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RIP Stan Lee

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I was trying not to believe it after the SIRI thing over the summer, but this seems legit.

RIP to one of the pioneers.

Make Mine Marvel.

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Excelsior!  Long may you run, Stan!

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Well this is disappointing to say the least. I suppose it was only a mater of time with the health issues and Stan getting up there in age, but I was really hoping he had a few more years after all the bullshit he went through the past year.

Hopefully he is resting peacefully now.

He will always be the narrator voice for Marvel comics when I read them.

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2009 was my first year going to San Diego Comic Con. That year my pal Saul had hit the hotel jackpot by getting a room at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, which was next door to the convention center, which of course meant all sorts of pros staying there. I still get tickled at remembering Jim Steranko walking through the lobby as only he could.

Anyhoo, one night I excused myself from my group of friends so I could have some me time, a quiet-ish night walking around the bay and eating dinner before coming back to the hotel- I didn't even take my camera. Mission accomplished, I got back to the Hyatt and got on the elevator.

And then STAN MOTHERFUCKING LEE got on the elevator next to me. 

Outwardly I played it cool ("Mr Lee." "Hah? Hah...") but my brain was all "SAHGFSFHC K,CSLDUT8L64 FDS RA STANLEESTANLEESTANLEESTANLEE 8OQ437651O457VQ ORQ" like a Delirious promo. Got back to my room and had the time of my life telling everyone about how you usually have to pay $250 to get that close to him.

RIP, and Excelsior.

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We had a lot of time to prepare for this. I guess the freshest memories are the most recent ones. Combine those two things and I don't think this "hit me" at all. 

As someone who 100% understands the Marvel style and what Kirby/Ditko/Romita/etc. brought to the table relative to Stan, I am still a massive supporter. Consistency of style mattered as much as substance in those comics. Stan was more than an editor or writer or brand. He was an identity. When you were a Marvel fan, bet it in the 80s or 90s or even later, Stan was part of not just the identity of your hobby or the comics you patronized, but he was part of your own identity and morality as well, even decades after the fact. 

Over time, you'd learn to appreciate Jack or John or Steve, but you had always appreciated Stan, and you never really appreciate him less for what you ended up learning later. It didn't matter how Ravage 2099 or Just Imagine or whatever else was, you were just lucky to be able to read something new that Stan "actually" wrote. 

He was an idea and an icon and a symbol. And we belonged to him as much as he belonged to us.

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When Joanie died last year, I knew that this was coming.  Losing the love of your life after 60 years of marriage is almost impossible to recover from.

May they rest in peace forever.

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I'm crying way more than I expected to.  This will get weird and personal, so you done been warned.

 

When i was 5, Spider-Man was my favorite character in the whole world.  I loved him on Electric Company and I had a Spider-Man swimsuit and a Spider-Man velcro dart ball target and a Spider-Man everything.  I'm not sure I understood the underlying pathos but he looked cool and had cool powers and between Electric Company and repeats of the 60s show I could see him 3 times a day.

 

When i was 12, Cyclops was my favorite character in the whole world.  I had more of a sense of humor than Scott, but not by that much.  This weird guy whose superpower often seemed to be less "laser eyes" and more "all the earnest corn of Superman without the moral infallibility" was incredibly compelling to me.  It didn't hurt that I discovered him around the time I was having to wear a bioptic because my parents thought I could learn to drive with it.

 

When I was 21, Hank Pym was...not my favorite (that was Wally West) but a character I was strongly attached to.  I had just burned my world to the ground by failing out of a full scholarship, after which I'd been diagnosed with major depression disorder.  And here was Kurt Busiek trying to rehab a hated character who had burned HIS world to the ground, destroyed his career and marriage because of a mental health concern nobody had noticed until he'd self-destructed.  It was a good decade before I realized how strongly I'd identified with that character or how helpful he'd been at that point in my life.

 

Chris Sims, for all the problematic shit he's said and done over the years, had it one hundred percent right when he said (paraphrased to avoid digging up a years-old ep of a podcas) that it's impossible for anyone to overstate Stan's contributions to comics...except Stan.  

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I like there are wrestling sites writing articles about wrestlers posting about stans death. 

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47 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

I like there are wrestling sites writing articles about wrestlers posting about stans death. 

