When you run into another attendee at San Diego Comic-Con, the customary greeting is: "How's your con?" That's because every fan is the hero in their own story, on their own unique quest to consult their chosen celebrity oracles and collect their geeky treasures. Each hour brings painful choices; for every awesome experience, you've sacrificed 10 others.

This year, that conversation often turned to another perennial question: Has Comic-Con peaked? Yes, no, maybe. The era of huge movie presences has certainly passed and the convention has been eclipsed in size by its New York counterpart. Yet web services like Amazon and Crackle, and new technologies such as virtual reality, are moving in to fill the gaps. Plus, a whole new generation of creative talent is coming of age, ready to bend genres and invent new ones.

Here's the path you take if you really want to take the event's pulse. You go to the back of the exhibition hall, turn right at the wall, and walk until you see a table beneath a bunch of giant cartoon heads. If Rick Geary, the creator of the official Toucan logo more than 30 years ago, is still selling new books, you know it's the same old SDCC.

And indeed there Geary was, Stan Lee be praised, still hawking his wares. It was a welcome reminder that the spirit lives on — and here are the 20 other best things that we saw in San Diego this weekend.