Missing Stan Lee

Stanley Martin Leiber
Mike Rogers


**Last year, I was working feverishly here to get a handle on this insane culture war, I found some news that was disturbing and upsetting. Things have obviously turned more somber since we lost Stan this past fall. I chose not to publish any obituary style commentary at all of Stans’ passing. Enough folks were doing tributes and thank yous and for the most part these were very touching and personal and I enjoyed the memories and the tears. However, there was an undercurrent of greed to some aspects of the coverage I witnessed and of course we are all familiar with some of the more hurtful outrages that occurred. This week though, we’re getting news coming out of Stan Lee’s  social media for some reason. It seems someone has now begun using his Twitter as an advertising instrument for projects both personal and industrial. The fans are getting upset and things are about to get angry again. I’m quite sure I can agree with that sentiment.

I wanted to re-post this article from last year in the hopes that it helps remind me about where the heart of comics lies, and really I suppose for so many others too. Please enjoy.**

From July 7, 2018

I’ve been having a pretty tough week here. I’m catching news that is disturbing and heartbreaking to the core. Almost all of my immediate family have passed away, my children and my wife are alone in the world in this way.

I have observed through all of these various tragic circumstances, a change in those left behind that I admired and loved. I call some of them vultures and I’m sure every family who is facing or has faced this sort of loss has examples of what I’m referring to. I offer up to friends and acquaintances that are about to deal with the death of a family member through disease and struggle an axiom that I learned while still very young:

“What you are about to face has two possibilities for your family.

This event will either bring you all closer together or it will tear you all apart and you will never be the same again.”

Sometimes the scavengers arrive before the loved one passes, sometimes they only descend on the scene afterwards, but the effect on those whose hearts and minds are elsewhere is profound. Once the shroud falls away, like the Wizards curtain, once the greed and selfishness of those you thought you knew becomes grossly apparent it can sometimes feel, at least it has to me, that a life lived with these people was an illusion, a lie or a betrayal.

It has always been my way to quietly remove myself from the scene. I have given up confrontation over this situation long ago. There are no arguments from me, no shouting matches. Those people have to live with themselves. I do not.

This is a result of my disgust with those around me behaving in this way; but what I have felt is such a deep humiliation as a family, an embarrassment of undefinable limits.

I self protect in a way, and do not wish to be identified with those who pick at corpses.

I just fade out and try my best to cope with a new world that is not of my choosing.

I know there are so many of you out there that have experienced the same. You are not alone.

And yet here we are in first week of July and another family that has surrounded me forever it seems, is facing just such a colossal loss.

With that looming calamity, a large shadow has descended and is in danger of consuming a spirit, a legacy, a dear father to us all. I am angry.

I am not going to rehash the events of the last few weeks. I am not going to speak harshly about a child that was raised in a family of wealth and status who, like other celebrity children has somehow lost her way.

I wont speak about lawyers and other self interested parties battling it out in a desperate combat of control over the estate of a man not necessarily in a position to make sound choices for himself and quite frankly, is still with us. It is revolting, abhorrent, disgusting.

Everyone here who cares already knows the depth of the depravity, and the heart wrenching shame that grips all of us, since we are incapable of doing anything to help. We are paralyzed with pain, shock and disbelief. Legally there is nothing we can do. We must sit in forced morbidity watching the scene unfold in all of its ghastly nakedness and it is quite simply out of our control. This is our tragedy as well as Stan’s.

I know that some of you know that there is a great schism in comics presently. I know that most those have “picked a side”.

I know that it seems as if that battle is black and white and that to give way or compromise is to lose an ideological battle somehow.

I would beg all of you – please, if for nothing else remember that we are a community of readers and lovers of books.

We look up to those who face adversity and never give up, those that refuse to leave a friend behind, who find strength to fight when all seems lost.

These are our heroes.

They were gifted to us by a man who wanted to share ideas with the world, to give us hope, to lift up our dreams, to show each of us a potential that lives in all of us.

That man is like a father to all of us in that way and there will never be another like him.

And above all else, I would beg that we use this occasion in our grief and pain over what our beloved father must face, alone it seems; to bring us all closer together again.

Like all of you, I have always yearned for the approval of my parents, to make them proud. I believe that we have a chance at this moment of devastation to rebuild something on the spirit of what Stan has worked so long and so hard to give us.

If we can all find a way to do that, I think our “Comic Book Father” would be proud.

With all of the dignity being stripped away from him, the wrenching isolation that he must feel, we have the ability to give him something to be proud of – something we can give to ourselves.

A family that reflects the values and ideals that he brought us through story and picture.

A family that doesn’t give up on each other.

A family that forgives and rebuilds.

Stan Lee deserves such a legacy, and I know that if he could speak to directly to us,

he would want the same for each of us.

I feel privileged that I lived during a time when gods still walked amongst us.

I feel honored that I was here at the moment that saw the passing of the giants

and we will never be here again.

~

 – Thank-you, Stan –


***PICTURE CREDITS

COLOUR PORTRAIT –  www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSFYOzyDdvU
PENCIL 1 – https://i.redd.it/lk52ct7gl7y11.jpg
PENCIL 2 – https://insta-stalker.com/tag/stanlee/
TRIBUTES – https://www.humanityworld.me/story/297/20-artists-tributes-to-late-comic-book-legend-stan-lee/
QUOTE – https://sayingimages.com/stan-lee-quotes/

Mike Rogers

Cryo-ed GenXer. Collector of old Edwardian era books and histories. Copper and Dark Age comic collector. Confused and irritated resident of the 21st Century madhouse.