I still remember Christian on eYada-era WOL saying that a ton of the wrestlers in his age group became wrestlers because it was the closest they could get to being superheroes.  That stuck with me for ages when anyone asked me why I gave a shit about the pro wrestling.

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also: I've spent 18 years wondering what "Starship" would have been like if it'd actually happened.  My brain knows it would've been the worst of Stan crossed with the worst of Leiji Matsumoto, but my heart only sees the best possible outcome.

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Ironic that his last cameo cane in a DC movie. 

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55 minutes ago, Cliff Hanger said:

I still remember Christian on eYada-era WOL saying that a ton of the wrestlers in his age group became wrestlers because it was the closest they could get to being superheroes.  That stuck with me for ages when anyone asked me why I gave a shit about the pro wrestling.

I have written many words over the years comparing wrestling and comics. 

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51 minutes ago, MADCAP said:

Ironic that his last cameo cane in a DC movie. 

Wouldn’t his last cameo technically be the new Spider-Man next year, since he filmed A4, Cap Marvel and FFH at the same time?

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Evanier:

Quote

Those of you who feel like I do that our friend Jack Kirby was wronged by credits in the past, please remember that (a) Marvel now credits Jack where for decades they did not and (b) a lot of people who are writing news stories about Stan today do not know the difference or the significance of "creator" as opposed to "co-creator." And the phrase "Hulk creator Stan Lee" does not mean that Stan was the sole creator of the Hulk, just as the phrase "Los Angeles Dodger Clayton Kershaw" does not mean that Clayton Kershaw is the only Los Angeles Dodger.

 

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I'm not surprised, I'm not In shock.

But Stan very much defined comics to me as a kid. His name was on every Marvel book, presenting the characters. His Soapbox ran in every issue. Long before I read an actual Stan Lee written comic, I knew Stan Lee was Marvel comics. Admittedly, I was a DC fan far more than a Marvel Zombie, but Stan was comics in a way nobody at the Distinguished Competition was. I can rattle off big name DC guys now, but I couldn't then, and none of them had the presence of The Man.

I know the arguments. Flashy Funkman and House Roy. But even if all Stan did was script and self-promote, the impact of that alone is arguably the biggest of anyone in the medium outside two kids from Cleveland in the depression. 

Stan and Jack made magic. Stan and Steve made magic. Stan and Don Heck, Stan and Wally Wood, Stan and... 

Excelsior

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I was talking to some folks today about if there was any real rival to Stan as #1 person in comics industry history. Who else had success as a creator (however you want to divvy up credit) and executive and had the longevity and crossover exposure?

someone said Jack (obviously). Someone said Jim Lee. Matt brought up Mort Weisinger. I threw out Levitz and Shooter and Eisner and Julie.

For better or worse, I don’t see how anyone is close to Stan. 

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None of them have the general pop culture presence as Stan though.

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When I was a kid, all awkward and weird, Stan Lee's work helped form my moral compass, while giving me an escape from whatever was bringing me down . I learned how to read at four because of Spider-Man. Rest In Peace, Stan.

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First, a 95 year-old man passing shortly after the death of his spouse of sixty-some years is not in itself surprising. 95 is a damn good run that I'll never see. 

Secondly, and most importantly, I've been sitting here thinking "What would my life have been like without Stan Lee in it?" I can't imagine such a scenario, I just can't, Stan Lee's superheroes with hang-ups as he termed them showed me as a little kid that it was okay to be different and a bit weird. I can't think of anyone else who I never so much as met that has had such a powerful impact on my life.

Godspeed, Stan and thanks for all the comix.

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I've told this story before on earlier versions of the board as well as on my defunct blog....

I was 19 years old and somehow got myself a job in the Marvel mailroom. About 5 months in I'm doing my rounds of delivering bundles of comics to every employee at Marvel who worked at the old Park Ave South address. I whip around a corner with my mail cart full of comics and stop short of running over Stan Lee. I immediately start apologizing while trying hard to fanboy freakout alll over him. He makes like its big deal and smiles that Stan Lee smile. I finally tell him what his work means to me and how his stories were one of the major factors in me learning to read. He flashes that smile again points at  me and says "The smile on your face says it all true believer" and then walked off waving to everyone who he knew or that called out to him in the office.

Stan Lee called me a True Believer to my face and wasn't being sarcastic or ironic. That is all that maters to me and all that ever will

James

 

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