What have Jonathan Ross, Simon Pegg, Nick Cage and Marilyn Manson got in common? A love for film and music notwithstanding, on this occasion it’s a very public passion for comic books and graphic comic book art. And if we’re talking about comic book art it only takes, well, three sentences before the name Stan Lee crops up.
Born in New York City in 1922, Stanley Martin Lieber harboured the notion that he may one day pen a great American novel of some description, so with this in mind chose to adopt the pen name of Stan Lee. Therefore, if he ever achieved his ambition as a writer, he wouldn’t be mistaken for the scribe responsible for those ‘silly little comics’. His famous words, not ours.
DC Comics might have had Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash Gordon in their stable, yet over at rivals, Marvel Comics, Stan Lee had given the world Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four and The Hulk to name but 4 household names. One of the main differences being that Lee’s superheroes had no sidekicks cramping their style, nor wore flouncy capes to help them eradicate evil from the streets of NYC. And yes, the more eagle-eyed will have observed over the years that New York plays as the dramatic backdrop to the majority of his graphic novels.
And in case you’ve ever wondered why most of Lee’s characters (whilst not in costume) have alliterate names, then this is apparently on account of Lee’s notoriously bad memory. He believed that the likes of Peter Parker and Sue Storm would serve as a better recall mechanism. When seen in the public eye, Lee favoured his signature dark sunglasses. Which is perhaps where Bono got the idea from. Who knows. What we do know is that Lee has a kinship with his massive fan-base whom he refers to in interviews as ‘true believers’.
In civilian clothes, Lee’s superheroes are normally every day, non-descript folk who just happen to get drawn into these dramatic environs that necessitate them employing their otherwise neglected super powers. And when not swinging from buildings and upholding law, albeit in a vigilante way, Lee’s brand of superhero alter egos are typically uber intelligent individuals, often working in the science sector. But lo and behold. Stan Lee’s superheroes don’t just combat crime, as discrimination and other such social issues overlap into his stories on occasion, with the X-Men being a good example of this.
Employed in comic book publishing since 17, Lee really came to prominence when invited to work on the 3rd issue of Captain America in 1941. Shortly after this, he became Editor at the Timely Comic Group in recognition of his achievements. In 1972 Lee became both Editorial Director and publisher of Marvel.
Lee’s contracts have always stipulated that whenever his superhero characters appear on the silver screen, then he’s afforded a cameo as part of the agreement. Which explains why he’s had walk-on parts in X-Men, Spider-Man 1,2 and 3, Daredevil, Hulk, Fantastic 4 and Iron Man during the noughties. After retiring from Marvel Comics, Lee was headhunted by their historic rivals, DC Comics to write a limited edition series of titles which would see him retell the stories of its superheroes – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash Gordon.
Medium: Giclee On Canvas
Edition Copies: 195
WxH: 27.5 x 40 inches
£624.00 (exc VAT)
FREE UK delivery
Boxed canvas version available both framed and unframed.
‘The Amazing Spiderman #1 – Spiderman Meets The Fantastic Four’ sees our familiar Marvel-inspired superheroes get off to an auspicious start, deeply suspicious of each other’s motives and crime-fighting agendas and policies. This tension is ramped up by the enduring working relationship that’s subsequently panned out between creator Stan Lee and collaborators, Marvel Comics over the decades.
This very special, limited edition, Lee-signed composition just released to the public, will appeal to both superhero and/or Marvel fans, as well as seasoned collectors alike, and won’t hang around for long. So be sure to act now to secure your very own slice of graphic novel art history before it’s too late.