cover image I Am Stan: A Graphic Biography of the Legendary Stan Lee

I Am Stan: A Graphic Biography of the Legendary Stan Lee

Tom Scioli. Ten Speed Graphic, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-9848-6202-0

Scioli follows up his graphic biography Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics with another fast-paced, comprehensive history of a comics industry great. Tracing the life of script writer and editor Stan Lee (1922–2018) from a childhood go-getter to the self-promoting figurehead of Marvel Entertainment, Scioli’s clean and uncomplicated designs bring kinetic energy to what is fundamentally a story told by talking heads. The facts are well-documented and nothing here will be much of a surprise to Marvel fans, but Scioli structures his overview with a breakneck pace to match Lee’s bombastic temperament. The panels are filled with cameos by fellow comics bigwigs: Captain America’s Kirby and Joe Simon, Spider-Man’s Steve Ditko, and Lee’s esteemed successor at Marvel, Roy Thomas, among others. Throughout, Scioli highlights his subject’s penchant for revisionist history by juxtaposing Lee’s claims about creating some of Marvel’s most famous heroes with his co-workers’ counterclaims, and the consistently entertaining script doesn’t shy away from Lee’s notorious pettiness or vanity either. It’s an apt memorial to a great creative mind who was his own best publicist. (Sept.)