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Marvel Eulogizes Stan Lee in Memorial Video and I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying

The loss of comic book icon Stan Lee on Monday has inspired an outpouring of memories and reminiscences about the grandfather of comics. Now, Marvel has put together a memorial video for the man behind some of the greatest comic book characters ever. The video features footage from Lee’s TV pilot and special appearances, along with interviews with some of Marvel’s most influential voices.

The archival footage shows a younger Lee (who, in 1968, had already been working for 30 years) laying out his vision for comics and youth content, saying, “During this time, I think I’ve learned a lot about what young people think. More importantly, I think I’ve learned a lot about what young people are. We’re going to try to present a voice that somebody will listen to. The voices needed, we hope it will be ours.”

We then see Lee exclaiming “excelsior!” to crowd full of people at a con. The word, which is Latin for “ever upward,” became Lee’s signature catchphrase in his comics column, Stan’s Soapbox. Lee explained the origin of the catch phrase in an interview with io9 saying, “I used to have a lot of expressions that I would end my comic book columns with: Hang Loose, Face Front, ‘Nuff Said, and I found that the competition was always imitating them and using them. So, I said I’m going to get one expression that they’re not going to know what it means, and they won’t know how to spell it. And that’s where excelsior came from, and they never did take up on it, thank goodness.”

Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada appears in the video, talking about a private moment where he thanked the comics creator for his influence, saying, “I want to say thank you, you saved my life, because the life that I have today, there’s a direct line to that first comic book here.”

Tom Brevoort, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, spoke of Lee as a figurehead and ambassador of comics, saying, “Stan’s best creation was always Stan. As a creative figure is one thing, Stan as a personality was able to somehow tap into his own larger-than-life, self-effacing and self-aggrandizing at the same time personality.

Sana Amanat, VP of Content and Character Development, said, “I think Stan Lee is going to be an icon. What he represents, what he was able to accomplish. He built American mythology, because stories are really what stay with us.”

The breadth and reach of Lee’s influence has undeniably shaped the comics industry, and will do so for many years to come.

Excelsior, Stan.

(via /Film, image: screengrab)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.