Chat with Comics Legend Stan Lee

Comic book mastermind Stan Lee is not only legendary to the fanboy but to the millions of adoring fans of his work in print and onscreen.  He has created some of the most noted characters of our time like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and many more.  Fortunately, Mr. Lee has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

Diana Falzone:  You broke into the comic book industry at only 17 years old; did you ever have a “regular” job prior?

Stan Lee:  Yep.  I had been an office boy (H.Lissner & Sons, trouser manufacturers, 27th and B’way.), a theatre usher (The Rivoli, Times Square) and a delivery boy for a Radio City based pharmacy.

Falzone:  Some people may not know that you were in the Army and served in the Signal Corps.  What was your experience like serving?

Lee:  Hours before I was to ship overseas to be a telephone line repairman for troops in combat, someone learned I had written comics and I was yanked out of my assignment and sent to Astoria, Queens where the Signal Corps had a training film division.  My job was to write training films and to create visual training aids for the troops—which I did.

Falzone:  Since you were so young in the industry, did you ever feel that you had to prove yourself more than your older coworkers?

Lee:  Absolutely.  It’s strange; even though I’m quite a bit older now; I still always feel the need to prove myself.

Falzone:  Was there a particular person who mentored you in the comic book business?

Lee:  Yes, one person.  There was my publisher, Martin Goodman.  Simon and Kirby didn’t stay long enough to mentor me and there was no one else.

Falzone:  You’ve created some of the most recognizable comics of all time. Is there one particular comic or character that remains your personal favorite?

Lee:  I love ‘em all.  Whichever one I was writing was my favorite at that time!

Falzone:  What advice do you have for soldiers looking to get into the comic book field?

Lee:  Depends.  If someone wants to be an artist, just draw up some sample pages—with original drawings, not copies—and send them to one of the editors. For one who wants to be a writer it’s more difficult.  The best course is to sell something in another field—a TV script, or a movie script, or a novel—then uses that as a “door-opener” with a comic book editor.  You see there are so many “name” writers eager to write comics today, that there’s really no reason for an editor to hire someone who isn’t very experienced.

Falzone:  If you could have a superhuman power what would it be?

Lee:  It would be—LUCK!  Just think if you were lucky at everything, life would be perfect!

Falzone:  You keep coming out with blockbuster projects; will there ever come a day you retire?

Lee:  Probably not.  I just enjoy what I do too much.

16 Comments

  1. ComicHero says:

    Stan Lee, you are a true hero and you are loved beyond words!

  2. dr saab says:

    I remember STAN LEE well, as a kid my brothers and friends loved all of his Works. , and still have all of the classics to this day.

  3. ec says:

    Stan is the man. i retired from the mil, and i’m still reading comic and watching his work. i heard the other day that a new xmen movie is coming out. thanks stan. thor and iron man are my favorit.

  4. Mike Fisher says:

    Folks–

    Others may have already pointed this out, but Stan Lee was CO-CREATOR of most of those characters you mentioned. With illustrator Jack Kirby, he co-created the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, X-Men and others. Spider-man was a co-creation of Lee, Steve Ditko and, to a degree, Kirby (I believe that is correct).

    This is no small oversight… But thanks for covering the comics business for our troops.

    Mike

    • Diana says:

      It was not an oversight. I know very well he co-created but he still created nonetheless. I hope you all enjoyed the interview.

  5. Comic books are like treasure out in Iraq. Not just any comic book but anything from Marvel was considered gold. Earth X and Universe X were the biggest comic contraband going around our camp. Comic books outnumbered girly mags and car magazines keeping troops at ease in the rear with the comic book gear. Thanks Stan Lee… you are one of our millions of hereos. Sgt. Lara, Mitchell USMC

  6. Reggie says:

    Stan’s Tha man, growing up in the 70’s & 80’s in Jamica Queens, NY comics were our psychologist (Big Time Dardevil Fan). I truly believe that comics helped the inner city boys and girls. It helped me & I’m sticking by it. Stan, I’m glad Carl Icahn’s out of Marvel comics. Keep to your guns. Hibuk Gadol, Stan, you & the Navy were part of the puzzle that helped me be the man I am.

  7. Reggie says:

    Diana’s Tha Woman! Thanks for putting this article out. Reggie.

  8. Anthony P. Schiavo says:

    Mr. Lee .Sir,To us, you are the Superhero ! And we thank you.

  9. Kenny McCutcheon ( S says:

    I am now 51 and still collecting, thanks to Stan the Man I was bitten by the comic book bug when I was a young boy and have a large collection to pass onto my kids, who are now into Spiderman as well. Thanks for the interview, Diana, Stan is a living legend. Excelsior !!!

  10. Mario says:

    STAN the man!

    I like most grew up (Bronx) reading Marvel not the other — - brand

    Hey How about a SCI FI Super hero movie featuring Guardians of the Galaxies.…… Or Silver Surfer.……

    Mario

  11. ron says:

    hey I have been writen about in comics

  12. ben bates says:

    hey stan first off big fan of your work. followed you ever since i knew what marvel was, i have question for you when i grow up i wnt to become a hero what would you say… for or against it

  13. Kenneth says:

    Do you think it’s possible to become one of your super heros

  14. Kenneth says:

    I am a big fan of yours

  15. Jeff says:

    I think it is a shame that it is so hard to become a writer for the comicbook industry. Why can’t there be a annual script contest where the only prize is getting published by Marvel?

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