Stan Lee: 1922 - 2018

November 13, 2018 | Viveca

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Photo Credit:  Courtesy of Gage Skidmore. Stan Lee at the Phoenix ComicCon, 2014

Stan Lee, creator of Marvel comics, died on November 12, 2018 in California at the age of 95. His universe, populated by heroes and villains who were as flawed as they were fantastic, revolutionized the concept of what comic books could be.

As an avid comic book reader in the 60s, I knew that Marvel comics were unlike anything I had ever seen before – complicated characters that struggled with doubt, guilt, grief, and isolation – in situations that often reflected the issues of the day.  They could also be really, really funny. Scouring Toronto's corner stores for the latest Marvel comics was often a blood sport – with collections to be curated, traded, read and re-read. Marvel comics became part of the fabric of childhood – and decades later continue to have cross-generational appeal. Which is why I (fiercely) Made Mine Marvel.

To say that Stan Lee influenced popular culture is an understatement – from comic books to an epic cinema franchise, to the legions of cosplay, fan art and fan fiction communities – Lee's legacy as an editor, publisher, showman, and universe-builder will endure for generations to come. 

Read the news of his passing in the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Toronto Star.    See how  libraries across North America are reacting to the news about Stan. 

Read on for more about Stan Lee with material available from the Toronto Public Library. 

Make sure you visit the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy for fantastic reference and research material. 

Stan Lee The Man Behind Marvel  Amazing Fantastic Incredible A Marvelous Memoir   Index

Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel by Bob Batchelor 

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David and Colleen Doran

Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee by Stan Lee and George Mair


Marvel Comics The Untold Story

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe


Learn from the best with these instructional books:



Stan Lee's How to Write Comics



Stan Lee's How to Draw Superheroes



 Stan Lee's How to Draw Comics


 Trace the the history of Marvel comics:


Marvel Year by Year

 Marvel Year by Year:  A Visual History


 Marvel Encyclopedia

The Marvel Encyclopedia: the Definitive Guide to the Characters of the Marvel Universe


Documentaries about Stan Lee and Marvel Comics:


Stan Lee and Kevin Smith Save the World Comix Beyond the Comic Book Pages Marvel Comics With Great Power

Stan Lee and Kevin Smith Save the World!, Directed by Scott Zakarin

Comix: Beyond the Comic Book Pages, Directed by Michael Valentine

Marvel Comics, Directed by Daniel Wiles

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, Directed by Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes, Will Hess


Search for your favourite superheroes:


Explore the large selection of material in a variety of formats available to borrow.


 For Younger Readers:


 Stan Lee Comic Book Genius

Stan Lee: Comic Book Genius,by Steven Otfinoski


Marvel Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

Marvel: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray


Stan Lee's Soapbox column appeared in Marvel comics – and we will leave the last word to him with this from 1970:

Stan's Soapbox

[Transcript of Stan's Soapbox:

Let's lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can't be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them – to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater – one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he's down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he's never seen – people he's never known – with equal intensity – with equal venom. Now, we're not trying to say it's unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it's totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race – to despise an entire nation – to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God – a God who calls us ALL – His children.

Pax et Justitia. Stan.]