|by Stan Lee|
Stan Lee, chairman of Marvel Comics and Marvel Films, is known to millions as the man whose superheroes propelled Marvel to the pre-eminent position in the comic-book industry. Hundreds of legendary characters grew out of Lee's fertile imagination, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, The X-Men and The Fantastic Four.
In the early '60s Lee ushered in what has come to be known as "The Marvel Age of Comics," creating major new superheroes while breathing life and style into such old favorites as Captain America, the Human Torch and The Sub-Mariner.
His concept of heroes who possess everyday human foibles and frailties characters with whom people can empathize captured the hearts of readers everywhere, resulting in skyrocketing sales for Marvel as well as the creation of a new, expanding audience for the entire comic-book industry.
"Stan the Man," as he's known to fans worldwide, joined Marvel Comics in New York City at the age of 16, and a year later became the youngest editor in the industry.
His first few years at Marvel were interrupted when he volunteered for service with the Army Signal Corps during World War II. During his three years in the Army, he created and wrote training films and instructional manuals for various branches of the service and became one of nine men to receive the Army's "playwright" classification.
During his first 25 years at Marvel's helm as editor, art director and head writer, Lee scripted no fewer than two, and sometimes as many as five, complete comic books per week. Additionally, he wrote newspaper features, screenplays and radio and television scripts.
In his "spare time," he has lectured at virtually every campus in the United States and Canada on such varied topics as "Comics Today, Screenplays Tomorrow," "The Art of Storytelling," "Pop Art vs. The Classics" and "Icons in Contemporary American Literature."
By the time he was named publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972, his comics were the nation's biggest sellers.
Today, Marvel continues to be a major factor in the marketplace, publishing in 75 countries in 22 languages.
In 1977, Lee brought Spider-Man into the newspapers. The seven-days-a-week strip, which he has written and edited since its inception, is among the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips, appearing in 500 newspapers worldwide.
Lee has written more than a dozen best-selling books, including "The Origins of Marvel Comics," "The Silver Surfer," "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way," "Bring on the Bad Guys," "The Superhero Women," "The Best of the Worst" and "Riftworld," a science-fiction paperback series.
He wrote the introduction to "Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics," the best-selling coffee-table book that details the growth of Marvel and Lee's own career.
By 1981 it became clear that the talent and creativity that had developed so many characters in one medium could be used to translate them into another. Thus, when Marvel decided to launch an animation studio on the West Coast, Lee moved to California, where he still resides today, as creative head of Marvel's cinematic ventures.
There Lee began to transform his Spider-Man and Hulk creations into Saturday-morning television cartoons, and he started to pave the way for Marvel's entry into live-action feature films.
In 1988, Lee produced and narrated a videocassette based on his "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" book. More recently, he collaborated with Stabur Video in a series of videotapes titled "Stan Lee Presents the Comicbook Greats," in which he interviews top artists and writers.
His animated TV production, "The X-Men," which appears Saturday mornings on Fox, has been No. 1 in the ratings since its inception.
He is host, narrator and co-executive producer of the "Marvel Action Hour," a weekly syndicated animated TV series featuring The Fantastic Four and Iron Man.
Lee was born in 1922 in New York City.
Fans may contact Lee by e-mail: STANZFANZ@aol.com.
In 1977, Spider-Man successfully expanded from comic books to comic strips one of the few comic-book superheroes to enjoy newspaper longevity. King Features Syndicate distributes "The Amazing Spider-Man" daily to more than 400 newspapers worldwide.
The talented Larry Lieber draws the daily adventures of America's favorite web-slinger which are written by Stan Lee, Lieber's older brother.
Born Oct. 26, 1931, in New York City, Lieber studied at the Pratt Art Institute and the Art Students League.
His art career was put on hold while he spent four years in the Air Force. When he left the service, he followed his older brother into the exciting world of comic books.
Lieber wrote and drew stories featuring superheroes, monsters and cowboys, plus the occasional love story, all the while editing, art directing and teaching art classes.
His first daily newspaper strip was based on another popular Marvel character, The Incredible Hulk. He replaced Fred Kida as "The Amazing Spider-Man" artist 13 years ago, and he now has been associated with the character longer than any other artist.
Lieber lives in New York. He has a Yorkshire terrier who cannot draw a line. Really??? Why, yeah!