Stan Lee – American Icon

Stan Lee minimalist drawing

There are probably well over a hundred million people around the world who could honestly say one of the following about Stan Lee:
1. I wanted to work for Stan Lee
2. I was inspired by Stan Lee
3. I wanted to be the next Stan Lee
4. I was highly entertained by Stan Lee

Looking at those four statements, I fall into two and four. Which is funny because I started off a DC kid.

In second grade, I had a friend from Greece named Eric. He was a third grader, a big kid whereas I was just a measly second grader. So of course, I thought he was cool and knew everything.

Eric hated Marvel. He liked DC. I followed suit as I didn’t want to be a dork.

I bought Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, and Green Lantern comics. Unfortunately, they’re long gone. I imagine some of them will be worth something today.

Married a girl who likes comics

Decades later, I’m married to a girl who likes comic books. She knows all the characters.

When I saw the first X-Men, she had to tell me who some of the people were. I saw it as a damn good movie, especially the father/daughter relationship between Wolverine and Rogue. No, they weren’t physically related but as lost as both the characters were, the writers perfectly executed them falling into those two roles.

I loved that movie. I loved the first two Spider-Man movies as well. Also, I loved the first Iron Man movie, especially the opening scene.

No, I’m not a comic guy. Nothing against them. I just don’t have time.

But Lee either created or produced all these characters that are now household names. The funny thing is you can literally travel around the world and find someone to talk about Spider-Man or Wolverine with.

American culture

Stan Lee was a huge part in developing modern American culture. He created archetypes based off past stories. The Hulk is Jekyll and Hyde.

Spider-Man represents an average kid who morphs into a hero. This has been told a million times. Seven in One Blow immediately comes to mind.

Lee put his own spin on these old archetypes and made them distinctly American.


Lee would often meet with fans at conventions and loved interacting with people. I regret never meeting him in real life.

Everyone loved looking for the cameo. You knew he’d play a tiny role somewhere. I remember watching the other people in the theater how they’d react when they found his part in each Marvel movie.

He made us laugh. He entertained us. And he made us think.

For me though, he was an artistic legend. If someone came up to you and asked you to draw a Marvel character, which one would you choose? There were so many cool ones and I’m sure there were at least one or two you’d identify with.

Lee’s creations will be around for at least another one hundred years. He will be missed.


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie.

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