The Calgary Expo was a flurry of activity and mounting excitement even before the gates flew open. For months, Calgarians and volunteers were busy with plans to make the 2012 Calgary Expo THE most memorable fan experience yet, with ‘FAN’tastic panels and unforgettable moments.
As I escorted a media colleague through the Expo, we managed a short escape into the delightful storytelling world of The Legendary Stan Lee!
The atmosphere was friendly, engaging and rippled with adoration and respect for this Comic Book Icon. A 5,000 seat arena of fans was held captive by Mr. Lee’s candid and down-to-earth stories.
When we walked into the hall, the audience Question & Answer session was in full swing. We captured a video snapshot of the Legend himself, Stan Lee talking about the origins of the Comic dynasty’s names – Marvel vs. DC Comics. How did DC Comics come to be called by that name? Watch Mr. Lee as he ‘gets the story off his chest’ and we are glad he did!
The audience could not get enough. To say that they adored Mr. Lee is an understatement. Even, host, Garrett Wang (“Harry Kim” from Star Trek ‘Voyager’) paused between audience questions so he could snap a photo of himself actually sitting next to the Legend on stage. To which Mr. Lee responded by saying that he was sure the audience would have thousands of images they could share with Mr. Wang later! Stan, himself, merely chuckled and smiled with delight.
A fan in the audience asks about his favorite series, X-Men and the character ‘Angel’ and why Mr. Lee seemed to change the characters depth from the first issue into the next issues. Mr. Lee’s response was engaging and illuminating, describing how he always liked to create characters who have ‘definite personalities’ when he writes. Mr. Lee describes why “Angel” remains one of his favorite characters created. Watch the whole exchange on our exclusive video!
Funny thing is, Mr. Stan Lee describes how characters based on animals actually inspired his creation of the “Green Goblin”. Listen to the Icon’s love of alliteration and how he created this new ‘villain’. Mr. Lee spoke of the need to have fun when creating his characters and stories and fun is certainly what he was having on stage wowing all his Calgary Expo fans!
With each new tidbit of storytelling gems shared by the legend, the audience responds with huge applause, laughter or delight. The room was electric with excitement.
Mr. Lee shared the story of the inception of the “Fantastic Four”. After the first issue was released, fans wrote in droves saying that although they loved the new characters and story line, they would not continue to read upcoming issues unless the characters all had superhero costumes!
Mr. Lee decided that the Hulk’s costume would be a change in his skin color – something he had never done before. Listen to the video clip to find out what the Hulk’s original color was supposed to be and why it became green! An ‘insider secret’ revealed to this ‘small’ room of 5,000 devoted and adoring fans! Talk about hearing a collective “squee”!
What surprised and delighted me about Mr. Stan Lee, was his incredible story-telling ability. He engaged this live audience with each tale and left them wanting for more. The laughs were flowing and his ability to poke fun at his own character was truly disarming.
For myself, I could sit and listen to this Legendary Icon’s stories for days on end without a whiff of boredom, as I am sure many in his audience would agree. What would I have loved to ask Mr. ‘Excelsior’, himself? I would love to hear more details about his beginnings in the comics industry and what he thinks of the industry in this generation.
What ‘vision’ does this Icon hold for the future of the Comic industry?
Dear Mr. Lee – we are patiently waiting: Share your vision. The Future is waiting.
Thank you, to everyone involved in creating this panel experience with this Legend who we all adored! The folks at Calgary Expo did an incredible job and we will always welcome ‘Harry Kim’ as host on any stage in the years to come!
What surprised me still, is that in a mere 10 minutes, this Legendary Comic Book Icon and storyteller would impact my day, my life and my writing in such a profound way. Now, that, to me, is the very essence of ‘awesome’.
In the words of another Legend, Mr. Bob Hope… “Thanks for the memories… Stan. Excelsior!”
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