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The Wednesday Club Celebrates the Life of Stan Lee
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club Celebrates the Life of Stan Lee

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. On this week’s episode, hosts Matt KeyTaliesin Jaffe, and Amy Dallen talked about the life of Stan Lee and the indelible mark he made on pop culture.

In memory of Stan Lee, 1922-2018

At break of day, as heavenward 
The pious monks of Saint Bernard 
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer, 
A voice cried through the startled air, 
      Excelsior! 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Stan Lee, born Stanley Lieber, started working in the comic book industry when he was a teenager. He began working at Timely Comics, which would later become Marvel Comics, in 1939 as an assistant. He rose through the ranks as a writer, then editor, and ultimately publisher, with a short break while serving in World War II. Stan would go on to co-create some of pop culture’s most famous superheroes, like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Hulk.

The Wednesday Club paused to toast and talk about Smilin’ Stan and his incredible impact both on the comic book industry and on the hosts personally.

The trio discussed his larger-than-life public persona, which was often characterized by his catchphrase, “Excelsior!”

Stan was never afraid to speak his mind or tackle the era’s issues in his regular Stan’s Soapbox column in the back of Marvel Comics. In X-Men #51, he wrote, “Comic books are a medium of communication, just as television and motion pictures are… A story is a story, whether presented between two covers or on a screen. If the words have dramatic impact, if the pictures are visually appealing, if the theme is emotionally relevant, then certainly it is worthy of a reader’s attention.”

“He was a man who loved words,” Amy said. (Watch this 2014 reel at the 5:15 mark to see Amy meet Stan.)

“There is a sound to his dialogue that is unmistakable,” Taliesin agreed.

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“The thing beyond even the story revolution,” Taliesin said later, “the thing that Stan can fully take credit for, he was the first person in these books to realize that they should be developing community. I think beyond anything else, the notion that ‘we’re going to start really communicating with our audience on a really deep level, and elevate the audience.'”

“[Stan Lee] changed a lot of nerdy kids’ lives for the better,” Matt said. “I don’t think my life would be where it is without his creations. None of us would be.”

The hosts also took a moment to recommend a classic book on making comic books: Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics.

Geek & Sundry mainstay and guest on The Wednesday Club Hector Navarro recently honored Stan by listing each of the characters he co-created during his career. It is truly staggering. (Click the date in the tweet below to begin browsing the list.)

THE DAILY WEDNESDAY

Did you know The Wednesday Club has their own letters column with questions and comments from viewers? Send in your thoughts, comic recommendations, questions, and more to Matt, Amy, and Taliesin at [email protected] and you might just see yourself on the next episode.

wedclub-hosts

Please mark your message “OK to read on air” so the hosts know what you’re comfortable with sharing.

MORE COMIC AWESOMENESS!

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha every Wednesday night to catch the next spectacular episode of The Wednesday Club.

Featured Photo: Washington Post, photo by Gerald Martineau

Other Photo: Netflix / Marvel (The Defenders)

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