RIP Stan Lee

My son came home from school yesterday and, with a bit of shock in his voice, asked me: “Dad, did you hear Stan Lee has died.”

I had.

There was a pang or two of deep sadness when I first heard the news.
Yet, I thought to myself, “Stan had a great run.” Stan didn’t just
have a hand in creating one iconic character, he became synonymous
with helping to create a universe of memorable characters –– the best
superheroes in the galaxy.

Comics were a big part of my childhood. I was definitely a Marvel man.
I grew up reading Lee and Ditko, and Lee and Kirby. A massive Ditko
Spider-man poster hung in my bedroom, I went to comic book
conventions, and I spent hours drawing every Marvel character in
sketchbook after sketchbook. I jumped over rooftops, swung between
buildings, yelled “Flame on!” or “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” because of
Stan. Indeed, I was a “True Believer”.

I don’t have as much interest in what is being produced in today’s
market, most superhero comics lack the imagination and majesty of the
era gone by, but my love of the medium, its promise and potential,
remains intact.

Perhaps Stan’s greatest gift was that he gave outsiders — lonely,
shy, awkward misfits — a place to which to escape and a clan to
which to belong.

Thank you, Stan Lee. RIP.

Kaja Blackley is the author of Maggie MacCormack and the Witches’ Wheel on sale now:


Photograph: Getty Images