Stan Lee Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
With the birth of the Marvel Universe more than five decades ago, Stan Lee helped create real heroes with real problems. However, now he’s beginning to think Marvel’s comic books aren’t realistic enough.
“I wonder why, in any story, we’ve never shown that a hero or heroine has to go to the bathroom?” the legendary writer says in the latest installment of “Stan’s Rants,” appropriately titled “Superhero Potty Talk.” “To be terribly realist, wouldn’t it be something: You have a fight scene, and the hero is fighting the villain, and suddenly he says, ‘Hey, hold it a minute, please. Can we finish this later? I just have to go!'”
Following news of an expanded partnership with Marvel for its Artist’s Edition line, IDW Publishing has announced it will release deluxe hardcover editions of the Amazing Spider-Man comic strip through its Library of American Comics imprint.
The strip debuted in January 1977 with a storyline by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. that pitted wall-crawler against Doctor Doom, and it’s continued daily ever since. For much of its run, the comic has been produced by Larry Lieber, who was joined in more recent years by Paul Ryan, Alex Saviuk and Joe Sinnott.
Law 360 reports the failed dot com argued before a panel of the Ninth Circuit that the case shouldn’t have been dismissed in 2012 by a California federal judge simply because an identical action in New York was determined two years earlier to be time-barred. However, Lee’s attorney countered that the lead plaintiff in both shareholder actions was Jose Abadin, president of Stan Lee Media.
The backstory is familiar by now to ROBOT 6 readers, but here’s the CliffsNotes version: In 1998, during Marvel’s bankruptcy, CEO Isaac Perlmutter briefly ended its $1-million-a-year lifetime contract with Lee, freeing the legendary creator to form Stan Lee Entertainment, which later merged with Stan Lee Media. That company in turned filed for bankruptcy in February 2001; just four months after SLM emerged from protection in November 2006, shareholders filed a $5 billion lawsuit against Marvel.
As Banned Books Week winds down, the American Library Association has released a video of Stan Lee addressing literacy and attempts to ban comic books.
“There have been times when people tried to ban comics, they felt that they stifled a child’s imagination because, why should a child see pictures of what he or she is reading about,” he says. “But my answer to that always was the same: Why would anybody go to see a Shakespeare play, because you’re seeing the characters on the stage? Maybe there should be no plays; maybe we should just have to read the script. Maybe there should be no movies, there should be no television shows, there should be no radio shows — just read the script. Obviously, that’s ridiculous. Reading is the basis for all these other things.”
Banned Books Week | Michael Cavna talks with Jeff Smith, Scott McCloud and Neil Gaiman about the importance of Banned Books Week. Says Gaiman, “I get tired of when people say that no books are banned just because [you can get it elsewhere]. Say you’re a kid in a school district [that banned a book] and there’s not a local Barnes & Noble and you don’t have 20 or 50 bucks in disposable income … That book is gone. It was there and now it’s not. The fact you can buy it on Amazon doesn’t make that any less bad.” [Comic Riffs]
Banned Books Week | Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, discusses comics and censorship in a video interview. [Reason Magazine]
The legendary co-creator of such superheroes as Spider-Man, the Avengers and the X-Men, Stan Lee has attracted countless fans over the course of a seven-decade career. While he clearly treasures all of them, he asks for one thing from them: a little accuracy.
“I kinda don’t like it when people come over to me and say, ‘I’m your biggest fan,'” he says in the new installment of “Stan’s Rants.” “But I think, how do they know they’re my biggest fan? Have they checked all my other fans? I might have a bigger fan somewhere. And are they referring to the fact that they’re my most enthusiastic fan, or perhaps in height? They’re my tallest fan?
Legal | The estate of Arthur Conan Doyle has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn a June decision by the Seventh Circuit affirming that the 50 Sherlock Holmes stories published before Jan. 1, 1923, have entered the public domain. The estate had long insisted licensing fees be paid for the characters and story elements to be used in movies, television series and books, but author, editor and Holmes expert Leslie Klinger refused to fork over $5,000 for an anthology of new stories. In a series of legal defeats, the Doyle estate not only lost any claim to the stories but had to endure stinging public reprimands by Judge Richard Posner, who labeled the licensing fees as “a form of extortion” and praised Klinger for performing a “public service” by filing his lawsuit.
In its petition to the high court, the Doyle estate continues to cling to its argument (gleefully dismantled by Posner) that Holmes is a “complex” character that he was effectively incomplete until the author’s final story was published in the United States; therefore, the entire body of work remains protected by copyright. Hoping to draw the interest of the justices, the estate points to a circuit split on the matter of extending copyright. The lawyers also repeat the unsuccessful argument that Klinger’s case shouldn’t have been heard until after his book was published. In June, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kegan refused to issue a stay to prevent the Holmes stories from officially entering the public domain. [TechDirt]
Library Card Sign-up Month kicked off Monday, with Stan Lee serving as its honorary chair.
