If you have even a cursory knowledge of comic-book history, you know who Stan Lee is. The former Marvel editor-in-chief had a hand in creating everyone from Spider-Man to the Avengers to the X-Men, and even though his career as a comic-book writer and creator isn't what it once was, he remains a tireless spokesman for the medium, appearing at conventions everywhere and happily lending his likeness to cameo appearances in various Marvel Comics-based films. Even if his talent had never granted him a place in the comic-book pantheon, his enthusiasm has basically guaranteed it, and these days it's hard to imagine what comics would look like without Stan "The Man" in them.
Lee's life has already been the subject of countless interviews, profiles and even a documentary film, but in 2015 his story and his place in comics history will be documented in the way they always should have been: comic-book form. This week Simon & Schuster announced that this October it will publish Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir, which will present "the story of how comics came to be" through Lee's story. To create the book, Lee collaborated with writer Peter David (The Incredible Hulk, X-Factor) and artist Colleen Doran (The Sandman, A Distant Soil). Here's how the official synopsis describes it:
In this gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee—comic book legend and cocreator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes—shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be.
Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. The most legendary name in the history of comic books, he has been the leading creative force behind Marvel Comics, and has brought to life—and into the mainstream—some of the world’s best-known heroes and most infamous villains throughout his career. His stories—filled with superheroes struggling with personal hang-ups and bad guys who possessed previously unseen psychological complexity—added wit and subtlety to a field previously locked into flat portrayals of good vs. evil. Lee put the human in superhuman and in doing so, created a new mythology for the twentieth century.
In this beautifully illustrated graphic memoir—illustrated by celebrated artist Colleen Doran—Lee tells the story of his life with the same inimitable wit, energy, and offbeat spirit that he brought to the world of comics. Moving from his impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his early days writing comics, through his military training films during World War II and the rise of the Marvel empire in the 1960s to the current resurgence in movies, Amazing Fantastic Incredible documents the life of a man and the legacy of an industry and career.
This funny, moving, and incredibly honest memoir is a must-have for collectors and fans of comic books and graphic novels of every age.
So, while many of us comic-book fans already know the story of Stan Lee and how he fits into comic-book history, seeing it told in this format sounds like a can't-miss opportunity. What do you think? Will you be reading Lee's memoir in the fall?