Stan Lee's legacy told through Launceston stories

SUPERHERO: Marvel artist Patrick Brown in his Launceston studio. Picture: Scott Gelston
SUPERHERO: Marvel artist Patrick Brown in his Launceston studio. Picture: Scott Gelston

As tributes flowed for one of the most well-known names in the comic book industry, two Tasmanians reflected on their own connections with the man.

Stan Lee, a pioneer of the industry in 1960s – and later editor, publisher and chairman of Marvel – created iconic characters from Spider Man to Black Panther who would go on to fill a pop-cultural universe that is still expanding to this day.

Mr Lee died in Los Angeles on Monday, aged 95.

The news reached Patrick Brown, a Launceston-based Marvel artist, early Tuesday morning.

“A friend of mine, who is also a big fan, let me know first thing in the morning when I woke up,” he said.

“It was a bit of a shock really. I knew he was quite old but I always thought he’d live forever really.”

Like most artists who help fill out the many aspects of the Marvel universe Mr Brown works from a studio at home, crafting character renditions to be placed on the brand’s packaging.

Though never meeting Mr Lee personally, he has been influenced significantly by his work from a young age.

“I’m mainly a Spider Man fan,” Mr Brown said. “Since I was a young kid I was always a Spider Man fan and I knew about Stan Lee being the creator.

“He was the brains behind it all so I always admired him for that. I just think it was an amazing character and always fun to draw.

“All the other Marvel stuff that I got into after just flowed mainly from Spider Man.

“I’ve been drawing him since I was a kid.”

Bruce Moyle, also of Launceston, was lucky enough to meet Mr Lee on multiple occasions as the head of AV/Tech at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming.

A live video chat arranged at a 2007 Supanova event in Sydney was Mr Moyle’s first interaction with Mr Lee, one he recalled with fondness.

“The great thing about that, because the first thing I did when we got the call up and running, was that I got to talk to him. That was my first experience with the man,” Mr Moyle said.

“Since then we had him out to Australia in Sydney about four years ago, and then last year we had him out in Brisbane and Adelaide – Adelaide being his last time in Australia.”

From those many interactions, Mr Moyle described a sprightly, generous man who thought first and foremost of his fans.

“He was there for the fans 100 per cent – or 150 per cent or more. In 2007, five years ago, he was 89. He did not leave the venue until every single fan had a signature,” Mr Moyle said.

“He would also make sure he was interested in you and wanted to know what was going on with the limited time he had.”