LFCC 2014: Stan Lee
As you've probably realised from my previous post or the title of this one, LFCC was a very special convention indeed. With the cultural phenomenon that is Stan Lee not only being the main attraction for it this year, but with it also being his last ever European convention appearance!
Who is Stan Lee
For those who somehow have lived in a box avoiding any sort of pop culture Stan Lee is one of the
fewnay, none of his peers have been able to do in escaping the comic community to become a world wide pop culture icon!
More recognisable than the artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko; with whom he co-created Marvel icons such as Spider-Man, The X-Men, Iron Man and Thor. Stan has been able to transcend from being just their writer to being the celebrity and cherished icon that he is today.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922, Stan joined Timely Comics in 1939. This is the company which would eventually morph into the company we all recognise today as Marvel. Lee decided to save his given name for 'The Great American Novel' and instead adopted the pseudonym "Stan Lee" in 1941 when he made his comic-book debut with the text filler "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics 3. He would later adopt the much more memorable name legally.
Over the years Lee actually considered changing careers before he created superheroes such as the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor and of course Spiderman with Ditko and Kirby. These characters captured the hearts and minds of a generation and helped to ensure Marvel would be around for many years to come.
As the years passed there's not a lot Stan didn't get involved in with the world of comics. He went from writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, voice actor and even president and chairman of Marvel Comics (former now).
To this day Stan Lee is still working and is without a doubt an inspiration to many of the amazingly creative minds that we see appear in the world.
Meeting Stan Lee
Back to LFCC 2014; as the main guest and because he was bound to cause a huge crowd Stan Lee had a separate section away from the rest of the guests for people to get things signed by him. Some people found this highly annoying because of the queues but I think this area (especially when you got into it) was one of the most organised places in the convention. This is partly down to the fact that people actually behaved in this enclosed area with one of their icons so close.
Outside the area it was almost every man for himself as I witnessed the queue splinter into up to 4 separate queues as people just did not listen to the marshals in charge. This lead to some people missing their chance to meet the legend which is unfortunate.
I on the other hand asked the right people where to queue as a silver pass holder and was able to see him quite quickly (once he entered the building).
There was a bit of a wait as he had a rough night Saturday but that gave me the opportunity to get hold of a limited edition Stan Lee POP vinyl that was on the stand next to the signing area. Why people with high virtual ticket numbers didn't take advantage of that I do not know. One of my best purchases.
The wait also gave me the opportunity to talk to some of the other fans in the queue patiently waiting for Stan to appear. I think thats probably one of the best thing about going to meet your heroes or people you admire. You get to meet other people who think just like you or are just really cool to talk to.
We could take up to 5 things for Stan to sign. I did not have the cash to get 5 things signed and already had the pre-signed POP vinyl so I chose to get the programme for the convention signed as it would make for a fantastic souvenir. Some people had amazing things to sign such as Thor's hammer, precious and expensive first issues, and even their own skin to get a tattoo
of his signature permanently etched on their skin.
Getting the signature was quite quick and a little impersonal as they tried to limit contact with him but also allow as many fans to meet him. I however was very happy to get a smile as he signed my copy of the programme. Also to be wearing my Miles Morales cosplay while doing it...icing on the cake.
Audience with Stan Lee
Later on in the day Sunday, Stan (who had been doing signatures and photo-shoots all day) came on the Super Stage to an audience of I believe 2000.
Considering there were over 100,000 fans who came over the weekend this was a small and very lucky group of people that I was part of.
When he came on stage everyone was up on their feet cheering him on. For someone who had literally seen thousands of individuals that day he was still full of energy.
As he talked everyone in the audience hung onto his words and I personally loved his stories. They were full of wit and charm much like the man himself who played with the audience joking all the way through his talk.
Being able to not only attend Stan Lee's last ever European Convention but also meet and see Stan Lee in his element has to be a highlight of my life so far. Wouldn't change a thing except maybe those that complained about not being able to meet him. He is only human and there are limits to how many he can see in a day.
I should mention Stan Lee is currently aged 91 not 94 as I mistakenly told people all of comic con (I'm apparently very believable...). So to those who believed me then sorry and to Stan if you have time to read this I'm really sorry about that mistake!
Hopefully you enjoyed reading that. As always I will end it with something that sums up the post.
After capturing the above photo I firmly believe DC's Flash is based on Stan Lee. I've never seen an old man walk so fast. He had a crowd chasing him...including me.
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