STAN L E E 1922-2018
Often credited with transforming the industry forever, the late Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, editor, former president and Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Comics. Born Stanley Lieber in Manhattan, New York City, on 28th December 1922, he graduated from high school early and eventually became an assistant at Timely Comics – which would later evolve into Marvel Comics. Following a stint in the United States Army, Stan was tasked by publisher Martin Goodman in the late 1950s to create a superhero team to rival that of DC Comics. The first superheroes Stan and artist Jack Kirby created were the Fantastic Four. In collaboration with Jack and Steve Ditko, he went on to co-create Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Silver Surfer, the Avengers and many other fictional characters. From the tip of his pen and the keys of his trusted typewriter flowed not only larger-than-life superheroes, but an exploration of social issues such as bigotry, injustice and discrimination. As a result, Stan’s Marvel Revolution extended beyond the characters and
storylines to engage with his audience and create a community between readers and creators. His unconventional approach may have got him into hot water with the Comic Codes Authority, but in 1984 Stan was awarded the National Medal of Arts by the United States Congress – the highest honour awarded to an individual artist in the USA. Previous recipients include Georgia O’Keefe, William de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein and Bob Dylan. Known as much for his rapport with fans as his impact on the world of comic books, he remarked in an interview with the Radio Times: “It’s always great when people come up to me and mention how much they like the characters I’ve created. It’s always a great feeling to hear that.” Such was Stan’s legend that upon his passing at the age of 95 in Los Angeles, California, on 12th November 2018, millions of messages poured in from around the world. Countless generations united to remember the man who made us believe that there is a hero inside us all.
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