Stan Lee
The man who changed comic books
20-05-2021 • Nerd • by Sofia from Bologna
Stan Lee, was a cartoonist, editor, film producer and television US.
He is known for being president and editor in chief of the comic book publishing house Marvel Comics, for which he has written numerous stories. After World War II, in which he participated as a member of the US military, Lee returned to his occupation at what would later become Marvel Comics. At the time, a moralizing campaign waged by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham and Senator Estes Kefauver accused the comic books of corrupting the minds of young readers with images of violence and ambiguous sexuality.

The publishing houses responded to the accusations by adopting a particularly strict internal regulation, which then led to the creation of the so-called Comics Code. However, it turned out that towards the end of the 1940s the sales of superhero titles began to decline, and by 1952 only the titles of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, all belonging to DC Comics, were still published regularly. Staying at Timely/Marvel during the 1950s, Lee worked on many different genre titles. By the end of the decade, however, he began to feel dissatisfied with his job, and considered leaving the comics field.

In response, Stan Lee got assigned the task of creating a new superhero group. His wife pushed him to try his hand at his favorite stories. Since he was planning to change job and had nothing to lose, Lee followed her advice and suddenly his career changed completely.
The group of superheroes that Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby conceived was the "family" of heroes that made up the Fantastic Four, first published in 1961. The immediate success of this publication led Lee and Marvel illustrators to ride the wave, producing in a few years immediately following a multitude of new titles: Hulk (1962), Thor (1962), Iron Man (1963) and the X-Men (1963) etc.

In addition, Stan Lee dusted off and renewed some of the superheroes created by other authors in the thirties and forties, such as Namor and Captain America. These characters helped reinvent the superhero genre, according to the formula of "superheroes with super problems". Lee gave his characters a painful humanity, a change from the superhero ideal traditionally written for kids. His heroes had a bad temper, looked melancholy, and were vain and greedy. They quarreled among themselves, they were worried about the bills to pay and about impressing their girls, and sometimes they even got sick.

Before Lee, superheroes were ideally perfect people without problems and without flaws: Superman was so powerful that no one could hurt him; Batman was a billionaire in his secret identity (later - especially with the so-called "British Invasion", that is the entry on the scene of many authors of British origin on the American scene - in the eighties, even in the DC house there was a lot of focus on 'humanization' of the characters, a sign that Lee's lesson had been, if not appreciated, almost accepted as unavoidable). Lee's superheroes captured the imagination of the young generation that was part of the "baby-boom" population.
During the 1960s Lee was writer, supervisor and art director for most of the Marvel series, moderated the pages of the mail, wrote a monthly editorial titled "Stan's Soapbox", and wrote countless promotional articles, always signing them with his signature "Excelsior!" (which is also the New York State motto).

Precisely in the pages of dialogue with the readers, which are another innovation from the point of view of the confidence granted to the readers, with whom Lee converses familiarly, some nice expressions are introduced, which have also taken hold in Italy, which have now become comic jargon.

Lee would write the text for the captions and speech bubbles, and then check the lettering and coloring. Lee is said by many writers and cartoonists to be the man who revolutionized comics and he did for me at least.
And I want to say just one more thing: Stan Lee sadly died in 2018 but I will always remember and he will always be my hero because his stories and characters have given to people so many dreams and hopes and like I was saying his stories got me out of a dark place I was in and got me dreaming and believing in myself. For me that doesn't come so easy, so for me he is the greatest person who existed. I hope you know but if you didn't I hope this article helped you and now we have come to the end of this article, I'll see you next week and Stan Lee wakanda forever. :)


Illustrations by Radioimmaginaria