Comic books are sometimes dismissed as violent, sexual, immature and not fit for the eyes of its young readers. But comic book can also reach its readers in a way that few genres can. Today the comic book genre lost one of its brightest stars and iconic creators, Stan Lee.
Mr. Lee was born in 1922 to Jewish immigrants who were originally from Romania. In his teens, he started working at Timely Comics, which would decades later become Marvel Comics. After fighting for his country in World War II, Mr. Lee returned creating comic books. Instead of introducing readers to variations of the same characters they had seen previously, he started creating characters that were not just misfits, but also fully fleshed out as human beings.
Readers fell in love with immortal characters such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four and X-Men. While they were reading about superheroes who were going on out of this world adventures, they were also hopefully opening their minds to those were being disenfranchised because they were different. In a very subtle manner, the Feminist Movement, the Civil rights movement and other movements whose goal of enfranchisement of those who rights have been taken away or non-existent benefited from the characters whose stories are told within these comic books.
In the words of our mutual ancestors, may the memory of Stan Lee be a blessing not just to his loved ones, but to the millions of fans who have adored his creations over the years.
50 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as he stood on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee.
He was not the first person to lead the Civil Rights movement, but he was one of the most iconic and most vocal in the fight for equality.
While he was an imperfect human being, he was a perfect leader. He spoke to everyone who saw the injustice being done to the African-American community and were willing to take a public stand against that injustice.
His “I have a dream speech” is as resonant in 2018 as it was in 1963.
Decades later, we remember and respect Dr. King for everything that he did and still does for those who feel disenfranchised. His physical body maybe gone, but his words and his legacy continue to live on.
May his memory continue to be a blessing and may we one day live up to the ideals that he fought and died for.
Harper Lee passed away today.
Best known for writing the modern classic that is To Kill A Mockingbird, she was revered as of the best American writers of the last few decades.
One of the popular words of wisdom that is passed around to writers is “write what you know”. Ms. Lee based her book on the world she knew and incident from her childhood. To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of a young girl named Scout. Her father, Atticus Finch is lawyer whose newest client is Tom Robinson, an African-American man who has been accused of raping a white woman.
In 1962, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, a film version of the book was released with Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch.
Last year, an unpublished draft of Go Set A Watchman, an early draft of what would become To Kill A Mockingbird was printed with protest from the author.
There are many writers (myself included) whose life long wish is to see their novel in stores. But to have your novel live on long after your bones have returned to the dust is the ultimate dream.
RIP Harper Lee.