With every new medium, comes pioneers. In the realm of animation, the Disney brand is the undisputed ruler of the realm. Not just on name recognition, but on merchandising alone, it's a juggernaut. Walt Disney's name is synonymous with the ideals of the American dream, and is seen as a pioneer in the world of animation and has given the world some of the most well known characters in pop culture.
Truly a legend in his own time.
Stan Lee has also provided the world with pop culture icons and modern mythology with the rest of Marvel's founding fathers. Both Disney and Lee have similar paths who became figureheads of their company as the face of their respective brand. Though, who would say who is more important?
According to writer Mark Millar, Stan would win in this argument.
In an interview with Big Issue, Millar quotes that Lee humanized superheroes and helped set the catalyst for the comic book rebirth of the 1960's.
"[Lee] gave them that second and sometimes a third dimension," Millar said, while explaining that before Lee, comic heroes were one-dimensional. "Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) was young, skinny and not good looking. He made God-like characters relatable."
When mentioning about Lee's pioneering in comics, he said that Lee's creative endeavors were more important that Disney's.
"He's more important than Walt Disney. Disney was in there in the beginning with Mickey Mouse but what followed wasn't his own creations." Millar did credit that Stan was the co-creator of the characters that built the House of Ideas, but explains to just look at the top box office numbers.
"But all the really good Marvel superheroes are the work of Stan Lee and his legendary co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Marvel has been existing on their ideas and characters for 50 years now, and in Hollywood the well they go to is Stan's well. If you look back over the last 15 years, the top grossing movies tend to be related to Stan in some way."
There's plenty of room to argue the case of either cultural legends, but one could say it all boils down to whose company bought whose.
What do you think, readers? Is Stan up there with the likes of Disney and pioneers of 20th Century entertainment, or is he still a few pegs below?