RIP Stan Lee November 12, 2018 19:15

My very first job in LA was at Marvel Productions. I think the building was on Sepulveda Blvd. Once in a while Stan Lee would walk through, as he had an office on the second floor. One day, I was approached and asked if I would dress up in a Spider-Man costume and pose with Stan for a photo shoot with him and his Rolls-Royce. They held up the costume I was to wear and I swear to God it was a little teeny one-piece thing that had a zipper in the back. I think they asked me because I was the skinniest person there. I said no.

Then they said they’d give me $20.

I said okay.

I went to the bathroom and stripped to my underwear, and squeezed into the Spider-Man suit thing. Semi-mortified, I then boldly walked through the studio feeling very naked. But I learned instantly why someone would wear such a thing, as my identity was erased: no one, and I mean NO ONE, knew it was me.

I walked out front and posed with Stan and his car for a while. At the end, right as he was wrapping up, the photographer was struck with inspiration and suggested Stan and I take one more picture, staring at each other, nose to nose.

Stan Lee and Spider-Man (Chris Sanders) stare each other down


That last shot was the photo they used.

For decades, I’d see that photo here and there, mostly hung in comic shops with Stan’s autograph. Jess and I even saw it painted on a coffee shop wall in the Turnstyle Market beneath Columbus Circle in NYC.

Once, on TV, I caught an interview with Stan, and I glimpsed a large painted version of this photo on his wall.

I’ll never forget that day. This photo reminds me of my first job in animation, and, of course, of Stan. Excelsior!