Stan Lee is an icon in the world of comics, mostly known for his work at Marvel. Even those who aren't familiar with his work in the comics likely recognize him from his film cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other properties based on Marvel characters. He is quite possibly one of the biggest celebrities in comics, with his fame extending far beyond the work he did on the published page.
Now, The Walt Disney Company has recorded a short video commemorating the 75 years that Lee has spent with Marvel.
The video features Lee reflecting on how he first came to work at Marvel, which was then still known as Timely Comics. He reveals that he didn't even know that the company was producing comics at the time he applied; he simply heard that a publishing company needed an assistant. He got the job, and iwas then that he was introduced to the legendary Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.
He slowly started taking on more duties at the company, editing dialogue and performing other tasks to improve the comics. Soon enough, both Kirby and Simon left the company and an 18-year-old Lee was there on his own. Lee explains how the publisher handled this, giving him a "temporary" position that led to his 75-year legacy:
"Strangely enough, after I was there for a short time, both Joe Simon and Jack Kirby left the company. But, suddenly, I was all alone there, and the publisher said, ‘Hey, Stan, can you handle things until I get a grown-up?’ Well, when you’re 18 years old or so, what do you know? So I said, ‘Sure, I can take care of it.’ He forgot to get the grown-up, and I’ve been there ever since.”
Though there has been some controversies surrounding Lee's legacy with Marvel, he's still one of the biggest celebrities in comics and one of the most well-known public faces of the company. He admits that he still enjoys being active in the comic world, though he feels that the comics are probably fine without him. He appreciates the fact that he's been able to make a living doing something he loves, saying:
"I don't feel any different about it now than I did 20 years ago, or 40 years ago. It's like playing a game... some people like to play cards, some people like to play golf. I like to play coming up with ideas for movies or books or whatever."
Fans around the world are appreciative of Stan Lee, both for his contributions in creating some of Marvel's most-loved characters and his work in growing the comic medium into what it is today. While Jack Kirby and other visionaries should also be recognized for Marvel's accomplishments, it's hard to deny that the world of comics as a whole might be quite different today if not for Stan Lee.
Source: The Walt Disney Company/Marvel Entertainment (via CBR)