HomeGroupsTalkExplore
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee…
Loading...

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee (edition 2021)

by Abraham Riesman (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
816297,823 (4.3)5
"The definitive, revelatory biography of Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, an artist and entrepreneur who reshaped global pop culture at a steep personal cost. Stan Lee-born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922-is one of the most beloved and influential entertainers to emerge from the twentieth century. He served as editor in chief of Marvel Comics for three decades and, in that time, launched more pieces of internationally recognizable intellectual property than anyone other than Walt Disney: Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Black Panther, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor...the list seems to never end. On top of that, his carnival-barker marketing prowess more or less single-handedly saved the comic-book industry and superhero fiction. Without him, the global entertainment industry would be wildly different-and a great deal poorer. But Lee's unprecedented career was also pitted with spectacular failures, controversy, and bitter disputes. Lee was dogged by accusations from his longtime collaborators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko over who really created Marvel's signature characters-icons for whom Lee had always been suspected of taking more than his due share of credit. A major business venture, Stan Lee Media, resulted in stock manipulation, bankruptcy, and criminal charges. And in his final years, after the death of his beloved wife, Joan, rumors swirled that Lee was a virtual prisoner in his own home, issuing cryptic video recordings as a battle to control his fortune and legacy ensued. Abraham Riesman is a veteran culture reporter who has conducted extensive new interviews and research, turning up never-before-published revelations about Lee's life and work. Lee's most famous motto was: "With great power comes great responsibility." True Believer chronicles every triumph and every misstep of an extraordinary life, and leaves it to readers to decide whether Lee lived up to the responsibilities of his own talent"--… (more)
Member:NeenaA
Title:True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee
Authors:Abraham Riesman (Author)
Info:Crown (2021), 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee by Abraham Riesman

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I received a copy of this book as a part of the Hugo Voter's Packet. And I am so glad that it was included.

Stan Lee was an interesting man. He was famous, but famous in the way that certain comedians or Adam West were famous. The star was not necessarily the person. Instead, it was the persona that they put on, the mask that they wore. For my generation, Stan Lee was the good-natured, funny cameo in every Marvel film. He was the voice that yelled "True believers!" and "Excelsior!" Yet, Riesman shows us the Stan Lee behind Stan Lee (TM).

What a fascinating story to hear. Warts and all. I loved this book, not because it confirmed my beliefs or condemned Stan Lee, but because it revealed. It turned Stan Lee into someone real. I highly recommend this to any Marvel fan. ( )
  The_Book_Kaiju | Jan 16, 2023 |
This biography of Stan Lee is exhaustive, gripping, and thorough. Stan Lee made Marvel Comics, but more than that, he made himself... and then, in the long run, unmade himself. The portrait that emerges from this book is of a smart man and a hard worker who was unafraid to exploit others for his own gain, and always felt that he was due more than he had gotten, and willing to do almost anything to get it. I knew a lot of this in broad strokes, especially Lee's days as a Marvel editor co-creating a lot of iconic characters—ones that really owe more to his co-creators than him—but Riesman provides a lot of detail and supporting evidence, and crafts an engaging tale. I knew less about Lee's post-Marvel career, and Riesman offers a pretty damning portrait of financial malfeasance and empty promises at Stan Lee Media. Later in Lee's life, he was surrounded by vicious people willing to exploit them, and it's a tragedy... but a tragedy of Lee's own making in some ways, as he would invite into his circle anyone willing to tell him how he could make it big. It's moving, in the sense that you really feel like you're watching something genuinely horrible happen.
  Stevil2001 | Aug 5, 2022 |
Good insight into just what Stan Lee did or didn't do, and a breezy read, but sad to see the decline and shabbiness of his last couple of years and the various parasites in his entourage. Also it impressed upon me the reality that comic books are really just awful trash, dress them up how you might want to, and Stan Lee had a bunch of really terrible terrible ideas. ( )
  adzebill | Aug 18, 2021 |
'When I ask [Gerry] Conway for his general estimation of Stan, he pauses for a moment and replies, "He's a good guy. He's just not a great guy."' ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 3, 2021 |
In True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee, Abraham Riesman argues, “The often-false story Stan Lee told about himself and his work was that of the American dream: success earned through hard work, optimism, and staying true to oneself. But the true story of his life is that of the American reality: success won in no small part through nepotism, corner-cutting, dissembling, and stealing… Taken as a whole and with sober eyes, the man’s journey adds up to one of the more fascinating stories of the past century of American arts and letters, and it is a journey that has heretofore gone unexamined in public” (pg. 14). Riesman positions Stan Lee as a Mark Twain/Horatio Alger -type figure who invented his own identity in order to advance beyond the circumstances he experienced as a youth amid the Great Depression. In many respects, this makes Lee the quintessential American narrative, but Riesman’s “warts and all” portrait includes the steps Lee took along the way that embittered his colleagues. Riesman delineates Lee’s career into three phases. He writes, “The first had been his unrecognized toiling until 1961, and the second had been his bumpy, meteoric rise since. In the third, he would no longer write the characters that made his reputation, but he would finally perfect the details of the character that would allow him to stay famous until the end of his life” (pg. 181).

