Grief is a hell of a thing

This piece was written by staff writer, Michael Worthan.

Todd McFarlane moderating Stan Lee’s panel at the 2017 Calgary Expo (Photo credit: Chris Doucher/

We in the Comics community, heck the Nerd community as a whole have mourned the loss of a number of pillars, a number of beautiful brilliant minds that have brought us amazing things. Everyone grieves in their own way, everyone takes credence that when someone is gone the negative and the positive should both be remembered because that was the whole of that person.

Yesterday we lost a pillar of the comic book community, a man whose head is definitely on the Mount Rushmore of comics, we lost the Legend that was and always will be Stan Lee.

We know what he created, who he was bad and good, and his boisterous voice, his showmanship, as well as well know catch phrase ‘Excelsior!’ He was a Legend among men, and if you need proof take a look at all the lives he touched and how much he meant to the community. The characters he created are the base for which Marvel Comics lives on, the movies, the TV shows, and the comics, even the new characters don’t happen if Marvel doesn’t have its stars. The out pour was amazing, and at times with what was written very touching.

I was one of the unfortunate folks who never got to meet Stan Lee, I did hear him at a Q & A years ago with Kevin Smith that was a pretty amazing night. Regardless of meeting him or not, Stan Lee was an influence on me from the beginning. I’ve read books about his life, I know the characters he created and I have my favorite of his creations that I used to collect, but to me it was his tenacity that was something I was drawn to. I’ve heard the stories he told about creating the characters, but it was the fact he always seemed happy, like he realized what he did was a dream for anyone to do and he got to live that dream.

Part of me was driven to write this due to my fandom, but Chris already did that on here, and you should take a moment and read that too. Mostly I was drawn to write something because of Armie Hammer’s response to all the celebrities putting up photos with Stan Lee.  I read the tweet he sent out and honestly it just felt judgy and bitter, especially as he is a celebrity using his platform to demean others and shame them. He is, you could say, being a bully in that sense, and that strongly went against Stan Lee’s creed. I wrote a couple of tweets back that will go unread to satiate my annoyance, but it didn’t work, so real quick here are my thoughts.

Everyone grieves in their own way, posting up a picture is not new, and definitely did not start on Social Media. People have hung up pictures of loved ones current and lost for generations. Putting up a picture with a hero is not wrong, and yes some folks are doing it to be a little braggy, but they are proud to have met the man himself. Others though have played his characters, taken solace in words he’s said to them, and he may have saved a career, a life, or inspired someone to do something they normally would not have. Words have great power, and from a hero those words can mean so much more.

Posting a picture up of someone you admire or love is just as much a part of grieving and remembering as anything else, because for that day, those few moments that person spoke to you. That is a pretty amazing feeling.

Post away, I feel like Stan Lee would have loved the love.