who grabs it with his grubby paws getting his natural skin oil all over it. Meat Hook’s, then shakes out my comic, and flips it over… to make sure I’m not trying to smuggle a file, or a secret map with an escape plan to Stan Lee no doubt. Meat then hands my comic to the 2nd guy, who then walks it over to the girl at the table. By the way, Stan is sitting behind 2 tables creating a barrier of approximately 6 feet between him and the kids. The girl then hands my comic to Stan! This is my chance he’s got my comic! I say, “Hi Stan! I’m Matt and this is Holden!” Nothing, perhaps he didn’t hear me. “Hey Stan, this is Holden!” That time he heard me, I’m certain of it, cause the girl next to him said, “Stan can’t talk, he’s signing right now, he’s signing.” I guess he couldn’t smile or wave or say hi, either. Meat Hooks comes up on me and says we have to “move along”. So I went to the end and retrieved my Avengers comic. And like that, it was over.

This is what trying to say "hi" to Stan at a public appearance is like!

I caught up with Candace and Nathan at the end. Nathan asked if we got to see Stan Lee, I said, “Yeah, didn’t you?”,No”, he said, “That one guy wouldn’t let me over he just kinda moved me along.” I asked Candace, “What about you?”, “No it was all to fast, I was worried about losing track of my comic book!”, Candace said.

We went over to the line where you can get your signed comic authenticated with DNA and such for $8. One by one I saw people coming into the line with this look of disappointment on their faces, and I asked them how it was for them. Some said, “It was okay”, others “I didn’t get to talk to him”, “I didn’t even get to see him”.

Hope you like the view, 'cause this is as good as it gets!

Now the total $$$’s for the field trip: Gas for 2 trips (1 to get tickets and another for the “event”), tickets, comic books, authentication came to a total of $284.00 (not to mention drive time and standing in line waiting for something… anything to happen!) Not meeting Stan Lee, priceless!

At any rate, there you have it. The event was so good, that I don’t think we could bear to experience it again, anything else would just pale in comparison.

FYI to the promoters for future reference, I and others would have gladly paid another $20-$40 more for a picture and a chance to say hi. Apparently when you pay to get Stan Lee’s autograph, that’s exactly all you get. No more and no less. I was hoping to give my son a keepsake to be cherished, but now he’s just got this blog I wrote. Thanx. – One of your Fan’s

The Avengers #19 introduces the character of Hawkeye, who'll be portrayed by Jeremy Renner in the new Avengers movie.

Fantastic Four #38 signed by Stan Lee!


About

Matthew Dowling, a native Philadelphian, now residing in Los Angeles, is an actor, writer and film maker. Matt's training with 2nd City, and numerous appearances in TV shows, movies, theater, infomercials, and most importantly... B movies, has prepared him for making B Movie recommendations.

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Comments

  1. Tweets that mention (almost) Meeting Stan Lee: Our Super Hero! | AwesomeBMovies.com -- Topsy.com

    January 28th, 2011at 3:07 PM(#)

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AwesomeBMovies, Matthew Dowling. Matthew Dowling said: (almost) Meeting Stan Lee: Our Super Hero! the hilarious misadventures of 4 people trying to meet #StanLee http://ow.ly/3LMYt […]

  2. BeepBopBoop

    January 29th, 2011at 9:14 PM(#)

    Yeah, that was basically my experience, too.

    I was one of the first in line. Got my poster signed within 15 minutes of the event starting.

    Nobody really man-handled my stuff, though. It got handed directly to Stan and he signed it. I was hoping for anything from him, even just eye contact. I said thank you loudly (due to the crowd) after he signed it, but he never looked up. :[

    Still cool to see him in person, however. I also have a picture of him in the middle of signing my poster, which is cool to have to go along with it.

  3. Matthew Dowling

    February 4th, 2011at 6:40 PM(#)

    BeepBopBoop!

    Hey man thanks for checking in and confirming. It could have been better, but it was more of a funny kind of thing. Sorry it wasn’t what was expected, but glad you did get that poster signed by Stan Lee with a pic of the occasion. That part is cool! Thank you for sharing that with us! -matt

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