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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Forever Spry: Stan Lee

In honor of Stan Lee’s 90th birthday, I thought I’d share a little of the great man’s literary exuberance culled from three of his monthly “Stan’s Soapbox” columns. 

From Logan’s Run Issue 1, January 1977
“Okay!  You can stop holding your breath!  The moment is at hand!  The third spectacular volume of the Marvel Origins Trilogy is on sale—the story that tells you the inside story of how we created the vilest villains, the freakiest fiends, the most sensational sinners in all of comicdom.”  He tells more about this particular book, then shifts gears to trumpet John Buscema’s “great comicbook workshop in New York,” and adds that two recent graduates are now doing projects for Marvel.  He finishes this off by adding: “Okay, Johnny, I gave you the plug—now will you tell Conan to gimme back my hub caps?”

From Star Wars Issue 15, September 1978
“Know something?  I’m gonna learn to speak Japanese!  All of the sudden, Marvel is threatening to be the latest and greatest ‘in’ thing in the Land of the Rising Sun!”  He describes projects Marvel is producing for Japan, including movies, comics, toys, games, and “even Spider-Man Samurai warriors!”  Then, “I’m heading for Japan in the middle of May, which is a couple of months from now (‘now’ being the time I’m writing this)!  I’m bustin’ to tell you all about my trip, but I can’t cause I haven’t gone yet; see why I’m always mixed up?  See why we always tell you that Marvel time is different from ‘real world’ time?  See why, when someone asks me the date, I panic and run for the hills?”

From The Micronauts Issue 18, June 1980
Unless you’ve been malingering on the moon for the past year or so—and we know no Marvelite True would ever do that—you must be aware of how many new and exciting projects your ever-loving’ Bullpen has been cooking up for you!”  He describes the higher priced books and magazines, the Saturday morning cartoons, and a proposed Silver Surfer movie, the latter of which, as far as I can tell, was never filmed.  (Unless he’s referring to “Breathless,” in which Richard Gere plays a drifter in Las Vegas who has modeled his life upon the superhero).  “Many people have asked me, in voices quivering with care and concern, does this mean that Marvel is losing interest in its own loveable line of regular comic books?  The answer, of course, is a deafening, resounding, thunderous NO!”  After assuring readers that the regular, monthly (40 cent) comics are what Marvel has always been about, he concludes “and take it from me, good buddy, that’s the way it’s gonna stay!”

What I remember most from his appearance at last year’s Comikaze is his enthusiasm, his pizzazz, and his vitality.  From the moment he appeared on stage, everyone felt his youthful energy.  Smiles blossomed on our faces when he spoke.  Stan Lee pulses with boundless creativity.  He illuminates everyone with his irrepressible personality!  He’s a promoter, an entrepreneur, a visionary, and just one heck of a lot of fun!  And you know what, faithful Dragon Cache readers?  Even if you've been jetting around Jupiter lately, I defy any of you to think of him and not smile!

Please, please, please, Stan Lee: never lose your enthusiasm for life.  We need more people like you in our world: vigorous, spry, and just plain fun!  I want to be more like you!  (But then, really, who doesn’t?)

Happy 90th Birthday, Stan Lee!  Excelsior!
Dragon Dave

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