Stan Lee Posts

Marvel books

Marvel comics were launched in America in 1939. According to Wikipedia:

Martin Goodman, a pulp magazine publisher who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by then already highly popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company’s offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he officially held the titles of editor, managing editor, and business manager, with Abraham Goodman officially listed as publisher.

Timely’s first publication, Marvel Comics #1 (cover dated Oct. 1939), included the first appearance of Carl Burgos’ android superhero the Human Torch, and the first appearances of Bill Everett’s anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner, among other features. The issue was a great success, with it and a second printing the following month selling, combined, nearly 900,000 copies. While its contents came from an outside packager, Funnies, Inc., Timely had its own staff in place by the following year. The company’s first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with emerging industry’s notable artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superhero, Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941). It, too, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million. Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc., beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941.

While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, and the Angel. Timely also published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton’s best-known features, “Powerhouse Pepper”, as well as a line of children’s funny-animal comics featuring popular characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal.

Goodman hired his wife’s cousin,  Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939.  When editor Simon left the company in late 1941,  Goodman made Lieber—by then writing pseudonymously as “Stan Lee”—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely, contributing to a number of different titles.

Goodman’s business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff.  One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55 (May 1944). As well, some comics’ covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12 (Winter 1946–47), were labeled “A Marvel Magazine” many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961. 

For nearly eight decades Marvel comics have survived despite financial turbulence, been at the cutting edge of testing new publishing models, experimented in mediums and continued telling stories with superheros that have gripped the imaginations of young and old alike. With the booming popularity of films many of the superheroes came alive on the screen — Iron Man, Superman, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Wolverine, Captain America, and Hulk to name a few.  On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a deal to acquire Marvel Comics’ parent corporation, Marvel Entertainment, for $4 billion. As of the start of September 2015, films based on Marvel’s properties represent the highest-grossing U.S. franchise, having grossed over $7.7 billion  as part of a worldwide gross of over $18 billion.

Marvel books published by Scholastic, Summer 2017

The last decade has seen the explosion of digital and print mediums and recently of the two experiences coming together. It helps in creating an immersion which is absolute for die-hard fans of the Marvel superheroes. Scholastic, a publishing firm specialising in children’s literature predating the formation of Marvel Comics, has been over the years releasing a range of print products to meet this demand. Take for instance the recently released film Guardians of the Galaxy 2  ( April 2017) where popular actors have done voiceovers for the characters. ( Vin Diesel is the voice for Baby Groot!) Scholastic to coincide with the film published a range of books around the Guardians of Galaxy characters. These include “the movie storybook”, a novel “inspired by the film”, colouring and activity book and a sticker activity book. What is absolutely incredible is how smoothly the publicity team has created a range of successful publishing collateral targetting different age groups of readers. Children are immediately drawn to the books and are kept happily entertained for hours. Along with this a revised hardback edition of Marvel Super Hero Encyclopedia was released. Even though it is priced slightly on the higher side for the local Indian market it has proved to be a bestseller, notching up healthy sales. ( This, despite parents and schools, advising children not to buy such “useless” books!) What is a particularly charming aspect of these stories is that though the super heros are gender-defined and their physical forms are some illustrator’s fantasy of the ideal body shape, the characters appeal is gender neutral. Thankfully, irrespective of the gender of the reader, all children ( and adults) gravitate towards the books. Here is a link posted on Facebook by Seale Ballenger, Publicity Director, Disney Publishing Worldwide ( 29 June 2014) of the legendary Stan Lee speaking about the importance of writing stories for younger readers:

Stan Lee talking about the importance of writing for young readers at ALA 2014

Posted by Seale Ballenger on Saturday, June 28, 2014

Frankly the fascination of these Marvel books is obvious and worth recommending. They keep children happily engaged and away from electronic babysitting while opening up an imaginative world away from their daily routines. It is like going down a worm hole on an adventure with bizarre characters.

27 June 2017 

Press Release: SIMON & SCHUSTER UK TO PUBLISH STAN LEE GRAPHIC MEMOIR

Simon and Schuster Logo

SIMON & SCHUSTER UK TO PUBLISH STAN LEE GRAPHIC MEMOIR

May 21, 2015—POW! Entertainment’s Stan Lee, the legendary creator who helped spawn some of the world’s most popular comic book heroes – The Amazing Spider-Man™, The Fantastic Four™, The X-Men™, Iron Man™, The Incredible Hulk™, and many more – is teaming up with Simon & Schuster UK and Touchstone on his first-ever graphic memoir AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE: A Marvelous Memoir, which will be published on October 6, 2015. A simultaneous audio edition will be published by Simon & Schuster Audio. S&S UK will also publish a deluxe slipcase ‎edition.

In this unique, richly illustrated book, Lee tells the story of his extraordinary life with the same inimitable energy and offbeat spirit that he brought to the world of comics. The full-colour graphic memoir will recount his life’s major flashpoints, from his hardscrabble upbringing in Washington Heights, New York to his rise as the lead writer and editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics during its most prolific era in the 1960s and 70s. From the very beginning, working with the great Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, to creating Spider-Man with Steve Ditko, to his most recent cameo in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” fans will read about every aspect of Lee’s remarkable career.  AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE will be illustrated by celebrated comic book artist Colleen Doran, whom Stan Lee handpicked for this one-of-a-kind project.

“As Marvel just celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary, I thought maybe it’s time for a look at my life in the one form it has never been depicted, as a comic book…or if you prefer, a graphic memoir,” said Stan Lee. “It strikes me as a horrendous oversight that I haven’t done it before! If I didn’t know everything about my life already, I’d envy your voyage of discovery!”

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. Nevertheless: having begun his career with wartime Timely Comics and staying the course throughout the Atlas era, Stan Lee made comic book history with Fantastic Four #1, harbinger of a bold new perspective in story writing that endures to this day. With some of the industry’s greatest artists, he introduced hero after hero in Incredible Hulk™, Iron Man™, Amazing Spider-Man™, X-Men™, and more, forming a shared universe for rival publishers to measure themselves against.

After nearly a lifetime of writing and editing, Lee is now involved in an array of new projects with his company POW! Entertainment. Based in Beverly Hills, POW! Entertainment has been amassing a library of new characters, some already set up at studios and networks, including an animated series, mobile game, the first young adult novel with illustrations of a trilogy with Disney, and a slate of Indian and Chinese films in development. POW! Entertainment also manages all licensing deals and has its own comic book convention, Comikaze, which drew more than 50,000 attendees at the Los Angeles Convention Center last year. Stan remains Marvel’s Chairman Emeritus and best-known public representative.

Iain MacGregor, Non-Fiction Publishing Director at S&S UK, bought UK & Commonwealth rights from Matthew Benjamin, Senior Editor at Touchstone S&S US, who acquired world rights from the Susan Crawford Literary Agency.

POW! Entertainment Inc. (OTCQB:POWN) is a multi-media entertainment company founded by noted comic book writer Stan Lee together with award-winning producer Gill Champion and the late intellectual property specialist Arthur Lieberman. POW!’s principals have extensive backgrounds in the creation and production of original intellectual properties, including some of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.  POW! is utilizing Stan Lee’s historical background by perpetuating his legacy while creating and developing all new live-action films, television, digital games, merchandising, licensing and related ancillary markets, all of which contribute to global expansion.  POW! Partners with third parties and strategic alliances, including studios and networks, in the production and distribution of new POW! character franchises.  For more information, visit http://www.powentertainment.com/.

 

For more information, please contact Bharti Taneja, Manager – Marketing & Publicity

Bharti.taneja@simonandschuster.co.in

22 May 2015

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