Thanks to Kevin, who's posting all of these as I send them to him.
David Mazzucchelli is by far my biggest influence in the realm of storytelling-- I'd never met him until this convention. And meeting him made up for every hero of mine that turned out to be a dud or a jerk or who was too busy to talk. He was one of the nicest, most accommodating people I'd ever met, and articulated his thoughts on storytelling and illustration with an unpretentious air. He said that he had nearly finished a 300 page graphic novel, which makes me a little lightheaded thinking about it.
Feedback (Matthew Atherton) and I went to Grinnell College together in the 90s-- in fact, we met as prospective students while visiting the campus. He was obsessed with Spider-Man then, and would appear in full costume at practically every public event. He particularly liked cartwheeling into the dining hall on Parents' Weekend. Our senior year, he and I made mysteries for each other to solve (in costume, and often involving talking to professors at home), which he mentions on the "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?"
Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Rob Walton of 'Ragmop'
The show floor