In the wake of Stan Lee’s recent passing, fans and celebrities have come forward with a number of ways to pay tribute to the late, great comic book creator.
The Hollywood Reporter, for instance, published several full-page ads from various companies and associates remembering the man. Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, meanwhile, offered up a musical performance, while Netflix introduced a new feature that honored Stan the Man in a clever way.
But it would seem that not everyone’s deeply saddened by the passing of the comic book legend. Controversial television personality Bill Maher took to his blog this week to air his thoughts on Stan Lee and the industry in general, and let’s just say his comments are sure to make a lot of people very, very mad.
“The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning,” wrote Maher. “Deep, deep morning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, “I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own. Now, I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys. But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.
But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle.”
Continuing on, he writes:
“I’m not saying we’ve necessarily gotten stupider. The average Joe is smarter in a lot of ways than he was in, say, the 1940s, when a big night out was a Three Stooges short and Carmen Miranda musical. The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”
Yep….like we said, Maher is sure to spark outrage in a lot of people. Not only is he disrespecting the legacy of the great Stan Lee, but his jabs at comic books as a whole are completely out of line and a clear sign that he doesn’t understand the medium and what it means to people.
But it’s also clear that Bill Maher is very much in the minority here, as everyone from Hollywood A-listers like Dwayne Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even Elon Musk have offered up heartfelt tributes to honor the iconic comic book creator this week. And it doesn’t look like the posts will stop flooding social media anytime soon.
Needless to say, Stan Lee left a profound mark on this world, and so long as new stories keep being told with his iconic characters, his legacy will surely endure.