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ghost of miles

Stan Lee R.I.P.

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I'm paraphrasing and possibly even misattributing, but I recall Archie Shepp saying something to the effect that you cannot understate the value of comic books in teaching the underprivileged and communities of color how to read. I'd do one better and say that my early love of comic books gave a kind of anchor in the way of personhood that neither traditional literature nor even music were able to offer. I have very vivid memories of spending Christmas in the Philippines and reading a holiday themed issue of Superman that helped contextualize my sort of mixed heritage--Superman being, of course, a kind of paradigmatic immigrant.

I was always more of a DC guy, but I think Stan Lee's mark on his medium cannot be understated. The idea that these mythical figures were at heart deeply human had a profound impact on both comic books as a narrative artform and popular fiction in general. Despite his outsize celebrity, I think it's his contributions as a writer and conceptualist that will persevere. Huge, incalculable thanks from me. 

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RIP Stan.  He was not an innovator; he was a good promoter and showman.  The real work was done by several artists who worked for him, especially Kirby and Ditko.  I will give him credit for taking the long form comic strip narrative and applying it to comic books, spreading a storyline out over many issues and even different titles.  It got people to buy books that they wouldn't have, except for the fact it had x character appearing in it.  Guys like Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Jim Shooter and others probably did more to build Marvel into prominence than anything that Stan ever did.  But he was a good front for the company, and popular.

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If this thread doesn't belong in the "Artists" forum, we're really misinterpreting the word's meaning. :)

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Yes, RIP.  A big chunk of my childhood is now gone.  I loved Marvel in my tweens, and didn't understand why comic books didn't get the respect I thought they deserved.  It took a few decades, but that respect eventually came.

Business and money don’t breed warm feelings.  While I can understand why Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, etc., may have felt cheated, well, that's business.  In many respects, Stan was like Steve Jobs: it was ultimately his concept, and he got it done.

Marvel was, IMHO, a helluva lot better than DC: in story lines, humanity, artwork, humor, and so much else.  I was very fortunate to have been "into" Marvel in the late '60's, when their books were infused with the spirit of that time: the artwork and layouts were poppier, the writing more philosophical.  Some of my favorites were Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer and The Watcher.  All very strange characters, and ones you wouldn't expect in superhero comic books.

Yes, it was a great time, brought to you by a kid from the outer boroughs of NYC.  RIP.

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2 hours ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

If this thread doesn't belong in the "Artists" forum, we're really misinterpreting the word's meaning. :)

I just put it in this forum since he wasn't a musician (well, as far as I know, anyway ^_^).

Regarding some of the comments about comic books above, we need look no further than Mr. Wayne Shorter (whose love of the form extends to helping to pen a graphic superhero novel that accompanies his latest release on Blue Note). 

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I was never a comic book person, though I did love The Dark Knight material, but it’s impossible to not acknowledge what a powerhouse, and pioneer, he was in the industry. 

A true titan has been lost. 

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1 hour ago, mjzee said:

Yes, RIP.  A big chunk of my childhood is now gone.  I loved Marvel in my tweens, and didn't understand why comic books didn't get the respect I thought they deserved.  It took a few decades, but that respect eventually came.

Business and money don’t breed warm feelings.  While I can understand why Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, etc., may have felt cheated, well, that's business.  In many respects, Stan was like Steve Jobs: it was ultimately his concept, and he got it done.

Marvel was, IMHO, a helluva lot better than DC: in story lines, humanity, artwork, humor, and so much else.  I was very fortunate to have been "into" Marvel in the late '60's, when their books were infused with the spirit of that time: the artwork and layouts were poppier, the writing more philosophical.  Some of my favorites were Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer and The Watcher.  All very strange characters, and ones you wouldn't expect in superhero comic books.

Yes, it was a great time, brought to you by a kid from the outer boroughs of NYC.  RIP.

I was also a "Silver Age" reader and collector, deep into Marvel from the mid to late 60s. Still have 'em. I have to disagree a bit with Stefan Wood. While Kirby was absolutely brilliant, he felt (rightly) abused and under-recognized at Marvel, and tended to understate Stan's role. It was a partnership, and Stan deserves a lot of credit. RIP.

 

 

gregmo

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59 minutes ago, gmonahan said:

I was also a "Silver Age" reader and collector, deep into Marvel from the mid to late 60s. Still have 'em. I have to disagree a bit with Stefan Wood. While Kirby was absolutely brilliant, he felt (rightly) abused and under-recognized at Marvel, and tended to understate Stan's role. It was a partnership, and Stan deserves a lot of credit. RIP.

 

 

gregmo

Kirby's opinion was shared by others.  Remember, Lee's plot contributions were generalized concepts that the artists brought to full fruition and detail .  In many cases they introduced characters that either fell flat on their faces or became classic characters on their own.  Kirby's beef was that he was not getting credit (and money) for these ideas that he brought in.  Timely was not doing well in the late 50s until Kirby and Ditko came in and started doing creature feature type stories.  Stan was always a businessman, not a creative genius.

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I don't know enough of the respective histories to weigh in on the Lee vs. Kirby debate, but I am about halfway through an excellent book devoted to Kirby's life and work:

Kirby: King Of Comics

61yNdvLD7wL._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

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when-asked-ifdigital-comics-would-replac

Ah, comic books!

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I saw that obit mix up on the Wolf Eyes twitter (or maybe their instagram) and thought it was a joke. Guess not! Oof.

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Draw The Right Thing.

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