The R.I.P. Thread

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,381
Likes
954
Points
129
Location
Warwickshire, England.
While I suppose it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Lee has passed (95 and all) I think a fair number of people genuinely did practically think he was going to go on forever!

It's particularly sad though, because in the past year there had been so many questions over his ill-treatment. He was clearly too frail to do public appearances, had been split off from his long time business managers and faithful entourage who looked after him at conventions for years. The spectre of his estranged daughter riding up again, and appointing new people to manage him.

I do hope he was being well looked after in the end.

Some of the man's business decisions weren't always so sound (and Marvel absolutely ripped off a number of his co-creators) but I do think it's important to remember that there was a time when what Lee was doing absolutely was groundbreaking.

From editorial soap box pieces speaking out to the readers about themes such as discrimination, racism and intolerance to putting the first black superhero into mainstream American comics.

For me the most important part of what Lee did for Comics was to put an element of genuine humanity into the genre of Superhero Comics. Broadly speaking that was something which wasn't a widely done thing in that era. Be they über powerful Americanised Aliens, masked vigilantes, or super patriotic flag wearers superheroes were generally seen as needing to be infallible.

Lee's characters, by contrast, intentionally weren't.

They were flawed. They had real lives. They often didn't want these powers or ask for them.

He wrote about the conflicts of characters trying to be a hero while their lives went to shit around them. He wrote about the complications that their being a hero caused their civilian lives, the fallout it created, the sacrifices.

His characters *were* fallible. They got things wrong. They fucked up just like the rest of us, and things didn't always get fixed by the end of story. Because they couldn't always BE fixed. But it was through that which we as readers connected with them.

There was a time when that was a groundbreaking concept. Marvel's competitors certainly weren't (by and large) doing similar until after Lee. And then it was by method of some hasty rewriting.

He made believable, human characters. And that's why so many are still around today.
 
Last edited:

Megadeth1977

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,594
Likes
1,166
Points
154
Location
London bow
Well, I don't want to speak ill of the dead what with him barely cold, but there has been controversy over the years about how much credit he took for others' work.
Oh that stuff yah he was taken to court over not giving credit to others that worked with him but don't know how many times.
 

Anome

Bibliomancer
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
5,479
Likes
453
Points
164
Location
Left, and to the Back
Well, I don't want to speak ill of the dead what with him barely cold, but there has been controversy over the years about how much credit he took for others' work.
He definitely overplayed his importance to the detriment of Kirby and Ditko, but it has to be said he still did a lot of that work. (More than Bob Kane did on Batman, for example)

He also had Marvel comics talking about socially progressive issues back in the 60s, and defending this to the people whining about it in his editorials.
 

Anome

Bibliomancer
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
5,479
Likes
453
Points
164
Location
Left, and to the Back
About twenty years ago, I had the great pleasure of seeing him perform the role of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. He was wonderful.

Memory Eternal!
I've just listened to two podcasts about 2001 and 2010, and how so much of both films hang on his performance. If he never did anything else, he would still be a loss.
 

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,381
Likes
954
Points
129
Location
Warwickshire, England.
He definitely overplayed his importance to the detriment of Kirby and Ditko, but it has to be said he still did a lot of that work. (More than Bob Kane did on Batman, for example)

Absolutely. And it should not be understated that much of the situations Kirby and Ditko found themselves in were down to both Marvel not acknowledging and monetarily reparating their contributions, and the state of the industry at the time. Artists did not get parity. Full stop. And that remained a massive problem for decades. It's how publishers like Image Comics came into existence - founded by artists who were sick of not getting credit.
 
Last edited:

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,381
Likes
954
Points
129
Location
Warwickshire, England.
From Peter David’s email bulletin, this morning:

Some years ago it became stylish to trash Stan Lee.

I'm not entirely sure why. It might be because they had it right in "The Dark Knight": You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. That might have well been the situation in Stan Lee's case.

