The Wizard World Convention in Philadelphia is currently going on featuring some very exciting guests. We at GeekNation are here to bring you the information so you don’t feel left out from missing the con. Saturday is an especially exciting day with Clare Kramer (Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and head of GeekNation) moderating a Q&A with Stan Lee, one of the most influential visionaries in comic book history.
Stan Lee created some of the most beloved comic book characters in history, and helped grow Marvel Comics from a little seedling into a giant comic book forest known throughout the world. Stan the Man will be turning 90 later this year, but he is as lively as a man ¼ his age. After all, he’s got plenty to be excited about. He’s experienced much success in his lifetime, with the most recent excitement being the box office-smash The Avengers, (starring some of his most famous characters), a film that has brought in over a billion dollars in less than a month’s time.
Stan was one of the special guests at Dallas Comic Con this year and was kind enough to answer audience questions in a panel. He is a marvelous story teller, (shocking, I know), and responded to each question with a long story about his life. Now, if this were any other person, that might be boring; however, Stan knows how to make his stories funny, fast-paced, and interesting. Plus, his stories are about one of the biggest nerd culture icons- himself, so naturally we want to hear them. We will be posting the Philly Q&A session soon, but while you wait, here’s a Q&A with Stan from Dallas Comic Con a few weeks back.
Before any questions could even be asked, Stan offered up inside information about why his cameo’s are so short in each Marvel film: “You may wonder why my cameos are so brief. There’s a reason for that. You see some people go see a movie that I have a cameo in, and they miss it because they blink their eye or something. After the movie ends they say ‘wait a minute, we’ve missed Stan’s cameo.’ So they’ve got to buy another ticket! Now you know the secret why The Avengers did so much business.”
If you’ve ever wondered what excelsior meant and didn’t want to look it up in the dictionary, Stan provided us with the definition and how he came about using that as his catch phrase. He was trying to find a word that his competition wouldn’t use because they “A) wouldn’t know what it meant, and B) wouldn’t know how to spell it. They weren’t very bright!” Stan happened to see that it said “excelsior” on the great seal of New York. When he looked up the definition in the dictionary, the first thing it said was that it was a packaging substance so that your stuff didn’t get broken when mailed. But then there’s a second definition, “It’s an old English expression that means upward and onward to greater glory. What could be better than that!?!” He went on to say he would get so much mail from fans asking why he used the word meaning packaging stuff. He’d write back and say “get a bigger dictionary.”
Here is the shortened version of questions and answers from the panel:
- What gave you the idea of creating the Avengers:
“Well I had all these characters and figured I ought to do something with them! All of our characters lived in the same place…they lived in New York. They didn’t live in Gotham City or Metropolis. I figured if they all lived there, they’d run into each other eventually…Anyways, I figured we get all these guys together and let them go fight people.” He then went on to say not to spread that around and if anyone asks to make up a better story than that saying Stan spent hours and hours coming up with this stuff. Sorry Stan!
- Who would be your favorite Marvel character, other than Spider-Man:
“Who told you Spider-Man was. I really love them all. Which ever one I was writing at the moment was my favorite. When I was writing Thor, I’d go around saying ‘So be it’ and talking like a Norse God. If I was smart, I’d just pick the one that sells the best, so you’d think I was pretty clever, but I don’t really have a favorite.”
- What inspired you to make Spider-Man:
“Greed” The audience loved that response! “I had already written The Fantastic Four and The Hulk and X-Men. And I needed something else because I had a greedy publisher and he felt like we were on a role. I came to him one day, saying, ‘I’ve got this idea for a character named Spider-Man, and he’s a teenager and he has a lot of problems. Martin [publisher] looked at me like I was from another planet, saying ‘Are you kidding me? That’s the worst title I’ve ever heard. People hate spiders and teenagers can only be sidekicks.’ He didn’t like the idea. A few months later, we were putting out the last issue of a magazine. Just to get it out of my system, I put Spider-Man in the last issue of that magazine and it sold like crazy. So Martin calls me into his office and I swear this is what he said: ‘Hey Stan, remember that idea of yours about Spider-Man that we liked so much! Why don’t we do a series?’ And that’s how Spidey was born!
- Who would win in a fight: Spider-Man or Superman?
“That is the easiest question, and it may not be the answer you’re looking for, but the winner would be whomever the writer wants it to be.”
- The best advice you’ve ever gotten:
“I guess it’d be my wife saying, ‘Write the stories you want to write.’ Oh, yeah, and I talked a lot in school. I had a teacher who told me to lock up your mouth and throw away the key. When he said that my lips were shut! So maybe the best advice I got was to shut up sometimes and not talk so much.”
Stan also talked about how Activision has a Spider-Man game coming out in which he is a playable character that can swing around from building to building. So look for that coming out if you want to actually play as Stan Lee. You can also follow him on twitter @therealstanlee or visit his website. There was a lot of Spider-Man talk going on at this Q&A with a lot of audience members saying he was their favorite character. So who’s your favorite Marvel character?
This is the Action Chick, and you’ve just been kicked in the ass!
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