Saturday, November 17, 2018

Quips and Quotations (Marvel Age of Comics Edition)

Stan Lee 1922-2018

Just some of the characters, or group of characters, co-created by Lee:

The Fantastic Four
The Hulk
Spider-Man
Thor
Iron Man
Doctor Strange
The Avengers
Daredevil
Nick Fury
The X-Men
The Silver Surfer
The Watcher

Note I said "co-created". Lee was a writer, but not an artist, in a very visual medium: comic books. The pictures were left in the hands of the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, while Lee focused on the words. That he's now seen by many (though not without some controversy) as one of the most important people to have ever worked in comics, is testament to just how good he was with words. 

The following quotes has been culled from interviews, books Lee wrote, and the very pages of the comics he made famous. Here then, in his own words, is Smilin' Stan:

Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic. It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, and the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.

[Being a ‘geek’] has become a badge of honor. It’s geeks who really make or break a TV show or movie or video game. They’re the ones who are passionate about these things and who collect [the paraphernalia] and talk about them. A geek is really somebody interested in communication and entertainment and [finding] the best way to avail himself or herself to it..

For years, kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower. I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works. I’ve been lucky.



I thought it would be great to do superheroes that have the same kind of life problems that any reader—that anybody—could have. ... Just because you have superpowers, that doesn't mean your love life would be perfect. I don't think superpowers automatically means there won't be any personality problems, family problems or even money problems. I just tried to write characters who are human beings who also have superpowers.

Okay! If you've read this far, we figured your hooked! There's no turning back now! So hold onto you hats...Here goes one of the most exciting super-adventures you've ever read.

The editors sincerely feel that this may well be one of the most gripping tales of the year!




[Publisher Martin Goodman] said "Hey, maybe there's still a market for superheroes. Why don't you bring out a team just like the Justice League. We could call it the Righteous League or something. I worked for him and had to do what he wanted, so I was willing to turn out a team of superheroes. But I figured I'll be damned if I'm just going to copy DC.

To keep it from getting too goody-goody, there is always friction between Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, with Human Torch siding with Mr. F.



Although a costume isn't required of superheroes, the fans love costumes. The characters are more popular if they wear costumes (don't ask me why.) In the first issue of The Fantastic Four, I didn't have them wear costumes. I received a ton of mail from fans saying that they loved the book, but they wouldn't buy another issue unless we gave the characters costumes.



Like costumed heroes? Confidentially, we in the comic mag business refer to them as "long underwear characters." And, as you know, they're a dime a dozen! But, we think you may find our Spider-Man just a bit...different!



And a lean, silent figure slowly fades into the gathering darkness, aware at last that in this world, with great power also comes--great responsibility!

Why don't things ever seem to turn out right for me? Why do I always seem to hurt people, no matter how hard I try not to? Is this the price I must always pay for being...Spider-Man??!



I don't get it! How do other superhuman guys, like the Fantastic Four and the Ant Man, get away with it?? Nobody bothers them! And they always seem to make enough dough!

I wonder how many other guys with super-powers get scolded by their aunts if they don't toe the mark?

Sure! Sure! Every time I turn around I get "doomed" by someone else!

If anyone asks what happened to you guys, make sure to spell my name right! There's a hyphen in it, remember!



Hmm, now what do I do with you? You're too bad-tempered to keep as a pet, and much too old to adopt! I guess I'll just leave you hear 'till the police find you--if you [Kraven the Hunter] promise not to try and hunt the first little bunny rabbit or squirrel that comes by!




Get outta here! You costumed freaks should all be outlawed! Ever since Spider-Man entered my life, even my ulcers have ulcers!






We sort of give the idea that our characters are reasonably normal people who won't turn the other way if a pretty girl comes by. We don't attempt to play up the sex in anyway, but if a story should who is attracted to somebody of the opposite sex or whatever, we try to put it in so it makes sense.



This demonstrates how some people in big positions are idiots. [Lee's boss, publisher Martin Goodman, nixed the idea of calling a group of superheroes The Mutants on the basis that kids wouldn't know what the word meant, so they they became the X-Men instead.]   

I wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story to show there’s good in every person.



Have you noticed the sorry mess of  Marvel IMITATIONS making the scene lately? Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery and all that jazz, but we wanna make darn sure no dyed-in-the-wool Marvel Madman gets stuck with one of those Brand Echh [Lee's name for rival DC Comics] versions of the real thing.



Everybody's favorite guessing game these days is trying to figure out the real identity of the Sub-Mariner's powerful penciller, "Adam Austen" [Gene Colan, who was still on DC's payroll.]

I put in everybody's name. I even put the letterer's name down. I wanted it to be a bit like a movie. I wanted the readers to get to know who we were and become fans. I wanted to personalize things and not just "These are the books. You buy them or you don't buy them. You don't know who did them and you don't care." I wanted to give it a friendly feeling, as though we're all part of one group of fans and we enjoy what we're doing and we know each other.

Written in the masterful manner of Stan Lee!
Illustrated in the magnificent mode of Jack Kirby!
Inked in the majestic mood of Joe Sinnott!
Lettered in the nick of time by Sy Rosen! 

Written in the white heat of inspiration by: Stan Lee
Drawn in a wild frenzy of enthusiasm by: Steve Ditko
Lettered in a comfortable room by: Art Simek 


Written by: Stan Lee (the poor man's Shakespeare)
Illustrated by Steve Ditko (the poor man's da Vinci)
Lettered by Art Simek (the poor man's rich man)

Written by: Spidey's godfather, Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Spidey's big daddy, Steve Ditko
Lettered by: S. Rosen (Spidey's second cousin on his uncle's side!) 



