A BIRTHDAY SALUTE: The celebrated Mr. K on hangin’ with the Man…

Welcome to columnist Paul Kupperberg’s recurring feature A COMIC MOMENT WITH… Having worked decades in the biz, Paul has so many great, humorous stories to tell, this seemed like a really groovy way to share some of them. This time out, it’s STAN LEE. — Dan


If I have to tell you that Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018) was the co-creator with a host of artists of the Marvel Universe and by virtue of his public appearances and cameos in the MCU is the only person in comic books anybody outside of comic books could name as working in comic books, then why are you even reading this?

In 1977, I was a guest at the 1977 Chicago Comic Book Convention, along with a host of other comics pros, including both new DC publisher Jenette Kahn and longtime man at the helm at Marvel, Stan Lee, as well as creators like Mike Grell, Don McGregor, Len Wein, Marty Pasko, Paul Levitz, Joe Orlando, and many others.

At some point in the proceedings, a bunch of guests were gathered together for group photos. The pictures were taken — although not before Stan Lee could give Mike Grell a wedgie — and as the group was breaking up, I took the opportunity to say hello to Stan. In the summer of 1977, I had logged exactly two years as a professional in the business and had only just done my first assignment for Marvel, a parody for Crazy Magazine of Star Wars, “Star Warts” with art by my brother Alan, who was a regular at the Marvel offices, that would appear months from then. But my path had crossed Stan’s any number of times as a fan and sometimes visitor to Marvel for several years.

Levitz, McGregor, Grell (in front of Lee), Wein, Mr. K, Pasko

Stan was notorious for his bad memory and regardless of how many times we’d met in passing, he still wasn’t quite sure just exactly who I was. But at least he had my face associated with the proper surname, as evidenced by his parting words, “Hey, it was good to see you again, Alan.”

“I’m Paul, Stan. Alan’s brother.”

Without missing a beat, he said, “You guys don’t look that much alike.”

“I take after our father,” I said lamely.

“Oh, I get it. I’m the good looking one in my family too,” he said with that famous Stan Lee grin as he left me with a wave.


— PAUL KUPPERBERG: A Comic Moment With… EARTHA KITT. Click here.

— PAUL KUPPERBERG: A Comic Moment With… LEN WEIN. Click here.

Sure, you know PAUL KUPPERBERG as the prolific writer of over a thousand comic books for such characters and series as Superman, Aquaman, Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Life with Archie, Bart Simpson, Scooby-Doo, and dozens more for DC Comics, Archie Comics, Bongo Comics, and others, and that he is also the creator of the series Arion, Lord of Atlantis, Checkmate and Takion, and is a former editor for DC, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine. But Paul is also the author of numerous books, including the superhero novel JSA: Ragnarok and the comics industry-based murder mystery, The Same Old Story, not to mention (but we will anyway) Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing ComicsI Never Write for the Money, But I Always Turn in the Manuscript for a CheckDirect Comments: Comic Book Creators in their Own WordsThe Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg and Son of the Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg. You can follow Paul at and at

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. Mike (Grell) has a funny story about why he is jumping up in the air in front of Stan right when the photo was snapped. Though I cannot recall what that story was. But it is deliberate.

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: