@JustHerrick Oh the pressure! I can’t handle it.
It’s really the only way to explain how I felt throughout the day on Monday when news first trickled in that Stan Lee had passed away.
In the 1970s Marvel took to putting “Stan Lee Presents…” on its comics. Even if Stan had nothing to do with the story, he was presenting it by golly. He became this larger than life figure in my young mind. Nothing could be cooler than meeting Stan Lee and talking comic books.
Then, in the late 1980s, I finally got a chance to meet him. It’s a blur, but luckily I met him many more times so I do have at least some clear memories of him.
You know how they say you should never meet your heroes? Stan was definitely the exception to that rule. I think everyone should have met him, talked to him, and gotten to see he was the genuine article. Every time you talked to him you were the most important thing in his life at that exact moment. He would listen to you intently… he would grab your bicep while he shook your hand… he would call you “true believer” – one of his many catchphrases – as opposed to your name, even if you had a name tag on.
He was Stan “The Man” Lee, and he was a friend to everyone who had ever read a comic. He was your uncle. He was your surrogate father figure. He taught you right from wrong. He taught us all, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Today is the first full day I have to live in a world without Stan Lee… and I don’t like it.
Rest in peace, Stan. Joanie is there and waiting for you.