The accusations were that Stan did nothing to promote the legendary artists who created the characters with him. The typical complaint was that Stan was rich while the others were struggling, and that was unfair, and Stan had no business being declared the co-creator of Fantastic Four or Spider-Man or the Mighty Thor or Doctor Strange or the Incredible Hulk. We were increasingly told the characters were the sole creations of the artists and horrible old Stan just stuck his name on them and tried to take all the credit. I'll never forget when Jack Kirby stated in Comics Journal that he had gotten the idea for the Hulk by watching a news report about a frantic mother who, because she was so upset, had enough strength to lift a car that was pinning her struggling child to the ground. And Jack thought, "What if we did a hero who, when he got really angry, changed into a super strong monster!" Great idea...except in the Hulk's origin the transition was brought about by the rise of the moon, like a werewolf. Anger had nothing to do with it and wasn't established until years later. I'm not saying Kirby knowingly lied. I'm just saying memories can be problematic and claiming that all credit should be taken away after the fact based on differing memories is a slippery slope.

This of course also ignored the fact that while DC was still publishing comics with no creator names on the title page, Stan broke from that tradition and slapped the artists' names right on the credits page. While DC artists labored in anonymity, Stan gave us King Kirby, Stainless Steve Ditko, Jazzy Johnny Romita, Genial Gene Colan. We would have known none of those names if it wasn't for Stan. DC editors privately dubbed him "Stan Brag" because they thought taking credit wasn't...I dunno...gentlemanly. At least, they thought that until they started doing it, too.

Yes, he was richer than the artists. But he was also an executive at Marvel, and spent pretty much every day of his waking life promoting the Marvel heroes, the Marvel philosophy, the Marvel artists, and the Marvel brand. He toured colleges all over the country, doing endless Q&As.

Are there still people who despise him? Oh yeah. But I think he thwarted the "Dark Knight" line because his popularity stared to swing back over the years. I believe part of it was his string of cameo appearances in the Marvel movies. Finding Stan transcended finding Hitchcock in his films. People even theorized that he was actually one guy observing the Marvel Universe, and even found affirmation of that when he was filling in the Watchers on all he'd seen in the previous films during a closing credits seen in "Guardians 2."

Over the years Stan began to reaffirm himself as what he was: the oldest comic book fan alive. How can you keep hating somebody who was clearly just having so much fun? Whose continued presence in the films served to remind you that he was there when it started.

The Village Voice dismissed him as merely a "writer of word balloons." Yeah, well, compare the word balloons of "Fantastic Four" with Jack Kirby and the word balloons of "New Gods" with Jack Kirby and you'll realize what a master of dialogue he was. But it's way more than that. The fact is that the comics industry as it currently exists would not be around if Stan had not only co-created the characters, but made Marvel Comics into what it was:

The House of Ideas.

PAD
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
26,655
Likes
11,011
Points
284
He definitely overplayed his importance to the detriment of Kirby and Ditko, but it has to be said he still did a lot of that work. (More than Bob Kane did on Batman, for example)

He also had Marvel comics talking about socially progressive issues back in the 60s, and defending this to the people whining about it in his editorials.
Plus ca change, eh?
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
26,655
Likes
11,011
Points
284
I've just listened to two podcasts about 2001 and 2010, and how so much of both films hang on his performance. If he never did anything else, he would still be a loss.
As Edgar Wright said, he gave one of the greatest screen performances of all time, using just his voice.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
26,655
Likes
11,011
Points
284
I know everyone says it, but Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade is one of THE best books about filmmaking ever written, and certainly among the most entertaining. I've read a couple of his other non-fiction books and they were almost as good. The Princess Bride is a good film, but it's a better book. Hugely talented man. RIP.
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
5,817
Likes
13,521
Points
294
Location
Round about here sometimes
A great writer who left behind many memorable movie moments.
Butch Cassidy: Well, the way I figure it, we can either fight or give. If we give, we go to jail.
Sundance Kid: I've been there already.
Butch Cassidy: We could fight - they'll stay right where they are and starve us out. Or go for position, shoot us. Might even get a rock slide started, get us that way. What else can they do?
Sundance Kid: They could surrender to us, but I wouldn't count on that.

