We all know about Stan Lee, the man who created the monumental empire known as Marvel. Lee’s work has spanned several decades and has inspired millions around the world.
But, behind Spider-Man; Captain America; Iron Man; and numerous other characters, there lies a man who lives not just an ordinary life, but an extraordinary one at that. It’s all outlined in the new book, “It’s All About Love: The Stan Lee Family,” written by Lee’s own daughter, J.C. Lee, whom he calls his greatest creation.
While at Silicon Valley Comic Con during the March 18-20 weekend, Lee had a booth set up in which she was promoting and selling copies of her book that reveals the life of the man that not only created one of the most successful franchises in pop culture history, but was also successful at building a loving family. To this day, Stan Lee is still with Joan B. Lee, whom he married in 1947.
Talking with the Chico Movie Examiner, J.C. Lee explained she wrote the book to show the millions of fans of Lee’s work that there is more to the man behind all of their favorite heroes.
“I just think that he’s so huge and he’s such a great man, and I’m so proud of both of my parents that I just wanted to share, because we’re getting older,” Lee said.
Lee considers herself to be a “media baby,” having been around her father and his work as well as her mother being involved in theater. This book, which you can purchase on her website, is meant to not only show the fans the other side of Stan Lee, but to also be a tribute to both of her parents.
“When you get older, you feel more urgency. You’re more aware of time. And so I thought it was a gesture, and I know how much everybody loves him, and they all want him, and they all want to know how it is, because sometimes, they don’t see him as being human, and he is human. And he’s had this incredible love story, and he’s been this really incredible father,” Lee said.
At 93, Stan Lee is still traveling to a number of different conventions to meet his fans. He doesn’t do it for the money at all, his daughter reveals. He just wants to meet everyone.
“I said in my book, and I wasn’t kidding, if he could hand-deliver like Santa and the reindeers, he’d hand-deliver, and he would sit down all have chocolate milk with all of them. And he’s really sincere about it, and that’s why they love him, so they feel it. It’s not in this day of money. It’s not about gold Rolexes, Rolls Royces; it’s about people and love and awe and sharing, and people feel it amongst him, and the fact that he’s so huge and he walks around like everyone else. There’s a lot for us to be curious about,” she said
And even though J.C. Lee grew up around characters like The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, she said there was never one time in which her father came to her for suggestions on what he should come up with next. Every single character Stan Lee thought of came from his own mind.
“If you know my father at all, he doesn’t ask anyone. When people come out of the woodwork and say, ‘I created what Stan did.’ I’m like, ‘Wrong.’ He doesn’t partner. He never says at lunch, ‘Tell me, what do you think? I was thinking this.’ It’s all about him and his brain and his story. And I used to say, when I was young, if I say, ‘Let’s do it red,’ he’d do it blue. Because it’s got to be all of his in private. He’s a man who enjoys the control of the art,” she said.
Today, Marvel is more than just comics. People can find it in games; on television; and in movie theaters. But J.C. Lee remembers a time when Marvel was nowhere near as big as it is now.
“Marvel was always a name. But when I grew up, it was less than a dozen people there. It was a small, small very tight little world. Now, they’ve got 12 people bringing the big guys water. It’s a whole new world. When I knew it, and it wasn’t Marvel; it was Timely Comics, and my father gave the name, Marvel, it was very private and very personal,” Lee said.
And one of the things that helped Marvel achieve success was how dedicated and involved everyone was when it first started, Lee added.
“There was passion; there was creativity and imagination, and that was the really pure time. That was the real time of incredible innocence, in a way. Everybody was incredibly talented, but it was a whole new world, and they broke through,” she said.
Many decades have passed since the inception of Marvel, but Stan Lee is still working on a variety of things. Whether it’s making cameo appearances in Marvel movies, or doing something else, J.C. Lee says her father is always up to something, and he feels what he is working on now is truly special.
“He says now, he’s doing his best work. I look forward to seeing it,” she said.