From Stan "The Man" Lee: 'Nuff Said!
“I was ready to be a media star when I was twelve years old,” Stan Lee says with his usual gusto. “It just took all this time for the world to discover me.”
A month before, Stan Lee was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a first for a comic book personality. It was just the tip of the iceberg for the personification of the footloose and fancy free comic book creator and all-around media personality, a comics pioneer who put a new spin on the threadbare and static genre of the superhero and made comic books—dare we say it—hip and cool?
But Stan Lee, born Stanley Lieber, is more than just a comic book visionary, the first self-made man of the comic book industry whose chutzpah sometimes eclipses his earlier struggles in the unforgiving comics world of the 1950s, then an industry hanging on by its fingernails as distributors went belly-up and crusading Senators sparked company-wide censorship.
Now in his late 80s, Stan exists as a cross between an ambassador for the medium, his distinctive moustache and glasses spotted in Marvel Comics superhero movies everywhere. It’s not just that Stan may have helped save the struggling comic book in the 1960s, with the Marvel line of troubled superheroes forged by him and a group of artists that earned him a star—it’s his clever use of cementing himself as a personality that has kept him on the collective radar. In an industry overpopulated by introverts, of his contemporaries who were often ashamed to work in comic books, Stan’s rise to a fame borne out of kitsch and hero worship is to be just as admired as his distinctive and catchphrases.