Genius Brands International, Inc. Blog

Michael Uslan Shares Letter to Stan Lee, in Celebration of his 98th Birthday

December 28, 2020 Posted By: Jamie Sikorski

Today we celebrate and remember the iconic and legendary Stan Lee on his 98th birthday.  

We would like to share a heartfelt letter to Stan, written by famed producer and Head of Development for Genius Brands’ Stan Lee’s Universe, Michael Uslan

The following is a letter I sent to Stan Lee every five years, on his 95th birthday. Today would have been his 98th birthday and I wanted to share it with you.

Dear Stan,

I was 7 when I read my first Marvel/Atlas comic book and saw the signature "Stan Lee" scrawled sidewards in a panel on the first page. That was the moment you became my influence.

I was 11 when my amazing Mom walked me unannounced into the offices of Marvel Comics in New York where I met you and Jack Kirby. That was the moment you became my idol.

I was 13 when I read in a fanzine that if a fan mailed you a stamped, self-addressed envelope along with a typed interview with space for you to answer after each question, you would respond. I still have that interview with all your hand-written answers. That was the moment you became my mentor, introducing me to the history of Marvel and the comic book industry.

I was 16 when I met you for the first time as a teen-ager after hearing your talk at Phil Seuling's NY ComiCon. That was the moment you became my inspiration.

I was 20 when you called me at Indiana University to congratulate me for teaching the world's first college accredited course on comic books, offering to help me in any way. That was the moment you became my friend.

I was 36 when you and Margaret Loesch signed me to create the fourth segment of the syndicated animated Marvel Universe TV series, Commander Video. That was the moment you became my creative boss.

I was 49 when I approached you to join me at DC Comics to create your Just Imagine comic book series. That was the moment you became my creative partner.

Today, you remain my idol, mentor, inspiration, friend, and role-model. 

Today, on the occasion of your 95th birthday, you have changed the world, entertained so many generations, impacted the American and world cultures, and inspired legions of youth while positively influencing their own forming moral and ethical codes. You have elevated the American comic book and all graphic story-telling from its years of denigration by society to a respected art form that has taken its rightful place in the world's great art museums, galleries, and universities. You have created a new, modern day mythology that will live on in the traditions of Homer, Aesop, Grimm, and Walt Disney. And you have accomplished all this with integrity, honor, and humanity toward your fans.

I cannot begin to just imagine what this world would have been like without the magic of Stan Lee. 

And so, I say, "thank you" and "happy, healthy 95th birthday"... A birthday that will be celebrated around the earth by people who love and respect you... people like me.

Best always,

Michael Uslan

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