Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I love Stan Lee.

I've never met him, but I have collected his creations for years. He is the creator of many of the Marvel Comics stories and characters that are now coming to big screen. Because of my fascination with his stories, it was my dream, ever since I was ten years old to become a Comic Book artist. I even went to Art school to pursue my dream.

Obviously that didn't work. I am not unhappy about that decision (OK, maybe not by much), but after seeing the movie Ironman 2 this weekend I remembered how much I wanted to draw those stories.

Do you know that in every Marvel Comic movie, Stan Lee shows up? In the Hulk he was the un-named guy that drank the tainted drink from Mexico. Can you spot him in the new movie?

I wonder how Stan Lee feels about his creations going to big screen? Lets face it, the technology is at a place that can actually do the stories justice. I know I get completely enamoured by what I see. I can only imagine how Mr. Lee reacts. I look for and see the nods toward other characters and movies that are being made. (See the picture of Thor's Hammer? You have to watch all the way AFTER the credits to get that little tidbit)

In my fascination, I forget that not everyone collected comics like the X-men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, New Mutants, Spiderman (I could go on and on). I get the little hints and I already understand their motivations. A friend of mine complained that there was too many gaps in plot and logic. I just went with it, willing to accept it because I was seeing those characters I'd read come to life.

Why do I love Super Hero comics and the movies about them? It is there, that I first saw stories that explored the Anti-hero, Like Wolverine (my absolute favorite Hero). Initially most stories were cut and dried-Good Vs. Evil, then it changed bringing in the grey areas of moral choice, and how villains and heroes were pushed to do good and bad things. That's when Spiderman found his black suit and fought his dark side.

Great stuff.

Funny, but I began to look at my writing and realized I was doing what I set out to do--with words. I am writing a Dark Urban Fantasy that brings in all those elements I mentioned above. It has people with strange powers, action, shady deeds, and moral choices.

Now all I have to figure out is how to put Stan Lee in my story.....

So, what influenced your writing?


Christine said...

Wonderful post! What influenced my writing? My reading! Oh, the joy of reading the books on the shelves in the library. And later, buying my own books. I love to read.

I read more than romances, but at the heart of my reading, I need a happy ending--hope for a brighter future. I think that's what inspires my writing most: the desire to bring hope for a brighter future into someone else's life.


Jeanie said...

Mary, I loved comics as a kid! Loved Spiderman. Never was big on Batman or Superman. LOVED Conan the Barbarian. There is a reference to Conan in Demons in Dixie. Loved the funny papers too. Are you old enough to remember Prince Valiant? Loved that one.

My influences are many. I love fairy tales and Greek myths, romance, science fiction and fantasy. As I have said before here many times, I am a Harry Potter nerd. And, while I can't speak in Elvish like my husband (the Uber Nerd) I love, love, love Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.

While I love many modern romance writers, including Lisa Kleypas and Mary Balogh, to name a few, my all-time favorite romance writers are Jane Austin and Georgette Heyer. I particularly love the way Ms. Heyer brings her secondary characters to vivid life and I love her dry humor.

As a kid, I read all the classics. I still remember reading Little Women in the fifth grade and throwing the book across the room when Laurie ended up with that awful Amy and not Jo. In the seventh grade, my parents drove me to Montgomery to see Gone With The Wind on the big screen. This was years before Ted Turner started running it on tv. Anyway, I wanted to read the book, so I went into the school library to check it out. The librarian would not let me have it without written permission from my mother because it was 'racy.'

My, how things have changed!

Cari Hislop said...

As a child I LOVED fairy tales (still do). They heavily influence my writing.

Like Jeanie I too read Little Women when I was about ten. I think of the book as a marker in my life. I LOVED the relationship between Joe and the older professor. That to me was SO romantic. My husband has no idea how much he owes Louisa May Alcott! He's sixteen years older and though not a professor he's freaking smart. Sadly, he doesn't speak Elvish or enjoy hearing about my passionate collecting of medieval English/Frenchmen, but I think a true hero is always imperfect. That's probably why I love Batman so much (though I don't like the latest series). I find history really inspiring...also the weird and bizarre...the English paper The Daily Telegraph as a "Weird" section...love it!

