Written by Reuters
31 Jan, 2019 | 3:43 pm
Reuters-Stan Lee, the creator who shaped Marvel Comics, was paid tribute to in Hollywood by hundreds of fans as well as celebrities at a special night put on at the iconic TCL Chinese Theater on Wednesday (January 30).
Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Panther and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes that became mythic figures in pop culture with soaring success at the movie box office, died in November last year.
Comic book writers and artists, actors and musicians turned out to pay their respects to the iconic comic book producer. There was even a military presence to pay homage to Lee’s service in the U.S. Signal Corps.
Film director Kevin Smith, who was presenting the evening’s tribute, told Reuters on the red carpet “Titans don’t walk the earth much anymore, giants don’t walk the earth. When one does and one sadly falls, you’ve got to recognize that. His like is never going to pass this way ever again and I’m not just talking about the sheer professionalism of his output. Think about the entire universe of characters he created. That’s not going to be duplicated ever again. I don’t think we’re going to see that type of prolific creation ever again.”
He added “Stan was so ahead of his time in terms of representation and equality and what not. He knew what his audience was and he knew it wasn’t one type of person. He saw the readers of his books and the readers of his books looked very different. They look like the world looks so he started writing to that early on ahead of most other people.”
Joe Quesada, a fellow comic book writer and the second longest-serving editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics after Stan Lee, said “Stan was very progressive in the 60s. He really had a sense of youth culture and where the world was going. He really had a sense of right and wrong. I remember reading those soapboxes as a kid and they were these moral social lessons in there from Stan about racism and how to do the right thing. Even in the office – and this is something I found out later on – that he even banned cigarette smoking in the office. He was against cigarette smoke back in the 60s. Can you imagine an artist in the 60s going to an office and not being allowed to smoke? They must have been pulling their hair out.”
The guests included Lee’s daughter J.C., film actors Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes and Sean Gunn, actors from Stan Lee produced TV series ‘Runaways’ and ‘The Gifted’ as well as musicians, Flava Flav and Black Eyed Peas.
Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, who created a comic book with Lee, praised the late creator’s career on the carpet, saying “Honestly there’s only a couple of figures in the history of entertainment and storytelling that have been as iconic as Stan Lee – Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Stan Lee. That’s just how it was. When we met him, we felt like the aura was so big and the presence was so big and we were just blessed to be in his presence.”
Proceeds from the event, which was co-produced by Lee’s production company POW! Entertainment and fan-funding company LegionM, are set to go to the Hero Initiative, which helps comic creators in financial need.
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