Showing posts with label Stan Lee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stan Lee. Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Review - Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle between Marvel and DC

reviewed by Mike Rhode

There are a lot of comic book studies and histories coming out these days, as movies based on them have become a multi-billion dollar business and the academic world has accepted them as a legitimate field of study. I would estimate 40-50 prose books about comic books are published per year now, and there's at least five academic journals covering the field. 

Slugfest is aimed at a popular audience who have some basic knowledge about the fact that there are two major publishers of superheros comics, and are curious about the history of how they interacted over the years. Tucker is a journalist from New York City and writes a breezy story running from the 1930s up until the present. He frames the story as an ongoing "war" (his term) between the companies, beginning in earnest in the 1960s as "DC represented Eisenhower's America, Marvel ...like John F. Kennedy's." (p. xix) He concludes his introduction by stating, "This is the story of the fifty-year battle between the two companies - some of it driven by DC's desire to copy Marvel, some of it driven by Marvel's desire to copy DC, and some of it - the most fun stuff, let's be honest - driven by pure gamesmanship and spite." (p. xx) If that sounds appealing, you'll probably enjoy the rest of the book. I did.

Tucker cuts his take on the companies relationship into logical breaks. DC is the older company, having published Superman first in 1938, and the first chapter is "DC Becomes the Industry's Eight-Hundred-Pound Gorilla" and covers about a twenty-five year period. For the second chapter, "Mighty Marvel Comes Out Swinging," Marvel returns to its roots as a player in superhero comics, after chasing trends including romance, funny animals, westerns and science fiction from post-World War II until late 1961, when the Fantastic Four were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Having laid the groundwork, Tucker writes about the initial competition on the newsstand, when DC controlled Marvel's distribution, through ongoing poaching of talent and storylines, event-driven sales such as The Death of Superman, both companies being absorbed into bigger corporations, revolving editor-in-chief seats during tough times, and the battle for television and movie dominance, ending in 2016 with sales at both companies markedly depressed.

He does this largely through the use of interviews rather than primary sources or archival research. The advanced copy I received has incomplete notes (and no index), but he seems to largely have worked from published interviews given to a wide variety of media outlets over the years. Thus, this is a very dialogue-driven book, and one that's intensely personal - there's no reviews of corporate annual reports studied for absolute bottom line earnings. As a result, one should probably think twice about accepting as absolute truth a story or interpretation presented by Tucker, but you can certainly enjoy hearing the story.

I enjoyed this book much more than a lot of what I've read about superhero comics in the past few years. I may very well purchase a replacement hardcover to keep on my shelves. It's a fast read, and if you're curious about the history of the companies, this is a good place to start learning about fifty years of superhero publishing.




Monday, July 31, 2017

Bob Batchelor on the birth of Spider-Man echoed in local 'King Kirby' play currently running

Coincidentally, a press release from Bob Batchelor came through today that ties in strongly with the play King Kirby which is currently running in Greenbelt. The paragraph where Goodman asks for more Westerns (or whatever is selling) is a recurring episode in the play, as is this characterization of Stan Lee. In his upcoming biography of Stan Lee, Batchelor writes about the creation of Marvel's first superhero character, and Jack Kirby's role in it. With his permission, here's info on his book and the excerpt (which, if you think it gives Lee too much credit, bring it up with Bob please).

Fifty-five years ago the Amazing Spider-Man debuted in a comic book series that faced cancellation for low sales. If it weren’t for a stream of fan letters and readers gobbling up the book, one of the world’s most iconic superheroes would have died an untimely death.

T​he story behind Spider-Man’s creation and appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 is a tale filled with intrigue, and more importantly, Stan Lee’s calculated risk. The famed editor and writer deliberately ignored his boss – publisher Martin Goodman – who rejected the character, because “people hate spiders.” Unable to get Spider-Man out of his head, Lee had an origin story printed in AF #15. The overwhelming response and extraordinary sales would transform Marvel from a publishing also-ran to the hippest, hottest publisher on the planet.

