Wednesday, 18 January 2012


November 15th, 1991. A day I remember as if it were yesterday.
Better than yesterday in fact, because I can't actually remember what I
did a mere 24 hours ago. But that's by-the-by. That day, more than 20
years ago, is etched in my memory because it's the day I met the
legendary STAN LEE. Who could forget a day like that?

I prepared in advance. I made sure there was film in my trusty
RICOH MIRAI, and I mic'd up with a SONY recording WALKMAN
before setting off to meet the great man. I not only have the photos which
captured the momentous moment, but also an audio recording of the inter-
change between MR MARVEL and myself. I wanted to preserve the
encounter for posterity.

It's excruciating to listen to, mainly because of the simpering, snivelling,
grovelling, crawling, ingratiating, manner in which I engage with Stan. It's
probably the most embarrassing example of 'brown-nosing' you'll ever hear
- if I was prepared to let you hear it (but I'm not). All I can say in my
defence is that, hey - it was Stan Lee. You'd have been the same.

During the course of events, I asked Stan to sign a few books I'd
taken along for the purpose. Not one, but a few, so there's no doubt I
was chancing my arm. As Stan signed away, I apologised for being so
greedy. "Not at all...I love it, I love it, you fool!", he said in the most
affable manner imaginable, with a twinkle in his eye and a broad
grin upon his beaming countenance.

We chatted about other things - about SAM ROSEN and ART
SIMEK, some new mags that MARVEL UK were going to bring out,
and mainly how thrilled I was to actually meet him. But I was never so
thrilled as when Stan (The Man) Lee called me a fool in such a
friendly fashion as to make it seem like a compliment.

And you know what? From him it was.


Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Kid, that's a beautiful photo and a great memory! I have sniveled to much less legendary men than Stan the Man.

Kid said...

Thom, THAT photo wasn't mine. I merely used it because I've already posted the photo of Stan and myself at least twice now, and I didn't want to repeat myself - again. I've changed it so people don't think I was claiming credit for it, and replaced it with my old photo - yet again.

Thanks for the kind comments.

Martin said...

A magic moment. So nice to look back on.

joe bloke said...

that's a terrific story. and you're right. I'd've been exactly the same.

Kid said...

No matter how cool one resolves to be beforehand, there are certain individuals with whom it's impossible to be anything other than a simpering fanboy. I almost bowed.

Thanks for visiting, Martin & Joe.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Hey man, now THAT's a beautiful photo! Show it as often as you can!

Kid said...

Thanks again Thom.

Anonymous said...

Kid, because of his age and nationality and the context in when he said it, Stan may have been alluding to a cliche American silent movie line in which the vamp who has allured a young man to the point that he will do anything she wants says to him, "Kiss me, you fool." In light of how many times in the 1960s Lee quoted lines from movies and radio programs ("Whatta revoltin' development this is," for example), I suspect that he was going for a joke that would have had more zing had he been on this side of the pond. :-) (And btw, I wish that MY meeting with "the man" was as interesting as yours!)

Kid said...

One thing's for sure - he was definitely joking about the 'fool' part, but not about signing the books. (I just thought the title of the post was a nice little 'attention-grabber'.)

Nick Caputo said...

A great story. I've had the opportunity to correspond with Stan through email and he still has a great sense of humor. I'm curious what he had to say about Artie and Sam, as I happened to post about those very two gentleman in my blog this week.

Kid said...

If I remember correctly, Nick (without referring to the tape), He said that Art Simek was their FIRST letterer and that he hadn't seen Sam Rosen in some time. I believe he died in 1992, as you said on your post (I think).

Everybody visit Nick's blog - if you aren't doing so already.

Nick Caputo said...

Thanks for the kind words and the info. Artie worked in the Timely offices from what I've gathered, although there were letterers around earlier than him (Howard Ferguson was one of their earliest, I think), but Artie was there for a long time, although it looks like he moved to DC for a while when the Atlas explosion took place, likely returning in late 1958, early 1959.

I've seen his lettering on the early Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense covers, and am adding his credtits (along with Sam's and colorist Stan Goldberg) to the GCD cover indexes.

Kid said...

Maybe Stan was counting from FF #1, the 'official' start of the Marvel Age? (Art lettered the first issue, but not the second, I believe.) I've listened back and Stan does say that Art was their first letterer, so if he's not counting from 1961, it's probably just due to his famously bad memory.