It is a rare occurrence that I am at a loss for words. All the characters, worlds, stories that Stan Lee created mean a lot to me. I’m not really sure that I can express that adequately here, or perhaps anywhere. As a kid reading those tales I was sucked in instantaneously. Here were characters like me, folks who wanted to do right, but never quite had the fairy tale ending. They had flaws like I do and fought every day to overcome or to come to terms with those challenges.

When Alex said we should use this week’s strip as an opportunity to remember the man who gave us so much, I couldn’t help but agree instantaneously and vehemently. There simply can’t be ’nuff said about Stan and so I hope you enjoy our modest tribute to our original True Believer.



Before I ever stepped foot into a comic shop, I loved cartoons. I practically lived at my local video store, and whenever my mom would take me to any department store, I’d usually come back with an action figure, or on rare occasions, a VHS tape of some cartoons. I can’t remember which came first, but one day, I found something truly amazing. Spider-man and Friends, and The Fantastic Four.

By this point in my life, I’d seen most of what Hanna Barbara had to offer, along with some choice Disney animation. But for all the bad animation, mediocre voice work and simple “beat up the bad guy” story, something captured my imagination with these early Marvel cartoons like nothing else.

What really set things apart for me were that some of these cartoons were narrated by some guy named Stanley who had a very interesting voice and a way with words. I wouldn’t find out till later what this man’s name really was, and that he wasn’t just the narrator of these epic tales of heroism and adventure, but the actual creator of my new favorite characters.

Things started falling into place over the years, as I’d find out more about this Spider-man guy, who lived not too far from where I grew up in Queens or watch the tragic tales of Doctor David (Bruce) Banner, who looked a lot like that guy on Little House on the Prairie.

It wouldn’t be until a friend introduced me to the Marvel Trading Cards, where I’d put two and two together and discovered this wonderful world of comics and how it was connected to my new hero, and fellow NYC native, Stan Lee.

Like many of you reading this comic strip, Stan Lee was very likely the singular reason for my interest in comics. Before I ever knew what I wanted to do with my life, I knew that in some part, I would be drawing or writing comics. This strip and my overflowing storage bins of comics are my thank you to Uncle Stan.

Excelsior. Always.

-Alex “Forever a True Believer”

P.S. Whenever I watch this video, I still remember the smell of the library where I found a copy of this on VHS, and the feel of the paper and brush from when I first tried to draw Spider-man “The Marvel Way”.

Funny how memories work.