In Memory of Stan Lee: Farewell to a Legend
“I was in Orlando at MegaCon a few years ago. We were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the birth of a very good friend by spending the weekend at this convention. Stan Lee was there, but I had no actual interest in meeting him (specifically my wallet and bank account were in agreement that such a meeting could not happen without some Ocean’s 11 type tomfoolery). On Saturday morning, I found myself wandering alongside the table that showcased all of the pieces that Lee had signed. I was there with two other friends and as I stood there Mr. Lee walked right up to us. He was on his way to his morning signing at the time and had an entire entourage of security with him as he breezed up to us. I use the word breeze because I have never seen a man over the age of 90 move so lithely, and so breeze up to us is exactly what he did. He paused for a brief moment, a moment made longer to me by the full attention of the entourage, and waved at us while saying, “Excelsior, gentlemen.” Then he was gone.
The whole experience felt magical, like seeing a stag in the woods near your home early morning while out for a walk. It was like seeing a whale while piloting a kayak. It was special. In fact, I’d swear the air he left in his wake was several degrees cooler than air in the convention center; a testament to just how unbelievably cool a cat Mr. Lee was. It’s experiences like that, like the fact that he would take even a second out of his incredibly tight schedule to greet a couple of strangers, that made Stan Lee more than one of the most influential people in the history of pop culture. It made him every bit as iconic as the creations he left behind for us to enjoy for decades to come.”
Iconic. That might be the best word to use to describe the man and his legacy: Absolutely and utterly iconic. Here is where, in a traditional obituary, where we’d call for Mr. Lee to rest in peace but we’re not going to do that. Instead we remain confident that whatever is next after this life Stan Lee will find a way to make his mark there as well and so we honor his legacy here. Instead, we shall simply say, “Excelsior, Mr. Lee. Excelsior.”
– Sutter Cane