Stan Lee, you moved us, shaped our paths, and changed the way the world views society. The Inbeon team, fans, and supporters want to take a moment to reflect on the ways you helped drive our passions. The worlds you created gave us hope in times of darkness, consistently highlighted the humanity of marginalized peoples, and positively influenced millions of fans, creators, and artists.
Some of us have been rendered speechless, or have expressed how this celebrity passing was the hardest for them to take thus far, pondering how Marvel movies will never be the same without his cameos. Some of us are hopeful that his cameos will continue in some creative way – photos in picture frames, or perhaps older films he did a cameos for on TV screens in the backgrounds of upcoming movies – as a nod to his creative genius. He lived his life showing us a beautiful side of humanity through the pages of comics and on the silver screen.
The worlds brought to life under his watch brought fans together in such a special way. Cosplayers on line to see the next Marvel movie became the norm. Fans created a Wakanda utopia everywhere they went after the release of Black Panther. Black Panther was a movie that helped everyone see the beauty and success that people of color can render, on a platform incomparable to any other. Stan had a lot to say about social justice, and said it he did. My favorite quote of his comes to mind when I think of what kinds of works he helped bring to life:
“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them — to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater — one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen — people he’s never known — with equal intensity — with equal venom.
“Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race — to despise an entire nation — to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God – a God who calls us ALL — His children.
“Pax et Justitia, Stan.”
Stan Lee, a DeWitt Clinton H.S. alum who graduated early at 16, passed away on November 12th, 2018 at 95. This comes just a year and four months after his wife’s passing. His health had been an issue for some time, and he eventually stopped traveling long distances in 2016 due to his health. Fans who saw him at his last con appearances are simply few of millions who, whether we knew him personally or not, felt he impacted their lives.
There are some celebrities that we didn’t have to know personally in order for them to change our lives. Creators and artists with lifelong aspirations of working with Marvel have vowed to work even harder now, to honor his legacy and be heroes in their worlds. Fans are posting their photos and sentiments all over social media, and our timelines are forever changed in more ways than one.
One thing is for certain, with the breadth of work he created and oversaw, from how to draw documentaries, comic books, and original characters to Marvel movies, television appearances, and his beloved cameos, Stan Lee is a legend. And legends never die.
To honor his legacy, here are a few words from our Inbeon supporters who felt the heaviness of Stan Lee’s departure. Read words from comic artists, cosplayers, and self-proclaimed nerds, and find community in knowing so many others – just like some of you reading this – were impacted by the works of Stan Lee.
“The impact Stan Lee had on my artwork is unmeasurable. I am deeply saddened by his passing. I’m grateful he and Steve Ditko, helped guide my childhood imagination into the artistic person I am today. I remember watching one of his art tutorials on VHS when I was young and at the end of the video he said “to be a great artist (and Marvel isn’t interested in any other kind) you’ve gotta do three things:
And draw some more!”
We’ll miss you, Stan Lee.
Excelsior!” – Anthony Preziosi, Artist from Boston, MA
“RIP Stan Lee. Thank you for my childhood and thank you for the wonder. Your magical voice always makes me feel 5 years old. You took us all on an amazing journey. Rest well. Nuff said.” – John Stanisci, Former DC Comics Artist, Queens, NY
“Growing up, Mystique was always my favorite. She was ridiculed and targeted for her skin being different, something that was all too familiar for me since I grew up with really severe eczema all over my body. She was a source of confidence and badassery for me and help me get through the teasing and bullying. It was only when I got older and learned that X-Men were created as a metaphor to the Civil Rights Movement that I grew to love Stan Lee and his work even more.” – Delta Major, Cosplayer and Costume Designer, New York, NY
“Almost cried. I will take all the lessons and forever be inspired by him.” – Justin, Comic Artist & Creator from Long Island, NY
“Stan’s imagination gave such depth to the characters he created and co-created. He made them more than just heroic, but realistic, and you connected with them. He made us invest, not just in a story, which was incredible on their own, but he made us invest in the characters and that is why they are timeless. He made me aware of how important a characters backstory and origin is, and how there must be a connection to the audience to make it authentic and invested.” – Louis, Graphic Design and Illustration, The Bronx, NY
“ ‘Face front, true believers!’ ― Stan Lee
This is probably the quote a lot of us will have to live by. It is one of the saddest days, not just for the entertainment and comic industry as a whole, but for our childhoods. Stan Lee not only inspired us, but he also helped fill our imaginations along with his late tag team partner Jack Kirby. The X-Men was the reason I wanted to get into comics. I loved this world that Lee created. From the superpowers and the good vs evil. Then finding out years later it was much more than a battle of good vs evil, but a story that brought up the real issues of facing prejudice and racism. Looking at my pad and pencil, I always thank Stan for fueling my imagination to begin drawing.” – Sebastian, The Bronx, NY
“To Stan Lee: thank you for giving a shy nerdy kid an outlet to escape into and characters that helped me make it through some rough periods in my life. Here’s to [one person] who helped shape me into the person you see today.” – Anonymous, USA
“Stan Lee was the king of cameos in the MCU but that’s not where it ended. I believe everyone we know plays a cameo in our life at one point or another and whenever I saw him or heard him speak especially, he reassured me that it’s ok to be different. Because different is special. He had a part in my childhood as an inspiration to imagine and his cameo appearances in my life represented that need to continue imagining, creating, and inspire. He is now gone but it will be a long time before he is forgotten. Thank you for the memories, Stan. But most importantly your cameos.” – David, Queens, NY
Find out more about the amazing work David does to end the stigma against the way mental health is discussed and addressed: https://www.breakthestigma.org.
“He inspired me. When I was younger, I was often picked on and made to feel like an outsider and that I didn’t belong. When I was introduced to Spider-Man, I saw in Peter Parker the same kind of person I was. Someone who did his best but still could fail, who could try hard to do the right thing but still feel like a loser. The older I got, the more I was introduced to his other characters and I realized they reflected humanity. The rage, the anxiety, the frustration at the world’s inability to accept what was different and outside of the norm were all things we could relate to. He took the time to explore the strange and unknown, he saw that stories are better if the people reading them saw themselves in the character. He would live an interesting and at times controversial life but I’m sure he never got tired of meeting people who all said the same thing, “thank you for inspiring me to be better.” …to know that in life, no matter how hard life beat you down, you could still pick yourself up and do the right thing simply because it was exactly that. That’s how you know when you’ve done something right when you become somebody else’s story when they remember you enough to keep you alive by retelling what you’ve done. Stan Lee didn’t die, he just transitioned to what all great writers become: another great story.” – Drew, Cosplayer, NY
Thank you to those who took the time to contribute their sentiments. Please share your own words in the comments section below, and tell us how Stan Lee impacted you. To any creators out there. Excelsior! Keep making this world more beautiful.
You will be missed, Stan Lee.
Title image credit: @demonigoteshirts @goodidearyan
Article by: Lorisse Bentiné