RIP Stan Lee - And what you can learn from his legacy

Aged 95, Stan Lee, the comic book writer died this monday in the Cedars-Sinai Hospital of Los Angeles.


The guy that inspired (and created) the whole Marvel Comic Franchise ended his days in our world leaving a big blank in the heart of many fans that have loved their creations and have growed up with them. He changed the way we perceive superheroes and modern comic books will always have his own signature in the form of the inspiration that grew from his art.


Stan Lee created Spiderman (with Steve Ditko)  in 1962. Back then he claimed he felt a little bit of shame about the fact that he met so many people in banking and business industries while he was only a comic book writer.

When creating a business, it could be easy to fall for such a bad thought in your mind. Stan Lee would have never imagined back then that his franchise would go on to produce over 10 Hollywood movies and uncountable video-games that have skyrocketed the price of his intelectual property to over billions of dollars.


Amongst his creations, we can find characters that are iconic to the global comic scene such as Spider Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Dr Strange and a bunch of others like Hulk that you will have probably heard of after the large amount of movies that have raised from his art work. His charisma and capabilities inspired many authors to write after him.


Amongst his defining characteristics, we can find:

- Humanisation of characters beyond their super hero identity. In order to achieve this, all of his characters have some sort of weakness.

- A grandiloquent and overcharged language, that in the case of articles and commercials, can be seen as an auto parody.

- Great freedom of movement and drawing given to his drawers though the "Marvel Method".

- He insisted in calling almost all of his characters with the same letter on their names and surnames (Peter Parker, Loki Laufeyson, Matt Murdock, Stephen Strange, Dum Dum Dugan, Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, Curtis Connors, Bruce Banner, Scott Summers, Silver Surfer, Pepper Pots...)

The legacy he leaves behind

Is not only about the money franchise, but about believing in your product as well as a very interesting story with so many interesting business details to take note of. 


Even though DC Comics was the first player of this duel. After the brilliance of DC's reinvention of the superhero ... in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it had run into a creative drought by the decade's end. There was a new audience for comics now, and it wasn't just the little kids that traditionally had read the books. The Marvel of the 1960s was in its own way the counterpart of the French New Wave... Marvel was pioneering new methods of comics storytelling and characterization, addressing more serious themes, and in the process keeping and attracting readers in their teens and beyond. Moreover, among this new generation of readers were people who wanted to write or draw comics themselves, within the new style that Marvel had pioneered, and push the creative envelope still further.


The style that Marvel put into their comics was fundamental for the success of the company. As an interesting fact. Not everything was great for this company. Stan Lee became the president of  the company he himself created, only to step down soon after to become a publisher instead, finding out that being president was too much about making numbers and not enough about the creative process that he enjoyed so much.


A thing to think about in this sad day. Is it more important to become the top leader of whatever you are doing, or play by the rules of the job that you'd like to do?


RIP Stan Lee - 1922 - 2018



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