Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book

Jordan Raphael (Author) Tom Spurgeon (Author)


Based on interviews with Stan Lee and dozens of his colleagues and contemporaries, as well as extensive archival research, this book provides a professional history, an appreciation, and a critical exploration of the face of Marvel Comics. Recognized as a dazzling writer, a skilled editor, a relentless self-promoter, a credit hog, and a huckster, Stan Lee rose from his humble beginnings to ride the wave of the 1940s comics books boom and witness the current motion picture madness and comic industry woes. Included is a complete examination of the rise of Marvel Comics, Lee's work in the years of postwar prosperity, and his efforts in the 1960s to revitalize the medium after it had grown stale.

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Product Details

Chicago Review Press
Publish Date
September 01, 2003
6.36 X 0.99 X 9.16 inches | 1.35 pounds

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About the Author

Jordan Raphael has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Globe and Mail. He lives in Los Angeles. Tom Spurgeon edited The Comics Journal and has written for Seattle's The Stranger. His syndicated newspaper comic strip, Wildwood, appeared in more than 12 million homes daily. He lives in Silver City, New Mexico.


"A lively, fact-studded, we-dare-you-to-pull-your-eyeballs-away account of a man who--like it or not, America--has shaped your culture more than Mother Theresa, Susan Sontag, and the League of Women Voters combined." --Bob Levin, author, The Pirates and the Mouse: Disney's War Against the Underground
"Well-researched biography." --Booklist
"Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book is an insightful examination of a publishing phenomenon that has become an integral part of pop culture. It offers keen insights on how the industry has risen, fallen, survived, and teetered on the edge of extinction. And it illuminates the role Lee played in a long-running drama every bit as compelling as those depicted between the garish covers of Marvel Comics."