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Remembering Stan Lee, by Gill Champion

Stan and I worked side by side for the past 18 years at the company that we started with our third partner Arthur Lieberman, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. Stan was unique and special, and his imagination certainly knew no boundaries; he maintained a most ambitious desire to create new ideas and stories for today’s generation.

No matter the time or place, it was almost impossible that Stan wasn’t recognized by someone. He would always stop to shake a hand or pose for a picture, jokingly saying, “Not only do I sign autographs, but since phones now have cameras, I pose for pictures too; it’s twice the work!” Another one of his great lines whenever a fan would say to him, “Stan, I met you years ago, do you remember me?” was: “Of course, you were wearing a white shirt with blue pants!” There was always a look of amazement on that fan’s face.

Stan’s work ethic was incredible. He was a stickler for being on time, and he expected everyone else to be as well. If you were more than a minute late he would let that person know about it. He arrived every morning at the same time with his executive assistant, Mike Kelly. Then he’d read his emails and discuss the schedule of the day before reviewing projects. Often with enthusiasm, Stan would say: “I couldn’t sleep. I have this great idea!” and it usually was.

When Stan was still driving himself to work, he would insist on driving when we went to meetings, which brought terror to my heart. He was an impatient driver. The horn was his friend. He could never stay in one lane as he zigzagged down the road. He would drive fast and stop equally as fast. He loved his cars and was most proud of the first car he bought while still serving in the Army during WWII. A picture of that cherished car remained on his desk along with photos of his other cars as well.

Stan was fascinated by new technology, and though he didn’t always understand it, he knew how to reach his legions of fans around the globe. We spent almost every day together, and I always enjoyed our lunches where we discussed everything from politics and scientific theories to books, movies, and any other means of entertainment. Stan was like the big brother I never had.

Along with Stan’s wife Joan and my wife Claudia, we shared many wonderful brunches and dinners over the years. Our amazing conversations would always wind up with Stan and Joan reciting poetry or singing a variety of songs from Irish folk lore to hip hop. Joan was good at rapping, which always brought smiles to all who could hear and see her. Hopefully, they are looking down at us together with hope and dreams for the future. The world will never forget them!

– Gill Champion, President, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment