Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Drawing Stan Lee

Stan Lee (1922-2018), Born Stanley Martin Lieber, was a complex man. He was both worshiped and vilified, and has been described as a tireless and shameless celebrity spokesman for Marvel comics. He was an imperious comics writer and editor, a persistent self-promoter, and a credit and publicity hog. His public persona was charming, funny and affable.  He was the face of Marvel for over half a century and probably the most famous man to have ever worked in the comics industry.
Christmas card sent to me from Stan Lee
in late 1972 after I briefly interned
at Marvel
I got to know Stan when I was a young kid in the early to mid 1960's. My dad was a magazine editor at Martin Goodman's "Magazine Management" publishing company, and he shared an adjoining office with Stan for a decade, between 1954-66. Mario Puzo's editorial office was also nearby. My brothers and I would often visit and I always made a beeline for the Marvel comics offices, where Stan held court. He couldn't have been nicer to me, like a favorite uncle handing out candy, although in Stan's case, brand new Marvel comic books. Stan took a liking to me, especially after he learned I liked to draw cartoons. He'd often exclaim "Someday Drew is going to draw for MARVEL!". That was not to be although I did intern at Marvel for a week at age 14 in 1972 as part of a school work-study program. Stan was still as kind and attentive to me as ever.

Some of my Stan Lee drawings from over the years:
Stan Lee, drawn for my book Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics)

two pencil sketches included in my introduction to Heroes of the Comics...

a 1960's Stan

and a 1970's slimed-down, toupee'd Stan

Stan cover art for The Comics Journal, early 1990's
(the original art owned by Daniel Clowes)


  1. Seventies Stan looks like the epitome of "swinging"

  2. I'm curious if Stan ever made any comments to you after you did The Comics Journal cover?

  3. Not a word, nor did I ever expect him to.