Thursday, August 7, 2014
My Most Prized Possession
I have been a fan of Marvel Comics for as long as I could read. I remember getting a copy of Origins Of Marvel Comics and Here Comes The Bad Guys as a birthday gift. I remember reading the origins of The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Doom, The Green Goblin and Doctor Strange. Heck, I still have that copy of Bring On The Bad Guys, all beat up as it is. But inside Origins Of Marvel Comics, I read a story that cemented my love of comics for the rest of my life and that was the origin story of the Amazing Spider-Man.
I loved the fact the Peter Parker was not much older than I was (Actually, since I was probably 6 at the time, he would have been a lot older than I was). I like the fact that he had such cool powers and dressed in a weird costume. Instantly after reading the story, Spider-Man became my favorite super hero. I read as many Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Team Ups as I could get my hands on. Sure, I still loved watching Batman and Super Friends on TV, but Spider-Man was the man to me. I owe a huge thank you the man who helped create this wonderful character. Stan Lee.
Now, I know half that thank you would also go to Steve Ditko, who was just as instrumental to bringing Spider-Man to the heights of popularity that he enjoyed, plus he is now credited as a co-creator of the character. But since Mr. Ditko has now since become a recluse, I can only express my gratitude here to Mr. Ditko.
Now Stan Lee on the other hand is still touring the country at the ripe young age of 91 years old. This man should be celebrated for without him, there is no Fantastic Four. There is no X-Men. There is no Avengers. There are no movies to spend our hard earned bucks on or cartoons on TV or merchandise to pick up. Without Stan Lee, life would have been all DC Comics. Not that it's a bad thing. But last I checked, Spidey was shooting webs at Marvel.
One of my dreams is to meet Stan Lee. Unfortunately, I have not as of yet the closest I have yet to come to meeting him was at last year's Comikaze. The line though was way too long and I didn't want to put my girlfriend and her daughter through that. Not that they would have minded. They are so awesome that they would have waited and had fun doing so. Maybe another time.
My most prized possession is a Stan Lee item. See, a few years back, Stan was still signing his mail (He's long stopped doing so) and I wanted to send something Spider-Man related for him to sign. Now, I wasn't going to send a comic or a DVD cover of Spider-Man to him. Mo, I wanted to send something meaningful to me for him to sign. One day, as I was reading a Spider-Man comic, the idea came to me. I went out and bought a poster of Amazing Fantasy #15. The very first story I remember reading of Spider-Man. So, I packed it up and sent it to his POW Entertainment offices along with return postage.
A couple of months later, this came back to me:
Sorry about the bad picture. I took this with one of my old cell phones which had a crappy camera on it.
But this doesn't look too bad though.
This poster is my most prized possession. To have, essentially, the father of Spider-Man sign my poster is just amazing (No pun intended) to me and I will cherish it for as long as I live. My plan is to be able to have it professionally framed and hung on my wall in the very near future. For now, I have it guarded by 4 ravenous pit bulls and it's also booby trapped. No one is getting this poster if I can help it.
I may never get an opportunity to meet the man who is responsible for hours of enjoyment as a kid, teenager and adult. I can only hope that many of the people who get to meet him express to him just how much happier he made their lives with his creations and fantastic books. Hopefully, one day, I will have that chance. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to walk up to him, knees shaking, extend my hand out and simply say Thank you. Thank you for all the wonderful stories and characters you created. That, my fellow geeks, would mean a lot to me. Just as it has, I'm sure, to all those who already had the good luck to shake the hand of Spider-Man's dad.