RIP Stan Lee. You Meant So Much To Me.
Today, Marvel and Disney Legend Stan Lee passed away.
I am literally beside myself and just heartbroken.
I haven't felt this sad about a death since Carrie Fisher's passing. Stan has been in my life as long as I can remember. I'm not just talking about the characters he co-created with such legends as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many other - Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the X-Men, Daredevil and so many more. I'm actually talking about Stan "The Man" himself.
First, there were Stan's Soapboxes printed in Marvel Comics every month. I always remembering getting my comics and flipping through to read them. There was something magical about the way they were written. Like you could imagine him sitting in your house standing on an actual soapbox. And, I learned so much from Stan through these Soapboxes. While I was not alive when he wrote his famous Soapbox about bigotry, I do remember reading it as a child through back issues since Silver Age comics were relatively easy to obtain in the early 70s. So, Stan really did teach me about the world - about racism and social injustice.
Then, there was these three books that I took everywhere with me:
While I now know that Stan didn't actually write some of these books, I believed that Stan taught me how to cook, exercise and draw! I absolutely adored these books and wish I still had them.
Then, there was actually hearing and seeing him in shows such as Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Marvel Action Hour and the X-Men. I loved when he called us "True Believers."
And, I loved that he was asked to do cameos in many of the Marvel films. It made me smile hearing people vocally acknowledge knowing who he was when he appeared on screen. I always thought he just belonged to us comic book nerds. So, it was amazing to see that he really was known to the world.
I love this video that shows all his Marvel appearances through 2016 as it really does show how long he has been such a presence.
Finally, I was blessed that I got to see Stan Lee in person on several occasions at Comic-Con, Stan Lee's Comikaze and, finally, at the D23 Expo where he was named a Disney Legend. I always enjoyed listening to his talks. His stories were such a joy to listen to.
I took this video at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International. Please excuse the shaky camera work.
For me, this must feel like it was when Walt Disney died. This is a true cultural legend who has left us today.
My only solace is that he had a remarkable 95 years, working until the very end and leaving with us such a legacy of characters. I rest easy knowing that he will be reunited with his beloved Joanie in the afterlife.
RIP Stan. You made me a true believer! Excelsior!