Riesman further argues that Lee chose to promote the wrong talent. According to Riesman, “[Lee] never sold himself as comics’ greatest editor but rather as its greatest ideas man. One can argue that that was a core tragedy of Stan’s existence and legacy: He was never able to put his most inarguable achievement front and center and instead opted for the ones that were most debatable” (pg. 67). While Lee’s persona and Marvel’s work appealed to the cultural left on college campuses, Riesman describes Lee as a confirmed centrist who gestured at leftist issues without fully committing as he tried to support both sides of the political spectrum (pg. 174). On the one hand, Riesman describes this as part of Lee’s centrism, but it also meant that he avoided permanently alienating audiences based on politics. According to Riesman, “losing Kirby had been like losing a limb, and [Stan’s writing] hadn’t since garnered the kind of praise he’d had when the two were working together. Indeed, he never would again. Stan’s good days as a respected creator of new material were, unbeknownst to him at the time, permanently over” (pg. 180).

Riesman describes how Lee perfected his persona while narrating Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, with his tone “evolving from the solemn tone he’d historically exhibited in public to the street-hawker cadences he would soon become famous for. His narration sequences would typically conclude with a cry of ‘Excelsior!’, further cementing the word as his verbal signature” (pg. 211). According to Riesman, “it’s a direct line from there to his world-famous cameos” (pg. 211). The final third of Riesman’s account details the duality of Lee’s final years, with his public persona reaching ever-wider audiences even as Lee’s final ventures – Stan Lee Media and POW – struggled to make an impact while stories of his personal life were dominated by conflict and people vying to control his legacy. Riesman concludes, “After a life that spanned nearly a century – a tapestry of triumph and tragedy, of enormous dreams and disappointing realities; a stretch of time in which a man could watch the world become unrecognizable and know he had some not-inconsiderable part in making it thus; an existence that went through a denouement of agony and discord – after all that, Stan may have found a way to rest and deem that life good enough” (pg. 331). ( )
1 vote DarthDeverell | Mar 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"The definitive, revelatory biography of Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, an artist and entrepreneur who reshaped global pop culture at a steep personal cost. Stan Lee-born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922-is one of the most beloved and influential entertainers to emerge from the twentieth century. He served as editor in chief of Marvel Comics for three decades and, in that time, launched more pieces of internationally recognizable intellectual property than anyone other than Walt Disney: Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Black Panther, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor...the list seems to never end. On top of that, his carnival-barker marketing prowess more or less single-handedly saved the comic-book industry and superhero fiction. Without him, the global entertainment industry would be wildly different-and a great deal poorer. But Lee's unprecedented career was also pitted with spectacular failures, controversy, and bitter disputes. Lee was dogged by accusations from his longtime collaborators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko over who really created Marvel's signature characters-icons for whom Lee had always been suspected of taking more than his due share of credit. A major business venture, Stan Lee Media, resulted in stock manipulation, bankruptcy, and criminal charges. And in his final years, after the death of his beloved wife, Joan, rumors swirled that Lee was a virtual prisoner in his own home, issuing cryptic video recordings as a battle to control his fortune and legacy ensued. Abraham Riesman is a veteran culture reporter who has conducted extensive new interviews and research, turning up never-before-published revelations about Lee's life and work. Lee's most famous motto was: "With great power comes great responsibility." True Believer chronicles every triumph and every misstep of an extraordinary life, and leaves it to readers to decide whether Lee lived up to the responsibilities of his own talent"--

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.3)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4 6
4.5 2
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 182,909,574 books! | Top bar: Always visible