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Thread: 20/20 profile of Marvel Comics back in 1986 and my experience with Stan Lee

  1. #1
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    20/20 profile of Marvel Comics back in 1986 and my experience with Stan Lee

    I came across this old 20/20 interview covering the 25th anniversary of Marvel Comics back in 1986. I remember it very well, because it reminded me of the attitude both society and the media had towards the comics medium (There is a second part you can select after this segment ends).



    But it also served as a reminder of how important Stan Lee was to me growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. By 1986, Stan Lee was well past icon status for people who read comics and aspired to draw them. But for the media back then, the comics medium had already seen it’s best days in the 40’s and Stan Lee was this odd bird who “never took off his sunglasses”. This was also the same period when I met him during my brief stint at the Joe Kubert School of Art.

    Part of our study was to meet people in the field doing this kind of work and Stan Lee was one of those profiled. Right away I realized how dogged he was about pushing this product. He was a hardcore salesman, but he also reminded me of someone I was familiar with, in a removed sort of way. He reminded me of J Jonah Jameson.

    He was charming and gregarious, but he also had an edge and ego that clearly stated he was not a man to be trifled with. He was engaging but very opinionated and commanded your attention. So it was not surprising to learn he had supplanted himself into the Spider-man lore by creating a character molded after his own personality. To this day I still smile when I think about that.

    He understood how to turn it on for the cameras, but his commitment and undying love of the craft is what inspired so many to grow up and establish positions in these studios so those stories we grew up with, could find the proper platform (and dignity) to be told to a much bigger audience today. Now it's funny to listen to people talk about these heroes in such a familiar way regarding stories that, in some cases, are 40 to 50 years old. Its nice to see the rest of the world caught up with us.

    Stan Lee's passing is certainly a moment to reflect regarding his influence and impact on so many. But it also serves to remind me there is so much of him written into that Marvel universe, his spirit will live on eternally with each and every page that is created. His belief in the impossible is why so much of it is reality today. What a legacy. Never give up on your dreams. Thank you Stan.
    Last edited by MIB41; Nov 19, '18 at 5:20 PM.
    It's not how hard you hit, but how hard you can be hit and still move forward.

  2. #2
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    I once heard Jay Allen Friedman, whose cubical was right next to Stan at one point of his life, refer to Lee as "convivial".

    Other than content, I think Stan's biggest contribution to the medium is his ambassadorship, he leaned on a strength of being very likable. He treated readers with respect and gave them a voice, he promoted creators in a fashion that wasn't done previously and he spent a lot of time justifying his vocation.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIB41 View Post
    I came across this old 20/20 interview covering the 25th anniversary of Marvel Comics back in 1986..... His belief in the impossible is why so much of it is reality today. What a legacy. Never give up on your dreams. Thank you Stan.
    Thank you so much for posting this,and for your beautiful words. I'm still having a bit of a time watching him in video and this overwhelming feeling of being moved by him. It's hard to believe he has left us 'in body'; but indubitably, his spirit is ongoing.

  4. #4
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    I remember that 20/20 segment. I recorded it on our VCR! Great thoughts on Lee, Tom.

    Chris
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