Below is a 1,500-word excerpt on Spider-Man’s creation by noted biographer and cultural historian Bob Batchelor, which is excerpted from his new book Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel (published September 15, 2017).

Batchelor, who teaches at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is the author of more than 25 books, including Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2017, adult trade, retail $22.95). Amazon: http://amzn.to/2q4lNYe

A lifelong comic book fan and noted media resource, he has been an editorial consultant for numerous outlets and been quoted in or on BBC Radio World Service, Today.com, Columbus Dispatch, msnbc.com, The Miami Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Dallas Morning News, Taiwan News, Associated Press, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.

Spidey Saves the Day!
By Bob Batchelor


All lean muscles and tautness, a new superhero bursts from the page. Swinging right into the reader’s lap, the hero is masked, only alien-like curved eyes reveal human features, no mouth or nose is visible. His power is alarming: casually holding a ghoulish-looking criminal in one hand, while simultaneously swinging from a hair-thin cord high above the city streets. In the background, tiny figures stand on rooftops, looking on and pointing in what can only be considered outright astonishment.

The superhero is off-center, frozen in a moment, as if a panicked photographer snapped a series of frames. The image captures the speed, almost like flight, with the wind at his back. The hero’s deltoid ripples and leg muscles flex. Some mysterious webbing extends from his elbow to waist. Is this a man or creature from another world?

The answer is actually neither. Looking at the bright yellow dialogue boxes running down the left side of the page, the reader learns the shocking truth. This isn’t a grown man, older and hardened, like Batman or Superman, one an existential nightmare and the other a do-gooder alien. No, this hero is just a self-professed “timid teenager” named Peter Parker. The world, he exclaims, mocks the teen under the mask, but will “marvel” at his newfound “awesome might.”

It is August 1962. Spider-Man is born.

Spider-Man’s debut in a dying comic book called Amazing Fantasy happened because Stan Lee took a calculated risk. He trusted his instincts. Rolling the dice on a new character meant potentially wasting precious hours writing, penciling, and inking a title that might not sell. The business side of the industry constantly clashed with the creative, forcing fast scripting and artwork to go hand-in-hand.

In more than two decades toiling as a writer and editor, Lee watched genres spring to life, and then almost as quickly, readers would turn to something else. War stories gave way to romance titles, which might then ride a wave until monster comics became popular. In an era when a small group of publishers controlled the industry, they kept close watch over each other’s products in hopes of mimicking sales of hot titles or genres.

Lee calls Marvel’s publisher Martin Goodman, “One of the great imitators of all time.” Goodman dictated what Lee wrote after ferreting out tips and leads from golf matches and long lunches with other publishers. If he heard that westerns were selling for a competitor, Goodman would visit Lee, bellowing, “Stan, come up with some Westerns.”[1​] 

This versatility had been Lee’s strength, swiftly writing and plotting many different titles. He often used gimmicks and wordplay, like recycling the gunslinger Rawhide Kid in 1960 and making him into an outlaw or using alliteration, as in Millie the Model.

A conservative executive, Goodman rarely wanted change, which irked Lee. The writer bristled at his boss’s belittling beliefs, explaining, “He felt comics were really only read by very, very young children or stupid adults,” which meant “he didn’t want me to use words of more than two syllables if I could help it…Don’t play up characterization, don’t have too much dialogue, just have a lot of action.” Given the precarious state of publishing companies, which frequently went belly-up, and his long history with Goodman, Lee admits, “It was a job; I had to do what he told me.”[​2​]

Despite being distant relatives and longtime coworkers, the publisher and editor maintained a cool relationship. From Lee’s perspective, “Martin was good at what he did and made a lot of money, but he wasn’t ambitious. He wanted things to stay the way they were.”

Riding the wave of critical success and extraordinary sales of The Fantastic Four, Goodman gave Lee a simple directive: “Come up with some other superheroes.”[3​] The Fantastic Four, however, subtly shifted the relationship. Lee wielded greater authority. He used some of the profit to pay writers and editors more money, which then offloaded some of the pressure.

