"We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things." – Elric
Were it not for Stan Lee, superheroes would be fewer in number, financially poorer, but better-adjusted people. The torch-bearing writer, editor, and longtime Marvel Comics head honcho has died, Marvel confirmed on Monday. He was 95.
Lee’s innovations pushed comic books from the edge of obscurity to the cultural forefront as a legitimate American art form. And he helped usher in an era when superhero movies, including such global blockbusters as Marvel Studios’ Iron Man and Avengers franchises, rank as Hollywood’s most reliably bankable entertainment properties.
The son of working-class Jewish immigrants from Romania, Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York in 1922. He adopted his famous pseudonym while employed as a proofreader and text filler at Timely Comics, the pulp publisher that later became Marvel. “I felt someday I’d be writing the Great American Novel and I didn’t want to use my real name on these silly little comics,” said Lee, who later legally adopted his pen name.
In the early ’60s, when superheroes battled villainy as blandly indestructible paragons of virtue, the comics upstart grew disenchanted with such strait-laced characters as Superman, Batman, and the Flash, who were then flourishing at rival DC Comics. As a result, Lee strayed from accepted tropes to create an interlocking network of heroes with a kind of flawed humanity — a breakthrough dubbed the “Marvel revolution” that would ripple across popular culture for decades.
Unlike so many other caped crusaders of the time, Lee’s heroes tended to be misfits and wisecrackers, teenagers or regular Joes given to fits of pique, self-pity, rage, insecurity, and churlishness. Spider-Man’s Peter Parker, for example, was an orphaned nerd who — when not saving New York City from impending disaster — wrestled with unrequited love, schoolyard bullying, and negative cash flow. The X-Men, meanwhile, captured the zeitgeist as bona fide members of the counterculture. They were superpowered mutants intent on doing good but forced to maintain an uneasy peace with human beings who reviled the “uncanny” crime-fighters as a dangerous subspecies.
Another classic Lee antihero, Fantastic Four strongman the Thing, vanquished foes with superhuman strength and an impenetrable, rock-like hide but became beloved for the sum of his quirks: the character’s lingering unease with his monstrous condition and a gravelly New York brio Lee swiped from Jimmy Durante.
At the height of the civil rights movement, Lee helped introduce a wave of characters including Luke Cage (a.k.a. Power Man), Falcon, and Black Panther, thereby smashing an unofficial color barrier for major superheroes held in place since the dawn of comics. “Not to have diversity of different races and nationalities is ridiculous,” Lee told EW in June 2015. “Because the world is diverse. The more we can include everybody, the better it is.”
By the late ’60s, Marvel was selling 50 million comic books a year. In 1972, Lee became the company’s president and publisher. In conjunction with a number of illustrators — most notably freelance artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — he perfected an assembly-line model of comic book production that came to be known as the Marvel Method. Lee would pump out characters and rough plotlines, then hand his unfinished ideas over to artists who fleshed out the action before handing the work back to Lee for his signature punchy dialogue. Comic book artist Gil Kane noted that Lee “wrote one book a night for 10 years. Not only was it easy for him, but it was the best thing that happened to comics.”
Although the Marvel Method evolved into the industry standard, it resulted in no small amount of bitterness. Kirby, whose pen strokes birthed such iconic heroes as Spider-Man, the Silver Surfer, and the X-Men, became estranged from Lee over money issues and creative credit, a controversy that has outlived both men and continues to rage in fanboy forums to this day. “I came up with the Fantastic Four. I came up with Thor,” Kirby said in a 1991 interview with The Comics Journal. “Whatever it took to sell a [comic] book, I came up with. Stan Lee has never been editorial-minded. It wasn’t possible for a man like Stan Lee to come up with new things.”
In his later career, Lee became known for his P.T. Barnum-like hucksterism and tireless self-promotion, turning up across the media landscape to conjecture (often erroneously) about Marvel movie projects. He even launched a signature cologne in 2013. But despite his inextricable link to Marvel for over half a century, Lee never maintained ownership rights to the characters. So when Marvel Entertainment was sold to Disney for $4.2 billion in 2009, the man once known as “Mr. Marvel” didn’t see a penny of profit. “I was always a Marvel employee, a writer for hire, and, later, part of the management,” he told Playboy in 2014. “Marvel always owned the rights to these characters. If I owned them, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”
Lee received the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2008 and was inducted into the comics industry’s Jack Kirby Hall of Fame and Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.
