a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


What I'm proudest of about my career


Creating comics for an audience
Stan Lee Writer
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

You know, it's a funny thing. A lot of writers have an audience in mind. I never did. Even today while I'm working on movies and television it… it's hard for me. People… people at a television network will say, well we're going for an audience of men from 22 to 28, or from 25 to 30 or… I don't know how you write for a specific age. I've never done that. I've tried to write stories that anybody and everybody would enjoy. I've tried to make them understandable enough, and exciting or suspenseful or interesting enough, for youngsters. To hold their interest. And I've tried to make them hopefully intelligent enough for older people. It… It seems to me all of the things that I loved to read when I was a kid, I think they would have been good for any… people of any age. HG Wells, Charles Dickens, O Henry… I mean, anybody can enjoy O Henry stories. At any rate I… so I've never had a reader in mind particularly. And one thing that people have asked me often is: ‘Why… why are women treated the way they are in the comics?’ Usually in superhero stories the woman is just somebody who has to be rescued, although that was in the past. Now, more and more, the women are being featured, the women superheroines. And one of the reasons is, the publishers and editors are beginning to realize that the readership of comics is becoming older, so where previously it was thought that kids eight, 10, 12 years old were reading comics, now we know it's high school and college kids and even older. And we know those guys like girls. Some of them like good-looking boys but most of them, or at least a good many of them — I don't know what the proportion is these days — a good many of them like girls. So the girls… it… it's really kind of funny, almost every super heroine is half-naked, wears high heels and, if you try to think of logic or reason, you figure if… if some beautiful girl was going to go out to fight crime, you'd think she'd want to wear enough clothes that would give her some protection, and she'd wear sneakers rather than high heels. But they wouldn't look as good. So girls really… and I have no problem with this 'cause I like looking at them too… but they're drawn as sexy as possible, as revealing as possible, for the… for the male readers. And you will find much more superheroines, or even incidental characters, but they now try to find some excuse to put very glamorous, sexy, not overly-dressed women in the strips today. Now they did years ago too. When I first worked for the company, when I first went to work for them, they were publishing pulp magazines and they would have these kind of… they called them spicy detective, spicy western, spicy whatever… and there was always an undraped girl on the cover who was about to be ravaged by some monstrous person, and the hero was just breaking in to save her. So I guess… I guess since time immemorial men liked to look at pictures of girls who aren't wearing too many clothes.

The creative genius of American writer, Stan Lee (1922-2018) brought us 'Spider Man', 'X-Men' and 'The Hulk'. They climbed tall buildings and fought the bad guys, but had normal worries too, about love, acceptance and family. Readers loved them and Marvel Comics, with Lee at the helm, went on to become hugely successful. In 2010 the Stan Lee Foundation was founded to focus on literacy, education and the arts. On January 4, 2011 Lee received the 2428th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Listeners: Leo Bear

Leo Bear is a Hollywood-based features writer. Her background is in news and features writing. Leo spent five years on the entertainment newsdesk at BBC Worldwide before going freelance and moving out to Los Angeles. She specialises in writing lifestyle features, celebrity interviews, health stories and travel features for publications including Eve Magazine, OK! Magazine, Total Film, TV Hits and Conde Nast Gourmet Travel Guide.

Tags: HG Wells, Charles Dickens, O Henry

Duration: 3 minutes, 58 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008