Industry Pros Wish STAN LEE a Happy 95th Birthday

Stan Lee
Stan Lee
Credit: Marvel Comics

Stan “The Man” Lee is 95 years young today. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Newsarama asked a sensational smattering of comic book and comic book-adjacent creatives one simple question: If you could give anything or do anything for Stan Lee on his birthday, what would your gift be?

Here are their answers:



Jimmy Palmiotti, writer, Harley Quinn:

“If I could give Stan anything for his birthday, I would give him the power to experience, first hand, how he has changed so many lives all around the world and the power to experience each and every point in a person’s life where his contribution to the world of comics has changed someone’s life for the better. That would be a really cool thing, but in the end I think he really does understand this. So all I could really give him is my usual loving hug and to once again thank him for always being warm and kind around me and allowing me to share so much of his time over the years on stage entertaining the masses.”

Colleen Doran, artist, Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir:

“The rest of his life to spend with his wife Joan.”

Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics and founder of Free Comic Book Day:

“Is it too maudlin to say I’d want to give him another birthday with his Joanie? "

Matt Solberg, owner/operator, Phoenix Comic Con:

“If I could give Stan Lee anything on his birthday it would be for him to have one more day with his wife.”

Ty Templeton, writer/artist, Batman Adventures:

 “Anything?  I’d give him one more day with Joanie.  

“Failing that, I’d wish him the super-power to truly grok the love people have for him. There are some celebrities who are admired but Stan is genuinely loved, and there’s no way he understands how much. It’s impossible to be inside that and actually understand.”

Credit: Marvel Comics

Ethan Sacks, writer, Old Man Hawkeye:

“Sure, Stan Lee has acted his way through cameos in Marvel movies, but in honor of his landmark birthday, I think it only fitting that he get immortalized with the ultimate honor. He’s previously said that the 1938 swashbuckler, The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn, was his favorite movie of his youth—one that did its share of stoking the imagination that would, in turn, captivate so many generations. So I’d hire a skilled editor to digitally put Stan in that movie. And then I’d rent a theater to show it to Stan and those closest to him. (I’d save a seat, however, for myself.) You’re never too old to live out a childhood fantasy. Not even at 95.”

Scott Kolins, artist, Flash:

“I’d magically give Stan another healthy and happy 95 years. I don’t know what this world will be like without him.”

Dan Jurgens, writer/artist, Action Comics:

“If I could get Stan Lee anything for his birthday, it’d be a canteen full of water from the Fountain of Youth in order to keep him forever young.  Let’s face it, true believer, a world without Stan Lee doing his thing is a far less interesting place.”

Dan Panosian, writer/artist, Slots:

“I think it’s become very clear that Stan is just as super as any of his heroes. So a perfect gift would be one all of us could share in - another 95 years from him! Is that too much to ask? I guess I’ve always been a bit greedy.”

Larry Hama, writer, G.I. Joe:

“I’d like to give Stan a break from all those self-satisfied, probably well-meaning, but misbegotten folks who dis and dump on him without ever having met him, or heard his side.”

Dustin Nguyen, artist, Descender:

“Stan needs more In-N-Out Burgers in his life. We’d get burgers. And fries.”

Tim Seeley, writer, Green Lanterns and Hellblazer:

“I’d give him back the hours of joy his work has given me over the years. It’s a lot of joy.”

Tom Peyer, writer, Captain Kid:

“Stan the Man has made no secret of being a Democrat, so I’d give him an end to gerrymandering and voter suppression! Happy Birthday, Stan!”

Ross Richie, co-founder, BOOM! Studios:

“If I could give Stan one thing, it would be to fully experience in one transcending moment the inspiration he’s given the world with his co-creations. To experience the courage that The Hulk gave to a middle school kid to stand up to some bullies. To experience the inspiration Spider-Man gave to a long distance runner to never give up. To experience the joy his work infused into all the writers, artists, directors, screenwriters, illustrators, and software designers who took courage and imagination from what he’s done. In one moment, I wish Stan could feel all of that—the tremendous culmination of a life ruled by imagination. Happy birthday, Stan! It’s unlike you to relax, but relax today knowing you helped make the world a better place!”

