Thursday, April 11, 2013

From Imagination to Pen


You know how it is when there's a car accident, and you know you shouldn't slow down to look but you do? I remember having a similar feeling when this series of books hit the comics racks:



There were a few of these "Stan Lee Meets..." books published during 2006-07 which were in celebration of the 65th anniversary of Stan Lee's employment at Marvel. (Though I think maybe association with Marvel would perhaps be more accurate, unless he actually drew a check for that length of time--I'm not on a first-name basis with Marvel's bookkeeper to say for sure.) Each of the books featured a different Marvel character interacting with The Man. The stories were harmless enough, since obviously they were satirical and done in good humor. Though at four bucks a pop, you obviously weren't laughing on the way to the cash register.

There were three stories in this particular issue, with the title story consisting of Galactus abducting Lee and sending him to spend some time with the Surfer in order to see first-hand how depressing his writing of the character is:


Gee, Galactus, thanks a lot. Where were you when we needed you in 1968?


But there's also a real gem of a story following, where Lee drops in on budding writer Paul Jenkins as a boy in England in 1971 and helps to influence his talent in comics. Jenkins, of course, would go on to create a character who became very popular with readers:



The entire story is a well-done depiction of Jenkins' and Lee's interaction with each other, a mixture on Jenkins' part of homage and appreciation. And when Lee sees that the spark is lit and departs, we're left with a fitting ending to a touching story:



You can pick up the entire collection of this series for a song, though I can't vouch for the other books in the series. Still, the whole thing might make for a nice bookend to a Marvel comics collection.

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