Y’know, Troops, obviously the stories that I wrote are for the most intelligent, cultured, erudite readers of all.
I mean, if you're not someone with a high IQ, how could you ever get the full import and impact of the minor masterworks that I have so proudly penned?
Yet, there's one type of reader that I've been omitting, and it isn't fair!
I am, of course, referring to young children! Imagine children who haven't reached the mental peaks that would enable them to fully enjoy the majesty of the Marvel masterworks, which they're about to discover later on!
So for them, I have started "Stan Lee's Kids Universe," books for very young children-- books about dinosaurs and pussycats and little doggie wow wow's.
Naturally, they’re not for the average reader of the very, very erudite literary stories that I normally do, but they’re for beginning readers.
So any beginning readers you know of… any little children who are desperate for something that has to do with the world of Stan Lee… remember, at your bookshop are copies of books with the imprint "Stan Lee's Kids Universe," and I'm sure that your very young brothers and sisters -- or even strangers -- will be ever grateful to you for them.
You know, very often I’m asked how I feel about living in California considering that I grew up in New York and lived in New York till I was about 60 years old, when I came to LA! I love LA. But I love New York, too. Well, you must know that ‘cause every superhero story I wrote had to take place in New York… but there's something about LA. The warm weather… the trees… and mainly the fact that this is THE center of the motion picture world!
You have Marvel Studios… You have Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, and of course, POW! Entertainment… I mean, it all takes place here and I've never had a better time!
So, I can’t say that I like California better than New York, but I think I like it just as much. Anyway, whether you're in New York or California: consider yourself luck to be there! Excelsior!
Troops, I have an order for you today! So close ranks and stand at ease!
I have decided that the wonderful motion picture roles that I play in the Marvel movies should no longer be called "cameos.” I feel they deserve the distinction of being known as “supporting roles.”
So, I hereby issue a battlefield command! From now on every role that I play -- every memorable, unforgettable, award-winning role I do -- shall be referred to as a “supporting role” and the chances are very soon I'll decide that they should be upgraded to the next level -- maybe they should be known as “co-starring” roles, but one step at a time.
Now, this is your beloved Generalissimo saying "Fall out!"
Eagerly awaiting your chance to see the Avengers live in action, bate thy breath no longer, see your Generalissimo and a superhero or two, walking the carpet at our big premiere in Los Angeles! Come check us out May 1st on the big screen!
Now hear this! The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived – Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming to theaters nationwide May 1st.
I’ve been anxiously waiting to share all the exciting adventures and unexpected alliances your favorite superheroes will face as they go head to head with the evil Ultron in a race to save mankind.
Just for you my brave Brigadiers, I’ve put together a special top 10 list of my personal favorite moments:
10 More action, more special effects and more chaos than ever before 9 Tony Stark trying to create a program for peace only to have it backfire with the emergence of a super-powerful new villain 8 The Avengers’ over-the-top jokes and antics as they battle for mankind and compete amongst themselves 7 Two mysterious and powerful newcomers to the Avengers crew – Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver 6 Captain America and Iron Man’s never-ending battle over morality and leadership 5 The insanely beautiful yet frightening Black Widow tantalizing and teasing her enemies 4 Ultron’s deadly robotic army on a conquest to exterminate humanity 3 The mighty, heroic Avengers putting their differences aside to come together as a super-team to save the planet 2 How the characters are brought to cinematic life in unimaginable ways through a combination of modern day animation and live action 1 And the number one thing I’m excited about… Your Generalissimo’s cameo will be featured in two separate scenes for the first time ever! But watch carefully. If you blink you’ll miss ‘em!
Now join me in checking out your favorite Avengers moments. And while you do – EXCELSIOR!
Ten hut Troops! This week your Generalissimo wants to tell you about a new series I’ve been working on with the team over at Disney – it’s called The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence. It’s a modern twist on a super-powered story, and it’s packed full of adventure.
Over the years I’ve created a lot of superheroes, but this is the very first time I’ve worked on an illustrated novel for my young readers. With the help of a great team of talented artists and story-tellers we were able to bring this new world and new set of characters to life.
The story begins with Steven Lee, an 8th grader from Philadelphia. Steven embarks on a class field trip across the globe, landing in Hong Kong where he begins to follow the trail of a peculiar tour guide named Jasmine, into an underground cavern. It is there they stumble upon an ancient secret – twelve giant pools of ancient mystical energy, all based on the signs of the Chinese zodiac.
