Utter humiliation

My moment with Stan.

So I was working for Malibu Comics in the early 1990s. I was like 23 or something and doing marketing for the company.

Scott Rosenberg, who owned the publisher, decided it would be a good idea to copy fliers and hand them out for something we were doing — maybe it was a panel or some promotion — out in front of the convention center to attract people. It was an asinine idea, it wouldn’t attract anyone, and was a total waste of time. To add insult to injury, I’d be able to feel like a total tool standing out there in the hot San Diego sun, passing these things out to people who didn’t want them. Joy.

So who comes around the corner, but Stan Lee.

First thing I do is drop the fliers and move on to the next guy. Back then, Stan was still on retainer at Marvel and was their public face. It’d be like if Paul Levitz or Ted Adams or Erik Larsen walked by — like I’m going to waste his time handing him a flier from the competition? That would be idiocy.

But Stan saw my hesitancy. He responded immediately — a big jolt of enthusiasm — and ripped a flier out of my hand. “Give it to me! I love it, I love it, I love it!”

It was a pretty kind thing to do. He’d obviously registered my embarrassment and his gesture made everyone laugh and put everyone at ease. Better still, it gave me a boost that got me through the rest of the fliers that much faster.

So in the internet world where the irony of the former post about POW! can be lost, I’ll paraphrase Triumph the Insult Comic Dog: “I keed.” When it comes to Stan, I’ll be totally fanboy without apology — when no one was looking, when he could have been a jackhole, when he could have been unguarded and rude, he was kind. Hats off to The Man.