An annual campaign of the American Library Association, it’s intended to remind parents, educators and children that a library card is an important tool to academic success. Lee’s image appears in print and online in public service announcements containing the quote, “The smartest card in my wallet? It’s a library card.”
“When you have a library card it’s like having a key to all the information in the world,” the 91-year-old creator says in a video (below). “When you have a library card, you can read anything about anything, and I have found that whatever you read, it doesn’t matter, it increases your fund of knowledge. So a library card is the ‘Open Sesame’ to all the knowledge in the world.”
In the video, Lee recalls as a child being a frequent visitor to public libraries first in Manhattan and then in the Bronx because he couldn’t afford to buy all the books he wanted to read. “Without libraries, I just wouldn’t have read as much as I did, so it would’ve been a great loss, to me,” he says.
Even at 91 years old, a spry Stan Lee is willing to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
During his weekend appearance at Wizard World Comic Con, the legendary creator happily agreed to the challenge from Wizard World CEO John Macaluso, and braced himself for the shock of cold water. However, Macaluso had other plans: He instead drenched a Stan Lee Funko POP! vinyl figure (which, judging from the reaction in the video below, Lee had never seen).
The biggest comics news Thursday out of Comic-Con International was undoubtedly that, after years of debate, comiXology has introduced DRM-free backups of titles purchased from its storefront, with Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, Top Shelf Productions and Zenescope Entertainment signing on to the program.
An email went out last night notifying customers that books they’ve purchased can be downloaded and stored as PDF or CBZ files, and pointing them to an FAQ on the subject.
“This has been an oft-requested feature,” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said during the company’s Comic-Con panel. “It’s a real backup file — it’s a fairly plain PDF or CBZ. They are high resolution, not a lot of bells and whistles, and my feeling is that people will continue to use the cloud-based reader to do their reading.”
The other big announcement was that Marvel will publish Avengers: Age of Ultron, an in-continuity graphic novel by the Uncanny X-Force team of Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña and Dean White scheduled to arrive in April 2015, ahead of the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Stan Lee has canceled his appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego after reportedly losing his voice due to laryngitis.
“Stan is otherwise well and in good health,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “though he is disappointed to miss the event and wishes everyone a great time.”
Nothing made me smile more today than seeing the above photo on the Facebook page of Congressman John Lewis. “It was wonderful to join the hardworking librarians at the ALA annual and meet new friends like Stan Lee,” he wrote.
Lewis, a civil rights leader who has represented Georgia’s 5th congressional district since 1987, is now of course also an acclaimed comics writer: The memoir March: Book One, the first installment of a trilogy by Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, was published last year by Top Shelf Productions.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly trip into the houses and hallways of fans around the world. Today’s collection of goodies comes from Pennsylvania’s Mark Stong, who shows us his “Danger Room” filled with autographed statues, props and more.
If you’d like to see your stuff right here on Robot 6, you can find details on how to submit it at the end of this post.
Now let’s turns things over to Mark …
Creators | Stan Lee arrived at Sydney Airport for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo and was immediately presented with a “Captain Australia” shield, colored gold and green rather than red and blue. The Supanova Pop Culture Expo kicked off today, and continues through Sunday. [The Daily Telegraph]
Comics | Hussain Al-Shiblawi says he doesn’t usually mind the pamphlets he regularly receives from the local Bible Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia; even though he’s Muslim, he finds them inspirational. But he takes strong exception to the latest one, a Jack Chick tract titled Unforgiven, which claims that all Muslims are going to hell. The pastor, who declined to go on camera, says his church doesn’t create the pamphlets, it just distributes them, but he’s willing to meet with Al-Shiblawi to discuss the comic. [WDBJ News]
Stan Lee himself has officially announced the next picture book from Stan Lee’s Kids Universe, the children’s imprint founded in 2011 by POW! Entertainment and 1821 Media: Katya Bowser‘s Dex T-Rex, The Mischievous Little Dinosaur will debut July 23 at Comic-Con International. Watch Lee’s video below.
The book, about a loveable young dinosaur who plays too rough, until he learns an important lesson about playing nice, is the latest addition to the imprint’s lineup, which already includes Monsters vs. Kittens, Once Upon a Time There Was a Pig and Reggie the Veggie.
“My hope is that parents will appreciate the messages in the book while children will be so drawn to the colorful pages and fun storyline that they won’t even realize that they are learning and building their imaginations as they follow along with Dex on his adventures,” Lee said in a statement.