Do you remember the first comic book you ever bought? I can picture the creaky metal comic stand in front of the neighborhood market that I passed on my way home from school, still feel the touch of my fingers on the covers, remember the thrill of picking out one to take home.
I still love super hero comic books. When a graphic novel arrives in the mail, it rests in a place of honor where I can watch it for a few days, stretching out the anticipation of opening and getting lost among the pages. They’re old friends from my childhood; the ones who taught me to read, write, dream and visualize magical beings. My imagination was molded, stretched and inspired by the words and artwork. They made me long for a magical power. If only I could fly, lift up a bus with one arm or run faster than a speeding bullet! Immersing my childhood in superheroes did, in a way. give me a magical power of my own: a fierce love of reading and a desire to write my own stories, ones full of action, adventure and magic.
Stan Lee also found inspiration from those who came before him.
“The Scarlet Pimpernel was the first superhero I had read about. The first character who could be called a superhero,” Lee said in a video published through his Twitter account Friday. “He was a man who — yes, he wore a disguise, but it wasn’t a mask or anything like that. He just didn’t let people know who he really was.”
He gave us some of the most iconic super heroes in history. His brilliance lives on, enriched and pushed forward by the imagination of others who, I suspect, also grew up immersed in his creations.
As a child, I saw imaginary horses running along-side our car as our family rumbled down the highway on long road trips, fairy spirits in the forest and ghosts (friendly) in my grandparents house. Superheroes like Wonder Woman, Spiderman and the Hulk weren’t much of a stretch for my imagination.
Today, I write about dragons, young women discovering magical powers, half-human beasts and battles for ultimate power. My characters struggle, fight, grow and travel a road to discovery, unraveling even deeper mysteries. Thank you Superman, Wonder Woman, Hulk, Spiderman and many more for your inspiration.
“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.”Stan Lee