Al Ewing, co-writer, Avengers:

“I’ve never met Stan Lee, but I tend to think of him as a cultural force. My whole life, from childhood to now, is very, very different than it would have been without him. That’s not hyperbole, just a fact. So with that in mind, I’d probably give him some evidence of his cultural footprint: A VHS copy of “The Hulk Destroys Bruce Banner/Where Monsters Meet,” as bought from the bargain bin of a local petrol station at an early age. That was probably my introduction to Stan Lee, or at least what put the voice to the name, as he narrated each pulse-pounding episode with characteristic verve. ‘But there’s never enough excitement for us, eh, True Believer?’ he’d say, and I could believe there was never enough for him. Occasionally, I’ll do my best pastiche of that voice, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes sincerely, but always when I want to convey a certain measure of bombast, excitement, showmanship, a larger-than-life presence. What can I say? He left his footprint. Happy birthday, Stan.”

Christos Gage, writer, Daredevil TV series:

“I would give Stan the knowledge of how much he and his work have done to shape the lives, worldviews, imaginations and moral codes of multiple generations of people all over the world, myself included. And I’d give him chocolate, because you can’t go wrong with chocolate.”

Kenneth Johnson, writer/producer, 1977 The Incredible Hulk TV series:

“I would give my dear friend Stan a monument to his Humanism.”

Christian Gossett, creator, The Red Star:

“I would have a ticker tape parade down Fifth Avenue, and invite every cosplayer in the world to walk along Stan’s awesome float. Other floats in the parade would be there for the editors, assistants, artists and writers whose work helped define his career. For those greats who have left us, like John Buscema and the King, there would be floats with massive prints of their work. The stars of all the MCU movies would share the float with Stan.”

Roy Thomas, Stan’s first assistant editor at Marvel and editor of Alter Ego magazine:

“I’ve already given Stan his 95th birthday gift, in the pages of the just-published Alter Ego #150, which celebrates “95 Years of Stan Lee.”  Stan, in the forthcoming Taschen book The Stan Lee Story, which I’ve written, asked for only one change when the first several chapters were sent to him months ago: To make ‘comicbook’ one word rather than two, as he, like myself, has always hated the construct “comic book.”  So I announced in #150 that henceforth, in A/E, whenever I’m not just quoting previous writings, the word will be spelled ‘comicbook.’  What else could I give the man who has everything?

Credit: Marvel Comics

Lee Goldberg, author of The Heist, The Scam, the upcoming True Fiction:

“If I had the power, I’d love to let him be Spider-Man for the day. Let him swing through Manhattan. That would be cool.”

Mark Waid, Avengers writer:

“My gift to Stan? A week off! That man never stops moving. Then again, that’s almost certainly the secret to his eternal youth!

Michael Avon Oeming, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye artist and Powers co-creator:

“Hypothetically, if gifts had no boundaries to hold me back, I’d love for Jack Kirby to design me a box that would hold so many of the memories and feelings your comics have evoked within me that have remained all these years: From the fun of seeing Spider-Man on The Electric Company, to the ’60s Spider-Man cartoons with its moody trippyness, to the feel of getting an early issue of the X-Men in my hands. What gift could I give you that could match that? Maybe just a little box of thoughts and memories to show the impact you left on me, and on so many. Happy Birthday, Stan, from both the 5-year-old me and the 45-year-old me!”

Eddie Gorodetsky, producer of The Big Bang Theory and writer of The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson:

“Another 95 years of good health, and acting lessons.”