Launching Spider-Man, however, Lee did more than divert the energy of his staff. He actually defied Goodman.

For months, Lee grappled with the idea of a new superhero with realistic challenges that someone with superpowers would face living in the modern world. The new character would be “a teenager, with all the problems, hang-ups, and angst of any teenager.” Lee came up with the colorful “Spider-Man” name and envisioned a “hard-luck kid” both blessed and cursed by acquiring superhuman strength and the ability to cling to walls, just like a real-life spider.[4​]

Lee recalls pitching Goodman, embellishing the story of Spider-Man’s origin by claiming that he got the idea “watching a fly on the wall while I had been typing.”[​5​] He laid the character out in full: teen, orphan, angst, poor, intelligent, and other traits. Lee thought Spider-Man was a no-brainer, but to his surprise, Goodman hated it and forbade him from offering it as a standalone book.[6​]

The publisher had three complaints: “people hate spiders, so you can’t call a hero ‘Spider-Man’”; no teenager could be a hero “but only be a sidekick”; and a hero had to be heroic, not a pimply, unpopular kid. Irritated, Goodman asked Lee, “Didn’t [he] realize that people hate spiders?”[​7​] Given the litany of criticisms, Lee recalled, “Martin just wouldn’t let me do the book.”[8]

Realizing that he could not completely circumvent his boss, Lee made the executive decision to put Spider-Man on the cover of a series that had previously bombed, called Amazing Fantasy. Readers didn’t like AF, which featured thriller/fantasy stories by Lee and surreal art by Steve Ditko, Marvel’s go-to artist for styling the macabre, surreal, or Dali-esque. It seemed as if there were already two strikes against the teen wonder.

Despite these odds and his boss’s directive, Lee says that he couldn’t let the nerdy superhero go: “I couldn’t get Spider-Man out of my mind.”[9] He worked up a Spider-Man plot and handed it over to Marvel’s top artist, Jack Kirby. Lee figured that no one would care (or maybe even notice) a new character in the last issue of a series that would soon be discontinued.

With Spider-Man, however, Kirby missed the mark. His early sketches turned the teen bookworm into a mini-Superman with all-American good looks, like a budding astronaut or football star. Lee put Ditko on the title. His style was more suited for drawing an offbeat hero.

Ditko nailed Spider-Man, but not the cover art, forcing Lee to commission Kirby for the task, with Ditko inking. Lee could not have been happier with Ditko. He explained: “Steve did a totally brilliant job of bringing my new little arachnid hero to life.”[10] They finished the two-part story and ran it as the lead in AF #15. Revealing both the busy, all-hands state of the company and their low expectations, Lee recalled, “Then, we more or less forgot about him.”[11] As happy as Lee and Ditko were with the collaboration and outcome, there is no way they could have imagined that they were about to spin the comic book world onto a different axis.

The fateful day sales figures finally arrived. Goodman stormed into Lee’s office, as always awash in art boards, drawings, mockups, yellow legal pads, and memos littering the desk.

Goodman beamed, “Stan, remember that Spider-Man idea of yours that I liked so much? Why don’t we turn it into a series?”[​12]

If that wasn’t enough to knock Lee off-kilter, then came the real kicker: Spider-Man was not just a hit, the issue was in fact the fastest-selling comic book of the year, and maybe that decade. Lee recalls that AF skyrocketed to number one.[13]

The new character would be the keystone of Marvel’s superhero-based lineup. More importantly, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man transformed Marvel from a company run by imitating trends into a hot commodity. In March 1963, The Amazing Spider-Man #1 burst onto newsstands.

