Often credited with transforming the industry forever, Stan Lee is an American comic book writer, editor and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.
History and Background
In collaboration with several artists – most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko – Stan Lee co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, the Silver Surfer, The Avengers and many other fictional characters for Marvel.
He led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation during an era now referred to as The Marvel Revolution.
In 1984, Stan was awarded The National Medal of Arts by the United States Congress, the highest honour awarded to an individual artist in the United States. Previous recipients include Georgia O'Keeffe, Willem de Kooning and Bob Dylan.
Ideas and Inspirations
Stan Lee’s Marvel Revolution extended beyond the characters and storylines, to the way in which comic books engaged the audience and created a community between the readers and the creators.
Additionally, he pioneered and advocated the use of comic books to comment on social issues of the time; including bigotry, injustice and discrimination.
This got him into hot water with the rather conservative Comics Code Authority, but Stan wouldn't yield. He continued to pursue what he believed in and what he knew his audience wanted, and as a result, the code changed.
There is a long-established heritage for contemporary sequential art which represents the struggles, triumphs, trials and wonder of the human condition. Whilst comic books take this to a level of fantasy, we can see in Stan Lee’s work the desire and motivation to ground these narratives in reality; enabling each and every one of us to relate to the messages conveyed.