Some people are influences. Others — a rare few — rearrange the
very structure of your neurons. Stan Lee’s creative and artistic
contribution to the Marvel pantheon has been debated endlessly,
but one has only to look at Jack Kirby’s solo work to see what
Stan brought to the partnership: an unshakable humanism, a faith
in our human capacity for altruism and self-sacrifice and in the
eventual triumph of the rational over the irrational, of love over
hate, that was a perfect counterbalance to Kirby’s dark,
hard-earned quasi-nihilism. In the heyday of their partnership, it
was Stan’s vision that predominated and that continues to shape my
way of seeing the world, and of telling stories about that world,
to this day.
There’s something apt about Chabon using a primarily visual medium like Instagram as an outlet for the perfect words to remember a man whose life’s work was writing for comic books.