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Bill Maher Thinks Now Is a Good Time to Shit on Stan Lee

By all accounts, Stan Lee was a great guy. Okay, not all accounts, there was actually a movement that started maybe 20 years to claim Smilin’ Stan was just a ruthless self-promoter and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko did all the actual work. This is because of the way Lee reduced his workload when he was writing upwards of a dozen monthly titles; rather than write a full script, he and Jack or Steve would talk briefly about what happened in the issue, they would draw it nand then Stan would write the dialogue.

A contemporary of Lee and Kirby at Marvel, the slightly younger and very boisterous Jim Steranko, used his Twitter to tell the world what Stan Lee was really like behind the scenes.

Steranko has a point here. I’ve read the comics Stan did with Kirby and Ditko, as well as comics Ditko and Kirby were both writer and artist for. It’s incredibly obvious that Lee had a strong influence on the titles he worked on with them. To steal a metaphor from the South Park guys, it’s like Van Halen without David Lee Roth. You may think that Eddie Van Halen did all the work, but if that’s true why did Van Halen suck so fucking bad when Sammy Hagar and Gary Charone were the lead singers? Kirby and Ditko did fine work solo, don’t get me wrong, but Stan Lee’s voice was loud and clear in their collaborations.

Jim went on to praise Lee for his contributions to comics as a medium and entertainment as a whole.

Bill Maher had a different opinion, saying on his Real Time blog “The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess.” I’m guessing that movie wasn’t Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. I mean, for fuck’s sake, Bill, you were in Iron Man 3, you can’t cash that check and then act like you’re too good for it.

Maher went on to bemoan our culture treating comic books as something worth reading, ending his little rant with “I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”

Now, to be fair, Bill Maher has made a career out of saying provocative things to piss people off, not being right about things. I actually like Maher’s show, but again, not because Bill is right about a lot of things, just because he puts on a good show. Some of his jokes are funny and he gets good panel discussions out of people who aren’t usually on other talking head shows. People put their guard down because Bill isn’t a serious person and it’s fun to watch.

But Bill is a huge asshole. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s basically his whole gimmick. He’s opinionated and he knows how to say things in a way that makes people angry. Bill says “those darn Millennials are so dumb and don’t want to grow up, that’s why we hae Donald Trump,” but the 2016 exit polls clearly show it was dumbass Boomers like Bill and older Gen-Xers who voted for Trump in much larger numbers than Millennials and younger Gen-Xers. But it’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about making people angry, and by that measure Bill’s article was a rousing success.

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