STAN LEE WISHES HIS ‘FRIEND’ BOB KANE WAS STILL ALIVE SO HE COULD RUB HIS FACE IN MARVEL’S MOVIE SUCCESS
By Chris Sims
On the off chance that you want to kick off your weekend by going into a blinding rage, I have some good news! Stan “The Man” Lee, one of the founding fathers of Marvel Comics and the co-creator of characters like Spider-Man and Thor, recently did an interview with Bloomberg Television where he said the phrase “I wish my friend Bob Kane were still with us — he’s the fellow who created Batman,” a collection of words that I do not understand.
Unfortunately, the report transcribing the quote did not mention whether Lee was rolling his eyes and making a wanking motion while he said this, so we’re forced to assume he was sincere.
STAN LEE BEMUSED BY KIRBY CONTROVERSIES, NOT AS RICH AS YOU THINK HE IS
By Andy Khouri
Like most expressions of Stan Lee’s history, a new Playboy piece by David Hochman repeatedly references “Stan the Man” as “the creator” of characters including Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, while co-creators Jack Kirby an Steve Ditko’s contributions are described merely as “working with” Lee, who was a Marvel staffer since the age of 18 (thanks to a familial relation with company boss Martin Goodman). Proponents of both artists have argued for decades to the contrary; that it was Lee whose contributions were the more meager of the partnerships. But here Lee comes off as almost contrite as he explains in unusually stark terms, free of pizzazz or superfluous alliteration, his view of the enduring questions about his role in Marvel’s storied history, from character creation to Disney acquisition to his own monetary wealth.
On the lingering controversy surrounding Lee’s work with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko:
“There was never a time when it just said ‘by Stan Lee.’ It was always ‘by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’ or ‘by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.’ I made sure their names were always as big as mine. As far as what they were paid, I had nothing to do with that. They were hired as freelance artists, and they worked as freelance artists. At some point they apparently felt they should be getting more money. Fine, it was up to them to talk to the publisher. It had nothing to do with me. I would have liked to have gotten more money too. And twice, not once, I offered a job to Jack Kirby. I said to him, ‘Jack, why don’t you work for Marvel with me?’ I was the art director at the time. I said, ‘You be the art director. I’ll just be the editor and head writer, and you’ll have that security.’ He wouldn’t do it. He didn’t want a staff job. With him, as with Ditko, I don’t see where they were unfairly treated. Jack was a great guy and so is Steve. I’m sorry anybody feels there’s any acrimony. I loved them both.”
While top talent — as in, Moebius, Bruce Timm, Stan Sakai, just to name a few — have elevated Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toy, cartoon and movie franchise to something special, so far the closest thing a comic book creator had come to getting their own MOTU figure was sometime He-Man scribe Geoff Johns’ childhood creation Sir Laser Lot being produced. But, thanks to the magic of… being Stan Lee? Stan Lee, who has co-created scores of iconic Marvel super heroes in addition to curiosities like Stripperella — but has never had anything to do with MOTU — has received a new alter ego in the realm of Eternia by the name of Standor.
By Andy Khouri
Fangasm is a SyFy reality show which employs the standard “bunch of strangers forced to live in a house for a few weeks” format. It’s produced by 495 Productions, the creators of MTV’s exploitation hit Jersey Shore, but instead of “guidos” Fangasm is about “geeks” — which is to say in the simplest way possible, passionate individuals drawn to a deeper understanding of creative works like comic books, video games, science fiction, fantasy and related genre entertainment. The six-part series has been hyped by the network and its associated principals as this really real… thing about geeks and our culture.
In reality (no pun intended), what we casually refer to as “geek culture” has in the last 10+ years ascended from a derided subculture to a massive consumer class actively serviced by virtually every commercial sector in America, a fact that’s put an existential challenge to the nature of “geekdom,” particularly its claim to underdog status. ThatFangasm exists at all speaks to this notion of cultural currency, but unfortunately it’s the literal currency that is the most basic and base element of the entire Fangasm enterprise, which we discover is even faker than the kinds of series — to use the reality show parlance — it throws under the bus.
However, it is through Fangasm’s breathtakingly brazen expression of unreality and exploitation that we ultimately see the truth of how geek culture is understood by those to whom geeks pledge their once hard-earned allegiance, and perhaps by a generation of geeks themselves.
In what may be the last volley in what’s been a confusing and lengthy legal battle, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez has dismissed Stan Lee Media’s lawsuit against Disney, in which the company named for, but which no longer has any association with, the co-creator of many Marvel Comics characters claimed copyrights to those properties.
By Joe Hughes
A few weeks back, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Garfield — who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the current Amazing Spider-Man film franchise — recounted a conversation he had with a producer, in which he wondered out loud why Spider-Man couldn’t be gay or bisexual. When this quote was mentioned to Stan Lee over the weekend at Fandomfest in Louisville, Kentucky, the 90-year-old co-creator of Spider-Man made an awkward attempt at a humorous response: “I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”
One can only imagine the mixture of ingredients that went into Stan Lee's new Signature Cologne. I’d suspect it includes hints of mustache, sunglasses, bombast, alliteration and a sprinkling of emotional strain with Jack Kirby. The 90-year-old Lee teamed with scentmaker JADS International, the same company that made last year’s series of Avengers colognes, to develop a fresh scent that actually includes “bergamot, ginger, white pepper, basil and violet, and features layers of cedar, vetiver and musk accords.”
Lee’s Pow! Entertainment took the fragrance to Wizard World Philadelphia and asked cosplayers to offer their opinions. Check out the video on ComicsAlliance!
The co-creator of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk, among other classic Marvel characters, is developing a character tentatively called The Annihilator with an aim toward selling it to a Chinese production studio for a feature film. Lee has also working on a digital-comics superhero for India named Chakra the Invincible.
By Bethany Fong