In Memoriam: Stan Lee (1922 – 2018)

Stan Lee

Stan Lee – in all honesty – was like the ultra-cool grandfather that I’d never met. As a child who grew up in the 1980s, his narration on TV shows like “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” and “The Incredible Hulk” were some of my earliest childhood memories. And I was (and always will be) grateful to him for the universe that he has played a pivotal role into creating. 

The modern-day mythology that is depicted in comics like Marvel’s helps us understand each other through fantastic metaphor and allegory, and bind us together in our shared love and enthusiasm for the stories and characters. The modern-day mythology also provides us with levity, and brings true joy to our lives. And it inspires – and helps to bring out the inner-hero in all of us. 

While is definitely in an embryonic state at the moment, the passion that drives its existence has been burning for a long time, thanks to those childhood memories created by the comics, tv shows, and then eventually the films that came decades later. 

When I’d heard that Stan passed, it hit me much harder than I thought it would. It was just this profound sense of loss…like our universe had just said goodbye to one of its most special individuals. Even though Stan had lived a very long and adventurous life, it still felt a bit too early for me. I’m not sure why, it just did. 

But then I ran across his final message. And it definitely helped soothe the ache that I felt over his passing. A final love letter to his fans. Here it is transcribed below:

* * * * 
Well it’s an equal love fest, ’cause I love my fans.

I cannot tell you how much I love my fans.

Sometimes at night, I am sitting here thinking, ‘What’s it all about?’ And then I get a letter from a fan or I read something or I see something or I remember something.

And I realize, it’s so lucky to have fans, fans who really care about you. That’s the reason I care so much about the fans because they just make me feel so great.

And there’s something, if you think about it, that is wonderful about somebody caring about you — as I care about them — whom you’ve never met.

Who may may live in another part of the world. But they care and you have something in common. And occasionally you contact each other.

And this business of fans, I think is terrific. And I love them all.

* * * *

When I heard and watched him say those words, I felt them. It was almost as if he knew that those of us who did (and do) love him would feel his loss so profoundly. And so he did what anyone who really cared would do before saying goodbye: he made sure we all knew that he loved us back. From the heart. It was unscripted, personal, and utterly authentic. And it was comforting. 

Fanalogue exists because I truly believe that fandom is beautiful. Fandom is about celebrating what we love. Loving what we love. And becoming family. Corny? Perhaps. But at the end of the day, I think it’s love in all its forms that makes a life truly worth living.

Stan Lee loved what he did. And he did what he loved. And it showed. 

I remain eternally grateful for everything he did, and for everything he helped make possible. 


– Driz Knytel

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