Monday was a sad day for many geeks around the world as they discovered that legendary comic creator Stan Lee had passed away at the age of ninety-five. Another member of our Geek Family, GeekDad Editor-in-Chief Matt Blum even got the interview him once as part of a promotional giveaway. Tributes have been flying across the internet since Mr. Lee’s passing was announced, and some of the writers of GeekMom would like to share their own comments about the comic legend. Excelsior, Mr. Lee, and thanks for all the stories.
“The X-Men and Black Panther comics of my youth dealt with issues that shaped who I am today. Stan Lee created a lot of the comics that informed who I grew up to be because they challenged me to think about the world differently.”
-MAJK (MJ Kaufmann)
“I am not a comic book person, but Stan Lee has always fascinated me anyway. I knew Spider-Man from Saturday morning cartoons, and I knew Stan Lee because he would narrate an introduction to each episode. ‘THIS is Stan Lee,’ they’d always start. ‘Who IS this guy?’ I’d wonder, and when I found out, it amazed me that he took time to personally introduce each episode of this little cartoon instead of, like, living disinterestedly off his royalties while other people handled his characters.
As I learned more about him over time, I appreciated how much he genuinely cared about his fans, the way he wrote letters in the comic books, and then the way he gamely showed up to make cameos of himself in shows even before the MCU made it a tradition. And yes, Spider-Man was still MY superhero, for the first part of my life – even if I didn’t read comic books. And then as superhero movies became more of a thing, I got to meet so many more of his characters, and become a loyal Marvel girl across the board. ‘That’s funny,’ said my now-husband when he first learned this about me, ‘I would have expected you to be DC; Marvel is so much more angsty.’ ‘Angsty and interesting!’ I retorted. Anyway, my point is, you don’t have to be a comic book reader to owe a part of your pop culture heart to Stan Lee.”
“The cameos really developed a fondness in the younger generation for Stan Lee and I see that in my kids, who have only a passing acquaintance with the original comic work. But they love each and every one of Stan Lee’s cameos in the movies. When I first started reading comics, he was doing Stan Lee’s Soapbox, signed EXCELSIOR or ‘Nuff Said, more than he was writing comics. He was the first guy who went viral, so to speak, with the idea that comics are cool and he made you feel cool for reading them.
To the public, he was the voice of superheroes.”
“I didn’t grow up with Marvel comics the same way many of our other GeekDads and GeekMoms did. However, I grew to love and appreciate Stan Lee, even reading many of his older comics, when the Iron Man film came out in 2008. It was great storytelling, something I know Mr. Lee does without comparison. Joining GeekMom in 2011 opened my eyes even more, and in 2012 I had the honor of marching in the Dragon*Con parade in downtown Atlanta, where I was just a couple groups behind Stan Lee riding in a new Ford Mustang convertible. So I had to share that picture with you now: ‘That time I saw Stan Lee in person, but was too nervous to go say “Hello.”‘”
“I remember in one of my Facebook groups this past year or so, a mother with adult children was so excited at the comic book collectibles her kids had bought her but was sort of afraid she was too old for this business. I told her that if Stan Lee wasn’t too old for this, than neither were the rest of us. He never gave up his imagination or sense of fun and I think that’s a lesson we should all carry with us.”
“I also met Stan Lee with the family back in 2014 in Sydney (I think it was 2014). Our boys asked a question during a panel (favorite superhero and why – great discussion about Stan Lee wanting to keep REAL SCIENCE in his heroes, like why Mjolnir helps Thor fly) and then had a chat during autographs. He loved the kids’ cosplay including EG Zaltu and her TARDIS carrier. He signed EG Nefarious’s Spider-Man hoodie and then told us how we are awesome parents; not because we are raising geeks but because we were sharing it with our kids as a family. I told him about Evil Genius Mum and he gave me a thumbs-up and said, ‘Stan Lee approved.’ Awesome Day.”
-Evil Genius Mum