Stan Lee

Out­side: Lee-ma­nia. In­side: Comic-con’s spir­i­tual god­fa­ther is check­ing up on us

Empire (UK) - - COMIC CON -

Stan Lee has some­thing to get off his chest. “Most peo­ple who write the word ‘comic­book’ write it as two words,” he says. “Don’t ever let them do that again. When you do that, it means a ‘funny book’. that’s not what comic­books nec­es­sar­ily are. no, it’s a comic­book. One word! You see to it. I will check on you later.”

If any­one is qual­i­fied to know how comic boo — sorry, comic­book — should be spelled, it’s Lee. In a blur of cre­ativ­ity dur­ing the ’60s that ri­valled the Bea­tles’ out­put around the same time, this is the man who co-cre­ated the likes of Spi­der-man, the X-men, the hulk, the Fan­tas­tic Four, Dare­devil, the avengers and more. With­out him, comic­books would prob­a­bly still be an un­der­ground con­cern. With­out him, you could ar­gue, there wouldn’t even be a Comic-con. talk­ing to Em­pire in his two-floor suite at a San Diego ho­tel, Lee shies away from a state­ment so all-en­com­pass­ing. “I wouldn’t say that. the Comic-con is re­ally a prod­uct of all the work that ev­ery­body does in the comic­book busi­ness. It’s a pop-cul­ture thing, more than just comics. Of course, comics are at the head of pop cul­ture. Don’t you for­get it!”

now 94, Lee was re­cently be­reaved by the loss of his wife of 69 years, Joan. But he’s still a force of na­ture, and around the halls and cor­ri­dors of the Con, he’s very much the Man. Dur­ing our in­ter­view, Michael Rooker shows up to pay his re­spects, bel­low­ing Lee’s catch­phrase, “ex­cel­sior!”, and kiss­ing the el­der gen­tle­man on the fore­head. When he goes out­side, it’s Lee-ma­nia. So, what’s it like be­ing Stan Lee at Comic-con? “I’ll show you why I’m such a good in­ter­view,” he dead­pans. “It’s nice.” all hail the king of comic­books.

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