FOR TOMMY: TALKING ABOUT STAN LEE
Has Stan read a draft yet?
I'm not sure. I think so, but I can't be absolutely certain.
I haven't received any feedback, if that's what you're asking.
Kinda. I imagine it won't be totally comfortable reading.
Expecting hate mail from long-term Marvel fans?
Yeesh, I hadn't thought of that. I guess so. I'm a journalist,
not a comics creator, so I'm not used to mail of any kind.
Do people send mail to book writers?
I do. Normally nice mail though.
Oh. Well, I'm hoping for some nice mail. I'll just ignore
the bad stuff.
I can't imagine letters any meaner than a fax I got from Dave
Sim when I worked at the Comics Journal. Although I deserved
So, did you learn anything that surprised even jaded old hacks
"Jaded old hacks" -- I hope not too old. If anything, I gained
a much deeper appreciation for Stan and what he did at Marvel.
He was a phenomenal editor and, for a time, one of the best
writers in comics. That's no small thing. Working through
this book helped me understand all that a lot better, rather
than simply relying on the knee-jerk "Stan's a huckster" view.
I was surprised by how complete a train wreck Stan Lee Media
was. And by how much sh*t Stan sometimes got on interview
shows, especially the early ones. One comedian on a talk show
in the '60s, when Stan said something about college kids reading
Marvel comics, shot back something like, "Do they all suck
on pacifiers, too?" Even Alan Thicke was mean to Stan, and
that's a guy who shouldn't be looking down on anybody.
I was also surprised at the amount of non-comics work he was
engaged in during the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of which never
saw the light of day, and which we detail in several chapters
of the book. It really seemed like he was trying to get out
of comics, even after he had become a celebrity because of
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