Last Updated on March 11, 2021
The world would certainly look a lot different without comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer, Stan Lee. He introduced generations of superhero fans to Spider-Man, Black Panther, Groot, Nick Fury, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, Galactus, and many more. Thanks to his imagination, creativity, and devotion to work, he will always be remembered as ‘The Man’.
Who Was Stan Lee?
Born on December 28, 1922, in Manhattan, New York City to parents Celia and Jack Lieber, was Stanley Martin Lieber. Growing up in the Great Depression, Stanley showed an early love for storytelling. He dreamed of one day writing the ‘Great American Novel’.
When he was in high school, he joined an essay competition sponsored by the New York Herald Tribune entitled ‘The Biggest News of the Week Contest’. He won for three straight weeks. The paper recommended that he pursue writing professionally. Stanley would later refer to this moment as something that ‘probably changed his life’.
His first foray into the world of comic books came when he became an assistant at Timely Comics (which by the 1960s would become Marvel Comics). His debut was writing the text filler ‘Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge’ under the pseudonym ‘Stan Lee’. This was a play on his real name. In the future, he would adopt Stan Lee as his legal name.
Stan Lee and Marvel
What made Stan Lee stand out from other comic book writers during his time was because he gave more human, naturalistic tendencies to his characters instead of making them ‘perfect’. You could identify with them, especially with their vanity, ill tempers, and melancholy.
The first super hero team Lee created together with artist Jack Kirby was the Fantastic Four. Following its success, Marvel’s team urged Lee to co-create more works. Hence, we now have Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk. Lee worked with Bill Everett to produce Daredevil and Steve Ditko for Doctor Strange. By 1962, the world was introduced to Spider-Man, one of Lee and Kirby’s most beloved super heroes.
These characters live in a shared universe, making it easy for Lee and Kirby to put them together to form a unique team: the Avengers. This would include the Sub-Mariner and Captain America. To date, the Avengers franchise is worth 980.5 million U.S. dollars per film.
Regardless of which superhero character you root for, you will always go back to these amazing Stan Lee quotes.
Outstanding Stan Lee Quotes
- “If you are interested in what you do, that keeps you going.” – Stan Lee
- “The only advice anybody can give is if you want to be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything.” – Stan Lee
- “To me, writing is fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing, as long as you can tell a story.” – Stan Lee
- “I never thought that Spider-Man would become the worldwide icon that he is. I just hoped the books would sell and I’d keep my job.” – Stan Lee
- “Life is never completely without challenges.” – Stan Lee
- “We all wish we had superpowers. We all wish we could do more than we can do.” – Stan Lee
- “I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.” – Stan Lee
- “The world has always been a comic book world to me.” – Stan Lee
- “No one has a perfect life. Everybody has something that they wish was not the way it is.” – Stan Lee
- “Comic books to me are fairy tales for grownups.” – Stan Lee
- “We’ve got to be more worldwide. We’ll keep going.” – Stan Lee
- “You have to be appreciative.” – Stan Lee
- “Every day, there’s a new development. There’s no limit to the things that are happening.” – Stan Lee
- “I’m happiest when I’m working. If I’m not working, I feel like I’m wasting my time.” – Stan Lee
- “Reading is very good.” – Stan Lee
- “Face front, true believers.” – Stan Lee
- “It’s a lot of work, but if you really have it in you, it’s not like work. It becomes fun.” – Stan Lee
- “I don’t really see a need to retire as long as I am having fun.” – Stan Lee
- “It’s fun doing something that hasn’t been done before.” – Stan Lee
- “I don’t analyse things too closely. I find the more you analyse, the more you get away from spontaneity.” – Stan Lee
- “Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being and will go out of his or her way to help them – even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” – Stan Lee
- “The power of prayer is still the greatest ever known in this endless eternal universe.” – Stan Lee
- “Comics are stories; they’re like novels or anything else. So the first thing you have to do is become a good storyteller.” – Stan Lee
- “When you work with people whom you like and you admire because they’re so good at what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s like you’re playing.” – Stan Lee
- “To my way of thinking, whether it’s a superhero movie or a romance or a comedy or whatever, the most important thing is you’ve got to care about the characters. You’ve got to understand the characters and you’ve got to be interested. If the characters are interesting, you’re half-way home.” – Stan Lee
- “America is made of different races and different religions, but we’re all co-travellers on the spaceship Earth and must respect and help each other along the way.” – Stan Lee
