Mr. Stan Lee,
This will probably be one of the hardest things I’ve ever written. But here we go…
I’m sitting at my desktop listening to Linkin’ Park. For whatever reason, that seems to suit the moment. Perhaps it’s because Peter Parker always comes to mind when I listen to them? I’m not really sure, but it’s what hit tonight when I thought about writing my very first fan letter.
Some might ask… Why now? Stan’s no longer with us. Well, they’re wrong. I might not be an overly religious person, and I most certainly don’t follow the bible verbatim, for reasons I won’t disclose here as this isn’t the time or place. But I do believe. I believe you’re all here with us. By all, I mean our loved ones, whether they be family, friends, mentors, idols, old celebrity crushes even… There is no life; there is no love without loss. That’s just the natural cycle of life. As to why the song We’re not here for a long time. We’re here for a good time. By Huey Lewis & The News comes to mind. Words to live by. Now that’s not always possible, but I say we do our best. If nothing else, Frank Sinatra’s My Way is another one that comes to mind.
I believe that’s how you lived. I know there was a time you had your doubts and questioned if you were doing the right thing. But I think your fans can attest to that. I’m glad you didn’t give up and realized that what you did was just as important. You gave us something we never knew we needed. You see… For me, writing often enough is my only escape. It gives me freedom. Freedom I don’t normally get in the real world. I can take myself any place I want. I can create my own world, create my own characters. At times, writing allows me to feel as though I can be more myself. I can take my characters and put a little bit of myself in each of them, whether they be good or bad, misunderstood even. I can take my love, my pain, my anxiety, my fears, my darkest moments, and my most heartfelt ones into those characters. They are who they are through the world I’ve chosen to create.
And there’s the lump in my throat… I was wondering how long it’d take. Didn’t even make it half-way.
Stan, you’re the reason I want to create my own comic book universe. You’re the reason I want to write. Now we both know I don’t follow the comic book code (obviously *snorts*). But I can only hope to be half of what you are and were.
I saw so much of myself in Peter Parker, and it’s because of that I didn’t give up. Your words. Your world. Your creation taught me I could overcome anything. I took everything Peter had been through and told myself if he can overcome this then I most certainly can. I got this because Peter Parker does. Some people might scoff at that. Pfft, he’s not even real. He’s just a character in a comic book! No. Not to me. Just like you will never be just a comic book writer to me. You sir even though we’ve never met were and still are a true mentor. I am who I am because you existed. My dreams wouldn’t exist if you hadn’t lived in the world I lived in, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I got to experience that. I doubt I’ll ever become as big as you, but you taught me to never give up. I don’t care how old I am. I’m getting that universe created. Even if it never sells, even if it sits in my house and grows dust and people never read it. Or say even if they read it and think it’s total crap. At least I can say I did it.
Now, whereas I saw myself as Peter Parker… I had my favorites such as Iron-Man and MANY others. I suppose I rather saw myself as Peter admiring these other heroes if that makes any sense. I put myself in your world and bonded with these characters like they were actual family or friends even. I grew attached to each and every one of them. Their pain, humiliation, love, and hate became my own. I remember waiting to read the next issue and being like… What’s going to happen to so and so? How are they going to overcome this?! These thoughts would creep up on me while I was sitting in class or in my room listening to my usual heavy metal, or rock – depending on the mood I was in. While at the same time wondering how I was going to survive my own encounters with a somewhat abusive home life and I was constantly bullied. I shouldn’t be alive today if I’m being honest. But I think a large part of overcoming that was through your universe.
Thank you doesn’t seem like enough but it’s all I got. So thank you. Thank you for allowing me and many others into your brilliant world, your beautiful mind, and amazing heart. You, Stan, are the hero we didn’t deserve but the one we needed. Not all heroes wear capes and you sir were a true hero.
Until we meet, I shall leave you with…
“I guess one person can make a difference.”
Love and respect,
Lisa aka Harley