And Stan “The Man” Lee.
Among countless notables, these have been the primary pop cultural influences and inspirations of my life, and not just mine, but also those of several generations of the young and the young at heart.
Stan “The Man” was the last of the Big 3 comic book kings (Superman creators Siegel and Shuster and Batman creator Kane before him) to grace us with their greatness.
Now “all we are left with” are our memories and mementos of his and their four-color imaginations, which will continue to ignite and fuel our collective conscious through books, film, television, and memorabilia.
I am eternally grateful that one of my most cherished memories is the privilege of having interviewed Stan “The Man” himself by telephone for the occasion of the pay-per-view release of the first theatrical live-action Spider-Man film. Lee was one of the many luminaries (among them the film’s director Sam Raimi, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, and Marvel’s personal appearance Spider-Man turned Hollywood stuntman Scott Leva) whom I talked to by telephone for the cover story of the December 2002 issue of DirecTV: The Guide.
I will never forget Lee’s unique, larger-than-life personality (and voice), especially as he recounted how many tries it took (Insect-Man and on down the list) before he came up with the name Spider-Man.
Stan “The Man” indeed.
In the words of the beloved icon, “Make mine Marvel!” and