Fans could not get enough of the teen hero, so Lee and Marvel pushed the limits. Spider-Man appeared in Strange Tales Annual #2 (September 1963), a 72-page crossover between him and the Human Torch. And in Tales to Astonish, which had moved from odd, macabre stories to superheroes, Spidey guest-starred in #57 (July 1964), which focused on Giant-Man and Wasp. When The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 appeared in 1964, with Lee dubbing himself and Ditko “the most talked about team in comics today,” it featured appearances by every Marvel hero, including Thor, Dr. Strange, Captain America, and the X-Men.

Spider-Man now stood at the center of a comic book empire. Stan Lee could not have written a better outcome, even if given the chance.

All this from a risky run in a dying comic book!

______________________________
_

[
​1​
] Mark Lacter, “Stan Lee Marvel Comics Always Searching for a New Story,” Inc., November 2009, 96.
[
​2​
] Don Thrasher, “Stan Lee’s Secret to Success: A Marvel-ous Imagination,” Dayton Daily News, January 21, 2006, sec. E.
[
​3​
] Quoted in ibid.
[
​4​
] Stan Lee and George Mair, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002), 126–27.
[
​5​
] Ibid., 126.
[
​6​
] Roy Thomas, “Stan the Man and Roy the Boy: A Conversation between Stan Lee and Roy Thomas,” in Stan Lee Conversations, ed. Jeff McLaughlin (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007), 141.
[
​7​
] Lee and Mair, Excelsior!, 127.
[
​8​
] Thomas, “Stan the Man,” 141.
[
​9​
] Lee and Mair, Excelsior!, 127.
[
​10​
] Ibid., 128.
[
​11​
] Ibid., 128.
[
​12​
] Ibid., 128.
[
​13​
] Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran, Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir (New York: Touchstone, 2015), n.p.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

ComicsDC "interviews" Stan Lee for Awesome Con

by Mike Rhode


Stan Lee will be making an appearance at Awesome Con soon from June 16-18th, and yesterday local media got to send in questions and sit in on a phone conference while Mr. Lee answered some of them. I don't know who else was on the call, and don't want to step on their articles, but here are my two q&a's.

Q1 - In your most optimistic moment, either writing the comics during the 1960s, or pitching them after moving to California, could you ever have imagined the overwhelming success that the Marvel movie universe has had?

Stan Lee: No, I never in a million years thought it would turn out the way it did. I used to lecture around the country, around the world actually -- I went to Italy, to Germany, all over, and I'd speak at colleges and places telling them that comics were really a good way to tell a story. You're seeing the action and you're reading the dialogue. It's not much different from going to the theater and seeing a Shakespeare play. You're hearing the words and you're seeing the action. The differences is that in comics, the characters don't move, but it's the same thing; you hear the words while seeing the action. There's nothing wrong with the comic form. Actually, it's a great form -- it's just how well you do it.
One thing I'm going to mention parenthetically - the word 'comic book' should never be written as two words, because if it's written as two words, it means a comic book, a funny book. It should be one word - comicbook - that makes it a unique type of literature.

Q2 - Which Marvel character, that you created or worked on, do you think is under-rated and under-appreciated and is due for a revival, either in comics or on film?

Stan Lee: I think the Silver Surfer has been underrated. I think he's a great character. The thing I like about him - I was always able to get [in] a lot of bits of philosophy that he would utter. They don't use him as much as I wish they would. He's one of my favorite characters.

courtesy of Wikipedia

Here's more information on his appearances:

Stan Lee Premium Package
Presented by Stan Lee Collectibles, the Stan Lee Premium Package will be available for $350 and includes: 1 autograph from Stan Lee, a photo op, an autographed lithograph, a comic book from the Stan Lee Collectibles collection, a collectible Stan Lee Awesome Con badge and lanyard, and a $25 gift certificate for the Stan Lee Collectibles booth at Awesome Con. Admission to Awesome Con is not included with the Stan Lee Premium Package and must be purchased separately at www.awesomecon.com; this package will be available for purchase at 10am EST on Saturday, May 6.