And the most frightening three words in the movies "Is it safe?"
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
26,655
Likes
11,011
Points
284
Great last lines: "For a moment there I thought we were in trouble."

Nah, better than that: brilliant last line.
 

Analogue Boy

The new Number 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
9,189
Likes
6,605
Points
294
Belated RIP to Stan Lee. As a kid, I read the UK reprints of Spiderman Comics Weekly which got me into Spiderman from the beginning. At the back, there were the origins of Thor, Iron Man, Avengers etc.

Now I can see what Stan did best. He realised that superhero stories, if told with an engaging human backstory could be a timeless winning formula.
So he reinvented his characters again and again in different formats and media until eventually releasing his creations as big screen blockbusters.

I spent hours drawing Marvel characters and with a bit of tweaking, adopted a Ditko style but with acrylics that resulted in my works being hung up all around the school.

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is still a brilliant book for budding comic book artists. Iirc, there’s a story in this book that saw Stan Lee at an art exhibition where someone said, ‘I bet your guys wish they were as good as this’. Stan replied along the lines of My guys have to be better.
Stan argued his artists have to draw people and on top of that need to have similar minds to architects, engineers, interior designers etc and create believable worlds as well as inventing the strange and fantastic.

He promoted but more importantly, believed in Marvel continously and his comics brought enjoyment to millions upon millions and opened the genre successfully from a product once used as ship ballast to a much-loved part of our lives.

He had one job to do. And he did it very, very well.
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
5,817
Likes
13,521
Points
294
Location
Round about here sometimes
A familiar face from telly in the olden days

Former BBC newsreader Richard Baker dies aged 93
  • 16 minutes ago


Former BBC newsreader Richard Baker has died aged 93.
The son of a plasterer, London-born Baker introduced the first news bulletin broadcast on BBC TV in July 1954.
He went on to become one of the BBC's best known personalities, fronting the Last Night of the Proms and presenting on Radio 2 and 4.
Baker's son James said his father died this morning at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46246049
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
26,655
Likes
11,011
Points
284
I probably first heard him on Mary, Mungo and Midge, a bit young to see him in his newsreading heyday. Impeccable diction. RIP.
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
5,817
Likes
13,521
Points
294
Location
Round about here sometimes
Yet another familiar face gone
John Bluthal, who played Frank in The Vicar of Dibley, dies aged 89
Tilly Pearce
John Bluthal, best known for his role of Frank Pickle in The Vicar of Dibley, has died at the age of 89. The actor, born in August 1929, passed away on Thursday evening, it’s been confirmed. His agent wrote in a statement: ‘We’re sad to announce our wonderful client John Bluthal has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. ‘John provided us all with years of laughter and entertainment. We will miss John hugely.’

etc...
https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/17/john...rank-in-vicar-of-dibley-dies-aged-89-8150576/
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

Lost a few tiles on re-entry..
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
1,709
Likes
2,998
Points
154

Just saw this, very sad. I remember this chap from when I was little, back in the days of shuffling papers and speaking earnestly into the camera, long before the stupid graphics and over-the-top news reporting you get nowadays.

RIP Mr Baker.


Here we go... with bonus bbc ident clock at the start.

 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
5,817
Likes
13,521
Points
294
Location
Round about here sometimes
Just saw this, very sad. I remember this chap from when I was little, back in the days of shuffling papers and speaking earnestly into the camera, long before the stupid graphics and over-the-top news reporting you get nowadays.

RIP Mr Baker.


Here we go... with bonus bbc ident clock at the start.

He was also up for a bit of silliness with the Pythons
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
26,655
Likes
11,011
Points
284

Anome

Bibliomancer
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
5,479
Likes
453
Points
164
Location
Left, and to the Back
Bluthal's family fled Europe in the 30s to Melbourne, and he started acting there. I think he met Spike when Spike did his first run of Australian TV shows in the 50s. He did a lot of stuff on Australian TV in the 70s and 80s, probably best remembered for the Castrol GTX "Oils ain't Oils" campaign.

Despite this, always a pleasure to see him turn up in something. Very sad to hear he's gone.
 
Top