Brian Michael Bendis Pens Touching Tribute To Stan Lee For The New York Times

The New York Times published a tribute to Stan Lee on Monday, written by Brian Michael Bendis, [...]

The New York Times published a tribute to Stan Lee on Monday, written by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Bill Walko and colored by Howie Noel.

Lee passed away on Monday, Nov. 12 at the age of 95. After a lifetime of creative trail-blazing and cultural influence, his legacy dominated the conversation after his passing, as colleagues, students and fans posted their tributes. Among them was a fitting piece from Bendis, Walko and Noel -- a comic about Lee published in the New York Times.

The piece was five pages long, and it followed Lee's influence on Bendis in particular. It was titled "My Moments With Stan," and featured countless hat-tips to Lee's own work. It took modern readers back to an age when comic book adaptations were not the dominant force in the U.S. and Lee was the leader of a niche subculture.

"If you were like me, were an avid reader of marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Stan The Man, was already as iconic as Walt Disney or Ronald McDonald," Bendis wrote.

For Bendis, Lee's influence went beyond storytelling, into the realm of creative ambition and even career goals.

"The Marvel bullpen was portrayed as a dizzying madhouse of energy and creativity led by the fiesty Master of Ceremonies himself, Stan 'The Man' Lee," he wrote. "Who wouldn't want to work there?!"

From there, Bendis went on to describe some of his most significant interactions with Lee over the years -- from the time was a young burgeoning artist to his time as one of Marvel's top writers. In 1988, he explained, Lee had come a attend a Superman Parade in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Bendis had been surprised when Lee called him by name, to which the Marvel writer replied: you're wearing a nametag, schmuck."

Years later, Bendis recalled a meeting with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, while he himself was writing the character in comic book form. He went to look at some early footage for the 2002 film, and found himself sitting side-by-side with Lee.

"Even though this was almost 18 years ago, it felt like Stan was getting his wish just under the wire," Bendis noted, "because almost 18 yaers ago he as in his 70s!!!!"

Bendis had one more heart-warming story with Lee set in 2014. He got lunch with his fellow writer, and they discussed Marvel movies, writing prospects and the minutiae of the publishing industry.

"For a young man who dreamed of being part of Stan's bullpen, the invite was just the latest in a long list of the times Stan blew my mind," he wrote. "It was at those meetings I was able to really tell him thank you. For everything. The little things, the big things. And he heard me."

"Excelsior. Never 'nuff said," Bendis finished.