Bagels & Coffee with Stan – Saturday, June 17, 8:00 am  SOLD OUT
150 guests will have the chance to join Stan Lee for an exclusive breakfast session with the pop culture icon the morning of Saturday, June 17. For $295, guests can participate in a Q&A session with Stan Lee while enjoying a light breakfast buffet. Attendees will also receive a signed photo of Stan Lee and the chance to snap a selfie with him. Admission to Awesome Con is not included in Bagels & Coffee with Stan and must be purchased separately atwww.awesomecon.com; this package will be available for purchase at 10am EST on Saturday, May 6. SOLD OUT

Stan Lee Museum Pop-Up
This year, Awesome Con is bringing together highlight items and collectibles from Stan Lee's expansive career together for the Stan Lee Museum Pop-Up. Check out 18 larger-than-life Marvel statues modeled after Stan Lee's most well-known characters, including the Hulkbuster, as well as more than 50 pieces of Stan Lee memorabilia spanning seven decades of his career. Awesome Con ticket holders have full access to the Stan Lee Museum Pop-Up during exhibit hall hours.

Stan Lee Q&A – Sunday, June 18, 10:30 am
Stan Lee will host a panel on Awesome Con's main stage on Sunday, June 18, answering questions from attendees about his career and his work over the years. Entry to the Stan Lee Q&A is included with Awesome Con tickets.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Thoughts on Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle part 2

Thanks to WETA, I've gotten an advance look at the new 3-part documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle directed by Michael Kantor who co-wrote it with Laurence Maslon.

“Great Power, Great Responsibility” covers 1959-1977, two time periods termed by fans as the Silver and Bronze ages. The Silver Age is considered starting when DC reintroduces its Golden Age heroes such as the Flash and Green Lantern in new, science-fiction themed identities. The Bronze Age begins roughly by Jack Kirby's leaving Marvel for DC, and Stan Lee stopping writing in favor of promotion. The merging of the two periods is somewhat uneven.

Fewer key creators appear in this segment, and include Stan Lee, Neal Adams, Denny O'Neil, Len Wein, and Gerry Conway.

Jarringly, Marvel's early 1960s books are discussed before the DC comics that made them possible. Received wisdom is that the Fantastic Four was conceived as a response to DC's success with the Justice League of America. Whether that's true or not, DC certainly reinvented the superhero before Marvel did. Instead the film opens with Marvel, switches back in time to DC and then jumps forward to 1966's camp Batman tv show. Marvel universe co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko are also given short-shrift.

From there, while noting DC's comic books withering on the vine when the show is cancelled, director Michael Kantor moves on to socially relevant comics such as Marvel's introduction of the African prince the Black Panther. Unfortunately, more credit may be given to introducing characters including  Luke Cage, Hero for Hire and the Panther than is deserved. But Bill Foster's commentary, as a black man reading comics, is at this point and is fun to watch, and I'll defer to his viewpoint.


Comics slowly-growing social relevance is tracked via the use of an issue of Spider-Man to warn against drugs, even though the Comic Code Authority wouldn't approve it. DC followed that up with an issue of Green Lantern / Green Arrow by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams that had Arrow's superhero sidekick Speedy as a heroin addict. The section on GL/GA is among the best in this segment, and includes some old film footage of the creators talking about the series at the time. Another good section is Jim Steranko's take on how he reinvigorated Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. DC's attempt to depower and do something similar with Wonder Woman is held up as a triumph of feminism, but the comic books sold miserably at the time. Her successful television show (1976-1979), and commentary by Linda Carter round this section out.

Kantor then moves achronologically again, and switches to a "backlash" against sunny and optimistic superheroes while the real streets of New York are mean and gritty. The death of Spider-Man's girlfriend Gwen Stacy (1973) and the introduction of the Punisher (1974) are held up as examples. The Punisher gets more cultural significance than he deserves - as the film points out, characters such as Dirty Harry had already been successful in movies. Comic books were just following a trend, as usual. The character didn't really take off until the late 1970s when Frank Miller reworked him in Daredevil, and then he truly boomed during the 1980s grim-and-gritty years. Issues from the same year have Spider-Man driving a Spidey-mobile and fighting a hopping villain called the Kangeroo.

