12. November 2018
Jon Meakin, Grayling’s global head of strategic services, mourns the passing of a pop culture icon.
I was deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Stan ‘The Man’ Lee, founder of Marvel Comics and creator of such iconic figures as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and The X-Men. Lee was 95 years old, so his death was probably not a shock to anyone, but it nevertheless affected me greatly, since his work was a major part of my childhood and – it turns out – had a major influence on my career.
Growing up, I was never the sporty one. I was more comfortable with books than boots, with stories than sports. And comic books were a major part of that. Specifically, Marvel Comics. I was what Lee called a 'True Believer', heading to the newsagent each week to pick up my reserved copy of the latest Spider-Man or Fantastic Fourpublication, and losing myself in their pages. I loved the characters, the fantastical storylines, the artwork… everything. And 40 years later, a whole new generation is as hooked as I was, with those same characters now comprising one of the most successful movie franchises in history and spawning an endless array of merchandise.
But reflecting on Stan Lee’s legacy, I realize that reading those comic books had a much greater impact on my life than I previously appreciated. You see, I have built my career in a profession that is all about storytelling – and Stan was the consummate storyteller. It’s fair to say that everything I know about storytelling, I learned from Stan Lee:
So while I pour one out for Stan Lee, I’ll also be thanking him for keeping me entertained, and for what he taught me along the way.
Photo: Stan Lee at the Phoenix Comicon in Phoenix, Arizona - ©Gage Skidmore
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