The Way It Began

The flooding of my first floor in August could not have been much worse. The floors and walls of the living, kitchen, dining room and bathroom were destroyed. But today, it looks great, all because of my love of comic books.

A strange way to open my first Soapbox, but comics books have always been a good thing in my life. When I was spending a summer in the hospital, way back in 1964, Stan Lee sent me a stack of comics to read. My world then was in hospital black and white, the comics were in color. They got through that time. So don’t tell me that Spider-Man is fiction and he never saved anyone. That summer, he saved me.

To thank Stan I started writing a book, a big fan letter about the Marvel Age. As each comic was published, I wrote on an index a description, (a synopsis), I gave it a rating and mentioned it’s connection (today we say “link”) to other comics and listed the full credits. That’s 3,500 comics and 4,000 stories. I made had a chronological listing of all the major characters. I wrote articles and collected articles. Whew! Well, forty years later.

I sent my first finished draft to Tony Isabella about 2005 who encouraged me go on certain lists and discuss the book with other people. I became friends with many of them. So when my first floor was destroyed, they came over and helped out. They actually helped me choose the flooring, the type and color of paint, the future and where to get it. I saved a bundle because of them. They even took me to the movies when I needed it.

I did send the book, The Essential Marvel Age Reference Project, 1961-1977 to Stan Lee, complete with a copy of the letter he sent me 45 years ago. He said that it was a great book and no better book would ever been written about the early days of Marvel.

So because I read and loved comics, I met people who helped me through desperate times. And twice, in 45 years, Stan Lee made me smile when I really needed it.

Thank you, Stan. More than you’ll ever know.