The change from newsstand sales to direct market sales in comic book stores occurred in this time period, and is arguably the most important factor in sustaining superheroes, but I don't believe it was mentioned. Overall this episode probably tries to cover too much time in a period when comic books changed a lot. I still enjoyed the show, especially the creator interviews.

All 3 parts of the documentary air locally on WETA at 8 pm on October 15th.  

Images courtesy of Grand Comics Database.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thoughts on Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle part 1

Thanks to WETA, I've gotten an advance look at the new 3-part documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle directed by Michael Kantor who co-wrote it with Laurence Maslon.

Part one, Truth, Justice and The American Way covers 1938 through 1958. The film opens with comic book dealer Vincent Zurzolo locking a copy of Action Comics #1 in a vault. Action #1 famously was the first appearance of Superman, and now is generally thought to be worth millions of dollars (I believe issues tend to be traded, and not paid for in cash).

Kantor does a good job showing how Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster started a new genre and jumpstarted an industry with Superman. As with many documentaries, commentators are talking heads in studio settings, but Kantor got a great bunch of cartoonists - Joe Kubert, Jerry Robinson, Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams, former DC publisher Jeanette Kahn, Stan Lee, Joe Simon, Jim Steranko, Ramon Fradon (a rare woman in the early superhero industry, she now appears regularly at the annual Baltimore Comic-Con), Denny O'Neil and others. Poignantly, several of these have passed on within the past few years including Kubert, Robinson, Infantino and Simon. Deceased creators such as Jack Kirby and Bill Gaines are shown in film clips, although Kirby is given short shrift in this episode, presumably because he will feature so largely in the second episode on Marvel Comics.

Most of the commentary is edited down to reflect a standard history of superhero comic books, but highlights emerge such as Fradon's talking about hiding behind her drawing board as ethnic jokes flared, or when Simon talks about drawing a big explosion in a Captain America comic book just to fill up the page faster. Irwin Hasen, who began in comic books, but made it big in the strips with Dondi, says the work "... was like a shirt factory."

The film moves onto Batman, whom Jerry Robinson clearly says Bill Finger co-created with Bob Kane, lingers on Robin and the problem of sidekicks, and then moves on to the largely-forgotten Captain Marvel (aka Shazam). Grant Morrison interestingly points out Marvel's appeal as a non-realistic based character who fought dragons and tossed comets into the sun.

A brief look at merchandising, still so very central to the success of comic books, focuses on Superman's radio and tv show. Kantor then moves onto World War II, Captain America and the wild success of patriotic heroes. Wonder Woman is lumped in this group, due to her star-spangled outfit and December 1941 publication date. She's also discussed as "the superheroine American had been waiting for" which may be also be on a foundation that's a bit shaky.

The film wraps up with the post-war bust in superheroes, the emergence of crime and horror comics (and briefly-mentioned westerns and romance), and the campaign against comic books spurred by Fredric Wertham and his book The Seduction of the Innocent.

All 3-parts of the documentary air locally on WETA at 8 pm on October 15th. 


Thursday, January 19, 2012

OT: Dave Astor on four cartoonists he's known

Long-time Editor and Publisher super cartoonist columnist Dave Astor (who was let go in their last layoffs) has a post on four cartoonists he knew that were all born in the same year. There's a glancing mention of DC, but you should read this because Dave wrote about syndicated comics for 20 years and knows a lot. He's also apparently got a book out - I'm getting more details on it from him. (followup: David reports he's looking for a publisher)



The Complexity of a Fantastic Four


1/19/12 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-astor/the-complexity-of-a-fanta_b_1201574.html

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PR: Baltimore Comic-Con Announces Stan "The Man" Lee as Guest of Honor!

I'm falling behind on BCC's PR, but here's an announcement that should excite people








bcc_logo_2011_700px
Baltimore Comic-Con Announces Stan "The Man" Lee as Guest of Honor!
 
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - May 26, 2011 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is proud to officially announce that Stan "The Man" Lee will be the Guest of Honor at this year's convention. The show will be taking place at the Baltimore Convention Center the weekend of August 20-21, 2011.

 

Stan Lee picture

Known the world over as the architect of the Marvel Universe, Lee -- along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko -- co-created some of the most iconic characters of the Silver Age, including the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers, X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange.

 

Lee began his career in comics in 1939 at the age of 16, working for Martin Goodman at Timely Comics. He made his writing debut in 1941 with a text filler story in Captain America Comics #3 and wrote his first back-up story for that title two issues later. Lee continued to write for the publisher and, at the age of 19, was installed as interim editor. With a head for business and an eye for comics, Lee graduated to become editor-in-chief and art director of the comics division.

 

Throughout his illustrious career, which has spanned more than 70 years, Lee has been a writer, editor, publisher, President, and Chairman at Marvel Comics. He's made cameo appearances in 14 films based on his creations and had a supporting role in Kevin Smith's 1995 film, Mallrats.

 

In 2010, Lee teamed up with Boom! Studios to create three original superheroes titles -- Soldier Zero, Starborn, and The Traveler -- for the publisher, and in January of 2011, he worked with the National Hockey League (NHL) on the Guardian Project, creating a "Guardian" character based on the team mascot for each of the 30 cities with NHL franchises.

 

"There is no bigger star in all of comics. This will thrill all comics fans on the East Coast," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "Personally, I am so excited, I can't wait!"

 

Lee will be appearing at the Baltimore Comic-Con on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as attending the banquet for the Harvey Awards on Saturday evening. Details regarding ticket pricing for signings and VIP packages will be released over the next few weeks. To receive the latest information about Stan Lee and all of the Baltimore Comic-Con news, sign up for our mailing list at baltimorecomiccom.com!

 

In addition to Guest of Honor Stan Lee, other confirmed guests for the show include: Jason Aaron (Scalped, PunisherMAX); Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead); Nick Cardy (Aquaman, Teen Titans); Cliff Chiang (Greendale); Frank Cho (50 Girl 50, X-Men: Schism, New Ultimates); Todd Dezago (Super Hero Squad, The Perhapanauts); David Finch (Brightest Day, Batman: The Dark Knight); Ron Frenz (Spider-Girl); Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez (Wednesday Comics, Batman Confidential); Michael Golden (creator of Bucky O'Hare); Mike Grell (Action Comics, The Pilgrim); Brad Guigar (Evil, Inc., Courting Disaster); Steve Hamaker (Bone); Cully Hamner (Red, Red: Eyes Only); Dean Haspiel (The Alcoholic, Act-i-Vate); Jamal Igle (Supergirl, Zatanna); J.G. Jones (Doc Savage, DC Universe Legacies); Barry Kitson (Secret Invasion, Amazing Spider-Man); Laura Martin (New Avengers, Thor); Mark Morales (Fear Itself cover artist); Kevin Nowlan (Wednesday Comics); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Brandon Peterson (Ultimate Vision, Strange); Craig Rousseau (Marvel Her-Oes); Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo); Walter Simonson (Thor); Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL); Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Iron Man 2.0); Brian Stelfreeze (Wednesday Comics); Karl Story (DC Universe Legacies); Tim Truman (Conan the Cimmerian); Neil Vokes (Flesh & Blood, Eagle: The Original Adventures); and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).

 

 

In coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found at our website, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages.

 

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, August 21st.

 

Contact Information

Please use the following e-mail addresses to contact the Baltimore Comic-Con:

press@baltimorecomiccon.com - for any general press inquiries or to be added to our PR distribution

promoter@baltimorecomiccon.com - for requesting exhibitor, publisher, and Artist Alley applications

registrar@baltimorecomiccon.com - for inquiries about submitted registrations

harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com - for communications regarding the Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet

general@baltimorecomiccon.com - for general Baltimore Comic-Con inquiries

 

 

 

 

About The Baltimore Comic-Con

The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 12th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 6 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.


 

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ask Stan Lee a question, on CNN

This one was sent to me by one of my Arlington neighbors, so it's ComicsDC turf by default - thanks, Mike McM!

Ask Stan Lee

Got a question about "The Hulk," "X-Men" or "Spider-Man" that's eating at you? Want to pick the brains of one of the Marvel revolution's key masterminds?

Iconic comic book creator and writer Stan Lee will be stopping by CNN HQ on Thursday to sit down with us and take your questions.

Put yourself on camera and ask a concise question for Lee. Get it to us by Tuesday, August 30 at 5 p.m. and your video just might be chosen.

Guidelines:

Video questions please

Try to keep them under 30 seconds

Have fun

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Stan Lee's Superhumans premieres on History Channel tonight

Stan Lee's tv show Superhumans premieres on the History Channel tonight. If you've got FIOS in Arlington, you'll be able to see it.

Their website says:

About Stan Lee's Superhumans
Throughout history, the forces of evolution and genetic mutation have endowed humans with astonishing new abilities and features. It's a process that continues to this day, and nowhere is it more evident than in the fascinating world of Stan Lee's "Superhumans."

Co-hosted by Stan Lee, the legendary creator of the X-Men, the series scours the globe for the real-life counterparts of Lee's characters–people with unique genetic traits that translate into remarkable powers. These include a man whose body is powerfully magnetic, another who can withstand deadly levels of cold and yet another whose brain performs complex calculations at staggering speeds.

In each episode, these "superhumans" undergo tests that may help explain their amazing gifts, while viewers discover the long history of people with extraordinary powers. Daniel Browning Smith, who's been dubbed the most flexible man in the world, hosts this thrilling journey into the farthest reaches of humankind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Post cartoonist contest adds Stan Lee as judge

The Post's America's Next Great Cartoonist contest run by Michael Cavna added Stan Lee as a judge. This may be Our Man Thompson's chance to pitch his Spider-Man / Cul de Sac cross-over idea! Ernesto and Dr. Octopus!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stan Lee in USA Weekend

The magazine is an insert in today's Washington Examiner, and the wife just spotted the article.

Comics icon Stan Lee applauds a TV series you may have missed
DVD Insider December 27, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comic Riffs also asks, "How about that San Diego Comic-Con"

What's interesting is that Cavna asks Aragones, Johnston, Gaiman, Pastis and Lee. He also adds insult to injury by caricaturing them.

See "San Diego Comic-Con: 5 Star Cartoonists Do the Time Warp Again," by Michael Cavna, Washington Post Comic Riffs blog July 22 2009.

Cavna, along with Richard Thompson, is at the Comics Con, thus providing a sizable DC contingent.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stan Lee AND Zombie comics at Comic Riffs

Cavna ups the Washington comics blogger ante by getting Stan Lee to talk about Obama meeting Spider-Man - "Obama the Comic Superstar: Stan Lee Explains All..." By Michael Cavna, Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 14, 2009. I think it's a little unfair because he can say he's from the Washington Post...

But he's not writing about the type of zombies you'd expect from visiting a comic book store where there's at least 2 good-selling zombie comics, one of which deserves to be (Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead) and the other which is just a bad idea even if it makes money (Marvel Zombies). Cavna writes about strips that are either done by dead people (Peanuts) or continued by other hands (Blondie, Dennis the Menace, Hagar). And he's got another neat chart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stan Lee hits DC for award.

He was here over the weekend - see "Arts, Humanities Medals Awarded; Bush Awardees Include Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland," By Joel Garreau, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2008; C02.

Most of us missed him, but not one sharp-eyed lad - "Hey, Isn't That...?" Washington Post (November 18): C3.

And here's the official press release.

For those who'd like something tangible of Stan's, the charity Hero Initiative has copies of the new Stan Lee's Soapbox collection signed by both Lee and John Romita.