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Stan Lee – A Tribute To A Content Superhero

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“Comics are stories; they’re like novels or anything else… The first thing you have to do is become a good storyteller.” – Stan Lee

To say that Stan Lee was a master storyteller would be a major understatement.

Stan Lee used his imagination and the collaborative support of fellow legends Jack Kirby and Steve Ditka to breathe life into his characters long before they made their triumphant big-screen debuts in the 21st century.

It all started back in the late 1930s when 17-year-old Stan Lee worked as an assistant at Timely Comics – a foundation upon which Marvel Comics would evolve and grow. His ticket to fortune and fame essentially had to wait, though, for quite some time. What many people do not realize is that long before he helped create Captain America, Stan Lee was a solder himself in the Army and fought during World War II. Behind the scenes, though, he would write scripts and manuals as training movies for the Signal Corps.

It was not until the 1960s that Stan Lee and his group of collaborators created the Marvel heroes and ensembles. Ironically, they decided to create the Fantastic Four in 1961 to respond to the strategic movie taken by their longtime rival DC Comics after the development of the Justice League. Later in the same decade was when the rest of the Avengers came to life in the world of comic books with Stan Lee right there in a front row seat to watch what would become a multibillion-dollar empire unfold.

“Some people will say, ‘Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel, you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it’s showing you.’ The only answer I can give is, ‘You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn’t want to see it on the stage?’” – Stan Lee

Mr. Excelsior himself paved the way for a lot of comic book creators, illustrators, artists and even filmmakers who were inspired by his life’s work and his overall legacy. Content creators and marketers can learn a lot from the hero behind the hero – especially when you focus on the lifeblood of the Marvel comic books, movies and overall content: Flaws are powerful.

Flaws are what build character in real-life and in the comic books. Flaws and unexpected life-altering accidents in comic books created superheroes. However, even in the real life, flaws, mistakes and unexpected accidents lead to finding the “superhero” inside of us all. We are able to address our weaknesses, but (more importantly) embrace our strengths.

That is the golden ticket that Stan Lee shared with people of all ages, generation after generation with the Marvel legacy that he left behind. At times, content creators and storytellers can easily become too distracted or even overwhelmed by what is realistic – which is why they are eager to set boundaries within their content that allow them to explore unchartered territories within their respective fields.

With his work, Stan Lee proved that the sky is not the limit – especially if you have superpowers (or a super suit) and can just fly straight through it.

“The only advice anybody can give is, if you [want to] be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything… To me, writing is fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing, as long as you can tell a story.” – Stan Lee

Over the next few days and even weeks, there will undoubtedly be a vast number of tributes, memorial posts, photo collages, and Marvel movie binge-watching sessions to honor the late, great master content creator formerly known as Stanley Martin Lieber but forever remembered as Stan Lee.

Many fans and critics will revisit, replay and review the literary works and adapted cinematic masterpieces that started out as drawings shared between Stan Lee and his collaborators more than 50 years ago. However, perhaps the best way to honor Stan Lee would be to follow in his footsteps and focus on creating new content of your own and collaborating with our team of master content creators to get it done.

You could allow an extensive list of flaws, past mistakes and overall doubts to get in the way and prevent you and your online presence from reaching its full potential. Or, you could take the Stan Lee approach and realize that those flaws are signs of superpowers just waiting to be put to good use.

Photo via Shutterstock: Stan Lee at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ held at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on April 11, 2012.

Mr. Lee was born in late December 1922 – meaning that he lived for 95 years in this world. Thanks to the lasting impact and powerful presence of his well-developed legacy of classic content, however, his work will continue to make an impact for centuries to come and inspire many other writers and artists to create worlds of their very own.

Thank you, Stan Lee, for proving year after year, decade after decade that imagination is not just for children because adults can appreciate it more and use it to make a living and make their own mark on the world in one way or another!

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