Cover Image: I Am Stan

I Am Stan

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Member Reviews

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for access to an eARC of I Am Stan in exchange for my honest review.

I got into Marvel comics a little later in life than some can claim, after growing up and falling in love with the MCU films, and watching Stan Lee's cameos in the films and later starting to read the comics that he helped create and turn into the phenomena they are today has always been something really special for me. So I jumped at the chance to real a biography of Stan Lee in the form of the medium that he made so special for so many people. *Especially* after I saw how colorful and vibrant the art style was.

Coming out the other side of I Am Stan, I can say that there were a few new fun things I learned about Stan and the art style 100% delivered the way I expected to. But while the art was excellent, I Am Stan fell a little flat for me on the 'story' side of things. The book is a sort of collection of different interviews, appearances, and 'scenes' from Stan's life in and outside of the Marvel Comics world, but with little to no explanation of each new scene and no real distinction of when a scene was starting or ending, there was no real recognizable flow to the novel and it all came across a little more disjointed than I would have liked.

I was hoping that this would be a really fun one to pick up and read with my niece and nephews (ages 10, 7, and 5) when I visit next, but I think now that it will be a bit too confusing for them to follow and understand until they're a little older, and even still, I think this is something I would recommend mostly for someone who is already *very* familiar with Stan's life, work, and at least some of the interviews and conversations that are adapted in I Am Stan, simply because it would be a lot easier to learn more about him in a more cohesive timeline from other biographies or by searching the internet.

I am still glad to have read this and learned even a bit more about Stan Lee, but thanks to the lack of tangible narrative structure or explanation of what is happening and why in each 'scene', it isn't one I think I would recommend for anyone who isn't already a diehard fan with a decent background knowledge going in.

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In contrast to his more linear biography of Jack Kirby, Tom Scioli approaches to Stan Lee with a little more experimentation. This if fitting for a figure who created such a powerful public persona that the reality was often unknown. Scioli's art is always special in the way it evokes without ever copying, comics of the past.

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I miss Stan Lee. Reading this graphic novel makes me miss him, Seeing his various Marvel cameos and reminding us that he helped create this world reassures me in an uncertain world. Mind that I wouldn't want to work for him; finding out he once brought a whip into the comics writing room as a joke put me on edge. Ask A Manager would have a field day answering an inquiry about that.

Stan was an icon, but first he was a child in New York as the Depression washed over the nation, and war came just as he started writing. He wasn't perfect; far from it, but he did what he could to tell stories and keep comics in business. You don't want him as a boss, but you love the ideas that emerge.

Seeing how volatile the comics industry was helps me understand why it is so volatile now. When you are juggling the need to crunch numbers, it is hard to stand up and speak up for yourself about feedback. We're seeing that now with DC and Marvel, how they close entire divisions and publish problematic stories. And yet, we find the bits of gold that matter, from Spider-Man learning about responsibility to Dr. Strange helping patients with their nightmares.

Stan, RIP. I miss you.

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Interesting things about Stan that I didn't know before, but the storytelling is very dry and often confusing, and the story is extremely repetitive because of the ups and downs of the comics industry. The repetitive stories should have been montaged together somehow to take 2 pages instead of 50

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Stanley Lieber - or Stan Lee, as the world came to know him - was a guiding force in the development of the Golden Age of comic books. He created, or was instrumental in the creation of, a wide range of comic books and various superheroes. It seems only fitting that his bibliography be presented in the form of a graphic novel, the ultimate evolution of the comic book.

Stan Lee, like many creative artists, had a rough start. Over the years, he created, co-created, and was involved in the creation and on-going evolution of a variety of comic book characters - just how many, and which ones, is a point of contention between himself and other creative artists of the era. This volume, using references from a variety of sources, appears to be a compelling and accurate accounting of his life. Recommended for anyone interested in the history and development of comic books.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This was a great graphic novel. It showed sides of this person that I never had heard about before. We see them meet the love of their life, and they build tons of memories together. This graphic novel also shows the tough times, moments that changed Stan Lee forever. As this graphic novel comes to a close, we see them go off on a new adventure.

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This is a spolier free review

I am Stan is a terrific graphic novel biography of Stan Lee. I am Stan will show you how much you don't know about Stan The Man Lee. The fighting he did with the owner of Timely Comics, the negotiating he did to try and keep his bosses and his artists / writers happy is just amazing. Plus there is so much more to tell.