P.S. My Goblin-hero may roll his eyes when I try to share my latest exciting fact on King John, but he does drive me around to obscure historical places related to my interests. Who needs a man in a cape and tights when one has a Goblin with wheels?

M.V.Freeman said...

I also love to read, and I'm with you, there HAS to be some sort of a happy ending or I get very miffed.

Speaking of reading, I just bought more books I can ill afford...LOL But ohwell, everyone is happy!

M.V.Freeman said...

Prince Valiant is my ALL time favorite comic (Which the dastardly paper just TOOK out of our paper two weeks ago! GRRR)

I am with you about books, myths, and fantasy. There are so many things that have built my imagination (oh and Lord of the rings and Harry potter are also some of my favorites.)

And I read ROOTS in fifth grade, and I also had to get permission from my parents before I could...so I laughed at your also having to get permission to check out Gond with the Wind....

You know, I am really looking forward to reading your book....

M.V.Freeman said...

Its always good to have a Goblin King...*grin* at least he does take you to all the nifty places you want to go.

And Batman intrigued me, but I really liked Wolverine..he walked a fine line, but he was fine with it and he wasn't truly angst ridden. Still, Batman was cool...

And that weird section you mentioned in the paper...perhaps we can talk you into sharing some of the tidbits that are written!

Carla Swafford said...

I loved reading comics. Only thing was my mom wouldn't let me buy "comics for boys." In other words, anything with POW! SLAM! POP! The good ones. So I read my cousin's (male cousin that is) whenever I went to visit.

M.V.Freeman said...

Hi Carla,
That's the way to do it...cousins are great for that sort of thing. :-)
Now the comics are works of art on glossy paper.

Do you remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? I first encountered them as an underground comic...black and white no less...no look, cartoons, movies...so cool.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Em. Not sure if comics influenced my writing, but it's interesting to see the influence they had on yours.

M.V.Freeman said...

It is lovely to see you Mr. V, it has been too long!

Comics/graphic novels are certainly a unique genre, and I've always been a odd duck, so to speak, about what I get interested in. I am curious, what sort of things influenced your writing? What books did you gravitate toward? T.V. shows if you watched them?
I find people and what interests them fascinating.

Hope all is well with you!

Stern Rake Studio said...

You ladies are women after my own heart! Conan and Prince Valiant? They're some of my favorite comics since I was a pre-teen. Spiderman has been my favorite superhero since my adolescence, but since the September 11th attacks, my attitude towards our enemies is more like Wolverine.

Sci-fi and fantasy, especially Conan and Lord of the Rings, are just two of my influences. Others are grounded in the real world--sort of. I became a huge fan of historical fiction ever since I first saw "Horatio Hornblower" w/Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo. (I had a wicked crush on Virginia when I was a kid!).


M.V.Freeman said...

I like the way you think! :-) Now, I'm impressed, Horatio Hornblower? Cool! I like that too, but I still always gravitate to Wolverine; he always knows how to get the job done.


Anonymous said...

Hello Em. I’m fine, thanks. You too, I hope. Well, as one odd duck to another, it shames me to confess I ain’t much of a reader, though I did read voraciously in boyhood. Early influences on TV? Besides soaking up every western I could see, I loved Ernie Bilko, the Clampetts, the Munsters and the Flintstones. (Fred Flintstone would get my vote as the most wonderful character ever created.) For all that I’d say life has been my biggest influence. Besides forging my temperament, it’s given me an easy going attitude that probably comes through in just about everything I write.

M.V.Freeman said...

Mr. V,
I loved the Munsters!
It is amazing how life shapes us, it has made you easy going and with a sharp wit. :-)

I on the other hand vascillate between snarky and curious.

Anonymous said...

Yup, old Hermy Baby was a warm, wonderful character.

'I on the other hand vascillate between snarky and curious.'

A lady's preogative, Em. It's in the female gene.