J.M. DeMatteis, writer, Justice League:

“The gift of gratitude. Without Stan Lee - and the incredible universe he, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko co-created—comics as we know it wouldn’t exist. The Marvel Comics of the ’60s fed our minds and hearts and imaginations and lit a creative fire inside so many of us who went on to become professionals. Without Stan we wouldn’t have the careers we do today.  So thank you, Mr. Lee. Words could never capture the depth of the gratitude I feel for all you’ve given us.  Happy birthday!”

Steven T. Seagle, writer, Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon:

“As a man who has everything, I’d rather tell the story of the last thing I gave to Stan. When Man of Action was working on the Ultimate Spider-Man show for Disney XD, Stan came in and ‘yelled’ at me that his character, ‘Stan the Janitor,’ never got enough lines. So I promised Stan that we would write a whole episode about Stan the Janitor. MOA worked with the awesome writer Joe Fallon on a story in which it was revealed that Stan the Janitor had a secret history with SHIELD and wasn’t just a janitor—he was a secret agent watchman. Joe had the great idea to use many of Stan’s exclamations from classic Marvel comics as dialogue, and it was awesome to hear Stan record those lines live and in person. It also meant Stan had to stay the full four hours instead of just popping in for a few lines—fun for us, hard work for him! Happy 95th Stan! I got you more lines!”

Tom DeFalco, former Editor-In-Chief, Marvel Comics:

“I would love to give Stan a basket brimming with inspiration, thrills, chills, laughter and pure happiness—all the things he and his work have given me over the years!”

Mark Millar, writer of Kick-Ass, Civil War, and Kingsman: The Secret Service:

“What do you get for The Man who has everything? And so close to Christmas too? I think it’s no coincidence that this sacred comic book birthday falls a mere three days after Baby Jesus. I’m still reeling from the news I heard in the pub yesterday that Stan went to the same high school as Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Will Eisner, also running around that playground at the same time as Neil Simon and Paddy Chayefsky. This is a New York kid who has been blessed since birth, and thus it’s impossible for any mortal man to bestow another gift on him. Shouldn’t he maybe be giving gifts to us? Oh, yeah. He did: The entire Marvel Universe and half of modern Hollywood. Anyway, I’m going to suggest gift vouchers and socks, like I buy for everybody else, and also pass along my thanks, which is a kind of gift, for being the single biggest influence on my professional life.”

Gerry Duggan, writer, Infinity Countdown:

 “If I could give Stan one thing for his 95th, I’d give him the gift of reading his great comics collaborations cold. I wish he could experience the joy of getting to read those first 100 issues of FF without knowing what happened next; to dive into Spidey and experience it like we did as readers that couldn’t wait to see what happened next.”

Joe Hill, writer, Locke & Key:

“If I could get Stan Lee anything for his nerve-tingling ninety-fifth, it would be a work of awesome alliteration about one of the very first and still most scintillating superheroes to spring from the minds of the muses! I’m thinking of the Folio Society edition of Beowulf, an Old English epic featuring a steely-eyed, iron-jawed protagonist who deals with a pesky beast the old fashioned way: by announcing it’s clobberin’ time!

“And after I gave him the book, maybe I could give him a hug. The world is a much happier and brighter place because of Stan Lee’s four-color fantasies. His half-century old heroes are still throwing punches (and quips) against hate and intolerance today. They’re the myths of our modern age. Where would I be without them? Where would any of us be?”

Jai Nitz, writer, Fu Jitsu:

“For Stan Lee’s 95th birthday, I’d want to hop in a time machine with him and journey to 2099 to visit Mount Nerdmore.  I’d love to show him that he’s the George Washington of the monument alongside George Lucas (Jefferson), Gary Gygax (Roosevelt), and Weird Al Yankovic (Lincoln).  I’d show him our dystopian future where Ravage 2099 was not only plausible, but probable.  I would also remind him that when we first met I told him, ‘It’s great meeting you.’  And he responded, ‘You bet your ass it is!’ True story.”

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