Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Yesterday the comic book community and the entire world lost one of the most influential and kindest men that ever lived, Stan "The Man" Lee. Ever since I can remember, I've known the name Stan Lee. He was the first comic book creator whose name I ever learned. To me, Stan Lee IS comics.
He started out wanting to become a famous author, he never wanted to write comics. My favorite story that Stan would always tell in interviews was how he almost left comics, but at the insistence of his wife he decided to do a comic HIS way. It was through that decision the Marvel Universe was born. Along with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and countless others the world was given brand new heroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Black Panther, the X-Men, Thor, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, and the list goes on. He wrote characters that weren't perfect, they had flaws like the rest of us. Readers were able to relate to these fictional characters that at the time was unheard of. Stan Lee was able to reinvigorate an industry
that might have died out without this fresh new universe of stories. He wrote comics that weren't just for kids, teens and adults were drawn to his compelling stories and flawed characters. He helped redefine what comics could be and as a result the comic book industry was forever changed.
His larger than life personality made you feel like you knew him. While I was too young to read his early stories, back issues are where I fell in love with his stories. One of the coolest things he did was "Stan's Soap Box", where he would talk to the readers about any topic you could think of. It was a way that readers like myself got to know "The Man" behind these amazing and diverse world of characters.
I don't need to talk about all of his accomplishments, you guys already know his story. The impact he's had on me personally is more profound than any person, besides my parents. He gave me a world to escape to when life was good and also when life got hard. It was through Peter Parker, that I related about being kind of a loner and on the outside of the "in" crowd. I too was like Bruce Banner, a quiet kid/teen who but bottled up his emotions. What Stan give myself and the entire world through the gift of his writing, will never be matched.
Meeting him last year at LACC is something I will always cherish. Just being in his presence was a life long dream come true. It still doesn't feel real that he's gone. When my wife called me at work to tell me of his passing, it felt like a member of my family died. As I told my coworkers, who aren't comic fans by the way, they too were devastated by the news. That's just one example of how much Stan meant, not just to comic book fans but the entire world.
Mr. Lee, thank you for everything you brought us through your incredible gift of storytelling. Nobody will ever be able to match what you've done in comics. You taught all of us that " With great power comes great responsibility". So all of us "True Believers" will forever be indebted to you.
RIP Stan "The Man" Lee
"I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing." – Stan Lee