After 70 “Stan’s Rants” videos, fans have a pretty good idea of what Stan Lee’s desk looks like, but what about the rest of his office?
In the latest edition of its “Spaces” feature, Adweek takes a tour of the 92-year-old writer’s POW! Entertainment office in Beverly Hills, where it spotlights family photos, a 1980 Spider-Man pinball machine, Marvel figures and collectibles, art from fans, and painting by Steve Kaufman.
Lee is also interviewed by Biography.com, where he’s asked, among other things, about the origin of his signature sunglasses.
“I don’t know what it is. I’ve always worn sunglasses,” he replied. “They’re like my mask, I guess. It was probably just some silly affectation. When I was very young and just starting off as a writer, I always lit a pipe and held it in my teeth as I wrote. I hated smoking a pipe, but I felt it made me look older and like I writer. I was 18. Sunglasses are better for your health.”
The website also gets to the bottom of his trademark signoff, “Excelsior!”
“I used to write this column, ‘Stan’s Soapbox,’ in the old Marvel books, and I’d always sign off with some catchphrase: ‘Hang loose’ or ‘Whatever you do, make mine Marvel’ or ‘Face front’ or ‘True believer,’ whatever the heck I wanted,” Lee recalled. “Occasionally, I’d see these phrases pop up in competing magazines, and I said, ‘I’ve gotta come up with something they can’t copy because they won’t know how to spell it and they won’t know what it means.’ Somehow I heard the word ‘excelsior,’ which is on the great seal of the state of New York. I thought, ‘Yeah, that sounds like King Arthur and the knights of the round table. That’s great!’ You find the right stuff in strange places sometimes, and then you make them your own. So ‘excelsior!’”
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