I really like I am Stan. Using a comic book format to chronicle the life of Stan Lee is perfect. As I read this very interesting and entertaining tale I kept hearing Stan Lee's voice narrating the story as I read on. I think Stan would have enjoyed reading this comic book biography of his life. I am Stan shows us the great things he did but also the sad way his life ended as well.

Some of the stories in I am Stan I knew about. Stan and Steve Ditko's feud and arguments I've read so much about. His battles with Jack Kirby and then the Kirby estate I also knew about. However I did not know how much Stan negotiated with his bosses to help shape Marvel and get the flexibility to create so many of the Marvel superhero's we all love today is incredible. Stan is the first and most important Marvel superhero. Everything he did for Marvel comics helped shape what the comic book industry is today.

I am Stan also tells another side of Stan that I did not know about. Stan The Man Lee wrote in other medium's besides comics. He wrote obits, books, tv and movie scripts and more. The obits he wrote were too morbid made me laugh. I work in the media and know how morbid it is to work on obits for people who are still alive haha. I also did not know how involved he was in other Marvel projects like the Japanese Spiderman shows or the Spiderman cartoons, and X-men cartoons.

The artwork in I am Stan really compliments the story so well. The illustrations of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and John Romaita look so much like the men they were. I appreciated so much getting to read a comic book about the creators I looked up to as a child. These men co-created the characters I still read with my kids today.

If you are a fan of Stan Lee or comic biographies or the history of the comic book industry then this graphic novel is for you. I am positive you will learn something while reading this amazing story. Please read I am Stan and then read Jack Kirby The Epic Life of the King of Comics. The Jack Kirby is on my list of comics to read.

Stay awesome and keep reading!

I am Stan

Written and illustrated by Tom Scioli

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A comic book biography of Stan Lee is kind of a no-brainer. As a huge Marvel Comics fan, I was excited for this one and I have read other graphic biographies and autobiographies before that I loved.

I respect that Scioli writes, draws, colors, and hand-letters himself. I did learn some new things about Lee that I didn't get from other documentaries and I appreciate that Scioli was willing to address Lee's controversies and uglier moments. However, the novel was overall disappointing to me.

The pacing was way too fast for a man who lived so long and did so much during his life. I felt like we were blasting past important keystones in his history and the events of each page were almost never related to the ones that preceded or followed. We speedrun his career and, outside of 3 points where we see Lee change his style, there aren't clear markers for what year, time period, or age we are seeing of Stan Lee. There were several things that were brought up that I wasn't aware of before like whatever happened with Keya and everything about Stan's daughter. But I can't say I learned anything about them other than the fact they existed. The way this story is organized, it really works if you already know everything about Lee and are using this as a refresher or if you just want a place to jumpstart ideas for further research.

Also, considering that the "Marvel Method" is one of the two things that's really expanded on, I think the book itself could have benefitted from that style. Stan Lee had a very exciting life, yet all the pages felt so static and were incredibly text heavy. The point of graphic nonfiction is that you can add context and meanings visually, an advantage that was not capitalized on at all.

It may have been better off as a regular biography with illustrations, so that the research could be properly explained but still include some comic book charm. If you are doing a school research project on Stan Lee this is a great place to start, but if you are a diehard fan wanting to learn more, you might want to try somewhere else first.

Thank you to Ten Speed Graphic and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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It only makes sense that at least one biography of Stan Lee would be in graphic novel format. And surprisingly I learned more about Lee's life in this one than I have with previous biographies.

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This biography was fun and well illustrated. I believe that Stan Lee fans would be excited to learn about his life of drawing comics.

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I Am Stan: A Graphic Biography of the Legendary Stan Lee
By Tom Scioli
Book 195/200
Genre: Biography
Format: Digital, Graphic Novel
Pages: 208
Published: 2023
Rating: 5/10
Art: 7/10

Stan Lee is an icon of the comic book world. Writer, spokesman, and cameo specialist, Lee helped shape comics into what they are today. Scioli does a good job at detailing the complicated history of Stan Lee in comic form. The artwork has a reminiscent 60's and 70's comics feel to it that I did like. I do appreciate Scioli not pulling punches when showing Stan's various controversies. Stan (allegedly) screwing over artists and shady deals are depicted throughout the book.

