To The Late Stan Lee, From A Writer Who Hopes To Work For Marvel Someday

To The Late Stan Lee, From A Writer Who Hopes To Work For Marvel Someday

You taught me that heroes are human, too, and that is sometimes the very best thing about them.


Dear Stan Lee,

I'd hoped to say all of this in person to you one day, when I finally land a job at Marvel. In my mind, I'd see you at some event in passing and stop you to say thank you, for exposing me to this beautiful creative world of heroes and villains and pain and joy and everything in between. I would've thanked you for reminding me that my passion is valid and important. I would've told you how many years I've spent reading your work, and laughing at your cameos, and how many times I cried over superheroes because they are so undeniably human, even if they do have superhuman strength. I would've asked to give you a hug. I would've d let you know that I found my calling because of the stories you shared with the world. That I write comics to inspire others, just as you did.

Like you, I found my calling to be a writer early on in life. I was fascinated with the way heroes, in comics or not, could band together to defeat evil. You started to work for Marvel at age 17. You stayed there from 1939 to 2018. You've been helping it grow into what it is now for practically your entire life. I hope I can have a fraction of the impact you had on that company someday. You've been a part of my life since I can remember. Whether it was my brothers third birthday party that was Spider-Man-themed, or the books I'd check out from my elementary school library with colorful suits and heroes painted on the cover, or watching The Avengers or Spider-Man cartoons in my PJs on Saturday morning, or when my older cousin showed me Iron Man for the first time, even though we both knew I wasn't old enough, or freshman year of high school when I spent an hour trying to turn a fruit platter into a makeshift Captain America shield.

It wasn't until the end of my sophomore year of high school, though, when I decided that one day, I'd work for you. I wanted to work for Marvel. I was a hero on a mission. This was my quest. Then, one day a year or two after I'd pondered what life as a writer for Marvel would be like, I was scrolling through Tumblr, as teenagers do, and came across an article where you said something that has never left me.

"I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain people, you're doing a good thing."

I read that, and suddenly, I felt like I'd gotten all of the affirmation I needed. I felt like you were looking at me through my phone and speaking to me. The next day, I started my blog.

I got the news of your passing on my six-hour drive back to my school in Rhode Island. I'd been visiting a friend of mine in Maryland. During my time there, we took a trip into D.C. and I practically begged her to go to the Washington Monument and the Reflection Pool with me. Because for me, they're not just markers of United States history. They're markers in Marvel history, too. The monument, where young Tom Holland's Peter Parker saved his friends from falling to their death, and the pool, where Sam Willson and Steve Rogers cross paths in the MCU for the very first time.

Now that I'm in college, I've decided to double major in communications and film. I want everyone to feel represented in Marvel's comic books and films. I want to carry out your legacy for generations to come. I want to make you proud. Thank you for never failing to put a smile on my face. For empowering us. For making each cameo better than the last. For working so hard to bring joy to others.

I want to make sure that people remember Stan Lee as a real-life superhero because that is what you were, and are, to me.


Bailey Rose VanderVeen

Popular Right Now

35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Meet MoPOP, The Museum You'll Never Shut Up About

MoPOP, the nonprofit museum located in downtown Seattle, is a must-go for all music and movie lovers.


When it comes to seafood, art and unforgettable views, Seattle is doing something right. With such a vibrant culture and music history, the Emerald City is the perfect home for a museum dedicated to all things popular culture.

As soon as I set foot into the artfully designed building located next to the world-famous Space Needle, my jaw dropped and stayed that way until my friend and I returned back to the cold, windy air of Seattle's streets hours later. My experience at the Museum of Pop Culture left me speechless and wanting more.

Main entrance to the Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture. Amanda Marvin

Upon entering the array exhibits, I was propelled into my childhood when I spotted a gremlin prop that laid protected in a glass box. Dorothy's checkered dress from The Wizard of Oz in 1939 was filled by a mannequin next to the other characters' costumes. Jimi Hendrix's electric guitar that he used during Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969 presented itself stylishly. The Walking Dead's memorable necklace of ears was displayed gloriously just four inches from my face. There was even an exact replica of Pearl Jam's recording room where they played some of their most legendary songs.

Jimi Hendrix used this guitar to perform "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969.Amanda Marvin

I have never fangirled so many times in a night. I was in heaven.

Along with some of the exhibits, there are interactive aspects that allow you to enjoy the featured video games in the Indie Game Revolution exhibition and play instruments in the Sound Lab.

The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP, is ideal for those of you with an appreciation for art, music and the theater.

The notable necklace of ears Daryl Dixon wore during the fifth episode of season two of The Walking Dead. Amanda Marvin

With its changing display, members of all ages can visit multiple times to see new material while first-timers are guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

Look to to plan your visit to my now-favorite place.

Related Content

Facebook Comments