Stan Lee, the progenitor of contemporary pop culture and the man who gave us the modern, flawed and accessible super-hero turned 90 today, and continues to fulfill his role as the elderly statesman of the comic book industry with the sort of vigor men 70 years his junior all but lack.
I could spend pages patting ‘The Man’ on the back for his contributions to comics, art, storytelling, industry and beyond, but instead I’ve decided to allow Stan’s words to sum him up better than I possibly could.
Here’s 6 of the best Stan Lee quotes I’ve ever heard from ‘The Man’ off of the comics page. Enjoy True Believers:
I’m sort of a pressure writer. If somebody says, “Stan, write something,” and I have to have it by tomorrow morning, I’ll just sit down and I’ll write it. It always seems to come to me. But I’m better doing a rushed job because if it isn’t something that’s due quickly, I won’t work on it until it becomes almost an emergency and then I’ll do it.
To be honest, when I was writing these stories a million years ago, I never thought about movies at all one way or another. It would have seemed almost miraculous for these things to be movies someday. To me, they were just comic books that I hoped would sell so I could keep my job.
When you work with people whom you respect and whom you like and you admire because they’re so good at what they do, it doesn’t feel like work… It’s like you’re playing.
Everybody wants to feel that you’re writing to a certain demographic because that’s good business, but I’ve never done that … I tried to write stories that would interest me. I’d say, what would I like to read?… I don’t think you can do your best work if you’re writing for somebody else, because you never know what that somebody else really thinks or wants.
I always sympathized with the people who did work for hire; I was one of them.
I’m no prophet, but I’m guessing that comic books will always be strong. I don’t think anything can really beat the pure fun and pleasure of holding a magazine in your hand, reading the story on paper, being able to roll it up and put it in your pocket, reread again later, show it to a friend, carry it with you, toss it on a shelf, collect them, have a lot of magazines lined up and read them again as a series. I think young people have always loved that. I think they always will.
Excelsior Stan! Excelsior!