Within the shadows of the underground lair, a tale of chaos erupts as the evil character Maxwell emerges and sets out on a dangerous quest for power. Steven finds himself at the center of an epic battle to save the world and must learn to embrace his superpowers so he can defeat the evil Maxwell and save the day!
I don’t want to give away too much of the mystery, but I can tell you the Zodiac is a story of an ordinary boy who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. It’s not the superpowers Steven acquires that make him exceptional, but the humanity and bravery he possessed all along.
Even though we wrote the book for young adults, it’s a story to be enjoyed by all ages, and what I think readers will enjoy most is being able to see themselves in the character of Steven, as he explores his own past and future, and steps into his true, powerful self.
Which is better for superhero stories, animation or live-action?
Years ago this would have been a very different conversation. Today this question can hardly be answered.
Animation was once the only way to truly show the special effects and images needed to bring the unique worlds of our favorite superheroes to life. As hard as live-action tried, it could not compete with the other-worldly effects that animation could put forth so easily.
Even for non-superhero movies, animation seemed to be the only style that made sense. Way back when I was a kid, I couldn’t have ever pictures Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in live-action. The same for so many of the classic fairytales.
With the way technology has progressed in recent years, this debate (if we can call it that) has changed from which is better to which do you prefer. Sure there are still movies that could never be done in live-action (I love the squirrel from Ice Age and could never even imagine someone pulling that off in live-action!), but by and large it’s become more a question of which style suits the story versus what’s possible to pull off.
At my company POW! Entertainment we are working on films of both types, recognizing the unique opportunity to reach audiences across all styles of entertainment. I personally love both styles and consider it a case by case discussion, though I must say I loved how handsome animation made me look in our recent film “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7”!
Perhaps the future lies, however, in not having to choose one over the other. Recent films like Maleficent or Into the Woods, have seamlessly blended both styles to great success, and it’s hard to argue that modern CGI and animation don’t share a lot of similarities.
With any discussion on film styles, this debate could wage for centuries. However, to me the stylistic differences will always take a back seat to the importance of story and character. A great story driven by great characters will always find its audience regardless if it’s produced in live-action for the biggest IMAX screens in existence or coded in pixels for mobile phones.
The new technology and versatility that comes with it is exciting, but let’s hope the writers of the future never forget the most important parts of movies, the plot and the characterization. I know I never will.
Until next time, Excelsior!
P.S. My biggest fan contest is wrapping up this month so be sure to share your submission by the end of the year before it’s too late! There are so many great submissions out there already that I can’t wait to meet the winner!
Now, I’m not talking about superheroes getting tired, though we all know even the strongest can tire while in the midst of a melee…
When I hear the term “superhero fatigue” being used, some one seems to be talking about there being too many superhero movies, shows, games and the like. It’s a question I get asked all the time whenever a new Marvel movie comes out: “Are we overdoing it with all the superhero content?”
Well, True Believers, I can state once and for all that I firmly believe there is no such thing as too much “superhero content.”
As long as an idea is enjoyable and interesting and has enough elements of wonder to keep us entertained, it can’t be overdone. Just look at the 50s and 60s – Westerns were everywhere! From “Gunsmoke” to “Have Gun – Will Travel” and even Marvel’s comics from “2 Gun Kid” to the “Black Rider” (which had a rather handsome cover model in March 1951) new stories were popping up all the time and audiences loved them. It was only when the formulas started to repeat and get stale that the Western saw itself riding into the sunset.
With superheroes today, audiences across the globe continue to line up and tune in in startling numbers because the characters and their stories are so exciting. With so many fantastic, filmmakers, writers, actors and producers navigating these projects to new heights, and the unique ability of superheroes to grow with the times - the superhero craze appears primed to live on for quite some time. Throw in the advances in technology that give fans the eye candy and special effects they love, and it’s easy to see why superheroes are currently dominating the imagination.
Now, I believe that anything will do well if it’s done right, and I may be a bit biased, but that’s especially true in the case of superheroes - people love them! What’s not to love? They have bigger than life adventures, and yet at their heart, the best ones are as human and easy to relate to as any real person on the streets of any city or town the world over.
Maybe you would disagree, but I would say that in today’s world one would be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t a fan of at least one superhero film, show, or comic. Someday we will look back at this tremendous time as one of the “Golden Ages” of superheroes, but for now count your Generalissimo as one aficionado who can’t wait to see where our heroes fly off to next.
Let me know what your favorite movie or show has been this year, and until next time, Excelsior!