It's been a week since the news broke that comic book icon and architect of the modern Marvel Comic Universe Stan Lee died at the age of 95. In that time, many came forward to pay their respects and praise his creative legacy.
Then, late Friday night, talk show host Bill Maher wrote a blog post on The Real Time with Bill Maher Blog called "Adulting" where he essentially rolled his eyes at those grieving the loss of Lee, and decrying comic books as a serious art form.
Now, Lee's company, POW! Entertainment has responded to Maher's writing in an open letter to the Real Time host. While the post is short — roughly the length of Maher's initial post — it wastes no time getting right to the point.
"Mr. Maher: Comic books, like all literature, are storytelling devices. When written well by great creators such as Stan Lee, they make us feel, make us think and teach us lessons that hopefully make us better human beings. One lesson Stan taught so many of us was tolerance and respect, and thanks to that message, we are grateful that we can say you have a right to your opinion that comics are childish and unsophisticated."
After detailing some of Lee's vast catalog of characters he helped create, and how those characters have inspired generations of readers, it cut right to the heart of the assumption that comic books are simply for kids.
"These are but a few of the things we the fans of Stan Lee also consider 'adulting,' because life both as a child and grown-up can indeed be a struggle. Stan is the author of millions of happy childhood memories and the provider of so many of the positive tools of adulthood."
For those interested, you can read the full letter in its entirety here.
Since his passing last Monday, Lee was laid to rest in a private ceremony in accordance with his wishes. POW! Entertainment is also in the process of coordinating some public memorials for Lee's many fans. In the meantime, they've set up The Stan Lee Memorial Wall where friends and fans can post messages about what the titan of the comic industry meant to them.