Friday, January 29, 2016

Amazing Fantastic Incredible by Stan Lee

Title: Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir
Author: Stan Lee
Pages: 192 pages
Published: November 3rd 2015 by Touchstone
Source: Borrowed
Links: goodreads,

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.
Honestly.. this book was never on my radar.  I may or may not have heard about it. A friend of mine loaned it to me though since he knows I like comics so of course I had to read it.  I do think this is a perfect memoir for Stan Lee.  The comic reads very friendly, and of course as I read it I read it in Stan Lee's voice.   The comic talks about Lee's young life which wasn't the easiest.  Though... I do think he was in the right place right time to get his comics written. I thought that sometimes the comic was too light hearted for me to really care about Lee's life.  At the same time though I don't enjoy non-fiction or biographies and this one I did enjoy.  So I suppose this format was perfect for me.

 I did learn a lot from this comic... one of the biggest things I learned was that he doesn't write his comics.  WHAT you say????  I say the same thing.  Apparently Stan Lee just comes up with the idea of a character, someone else actually writes the story.  This is Marvel's style (DC does it different I guess). Let me explain this a little more.  At Marvel someone gives the illustrator an idea and the ILLUSTRATOR draws the story out. Then someone comes a long and writes the story.  I did a little more research in this and it turns out a lot of people are upset with Stan Lee from the early days when he was at Marvel.  In this story Lee mentions a lot of people (perhaps to make up for not giving these people credit in the past) including someone named Jack Kirby.  Kirby has the most complaints with Lee.  Kirby's family actually took Marvel to court saying he owns the copyright to quite a few of the characters.  It almost went to the supreme court but the case was settled by Marvel in 2014.

I think that the comic book industry drama of the early days is what most people who are long time Stan Lee fans want to read about and it was avoided.  I was supposed to see Stan Lee once at the Denver Comic Con but he canceled a week or two before he was supposed to be there.  Still bummed about that. Great illustrating in the comic. It's really neat to read about someone's life in comic form. Colleen Doran drew it (also known for the Sandman series) and does a fantastic job.  In the end, it really is too bad that comic books writers/illustrators don't make a lot of money.  It's like people who write songs for music artists.  You just don't get the appreciation you should.  All in all this was a fun read.

This counts for 5 comics towards my 2016 Graphic Novels Challenge.

No comments:

Post a Comment