March 27, 2023
Stan Lee at D23 Expo on July 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Disney/Image Group LA.

Last week, the world lost one of the most imaginative and creative writers to be a part of all of the famous comic books and movies that we have been able to enjoy over the past decades.

Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics, passed away on Monday at the age of 95.

Lee started out in the company as an assistant when it was still Timely Comics and would continually want to create characters and comics of his own. He was finally able to do this when he worked on a Captain America Comics #3, “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge,” along with the byline that would name him Stan Lee (his real name being Stanley Martin Lieber).

After that, Lee’s roles changed and, as the company went through changes of name (from Atlas Comics to Marvel Comics), he became the editor-in-chief. He worked closely with Jack Kirby and many other writers to create the characters for which the company became well known.

From then until now, Lee made his mark on the comic book industry and on the fans that followed it. He inspired many people to create their own characters and to continue the creativity involved with writing.

Alfonso Espinos, manager of Studiocomix Press in Kitchener, Ont., is one who encourages people to create their own comic books.

“We don’t know if it is going to be a positive or a negative effect, but of course we’re looking at a guy who pretty much gave his life to create comics, to write comics, to make stories about comic books,” said Espinos, 

Espinos said that a lot of the people who come to him to distribute their own work were originally inspired by what Lee did and the products that he was able to produce because of it.

“I get a bunch of artists and writers that were inspired by Stan Lee and most of the community is inspired by him because even, in part, myself — I was inspired to be a comic book artist. I mean, some of the stories he wrote I got the chance to read when I was pretty young and it, in a part, was [an] inspiration for most of the creators.”

Espinos had that chance to meet Lee a few years ago while working on a project in Mexico. Lee, he said, was just as friendly and genuine as he always portrayed himself to be.

Jacob Brenner, from Lookin’ for Heroes, located at 83 Ontario St. S. in Kitchener, Ont., said that he doesn’t believe Lee’s passing will affect his business in very many ways or really at all. Though Lee has forever put his stamp on comics through the characters he created, “I can’t say, from a business perspective, though, [that his passing] has really impacted it,” said Brenner. “But definitely for the characters he’s made, he’s a vital character in many comics shops.”

Brenner believes that Lee’s death will only affect any signed issues of work but not really touch any of the older comics that he may have had a hand in. He also believes that Lee’s passing will also not influence any new readers to pick up comic books or to start buying products that they may not have before.

Regarding Lee’s influence, longevity and death, Brenner said,  “You knew this was going to happen. Even 10 years ago, you knew it was coming, but you kind of hoped it [wouldn’t]. I can’t see people jumping into comics because of it, but I can see stuff that he worked on and signed going up and being more valuable now that he’s not signing anymore.”

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