Although a costume isn’t required of superheroes, the fans love costumes. The characters are more popular if they wear costumes. (Don’t ask me why.) In the first issue of the Fantastic Four, I didn’t have them wear costumes. I received a ton of mail from fans saying that they loved the book, but they wouldn’t buy another issue unless we gave the characters costumes.

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/13/stan-lee-quotes-on-superheroes-and-heroism-as-the-marvel-creator-passes-away-at-95-8134093/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/


Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them — even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.’

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/13/stan-lee-quotes-on-superheroes-and-heroism-as-the-marvel-creator-passes-away-at-95-8134093/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

 I’m a frustrated actor. My goal is to beat Alfred Hitchcock in the number of cameos. I’m going to try to break his record.

We told you this story would be a bit different, didn't we?? So far as we know, it's the first time in history that an adventure hero had no actual fight with any foe!



Be sure to keep your eyes on the startling Scorpion! We predict he's definitely a candidate for the Super-Villains Hall of Fame!  

Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic. It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, and the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.’

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/13/stan-lee-quotes-on-superheroes-and-heroism-as-the-marvel-creator-passes-away-at-95-8134093/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic. It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, and the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.’

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/13/stan-lee-quotes-on-superheroes-and-heroism-as-the-marvel-creator-passes-away-at-95-8134093/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUFor years, kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower. I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works. I’ve been lucky[Being a ‘geek’] has become a badge of honor. It’s geeks who really make or break a TV show or movie or video game. They’re the ones who are passionate about these things and who collect [the paraphernalia] and talk about them. A geek is really somebody interested in communication and entertainment and [finding] the best way to avail himself or herself to it..I wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story to show there’s good in every person.

Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood. Everybody thinks he's a criminal, but all he wants is to rule the world. Now, if you really think about it objectively, you could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, 'Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.' He can't arrest you; it's not a crime to want to rule the world. So [...] it's unfair that he's considered a villain, because he just wants to rule the world. Then maybe he could do a better job of it. So I'm very interested in Doctor Doom, and I'd like to clear his name.



 'Nuff said!










Although a costume isn’t required of superheroes, the fans love costumes. The characters are more popular if they wear costumes. (Don’t ask me why.) In the first issue of the Fantastic Four, I didn’t have them wear costumes. I received a ton of mail from fans saying that they loved the book, but they wouldn’t buy another issue unless we gave the characters costumes.’

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/13/stan-lee-quotes-on-superheroes-and-heroism-as-the-marvel-creator-passes-away-at-95-8134093/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

















Although a costume isn’t required of superheroes, the fans love costumes. The characters are more popular if they wear costumes. (Don’t ask me why.) In the first issue of the Fantastic Four, I didn’t have them wear costumes. I received a ton of mail from fans saying that they loved the book, but they wouldn’t buy another issue unless we gave the characters costumes.’

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/13/stan-lee-quotes-on-superheroes-and-heroism-as-the-marvel-creator-passes-away-at-95-8134093/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/









10 comments:

  1. Nice post on Stan Lee. I knew you would blog something.
    What a handsome man he was.
    I like that he made sure everyone had their name put in like a movie credit.
    Plus love the cameos. Loved when they had him on The Big Bang Theory.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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    Replies
    1. parsnip, putting credits in comic books was once a very rare thing. For instance, Carl Barks wrote and drew the very popular Donald Duck comic books in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, but nobody knew that because the company he worked for, Western Publishing (Gold Key Comics) didn't list credits. It was only after he retired that comic historians (yes, there are such people) find out who he was. Now that he's known, his original art is worth a lot of money, so if a picture of Scrooge McDuck with Barks' signature ever comes into your possession, think about taking your next vacation on the French Riviera.

      Anyway, Lee changed all that. In the 1970s, DC Comics began poaching writers and artists (most notably Jack Kirby) from Marvel, but they would they would only switch sides as long as they continued to get credit for their work. DC, which had resisted credits for so long, finally said yes, and now it's commonplace across the industry.

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    2. In that second paragraph, you have my permission to ignore one of the two "they would" couplings.

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    3. Many of us only know how Stan Lee looks as an older man. That's is why it was fun for me to see him younger.

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    4. It's just the opposite with me, parsnip. I've been aware of Lee since the 1970s, and even back then, I occasionally saw photos of him, so I honestly thought nothing of it when I put a picture of him on this post when he was younger. As is so often the case with any public figure I grew up with, I actually found it kind of unsettling that got old!

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  2. It is strange to see Stan not old.

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    Replies
    1. Adam, the current spate of superhero movies made Lee a household name in his old age. But when he was actually dreaming up those characters, he was basically unknown outside of comic fandom, which is why there's relatively so few pictures of him when he was young.

      In a way, Stan Lee resembles Mark Twain and Albert Einstein. The most common, the most iconic, photos of Twain and Einstein is from when they were elderly men with white hair, even though their most significant accomplishments occurred when they were much younger (and had much darker hair.)

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  3. What a creative mind! And I love seeing pictures of him as a younger man!

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    Replies
    1. Mitchell, I had to work this weekend, so couldn't really go into what he did that make Marvel comics so unique. Basically, Lee turned the concept of the superhero on its head. In the DC comics universe of the 1940s and '50s, superheroes are beloved celebrities who regularly get their pictures taken with the President. Lee, however, put forth the notion that superheroes might end up being more feared, resented, reviled, than loved, and at best would be seen as antiheroes, no matter what good deeds they performed. Since there are no superheroes in real life, it's hard to say whether DC's or Marvel's view is the more accurate, but Lee's approach was certainly novel for its time.

      Everyone seems surprised that Lee was once young, but you have to first be young before you can get old (I wish it was the other way around.)

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