Updated: Aug 12, 2021
December 2013, I was an hour early to work and came across a Facebook post that discussed that Stan Lee would be making his last visit to London on Sunday, Jul 13th 2014, at the Comic-con. I can swear it felt like a calling; it was out of character for me to make this sort of effort. At 7:41 AM Dec 13th, 2013, I booked a Stan Lee Photo Session ticket on Sunday, Jul 13th 2014. After securing the access, I was puzzled why I did it, my wife was pregnant with twins, with a possibility I could miss this event, but I felt 100% sure it was my destiny.Time was ticking, and the twins were born on Apr 3rd 2014, and I didn't realise what was about to hit me. Although my wife did most of the hard work, the little I did was enough for me to jump out the window ( lucky I stayed on the ground floor). The twins took so much of our time that I forgot about the Stan Lee Ticket, and by May-end near my birthday, my wife asked me what I wanted, and with no shame, I said, "a day off to meet Stan Lee". She looked puzzled, and I had to explain to her about the ticket I had got months back and waited for the perfect time to let her know ( A man with a plan). Luckily it was a pleasant sunny day, and she was in a great mood; she was cool with it.
Time was getting closer, and I had all these fantasies about talking to him of common interests and ideas and just having a good laugh. ( Hey, don't judge me )Jul 11th 2014, one day before the main event, my wife, while hoovering the stairs, broke her foot in 2 places ( May I add, I was working and can hardly hoover). When I got home, and she told me she broke her foot, all I could think of was, why today, and that's the end of my adventure. After seeing how she still managed to look after the kids and not complain while still having a sense of humour about the situation, I was just happy to know she was OK. The next day, when she got up, she was surprised that I wasn't getting ready to go to the event. How could I leave you like this? I told her, she said,
"John, if you don't go to this event, you will hold this against me for the rest of my life. My leg will heal, but your nagging will be there till the rest of our lives. So please go and have fun. My mother will be coming over."
I was out the door when she said; my mother will... ( Good to have lovely in-laws). The excitement still didn't hit me yet; it felt like a dream, and the closer I got to the event, my heart was racing. The place was buzzing with incredible costumes and countless young people; fortunately, I wore my Spiderman T-shirt to fit in. I had to remind myself that age is just a number and was looking for the Stan Lee stand. I got there early to get information on what to expect, and the main rule was
"No talk or touching Mr Stan Lee".
Well, there goes my fantasy friendship out the window, I thought to myself. As I was early to the event, I had time to kill; after roaming around for 20mins, I stumbled across an exclusive Stan Lee merchandise stand. Being a virgin of this show, I had no clue what to expect and chose to buy a signed comic that accepts cash only. I told the person working at the stand to reserve the signed graphic novel and return it with money. Cash machines there were maxed out, so I had to go out of the main event to get some cash. 30mins later, when I returned to the stall, the comics were gone. I was unfortunate and asked if they would get more later and as I was asking, I sensed two kids struggling to buy the last comic from the side of my eyes. I knew this was my calling and quickly offered the money to the vendor. The vendor did a 30-sec countdown for the kids to make up their minds; if not, it would go to me. People around the stall started to count, and time felt like it was standing still. Yes, I felt terrible for the kids, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I grabbed it by its horn; victory was mine. I don't recollect holding my firstborn with this much care.
I became Gollum " My Precious"
luckily; only I could see this transition. So back to the Stan Lee Photo session stand, I went, and boy was it busy. They were doing like 500 people per 30mins session and keeping in mind Stans age, I was amazed. I was in the 3rd batch and standing patiently in the queue, and suddenly there was a big roar, and it was apparent why. I clicked what I could from where I was
The queue was moving quickly, and I can see myself moving closer to the doorway. Finally, I was inside, seeing the man himself, but it was not my turn. I watched how to position myself when it was my chance; I am usually very conscious of myself, so I don't usually do anything strange, but this was Stan lee. I didn't want to stand next to him; I wanted to pay
tribute, and when my turn came, I went with my Spider-man pose. To my amazement, he did it to "CLICK" it was over; I said thank you and left. As I walked out, they handed me the picture. I broke all the rules without knowing if you see the picture our shoulders are touching, and I said thank you. "
Thank you for motivating me to get out of my comfort zone Stan Lee; this will forever be one of the best moments of my life.