- Full Description
First published as a signed Collector's Edition at $1500, this sold out within a week after Stan passed away. It was his final book collection, and what a work. An unparalleled account of the life and times of “the Man”, written and edited with his full cooperation. His tale is told by Roy Thomas, who brings "you are there" insights to Lee's journey alongside never-before-seen photographs, original comic art, and rare comic book facsimiles. "Of all the tributes to the late Marvel legend, The Stan Lee Story is perhaps the largest and most ambitious...for a collector's item, it's hard to beat." - syfy.com
Here's part of a review from wired,co,uk:
Just before Stan Lee’s death on November 12, 2018, art-book specialist Taschen had the fortune to release what would be one of Lee’s last projects – a comprehensive record of his life in comic books. The first thing you’d have noticed about it was the price, yet at $1500, this 1,000-volume edition still sold out in a week, not just because of the epic, luxurious treatment given to it by the publisher, but because the run was among the last items signed by Stan The Man himself, and as such became the hottest book in town.
Now, an unlimited “civilian” edition has been launched. At $200, it is still by no means cheap, but the same high production values and the love and care lavished on each page is apparent. Despite the price cut and slight change in format, it remains a big tome – at 12 inches by 18 inches and 604 pages, it has the heft to be a comprehensive record of the life of one of the icons of comic-book creation.
The book...is edited by Roy Thomas, editor of Alter Ego magazine and a longtime colleague and collaborator with Lee who perhaps knew him better than many of the other authors of Lee biographies. Thomas worked with Lee throughout the 1960s and succeeded him as Marvel editor-in-chief in 1972; the two were still working together on syndicated Spider-Man newspaper strips up until Lee’s death.
The book begins in Lee’s early years in publishing, when Marvel was Timely Comics, and Stan Martin Leiber became Stan Lee. It is in this period that Lee’s working relationship with artists such as Jack Kirby begins, and the oversize Taschen format is particularly suited to the life-size reproductions of these early rarities. Captain America – created in 1941 by Kirby and writer/editor Joe Simon – was one of the first “super” titles written by a young Lee, and it appears that this is where he finds his calling. Indeed, Lee later resurrects Captain America in 1964, some 14 years after his book’s cancellation, and takes the character in a bold new fish-out-of-water direction, bringing him into the (then) present day of the swinging 60s via a block of ice.
The 1960s is the period most readers associate with Lee, and chapter 4 covers the seminal years of 1961-64, during which he began to assemble the “Marvel Universe” into a form that readers would recognize today. “Stan really picked up on it and tied it all together,” Thomas says. “It was really, of course, a happy accident that it happened. If Stan hadn’t been writing all the material as well as editing it… I mean, he wasn’t writing all of it, but he was writing most of it, and by the mid ‘60s he had pretty much taken all of it back from the other writers he had assigned it to because he wasn’t happy with any of them. I knew as a reader, when I read a Stan Lee story, it was better than the ones written by these other people, because it had more of what The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man had – it had more of the personality, more of the human conflict.”
Under Lee’s 60s watch, Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos also introduced Gabriel Jones – a black character – though the printing company initially thought it was a mistake and coloured him Caucasian pink for the first issue, with him only reverting to a darker tone for the second issue. Lee also created and introduced the Black Panther in 1966 – though Thomas says his appearance was delayed due to the political group of the same name. “I think that’s why the Black Panther never got used as much as he could have,” he says.
The book also covers less salubrious eras, such as the comic book speculation of the late 80s and early 90s; the rise of grittiness, shoulder-pads and guns; and the exodus of talent to form Image Comics, which would send Marvel stock plummeting and make the House of Ideas seem dated and out of touch. But it also visits Lee’s hand in the more recent revival in fortunes – in particular the cinematic universe, which has refreshed many of the characters Lee was involved in creating more than 50 years previously, and which made Marvel a prime target for acquisition by Disney.
Overall, the book is a positive account of a man who shaped an industry by sheer force of personality and a very particular vision as to what a comic book should be – though it has to be said that Lee, famous for being possessive of writing, still had oversight of this project, despite being 95 at the time. “Stan only asked for one change in the copy that he saw – and I was happy because I totally agreed with him,” says Thomas. “He wanted comic book spelled as one word and not two. Or maybe a hyphen in there if you really have to, but Stan felt it was one word, period. In my magazine, Alter Ego, I gave him a 95th birthday present where we said, ‘henceforth in this magazine, comicbook will always be spelled as one word.’”
Now available as an unlimited XXL edition, this is complete with its own carrying case with a handle. Very impressive.
- Additional Information
Item Code STANLH Publisher Taschen Publish Date 2019 ISBN 9783836575768 Binding Hard Cover Dimensions 12x18 # Pages 444pg Color Full Color
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