Marvel's Stan Lee remembered as 'godfather' of comics
'Without Stan, none of that exists,' say Robin Cross from Rogues Gallery Comics
With Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee's passing at age 95, members of the comics community in southwestern Ontario are remembering him as someone who changed the industry.
Lee created a series of superheroes that have been loved for decades, like Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Hulk.
"He knew how to write great heroic characters that while they were flawed, they always strived to be the best that humanity can be," said Jason Fabok, a DC Comics artist living in Essex County, Ont.
Growing up, Fabok admired Spider-Man. Years later as an artist himself, he said it's thanks to Lee that people like him can have careers in comics.
"He really did change the comic book industry," said Fabok.
"He's the godfather of comic books."
And outside of the industry, Lee also had a hand in pushing the superhero characters onto the big screen.
Robin Cross, of Rogues Gallery Comics in Windsor, Ont., pointed to the Marvel Universe films as examples. For a decade, superhero blockbusters from The Incredible Hulk to Avengers: Infinity War have brought in billions in revenue at theatres worldwide.
"You can't look at a single one of those movies and not see something that Stan didn't have a major hand in the creation of," said Cross.
"Without Stan, none of that exists, and a large part of the current generation of new comic book readers don't get that exposure that brought them into the world."
Outside of being one of the most well-known figures in the comic industry, artist David Finch remembers Lee as a "genuine, good person."
Finch met Lee several times over the years at events such as comic conventions.
"He knew his audience so well. He made people laugh like I'd never seen," he said, joking that Lee was unlike many people who work in comics, as they're "not the most people-friendly people generally."
"He was such an incredibly nice person and he made an effort to remember everybody that he met."