Stan Lee left this universe on November 12, 2018 and as I write those words, I can’t wrap my mind around it.
I grew up with many influences, my parents, an older brother and even though they taught me right from wrong, Stan Lee taught me to believe. I found comics when I was about eight years old. I immediately fell in love with them. I was hooked on Spider-Man (what kid wasn’t?) and although it took be a few years to understand who these creators were, Stan Lee was always there. He didn’t talk down to kids, be treated us as equals and that’s what drew me to Marvel more than any other company. Stan Lee was larger than life. His ideas were something I’ve emulated once I decided that writing was something I wanted to do for a living. It was through those early Avenger stories that I learned how to pace a story, how to give the reader just enough to get them hooked. That’s what Marvel did back in the day, and Stan was a master of it. It was his tireless efforts and his unwilling to compromise that drove his stories in the directions they went. Though there have been others writers after Stan stepped away from the story telling, none of them was Mr. Lee. He took a fledgling company and by the mid 1970’s made it a household name.
I can’t imagine a world where there is no Stan Lee. Where there will be no more cameos in a Marvel Movie, where we won’t see him on the red carpet, or where we won’t meet him at a convention. I actually physically bumped into him once at a con as we passed through a door together. I tapped him on his shoulder and said “Excuse me Stan.” His reply was something mumbled because I think it took him off guard. But in my mind I can hear him say, “That’s alright True Believer.” No I can’t imagine a world without Stan Lee, or Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. Sadly the greats are leaving us. But they left behind tons and tons of stories and art that will live on forever.
Thank you Stan... Excelsior!!