To start a draft with the words "Stan Lee was an icon" would be both an understatement and overstating the obvious. I don't have to tell you about the impact he made on the world of comic books. Those who have never picked up comic book have at least an inkling of the status Lee has in the world of superheroes and remarkable beings. No, a breakdown of his history in this literary world and how it transitioned into mainstream entertainment isn't necessary. What is necessary is how this revolutionary figure in comics made an impact on the members of The Capeless Crusaders.
"Thank you for making me a better human, without ever knowing my name." - Amy.
Stan touched so many of us, both in his stories and in his own words. He inspired us with tales of those willing to take a stand to do what's right and reminded us that we were all connected on this one planet. He used his soapbox in 1968 to stand against racism and bigotry, and recently did the same on social media. Stan not only gave us an ideal to strive for, but lead the way to that ideal.
"They say you 'should write what you know.' If this is true, then Stan Lee knew what it meant to be a spectacular human being. A person who cared to improve the world around him and inspire his readers. Men like Stan are few and far between. I am grateful to have been able to be impacted by his writing and his creations." - Manderson.
Because of Stan, generation after generation of writers, artists and filmmakers were inspired to create their stories. Stan showed us all that the imagination is a creator's greatest tool. He became the symbol of drive and dedication for those with a pen and pad. He revealed that a writer of comics can be equally as revered and respected as a writer of novels. He provided storytellers with interesting an engaging characters worthy of experiencing on the small ad big screens.
"The world we live in would be a darker place if there wasn't a Stan Lee. Stan created my favorite Marvel character, Spider-Man/Peter Parker. In his journey of creating American Mythology, he highlighted a real human approach to heroism and American values. He taught me through his life and his work that anyone can be a hero with or without a cape. You just have to do what's right." - Tom
As much of a popular and legendary figure as Stan became, he never lost his humility. Up until his final day, Stan was humbled by the idea of having fans. He was honored to wake up everyday and know that there were people he had never met, halfway around the world, who were loyal to him and the universe he had created. His fame didn't change the man he was deep down. It was one of Stan's greatest qualities; one that was felt by all his fans when they met him in person.
As you've noticed, i've riddled this piece with quotes from members of the show. You may also have noticed that there is one missing: mine. There's a reason for that. I wanted to leave you with words from the members of the show who have lived and breathed comics since their early youth. The members who fully embraced Stan the second they heard of him. When it comes to comics, I still view myself as the new guy. Don't get me wrong: I proudly wear the banner of "comic book nerd." I am honored to be a member of this comic book podcast. However, I only recently, within the last ten years, came to know Marvel's greatest hero. Yet, in that limited amount of time compared to the others here, Stan Lee had an impact on my life. While, Michael Crichton, Aaron Sorkin and John Carpenter are the reasons I decided to become a writer, it was Stan Lee who inspired me to never stop writing. That moment in Stan's life, when he was ready to call it quits and his loving wife Joan inspired him to give it one more go. She told him to create one last good comic and Stan did so. The rest is history.
I am lucky enough to have a wife that does the same for me. I am lucky enough to have my fellow Crusaders lending their support. I am lucky enough to be involved in the world of comics, learning about new characters and their adventures. But most of all, I am lucky enough to have learned about Stan, The Man. In a small period of time, he left a mark on my life that will never be forgotten.
On behalf of everyone at The Capeless Crusaders, every comic book lover and every loyal fan of his worldwide... Thank you, Stan.