In Memory of Stan Lee
We here at The Geekiary, like so many others, were deeply touched by yesterday’s announcement that Stan Lee had passed away. Some of us have gathered our thoughts about the loss of such a legend, and we encourage our followers to share theirs in the comments.
Admin Angel: Marvel has been a huge part of my life for many years, and most of the characters that I held dear came from Stan Lee’s brilliant mind. He managed to convey powerful messages through timeless characters that spanned generations. Children, parents, and grandparents bonded over the adventures he created.
But the most powerful thing Stan Lee brought to us was his ability to make us each feel like we mattered to him. It didn’t matter that he met literally millions of fans over the years. For that brief moment when he met YOU, you mattered to him. This isn’t something every celebrity is capable of doing, but he managed to do it even when his health began to decline. You’ll be missed, Stan. But you’ll forever be remembered.
Emily Rose: Stan Lee taught me to read. My mother would probably disagree on who should get the credit there, but she’s as much to blame, I suppose – they were her comics first. Stan Lee got me my first job out of college, too – after a fashion, at least. I was standing in the office of an eccentric man with more money than sense, I caught a reference that he dropped, and we ended up discussing comics until I walked away with a job buying and selling first edition rare comic books for him. I sat at my dining room table only weeks later carefully paging through a beaten up copy of Fantastic Four #1, gently turning pages in gloved hands looking for foxing and wear, any tears or fading, and cataloguing it all. I was afraid to breathe too hard on those pages, even though I had the same story in glossy, bright colors in reprints, in graphic novels. When it went to auction, it passed from my hands to someone else’s, and everyone who encountered it in between treated that beaten up little comic like a sacred religious text.
In a way, I suppose it is. It resonated with readers, fostered community identities, and shaped generations of people across the globe.
It’s hard to overstate what an impact Stan Lee has had on my life and my understanding of the world. The stories we read become a part of us, and the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Avengers, Fantastic Four…they were more than simply my childhood on a page, in cartoons, in movies. They were flawed, sure – most of my favorite things are from the start, or the flaws become more apparent with age – but they shaped me. I would not be who I am today without that influence. I know that’s true for a lot of us. Stan Lee’s legacy lives on in all of us who grew up in a world forever changed for having had him in it.
Farid: I think everyone who reads comic books or is into any branch of the Marvel fandom (video games, animated series, movies, etc.) has had their life impacted by Stan Lee, whether they realize it or not. He is responsible for so many iconic fictional characters including the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, and Hulk (just to name a few).
His work will live on for generations to come and I feel lucky I was born in a time that allowed me to see him alive and watch the geek fandom give him the love and respect he rightfully deserves. His passing is sad and the fandom has experienced a loss no other person will be able to fill.
With all of the family and professional drama going around him, I was happy to see Stan Lee slowly take back control of his life and business. Over the last few months, it was unfortunate to read news stories about a man who was beloved around the globe, but couldn’t experience the respect and love from those closest to him. I just hope his last moments were painless and that, if not here, he found happiness and peace in the next world.
Tara: Sometimes a person comes along who is larger than life, and Stan Lee was one of those people. His imagination and creativity gave us so much and influenced so many – as Farid said, I think that anyone who has fallen in love with any branch of the Marvel universe has had their life impacted by Stan Lee, whether they know it or not. He will be greatly missed, but for my part, it has helped to remind myself that he lived a very long, very full life.
Khai: Stan Lee’s motto “Excelsior” means “onward and upward to greater glory”. It’s how he lived his life, how he wrote his characters, and how he encouraged his fans to live. He wasn’t phased by critics who dismissed his work as “kid’s stuff”. Instead, he used his characters to explore serious real world issues with compassion and humor.
The X-Men, Spider-Man, Black Panther – they used the lens of fiction to humanize current events in a way that encouraged acceptance and cooperation over fear and bigotry. When we were kids playing superheroes no one wanted to be Bolivar Trask with his army of mutant-killing Sentinels. We wanted to be Professor X, trying to build a bridge between groups of people and break down fear of the unknown (even if we were a little more focused on the cool mutant powers back then). It’s a definition of heroism we can (and do) take out into the real world. The world is a little stronger, a little kinder, and a lot more colorful for having had almost a century of Stan Lee’s talent.
Good night, sir. You will be missed.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is a fandom and geek culture expert, public speaker, and character cosplayer who is best known for her Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), and Andrea (The Walking Dead) cosplays. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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