However, my biggest complaint with this book is how disjointed the storytelling is. Really there is no plot to this book, it is a collection of one-page events from Lee's life with no direct through line other than Stan being in them. And no dates or anything were shown, so a lot of scenes happened without any context. This was rather unsatisfying, and unfortunately, hurt my experience reading.

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This graphic novel biography lends a closer look at the acclaimed creator Stan Lee, his life, and his creative journey. Art-wise, I enjoyed the choices of colors, as they appealed as warm and inviting to me. The panels were also easy to follow, making me as the reader engage more with the story.

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I loved this! it's so interesting to see more of what Stan Lee was in a more visual sense especially when you consider that comics were his lifes work. Seeing all the connections he made and how he built the marvel name up to be what it is today is so interesting I'm sure Stan himself would have adored it!

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I was given the opportunity to get an early copy of Tom Scioli’s new book, “I Am Stan,” to leave a review upon the release week. Drawn in the classic Scioli style, we are given an overview of the career of Stanley Lieberman, known mostly by Stan Lee. The long-time champion of Marvel Comics was a controversial figure in history, but one of the most beloved figures in entertainment up till the point of his death in 2018.

“I Am Stan” is a graphic novel representation of Lee’s comic career and some of his personal life as well. This biography goes through his early days before he became known as Stan the Man, with his childhood before moving on to his start at Timely Comics (the present-day Marvel Comics), his (co)creations of many iconic superheroes, seeing many people come and go from the publisher, his heroes becoming stars of movies, the many cameos he was well known for, the controversy regarding his later life with people taking advantage of his old age, to finally his final days at home.

Stan was involved in much controversy in his life. Most of it coming from his creations, or co-creations, like Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and more. Most notably seen in this book, is the issues he had with Jack Kirby. Before this book, Scioli also did a similar biography on Kirby if you would like to look that up and give it a whirl. Stan would claim most of these big-name heroes were his own creation, but throughout the years others have claimed different. No matter what side of the fence you sit on with Stan, there is no denying the impact he made on the comic world and his fans.

When it comes to comics, no one is more well known than Stan Lee. Scioli does a great job telling Stan’s life throughout the book, hitting almost every bit from his life. From the good times, to even the bad ones, Tom makes sure to cram it all in. I think with all of this being put into the book, there are times where the book can get a bit disjointed. Did every single bit need to be put in the book? Probably not. It might have fared better to focus on some major highlights and see those fleshed out more.

With this issue, it was a bit hard to figure out what was going on at a particular moment. However, when the book was hitting just right, it was superb. The art style of Scioli is different than most things I am interested in. However, I really enjoyed it and I think it lends itself well to the source material. It would probably not have done as good there if the style was a more modern look, and be able to hit some of the funnier parts of the book. Basically, the art style matches the material really well.

Overall, this is a great biography of one of the all-time greats in the comic medium. Tom Scioli shows us why he is an Eisner nominated comic creator. True, there are bits where it can get a bit “lost in the sauce,” but the end product is still an amazing work about an Amazing man. Or maybe he is Fantastic…. Spectacular… Incredible… you get the gist.

4/5 stars.

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This one was a bit disappointing to me. I did have a lot of fun reading it, but at times there would be so much text that the actual art seemed useless. It was jumpy, to describe it, It felt like if I took a bunch of random comic pages from a series and put them together, so you had to just assume the in-between
that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it just didn't work for this, or it wasn't my style.
There were good stories and life moments chosen to be written about though.

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I never felt any great need to read a biography of Stan Lee, given the amount you pick up about him in passing after long enough reading comics and reading around comics. But this is by Tom Scioli, and fuck it, I read a Go-Bots series because he did it, so I took the plunge. Alas, it turns out that even Scioli can't make the fringes of New York's publishing scene look as spectacularly cosmic as giant robots or realms beyond space, but at least his style's debt to Kirby mean that you know from the off this isn't going to be a whitewash. One hears so many stories about the Stan behind that avuncular image that I honestly couldn't remember which ones I already knew: I think I was aware of the CCTV in the bullpen, but maybe not the literally cracking the whip? Either way, there's plenty here to raise the eyebrows of anyone who only knows Stan the cuddly comics evangelist and frequent screen cameo of his later years. But nor is it the hatchet-job some Jack partisans might have turned in; Lee's private sorrow is here too, the thwarted ambitions and the anti-Semitism he faced, and of course the childhood that drove his relentless need to be doing stuff, to be needed. Like most biographies, the end is depressing, but I still felt I was left with a deeper sympathy for a flawed, very human figure.

