Up until this weekend, I’d never met someone famous who has inspired me for years, someone whose work has set the foundation for how I think and is such a big part of why I’m a writer. This weekend at Comic-Con, I met Joss Whedon.
I grew up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was part of the online fandom. I grew to love Angel and Firefly. In high school, I collected the Buffy comics and cards with birthday money. I even had the lollipops, the accompanying stickers (featuring Xander of course) still permanently in my T1 calculator, formerly the one bright spot in my Calculus AP class now met with a little laughter when I want to do simple math. I’ve referenced Buffy in academic papers in high school, college, and most recently in a presentation for my first class heading toward my doctorate (in case you’re wondering: “Hush” as a metaphor for how people view the Deaf and their inability to hear and thus verbally communicate).
How I met Joss Whedon is like Charlie from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. A golden ticket. (Metaphorically golden, it was really an off-white basic raffle ticket that said “Ticket”.) I saw that Joss Whedon would be at a ticketed event at the Darkhorse Comics area and my friend Melissa and I got two tickets for a chance to be selected.
Later we ran into a friend who said that if I really wanted to give it a shot, I should go back to the booth for more tickets. But I didn’t because I thought I’d just try my luck. Perhaps it was also due to my first venture into Comic-Con last year. About this time last year, I had seen Joss Whedon at that exact Dark Horse Comics booth from afar. We had passed by randomly to see that he was the special guest signer…and that the line was closed. I stood by and took a fan pic. And that was it.
Given last year’s miss and logically if he is supposed to be this person of significance, I should have rushed back and demanded more tickets. But I think because of last year’s miss and just appreciating a greater shot at possibly getting into that ticketed event was enough for me. If things are meant to be they’ll happen; just so long as you know you’ve tried, it’s okay if it doesn’t.
So given the above, I shouldn’t be writing this post. Because the odds were probably stacked against me. When I went to go look at the list of selected few, I saw people with a row of five tickets in their hand. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be picked and the people with five tickets were, but their number(s) didn’t get picked. Mine did. To add to the golden ticket metaphor, it was the last number picked.
Here’s my moment: There were no pictures (too much time the staff said). We were limited to two items of autograph (I picked my Willow one-shot and the free Dollhouse Lithograph because awesome Dollhouse Epitaphs people were there signing). I had less than one minute in front of Joss where I stood wearing my pink wig, awkwardly asking him if he could put my name in the autograph. Carrying these autographed treasures, I walked away.
Later I thought that I should have told him about my recent presentation with Hush and thanked him for being a great inspiration. But I just didn’t know what to say, that he probably hadn’t already heard before? Truth be told, I look back and think “Did that really happen?” I have no pictures. Did that ticket really get chosen as the last ticket? Did he really sign something that says “To Charity- Joss Whedon”?