In recent years, Lee maintained his cultural presence operating Pow! Entertainment, a multimedia company that develops and licenses film, television, animation, and video game properties, and serving as one of the partners of Los Angeles Comic Con. (Lee sold Pow to Hong Kong-based Camsing International in 2017 and ended his relationship with L.A. Comic Con in 2018.) He also made regular cameo appearances in Marvel-produced films.
For seven decades, Lee was married to Joan Boocock Lee, an English native and onetime hat model. “She was the girl I had been drawing all my life,” Lee would say of his wife. The Lees had two children: Joan Celia, also known as “J.C.”, who was born in 1950, and Jan, who died days after her birth in 1953. Joan Boocock Lee preceded her husband in death in 2017.
Stan Lee was not untouched by turmoil or controversy in later life. In January, he was reportedly accused of sexual harassment by employees of a nursing company. A lawyer representing Lee “categorically” denied the allegations, calling them “false and despicable.”
In March, TMZ reported that Lee contacted police after he noticed $1.4 million missing from his bank account. Around the same time, he revealed in a video addressed to fans that he had been battling pneumonia, which caused him to cancel several public appearances.
A month later, a report in The Hollywood Reporter detailed strained relationships and infighting between Lee, daughter J.C., and other members of his inner circle. Lee also sued his former manager for allegedly duping him out of millions of dollars.
In a video to fans in March, Lee appeared sanguine. “I want you all to know I’m thinking of you,” he said. “I want you to know that I still love you all. And I think that Marvel and Spidey and I had the best group of fans that any group in the world ever had, and I sure appreciate it.”
The Eleventh Hour,The Eleventh Day, The Eleventh Month,
known here in the States as Veterans, Day and as Remembrance
Day to the rest of the English speaking world. Most young
Americans have no idea that this day was ment to comemorate
the end of the Great War, or as it's commonly known World War I
We are now at the 100th anniversary of the First World War. To
all those who served in the past and to those who serve today, we
extend or heart felt gratitude.
To some I personal knew who served in the next great world war:
Tribute To My Grandfather (Written Several Years Ago)
My grandfather was my maternal grandmother's second husband, and therefore
of no blood relation to me however, I knew no other grandfather growing up. Both
my biological grandfathers lived until I reached adulthood but, I saw them not often
because of the distance of where they lived.
******************************** Papa Henni, as I knew him had one of the most interesting of lives, born in Germany
and growing up there after WWI in a small farm village in East Prussia, it was easier to get to his uncle's fields by cutting through Poland! it even resulted in him getting shot at by Polish boarder guards a few times. Because of where and when he grew up he developed a great facility for language, he grew up speaking German, Polish, Russian, Slovak, and later learned English and Japanese.He in early teens was an ardent anti-nazi, he told me of putting sand down the gas tanks of army trucks! He then would put it like this; "I was asked to politely leave at the business end of a
Kar98!" Not surprising given another of his stories where he tells of his village where half the houses are flying the flag of the Weimar Republic the other half the nazi flag, his house had the old Imperial battle flag because his uncle Willy was convinced that the Kaiser would return! So perhaps it was no shock that My grandfather would go against the authorities...
******************************** In 1936 he came to the states with his father and later followed by his uncle Willy, He became an American citizen in 1940 and after Pearl Harbor joined the US Army and went to Training in Mississippi, where he also taught German to Officers heading to Europe. He as A German was sent to the Pacific theater. His first stop was for several months in Schofield BKS Hi, where he stayed in the same building that I was assigned to many years later, I Quad. His tails of training there came home to me many times as I marched over the same ground that he did many years before me.