(Netgalley ARC)

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A great tribute to a comic legend🤍. I loved the idea of this biography as a comic, it really brought his story full circle.

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While the idea for this book is great, I could not finish this book because there were gaps in the story. There was no continuity in the story. Also, the illustrations could be improved.

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I am Stan is a biography of Stan Lee written by Eisner Award author Tom Scioli. This biography is unauthorized. That is obviously because the book does not always show the man in the best light but rather paints him in his true colors. Lee was the driving force behind Marvel Comics. But his claim to being the creator of many of the characters is a topic of controversy. He tells the story from Stan’s youth during the depression through to his death at 95 in 2018. Scioli has done a lot of research and included many facts that I found interesting. His artwork for this book was done in a style reminiscent of the “Silver Age of Comics” that began in the mid nineteen fifties with the rebirth of superhero comics, the era when the Marvel Comics brand took off. Looking at this book was a nostalgic flashback to reading those early comics.

The concept of telling the story of “The King of Comics” in a comics style is a great one. One that Stan Lee used himself. In 2015, Lee wrote his graphic memoir Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. This book is advertised as the first ever graphic novel biography of Lee. Technically that may be true, but the distinction between biography and autobiography is a slight matter regarding the advertising. The main differences would be that Scioli’s biography is unbiased and shows a more realistic take on the man’s life. It also includes those last few years of Lee’s life when everything took on an about face.

As a Marvel fan, I was hoping to learn more about Stan Lee. Unfortunately, the author tries to get so much information into a short graphic novel that the story becomes confusing. The book skips through time with very few references to when things happened. Also, it was sometimes difficult to know who the characters shown were. It would have been a very good idea if he had included captions in the corner of some panels that gave some of that information. Some events were muddled. Stan’s girlfriend Joanie steps off the airplane from her trip for a quickie divorce with another man in tow, yet she immediately marries Stan. That left me scratching my head. Who was this man? And why was he even included in the book? The book mentioned controversy with the suit over Jack Kirby’s rights to ownership but not the resolution. During the scenes of Lee’s last year of life, the author mirrors Lee’s confusion over the rights to his own image, his money, contracts that were or were not signed, allegations of elder abuse and even rights to his own blood. Unfortunately, in trying to write from Lee’s point of view, Scioli leaves the reader just as confused as Lee. I finished the book with more questions than answers. I ended up searching the net for answers. Keya Morgan is referred to in the end but never seen. He wasn’t established beforehand as Lee’s manager, and I was confused as to who he was. I thought that he was possibly a son in law or even a figment of Lee’s imagination. It would have been much better if the author had included a few pages beforehand that established the person and his questionable activities. Then it would have been obvious to the reader that it was an issue of abuse of trust and financial fraud. An afterward with a paragraph or two about the various lawsuits alleging fraud and the resolution of those suits would have been beneficial. The book was researched, written and illustrated by Scioli. He might have had a better comic if he had taken the “Marvel approach” and added the talents of at least a contributing editor to clean up the writing.

This book will be interesting to Marvel fans, but I would recommend it be read in addition to one of the other recent biographies.

I would like to thank Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press and NetGalley for this Advance Reader’s Copy. The views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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I Am Stan chronicles the life of legendary comics and entertainment icon Stan Lee, and with great detail. At times it’s a little sluggish, but only in the same way that silver age comics at times seem maybe a little text-heavy, and less art and action driven as your modern tales, or how some biographies just go down a list of memories and accomplishments year by year. This seems like it will most likely appeal to fans of those earlier era comic books.

I’d say if you’ve read works detailing his life, or followed his media appearances, you’ll find few surprises. Still, the detail in recreating his these events and such are impressive. If you want to learn about Stan Lee, this would be the route to go, as it provides a lot of info while at least being meshed into a comic book format.

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