Grounded in the new name of The Breeze Is Down as we transition to a new website. Not knowing what transpired today 2 weeks ago when thinking of the new name for our editorial series, I had thought of Grounded to be something similar to Stan Lee’s Soapbox. A series the comic book icon featured in monthly comic books in the “Marvel Bullpen Bulletin”. He called it his version of Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside chats”.Stan didn’t have twitter back then when he was writing the stories, so he used his column to reach out to the fanbase. Give his opinion on stories and climactic showdowns and he even used it to stand up to bigotry in the world. So, I came up with Grounded, where anyone can express their opinion about the comic books, not only for the future of what we’re doing here but also in honor of him while having no idea what would happen today.
Stanley Martin Leiber passed away today at the age of 95.
Coming up with the words to say about him is one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time. Because Stan wasn’t just any man. He was The Man.The guy who made it possible for the world we all live in to know that great power comes with great responsibility. That we may all have a monster within us but we can still do good. That a family can stay united no matter where their travel’s take them. This man did so much for all of us.
This past year there would not have been an Infinity War to be had. There would not have been a superhero movie with Black characters that could be one of the highest grossing movies of all time. There wouldn’t be all of this merchandise, all of these conventions and animated series none of it. If he didn’t give it one more go.
Stan Lee almost gave up on comic books entirely. His wife gave him to motivation to create the first family of superheroes and with that, began a legacy of telling stories of a kid who didn’t need to be a sidekick to save the day, Gods working alongside men, iron suited geniuses and misunderstood mutants. Stories that have changed the fabric of history forever.
He said once in an interview that he shortened his name from Leiber to Lee because he said he would one day write the “Great American Novel” and he didn’t want to use his real name on comics. Kid’s stuff. Something meant to grow out of. He not only told stories that surpassed some of the greatest novels of all time but in all his years, with his help, of course, comic books have also become something enjoyed by people at any age, from any walk of life. No matter who you are, Stan hopefully was proud knowing he did his best to make a story for everyone and pave the way for even more.
We have people from all different walks of life here. Thanks to Stan, we’re able to have every type of race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation all at a table here and talk about the comic books that he made. That so many people have carried on and told the same amazing stories that inspire generations after him. Stan created characters that have stood up to the worst of humanity so that we could find the strength to do the same. And all of us here would like to pay tribute to that man.
I can’t tell you how important the first 100 issues of Spider-Man are to me. There is a reason all those characters still resonate today. High school drama, politics, colorful supervillains, and the best supporting cast of any comic I can think of, make those first issues really something special. His Fantastic Four pushed the boundaries of what superhero comics could be and even defined what an event is. The Galactus Trilogy is something I read over and over again as a child, and I approached it far after it was contemporary. Stan Lee leaves us, but his stories are truly immortal. There are few people in the world that have the lasting legacy that he has, on popular culture. He will be missed but never forgotten.
–Timothy Quail, Staff Writer
Going to LA Comic Con or Frank and Son’s will never be the same. I’ve been a fan of Marvel for a while, my true nerd-dom awakened about 5 years ago. I owe that to the man, Stan Lee. For being the catalyst to some of my favorite stories, cartoons and movies. He was a great influence to everyone. Not only through his characters he created, but his positive attitude through sickness and the loss of his wife Joan. I had the honor of meeting him a year ago, and it was something I’ll never forget. I think he’s brought great things out of each of us, even if we don’t realize it. The nerd community mourns together. It will be hard seeing a Marvel movie without Stan Lee’s cameo, but we have the great memories. We also need to remember he gets to be with Joan now. Legends never die.
-Daniela Mendoza, Contributor/Cosplayer
The world undoubtedly lost a great deal of light with Stan Lee dead. I can’t imagine my life without Stan’s characters. I’ll miss stan greatly. I can only hope I impact even one life the way stan did for so many. Stan’s influence and impact are tempered by how he screwed over people in the comics industry.
–Danielle Lemos, Staff Writer
It’s hard to put into words saying goodbye to a man who changed and Influenced so many lives. No one can outrun death, not even Wolverine. So Thank You, Stan. And Excelsior.
–Joanna Robinson, Contributor
I am heartbroken, but I take solace in the knowledge that Stan’s work and legacy will continue to delight and inspire generations to come. Excelsior.
– Mary Swangin, Senior Editor
As I kid, there weren’t many folks who understood me. I was a Black kid who was obsessed with comics. Some of my favorite were the X-Men, who made a point to make it ok to be different. The lessons in books like the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and so many more taught me my unique perspective was important and my human flaws were what made me special. I am forever indebted to Stan for what he created and the passion his creations awoke in me.
-Aaron Jones, Staff Writer
Without Stan Lee, many of us wouldn’t have been who we are today. He helped bring us exciting worlds, stories, and characters, many of whom we were able to identify with. I’d even go as far as saying that the world wouldn’t be what it is today, if it were not for Stan Lee. He changed lives, shaped others, and strives to entertain as many people as possible. I think it’s more than safe to say he will never be forgotten, and his legacy will live on forever.
–Alec Thorn, Staff Writer
You gave so much joy to millions of people. From kids of today to kids who have long grown up and to all the countless kids who have yet to be born who will enjoy the many characters you created and the countless stories you told. I personally want to thank you for creating my hero Spider-man. The average geeky looking kid who became one of the coolest looking, smart-mouthed, friendly neighborhood heroes. I am saddened to think there will be one day where we will no longer see you on our screens again. Thank you again and R.I.P.
-Tobey Parfitt, Staff Writer
I have sat here since hearing about the passing of Stan Lee trying to figure out how I could possibly include all of my feelings for such an incredible father figure of comics. While we will never be the same with him gone, his memory will always live on, in our lives, in comics, and in the joy children and adults alike get from any Marvel series. I am so glad that Stan Lee was given that chance by Timely Publications, aka what we know as Marvel. It’s impossible to think of a world without Stan Lee, and his joy of comics and creating new worlds for us to love. Here we are though. Good bye, Stan Lee; you were a legend, and I’m grateful that you worked as hard as you did for everything you created. In your words, Excelsior!
–Christina Williams, Managing Editor
Me? Well, as I sit here and write this, I see two things in my room. My favorite figure of Ben Grimm aka The Thing, and my print of Black Panther drawn by Denys Cowan. Ben Grimm means the world to me because he was forced to be different, and no matter what happened, he kept fighting back at anyone who tried to hurt anyone. He would be the ultimate uncle, and soon he’s gonna be the ultimate husband.
T’Challa is someone who so many people now get to know. A hero from a society that chooses to use this power wisely to help enrich the lives of so many. The first ever Black Superhero. Stan made it possible for us to be represented. He did that. And I can’t thank him enough for that. Stan, I never met you in person but what you did for me is enough. You poured so much love into what we all love on the page and that is more than enough for me. Thank you. You and Joan are together again.