For those of you who have not heard the news, Stan Lee, passed away Monday (Nov. 12) at the age of 95. It was a very sad day for all comic fans around the world for we have lost a tremendous individual that has changed the landscape of what comic books have become and he had a very unique tone of how to weave stories about special individuals dealing with unique problems. And although they were just stories, there was always a sense of realism, regardless of how ridiculous the idea was. He gave us so many characters for us to enjoy from their first publication to seeing them on movie screens.
He has created some of the most important characters on the Marvel roster; Fantastic Four, Iron-Man, X-Men, Dr. Strange just to name a few of the hundreds. But the biggest one for me personally was Spider-Man. Growing up, Spider-Man was my go to when I went to buy comics. Not just because of the interesting rogue gallery, but in a way, I could relate to Peter. A nerdy kid that got bullied all the time and then one day, found meaning in his life. That’s what I always loved about him. Yes, part of me hoped that being bitten by a radioactive spider and getting powers was a viable option, but in reality, it was more about the struggle. Just growing up was hard enough for me, but Peter helped see that there is a light at the end of this miserable tunnel, and although it’s not super powers, it was a better outlook on life and I can choose what I do with time I have to make this a better place for myself and others.
I was lucky enough to meet Stan by accident at a convention years ago. I was working a booth right in front of his merchandise booth. I was on lunch and decided to go look at his stuff. I was contemplating on a couple items when I noticed some people on my right were gasping and holding their phones up. When I turned to my left to see what it was about, I noticed that standing next next me, was Stan himself. He was suppose to be at the convention later that day for a signing and he should up early to look at his booth. He was trying to be as stealthy as possible, but that failed pretty fast. I didn’t have a chance to pull my phone out to get a photo, but I was able to shake his hand and say thank you for everything you have done. He wasn’t able to say anything back, as his security whisked him away as all the attendance of the convention descended on us. I didn’t end up buying anything that day because I just had the best 45 seconds of my life, and that was priceless.
Thank you again, Stan Lee, for your contribution to our lives. You have helped me and many others in understanding what we can accomplish. You have been a huge part of our lives, and as much as pains us to see you go, we know you never have really left us. Your inspiration lives on in us all.
One final time, with feeling; Excelsior.