Best quotes by Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Comic Book Icon & Creator of Marvel Heroes

Stan Lee was a legendary American comic book writer, editor, and publisher, born on December 28, 1922. He is best known for co-creating some of the most iconic superheroes in the Marvel Universe.

Lee's collaborations with artists led to the creation of characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, and the Fantastic Four. His innovative approach to storytelling brought complex characters with relatable struggles to the forefront of comic book culture.

Throughout his career, Stan Lee also played a pivotal role in shaping the Marvel brand, fostering a sense of community among fans through his "Stan's Soapbox" and his enthusiastic appearances at conventions. His enduring impact on the comic book industry and popular culture as a whole cements his legacy as a true visionary and the face of Marvel Comics.

Stan Lee quotes by category:

All CategoriesAbout successAbout motivationAbout goalsAbout televisionAbout happinessAbout peopleAbout musicAbout timeAbout moneyAbout angerAbout lifeAbout freedomAbout loveAbout artAbout marriageAbout fearAbout New YorkAbout passionAbout Work EthicAbout RespectAbout InnovationAbout CreativityAbout AmbitionAbout LegacyAbout FameAbout DedicationAbout ActionAbout ImportanceAbout DirectionAbout ResilienceAbout ChallengesAbout ImprovementAbout HumilityAbout StruggleAbout InspirationAbout FulfillmentAbout IdentityAbout IndividualityAbout ValueAbout EntertainmentAbout Personal ExperienceAbout ComedyAbout Audience EngagementAbout PerseveranceAbout EnthusiasmAbout RelationshipsAbout VulnerabilityAbout LoyaltyAbout KnowledgeAbout Gender RolesAbout EmpathyAbout RepetitionAbout Personal StyleAbout Self-ExpressionAbout MortalityAbout CareerAbout InfluenceAbout MoviesAbout ActingAbout IntelligenceAbout Self-PerceptionAbout OpportunitiesAbout Character DevelopmentAbout AdmirationAbout ChildhoodAbout HumorAbout CharactersAbout UncertaintyAbout Work-Life BalanceAbout PowerAbout ChangeAbout WorldAbout ProductivityAbout WritingAbout FilmAbout InterestAbout ValuesAbout FunAbout RiskAbout Personal IdentityAbout GratitudeAbout AppreciationAbout Self-ReflectionAbout NovelsAbout Personal ExperiencesAbout CreationAbout DiversityAbout DialogueAbout PrideAbout Time ManagementAbout Self-IdentityAbout Personal PreferencesAbout WorkAbout PopularityAbout ExcitementAbout EnjoymentAbout ImpactAbout TheaterAbout FutureAbout IdeasAbout InclusivityAbout LuckAbout RebellionAbout StorytellingAbout FilmmakingAbout ResponsibilityAbout ImaginationAbout RegretAbout ProcessAbout CommunicationAbout Artistic ProcessAbout Human RaceAbout HopeAbout AcceptanceAbout AdviceAbout FamiliarityAbout TechnologyAbout LimitationsAbout PracticeAbout CollaborationAbout MediaAbout ArtistsAbout OwnershipAbout LongevityAbout QualityAbout Creative ProcessAbout CollectingAbout MoralityAbout Writing StyleAbout CrimeAbout StereotypesAbout ExpectationsAbout AuthorshipAbout FrustrationAbout NewsAbout CensorshipAbout SkepticismAbout OptimismAbout ComparisonAbout ReadingAbout WritersAbout EscapeAbout HobbiesAbout UnpredictabilityAbout New York CityAbout ChallengeAbout ViolenceAbout DisappointmentAbout AudienceAbout MemoriesAbout NostalgiaAbout EvolutionAbout SharingAbout Personal ConnectionAbout PerformingAbout SingingAbout ProblemsAbout RetirementAbout Life ExperiencesAbout RelatabilityAbout FascinationAbout Personal InterestsAbout MysteryAbout Self-RealizationAbout RealizationAbout AdversityAbout Super PowersAbout AspirationsAbout Comic BooksAbout ComicsAbout FantasyAbout BelievabilityAbout DiscriminationAbout Stan LeeAbout ShakespeareAbout SuperheroesAbout ReadersAbout Entertainment IndustryAbout Growing UpAbout UniquenessAbout RegretsAbout Personal LifeAbout RoleAbout SalesAbout Social MediaAbout TwitterAbout Movie MakingAbout MarvelAbout Self-MotivationAbout BusinessAbout StoriesAbout ReputationAbout Public ImageAbout DancingAbout InterviewsAbout Adaptation

IndividualityDiversityEverybody learns differently and everybody gets to a certain point from a different direction.

LifeChallengesPerseveranceOptimismAdversityLife is never completely without its challenges.

Self-RealizationI used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain people, you're doing a good thing.