******************************** He went on to the Pacific theater where in one story he was watching a PBY being worked on and a naval officer asked him "Sergeant do you like what you see, my Grandfather replied as he said (like an idiot) Yes Sir" He was then asked could he fire a 50 cal Machine -gun he replied "Yes sir , on the ground" the officer said it shouldn't mater...The next thing he knew he was in the right bubble manning the 50 cal flying out over the islands in a PBY. He didn't go too much into detail about that other than saying he gunned allot of tomato gardens, later learned that was slang for any Japanese installation.The next stories he told me involved running into various islanders that were fluent in German! In the first story he is walking along this recently occupied island and hears someone singing "Watch On The Rhine" a very patriotic German song being done in flawless German, he walks up and finds this little old man cutting vegetables who as it turned out used to work in the German governors mansion. In the next story he and another German American GI are at this elaborate ceremony where the chief is in the full black top hat and tails but spats and no shoes. My grandfather speaking in German to his friend said you think they could have got him some shoes...Then thinking nothing about it is approached by the same Chief who proceeds in perfect German to apologias for his lack of proper attire etc...My grandfather said he felt about 2 inches tall at that point, lol.
******************************** The next things he really went into were how he learned Japanese from a Buddhist monk while on occupation duty in Japan. I guess the reason I thought of all these things was I turn 53 tomorrow 11 Jan, and was going back over the many things I learned from this very interesting man, and how it was really him that caused me to make a career in the army.Sadly Papa Henni passed away just before Germany was reunified and didn't live to see that, I'm sure he would had allot of interesting things to say. The other reason that brought all this to mind was my friend Tim was showing some of his Japanese aircraft models and my mind sort of went back to these thoughts. There are so many other stories that I half remember now and so many other life lessons he taught me, that of all the people I've met in my life he I miss the most.....
Delta Vector: Subterranean War: Watching the Netflix's Ken Burns documentary The Vietnam War piqued my interest in the tunnel systems of Vietnam, and inspired musings ...
I thought this was very well thought out! I've been toying with this idea for a Sci-fi setting of my own involving my transplanted Finns on an Ice world where the bulk of the population would live underground (AKA sort of a Hive world) where there are thermal springs that supply heat and energy (like Iceland). I'm thinking larger caverns connected by tunnels. These where found while mining (the main reason they moved to this rock in the first place, and what makes it valuable enough to fight over.) Thinking there would be a hard fight for the surface but, being badly out gunned and out numbered the defenders would be driven under ground and the fight would continue there. Also an opportunity hit and run raids from underground hitting the occupier on the surface....lots of options!
Andy Jarvis had been asked lots of times if he would produce his MRail system, as you all know the cost of producing models can get rather expensive, design, 3d print, mold making and casting costs, been pricing having it made in resin up so question is would you find £25 for Cab, 2x carriages, 60cm of track and 4 x stantions a reasonable price. it would come as a resin kit.
Shout Factory's double feature of "Crash and Burn" and "Robot Wars" have three elements in common: both feature robots, both are from Charles Band's Full Moon Studios, and both have been erroneously billed at sometime in their histories as sequels to Stuart Gordon's "Robot Jox."
It freaked out an entire generation of radio listeners in 1938. It invaded the stage in Jeff Wayne’s 1978 musical. It rose up again in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 version. And now, War Of The Worlds is getting a fresh adaptation on the BBC, bringing a new take on the classic H.G. Wells sci-fi story. This time the period setting remains (though we’re talking the Edwardian era, rather than Victorian Britain), with a leading heroine inspired by the suffragettes in Eleanor Tomlinson's Amy. Empire has an exclusive new image, as seen in the Review of the Year issue – on sale now.
Finnish Infantry vs Russian T-34s (The Unknown Soldier 2017)
The Unknown Soldier (Finnish: Tuntematon sotilas) is a 2017 Finnish war drama movie directed by Aku Louhimies (Tears of April) based on the novel of the same name by Väinö Linna from 1954. The film is the story of a Finnish machine gun company during the Continuation War. It shows how friendship, humor, and the will to live unite these men on their way there and back. The war changes the lives of each of the soldiers as well as the lives of those on the home front, and also leaves its mark on the entire nation. This is the third filming of the novel after the 1955 and 1985 versions. It was released for the 100th anniversary of the Finnish independence (December 6, 1917) and was shot almost entirely with natural light
The Evil Empire on the Brazos (BEE) chronicles the on going wars (games) and the diplomatic efforts (Posts/GNN Reports) of all the known nations (wargame collections) in my little area of the galaxy.My goal is to both entertain
and inform those new to art of miniature wargaming, and have a few laughs with it. This Blog is open to all and also welcomes comment from all and I hope that many will come to join in the madness.....)