- “I wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story to show there’s good in every person.” – Stan Lee
- “There’s never a time when I’m not working. I don’t take vacations.” – Stan Lee
- “With great power comes great responsibility.” – Stan Lee
- “Being a geek has become a badge of honour.” – Stan Lee
- “Virtually every kid is exposed to giants and ogres and talking wolves, and so forth. And magic. And I think you never outgrow your love for those imaginative, fanciful, far-fetched, fantastic characters and situations.” – Stan Lee
- “I see myself in everything I write. All the good guys are me.” – Stan Lee
- “It’s got to come from inside of you.” – Stan Lee
- “I guess one person can make a difference.” – Stan Lee
- “Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic. It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, and the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.” – Stan Lee
- “I think almost everybody enjoyed fairy tales when they were young, tales of witches and ogres and monsters and dragons and so forth. You get a little bit older, you can’t read fairy tales anymore.” – Stan Lee
- “I don’t wake up in the morning and say, wow I’ve got a great idea for a story. But I sit down, and I figure well, let’s see.” – Stan Lee
- “If Shakespeare and Michelangelo were alive today, and if they decided to collaborate on a comic, Shakespeare would write the script and Michelangelo would draw it. How could anybody say that this wouldn’t be as worthwhile an artform as anything on earth?” – Stan Lee
- “Reading is very good. And you can quote me!” – Stan Lee
- “Some people will say, ‘Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it’s showing you.’ The only answer I can give is, ‘You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn’t want to see it on the stage?’” – Stan Lee
- “When I was a kid, I loved reading Sherlock Holmes. Now, you don’t think of him as a superhero, but he was so damn much smarter than anybody else.” – Stan Lee
- “Just because you have superpowers, that doesn’t mean your love life would be perfect. I don’t think superpowers automatically mean there won’t be any personality problems, family problems or even money problems. I just tried to write characters who are human beings who also have superpowers.” – Stan Lee
- “The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller.” – Stan Lee
- “The only time I go on the set is when I have a cameo to do in the picture. I go to the set and I do my little cameo and I meet all the people. It’s a great way to spend the day. And then I go back to my own world.” – Stan Lee
- “If there are people who like the work you’ve done, because of that, they like you and want your autograph and to take a photo, that’s really gratifying. You have to be appreciative.” – Stan Lee
- “Most people say, ‘I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,’ or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show.” – Stan Lee
- “I’m very proud of being a hack. It’s why I’ve lived as long as I have, I think.” – Stan Lee
- “These stories of people with unusual powers and unusual appearances, who do unusual things, people are always fascinated by them.” – Stan Lee
- “If I got a superpower I wouldn’t say, oh, I got to get a costume and put on a mask. I would say hey, I can do something better than other people. How can I turn it into a buck?” – Stan Lee
- “I don’t know where the hell I’ll be in 5 years. Maybe I’ll be producing movies maybe I’ll be on a corner selling apples. I don’t know, but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.” – Stan Lee
- “Negative information is that which, immediately upon acquiring, causes the recipient to know less than he did before.” – Stan Lee
- “I’ve been very lucky. All I wanted was to pay the rent. Then these characters took off and suddenly there were Hulk coffee mugs and Iron Man lunch boxes and The Avengers sweatshirts everywhere. Money’s okay, but what I really like is working.” – Stan Lee
- “I thought it would be great to do superheroes that have the same kind of life problems that any reader – that anybody could have.” – Stan Lee
- “If you enjoy what you do, if you are interested in what you do, I really think that’s the best situation.” – Stan Lee
- “I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him.” – Stan Lee
- “We’re living in a world where everything moves very quickly. We’ve become a very visual society, so I think it’s a very natural thing that people are captivated with the illustrations in a story.” – Stan Lee
- “There’s just something that feels nice about holding a comic book!” – Stan Lee
- “If you wanna be an artist carry sketch pad with you, and sketch everything you see. Get so you can draw anything and it looks like what it’s supposed to be. It’s a lot of work, but if you really have it in you, it’s not like work. It becomes fun.” – Stan Lee
- “Virtually, every kid is exposed to giants and ogres and talking wolves, and so forth. And magic. And I think you never outgrow your love for those imaginative, fanciful, farfetched, fantastic characters and situations.” – Stan Lee
- “Singing a song, playing sports – anything that entertains, that takes people away from their own problems, is good.” – Stan Lee