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Funny and poignant, these tales put a humanistic spin on the life of the man behind the mask, a life that's not so much different than yours or mine.
Welcome to our monthly chat featuring the master of Marvel myth and mirth—Stan Lee!
Stan Lee: Hi, heroes!
Stan Lee: Nope! I'm your obedient servant—at your beck and call—so whap me with some questions! If I don't know the answers I'll fake 'em, as usual!
Stan Lee: Actually, I have dozens of favorites. Everything by Mark Twain, Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells.
Stan Lee: There isn't that much of a decline in comics! Mostly, the problem is there aren't enough stores to sell 'em.
Stan Lee: Mostly people reading comics approach me, and it's always a kick to talk to them. Hey, call me Stan, OK?
Stan Lee: Greed! And hunger! Basically, I really love to write. I can't believe I get paid to do what I enjoy so much
Stan Lee: My biggest fan is someone six-feet-six! I go to the Marvel Mania restaurant at least once a week—love it!
Stan Lee: Almost all of 'em! But especially the Silver Surfer, and often Thor.
Stan Lee: I'm kinda partial to Spidey, and Doc Doom is my all-time favorite baddie.
Stan Lee: It was great. Funny thing is, no one ever knew he'd catch on so big.
Stan Lee: Are we out of questions?
Stan Lee: Sales are picking up. The mags are looking better than ever. I'm totally optimistic about comics—especially Marvel's!
Stan Lee: Hey, it's all a big secret. Mackie and Bob Harras would kill me if I told!
Stan Lee: Aw, I've got enough super power now. Couldn't handle any more!
Stan Lee: One character I never knew what to do with: Diablo. I liked his name, and that was it. My one big failure!
Stan Lee: Just send 'em to Marvel, care of the Submissions Editor. Good luck!
Stan Lee: Ab-so-lute-ly! Who says I can't be brief?!!!
Stan Lee: Anything's possible—especially at mixed-up Marvel.
Stan Lee: Sure—but not too many at a time.
Stan Lee: Thanx, O Great Judge of Literature and Guest Spots!
Stan Lee: I was about 17. I think it was called "Hurricane"—a guy who ran fast or something—or maybe it was "The Destroyer." I never knew anyone would ask years later, so I didn't pay attention!
Stan Lee: The power to sell twice as many copies of each issue! Gotcha!
Stan Lee: That's a tough one. Probably when the sales figures of the Fantastic Four came in and we saw we had a monster hit.
Stan Lee: Answering all these questions on the Web. And in my spare time, working on movie, TV, and animation projects.
Stan Lee: The next one will be "Blade"—it'll be out real soon—starring Wes Snipes. And it's really great!
Stan Lee: Nah, I didn't have a clue. It's still hard for me to believe, but, y'know something—I love it!
Stan Lee: Terrific!!! It opens next year. Y'all come, hear?
Stan Lee: I like him with the adamantium. But hey, what do I know?
Stan Lee: My brother, Larry Lieber, who used to write and draw "The Rawhide Kid" and now pencils the daily Spidey strip in the newspapers.
Stan Lee: I sure hope so.
Stan Lee: Loved it. Can't wait for the new ones.
Stan Lee: I wish he'd ask me. He was a great guy, a great director—and hey, he made me a star!!!
Stan Lee: As a kid I was into Tarzan and any Errol Flynn movie, like "Captain Blood." I was lucky to get into comics where I could keep doing wild stuff.
Stan Lee: They're merely sensational. Miss 'em at your own risk! (Typical Stan Lee shameless plug!)
Stan Lee: Simple: They're just plain fun. They're enjoyable and exciting. What more couldja want?
Stan Lee: If I ever get the time, I'd love to. It's the most fun ya can have without working!
Stan Lee: Look, I'm prejudiced. But I like 'em both. They're different from each other, but they both have their great features.
Stan Lee: The L.A. Dodgers. But I liked 'em better years ago when they were "doze bums," the Brooklyn Dodgers!
Stan Lee: I'm sorry to say I didn't create him; Joe Simon and Jack Kirby did. But I wrote some of his early stories from the time I was 17 on.
Stan Lee: Okay.
Stan Lee: Everything I've ever seen, read, or heard. As with every writer, we all write from our experiences. So keep your eyes open, heroes—observe everything, but not too much—I don't need lots more competition!
Stan Lee: My comment is I think you're all the greatest! My question is—damnit, can't think of any! I guess that means I know everything! EXCELSIOR!
Stan Lee: Enjoyed it, gang!