The bulk of photography and media around comic conventions floats around celebrities and cosplay 90% of the time, but that emphasis neglects a con’s greatest value: encountering the minds that make the myths possible. Walking around the San Diego Convention Center offers a parade of the writers, artists, colorists, designers and editors who weave magic on a monthly basis. For fans, exchanging a handshake with the creative deity who crafted their favorite fiction is often the greatest takeaway from these events. It’s also a humanizing transaction that shows how relatable our greatest storytellers are—a vital motivation for aspiring creators stuck in their parent’s house or minimum-wage purgatory. The above gallery captures a handful of the souls Paste encountered at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and special thanks to each and every one for taking the time for a brief photo.