Here's an excerpt from a fun interview Stan Lee did with TvKids.ws. It definitely reminds me of why Stan will forever have a special place in the annals of comic book lore.
TV KIDS: And you're also a playable character in a new video game [Amazing Spider-Man]?
LEE: Oh, yes! I forgot about that. I’m a playable character in Activision’s new Spider-Man video game. I haven’t seen it yet but I can’t wait to play me. [Laughs] We’ve also just launched [a website], TheRealStanLee.com. And that’s obviously in opposition to the phony Stan Lee—we don’t want anybody to get that.
TV KIDS: Looking at some of the characters you've created, did you ever think that they were going to have the kind of longevity that they’ve had, and that they would be reinvented in feature films and video games and other platforms?
LEE: I’d love to say I knew all the time how great these things were, but I didn’t have the slightest idea! I don’t think any of us did—the artists or the letterers or the colorists. All we were hoping was that the comics would sell and we’d keep our jobs and be able to pay the rent. We never looked much farther than that.
TV KIDS: What was your approach to creating some of characteristics of these classic superheroes?
LEE: Basically, if you’ve read my stories you know I’m very scientific minded. For example, I didn’t just have Spider-Man gain a spider power miraculously, I did it as scientifically as possible—he was bitten by a radioactive spider. It could have happened to anybody. When the Hulk became the Hulk, it just didn’t happen casually—there was a gamma-ray bomb that exploded. If you ask me what a gamma ray is, I would have no idea at all, but it sounds very scientific, I think. The Fantastic Four, they gained their powers from cosmic rays, of which I know as little as I do gamma rays, but they sound impressive. At that point I ran out of rays, so when I had to do the X-Men, I took the cowardly way out, I said, well they’re just born that way, that’s all. They’re mutants. That got me off the hook there.
I can give you a very clear and definite understanding as to why I and the people at POW! and at Marvel are so much more scientific than the competition. Here’s the example: You’ve seen Superman flying on the screen, haven’t you? What is his means of propulsion? What makes him fly? He doesn’t have a jet engine, there’s nothing pushing him, he just sort of assumes a horizontal position, lies on the air and off he goes. When I wanted a character to fly, such as the Silver Surfer, I gave him a flying surfboard—perfectly scientific, perfectly understandable, and not the least bit as frustrating as wondering how Superman does it. So as you can see, science is really something I’m very much into and every factor of our stories is as scientifically accurate as I can make them.
TV KIDS: You attend a lot of fan conventions; is that still fun for you?
LEE: Oh, I love it! I just love it. All my life I’ve done it and people at other companies used to say, “Why do you waste time spending so much time with the fans?” And I used to say, You guys are crazy that you don’t do it. These fans are the ones who are keeping you in business and when you talk to them and they tell you what they like and what they don’t like, it’s the greatest education you can get for the work that you do. To me the fans are the most important. In fact I’ve even formed a brigade, and I, of course, am the beloved generalissimo and all of my fans are brigadiers. I can’t tell you what our plans for world domination are because I’m sworn to secrecy, but it’s become a very big thing!
What a great fucking guy! Still has the wit and charm and is going strong with POW! Entertainment. Be sure to catch Stan Lee this summer in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers.
Stan Lee (born December 28, 1922) is an American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.
In collaboration with several artists, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, and many other fictional characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. In addition, he headed the first major successful challenge to the industry's censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, and forced it to reform its policies. Lee subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.
He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.