Stan Lee at the Merril Collection
Stanley Martin Lieber, a.k.a. Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018), superhero comic book icon, is sadly no longer with us. Like many of you, I have enjoyed Marvel movies and television series for as long as I can remember. I have loved the X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series. Didn't I just see Lee, who was renowned for his cameo appearances in Marvel movies, handily driving a bus full of kids in Avengers: Infinity War? It's even harder to believe he's gone, as he appeared so strong and dexterous in that recent scene. In response to one of the kids shouting "We're all going to die", the unflappable driver (Lee) calmly yelled "What's the matter with you kids? You never seen a spaceship before?" It seems unimaginable that this fun tradition has ended with his death. That his films could also be "really, really funny", to quote my colleague Viveca (see her blog post Stan Lee, 1922 - 2018), was one of the many things that I loved about his films.
In the 1980's, my teenage brothers spent many happy hours at The Silver Snail, at it's Queen St. West location. It was just a short walk east of where we lived (near Queen and Bathurst). Partly through reading superhero comics, and novels based on those comics (The Hulk novels for example), they came to love reading. Thankfully, there were no prohibitions against reading comics in my family. To this day, one of my brothers reads superhero comic books, and novels based on them. To this day, like me, he watches the television series and movies on which they are based. Over the years, like me, he has broadened his reading to include other science fiction and fantasy novels. So, in a way, Stan Lee has had a life-long impact on me and my siblings.
You may already know that the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy has books, but maybe you didn't know that it also has a large graphic novel collection which includes collected superhero comics. To help you find what you want, Merril staff maintain an in-house list of graphic novels. This list is available for you to look at when you come to visit. To complement this collection, you will also find books about comics, and novels based on comics, a significant number of which have involved Stan Lee as author or contributor.
Some of the many comic collections by Stan Lee at the Merril Collection
To give Stan Lee the final word
“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.” – Marvel’s tribute page