Friday, June 17, 2022

Dr. Michael J. Vassallo: Stan Lee: The Timely Years


Dr. Michael J. Vassallo writes Marvel Comics from 1939 to 1969, its owner Martin Goodman and then-young writer/editor Stan Lee (1922-2018) in the essay Stan Lee: The Timely Years. This fascinating, well-researched article, written soon after Lee's passing, talks about (among other things) the challenges of research about this time:

"The main problem is that there were no scripts. The method of creation depended on the artist to plot the stories after a discussion, or a paragraph summary, or one or two sentences, or even on his own. The plotted stories were then delivered back with copious notes in the margins explaining what was going on, often with rudimentary dialogue. Stan would then use these guidelines and turn on the 'jocular wordsmith with a felicity of expression' mode, giving them a sheen, a voice, or a 'read,' usually in full alignment with the artist-plotted continuity, although on rare occasions pulling the story in an awkwardly different, and in my opinion, inferior direction. The end result was something different to what was usually found on the newsstands and was embraced by rabid fans. It was a collaboration, certainly, just not an equal one."

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