Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Comics legend Stan Lee at the Pasadena Rock'n Comic Con

Stan "The Man" Lee headlined the Pasadena Rock'n Comic Con this weekend. As a lifelong comic book geek, I enjoyed finally getting the chance to meet Stan.

(My friend Dave noted that he thinks this is the happiest he's ever seen me, which is quite possible.)

For the uninitiated, Stan created (along with a number of legendary artists) such characters as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor and the Avengers.

Lee's been an expert promoter over the years, dating back to his days writing the Bullpen Bulletins column in Marvel comics. He talked about the massive fan base even before it existed, and that helped create the sense for readers that they were part of something bigger. He still does cameos in all the Marvel movies, most recently playing Larry King in "Iron Man 2."

He's the one comic creator that almost all comic fans feel like they know thanks to his writing and numerous media appearances over the years as the public face of Marvel Comics. He's a personable, charming man who's still sharp at age 87. As comedian Chris Hardwick put it, "You just want to kidnap the guy and force him to be your grandfather."

Stan signed numerous autographs, as well as participating in a short Q&A panel. He definitely puts business first; when asked to pick which Marvel movie was best, he talked about which one made more money. He's also talked about his creative process changing over the years to including thinking about what would make a good TV series or movie beyond the original comic book.

Stan lives a real tough life, as seen in this photo from the convention:

Stan Lee's still working on numerous projects, generating ideas and then letting others develop those ideas while continuing to serve as the public face for his company, Pow Entertainment. Here's hoping I'm still that productive when I'm 87.

More Stan Lee:

Stan Lee on KPCC's Off-Ramp
Chris Hardwick's interview with Stan Lee
Comic book icon Stan Lee guest stars on 'The Big Bang Theory'
Stan Lee & the Oscars; SNL presidents reunite

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