ImaginationLimitationsSuper PowersAspirationsWe all wish we had super powers. We all wish we could do more than we can do.

PowerResponsibilityWith great power comes great responsibilty.

I guess one person can make a difference.

AcceptanceNo one has a perfect life. Everybody has something that he wishes was not the way it is.

LegacyFameVulnerabilityAchilles, without his heel, you wouldn't even know his name today.

PassionAdmirationWork-Life BalanceEnjoymentCollaborationWhen you work with people whom you like and you admire because they're so good at what they do, it doesn't feel like work. It's like you're playing.

InfluenceValuesStorytellingMoralityI have always tried to have a message, not to be a preacher, but a message that shows it's better to be a good guy than a bad guy, and I try to make it clear that doing the right thing is more attractive than not.

MotivationPassionPerseveranceCareerInterestIf you are interested in what you do, that keeps you going!

Comic BooksI don't think you ever outgrow your love for things that are bigger than life and more colorful than the average life. And somehow I feel that these comic book stories are like fairy tales for older people, because they have the same qualities.

StorytellingImaginationComic BooksComic books to me are fairy tales for grown-ups.

CreativityWritingNovelsStorytellingComicsComics are stories; they're like novels or anything else. So the first thing you have to do is become a good storyteller.

Every day, there's a new development. ... There's no limit to the things that are happening.


CreativityImaginationI think people have always loved things that are bigger than life, things that are imaginative.

HappinessFulfillmentProductivityTime ManagementWorkI'm happiest when I'm working. If I'm not working, I feel like I'm wasting my time.

Personal IdentitySelf-ReflectionAuthorshipI see myself in everything I write. All the good guys are me.

GoalsActingFrustrationI'm a frustrated actor. My ... goal is to beat Alfred Hitchcock in the number of cameos. I'm going to try to break his record.

EntertainmentCollectingReadingNostalgiaComic BooksI'm no prophet, but I'm guessing that comic books will always be strong. I don't think anything can really beat the pure fun and pleasure of holding a magazine in your hand, reading the story on paper, being able to roll it up and put it in your pocket, reread again later, show it to a friend, carry it with you, toss it on a shelf, collect them, have a lot of magazines lined up and read them again as a series. I think young people have always loved that. I think they always will.

Character DevelopmentStorytellingTo my way of thinking, whether it's a superhero movie or a romance or a comedy or whatever, the most important thing is you've got to care about the characters. You've got to understand the characters and you've got to be interested. If the characters are interesting, you're half-way home.

WritingAdviceReadingThe only advice anybody can give is, if you wanna be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything.

Character DevelopmentSuper PowersBelievabilityOne of the keys is, and it may sound funny, talking about characters with super powers, but one of the keys is to make your characters as realistic and believable as possible. Even if they have super powers, you say to yourself, "Well, if somebody had a super power like this, what would his life be like? Wouldn't he still maybe have to go to the dentist or wouldn't he have to worry about making a living? What about his love life?" You've got to make characters that your reader can believe exists or might exist.

HappinessEntertainmentWritingI'm just somebody who tries to write things that entertain people. And if I can do it in a way that makes them prefer to emulate the good guy than the bad guy, I'm happy.

DiscriminationYour humans slaughter each other because of the color of your skin, or your faith or your plitics -- or for no reason at all -- too many of you hate as easily as you draw breath. - Magneto

ArtPassionPracticeIf you wanna be an artist carry sketch pad with you, and sketch everything you see. Get so you can draw anything and it looks like what it's supposed to be. It's a lot of work, but if you really have it in you, it's not like work. It becomes fun.

DiversityI wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story to show there's good in every person.

EntertainmentSingingStan LeeSinging a song, playing sports - anything that entertains, that takes people away from their own problems, is good.

PassionInterestWorkEnjoymentIf you enjoy what you do, if you are interested in what you do, I really think that's the best situation.

ArtCreativityCollaborationIf Shakespeare and Michelangelo were alive today, and if they decided to collaborate on a comic, Shakespeare would write the script and Michelangelo would draw it. How could anybody say that this wouldn't be as worthwhile an artform as anything on earth?

WritingWhen writing, I model all the heroes after myself. Of course, it's hard to make them quite as wonderful as I am, but I come as close as I can.

ReadingComic BooksI think any comic book - or really, any book that you can read - in a sense is an educational tool in that it helps literacy. The more you read, the better you get at it. It almost doesn't matter what you read, the important thing is for young people to become readers.

KnowledgeAdviceReadingReading is very good. And you can quote me!

PassionGratitudeExcitementLuckI am very lucky because everything that I do is exciting to me. It's always new.

Nobody likes to be preached to.

CreativityWritingFunEnjoymentStorytellingTo me, writing is fun. It doesn't matter what you're writing, as long as you can tell a story.

MotivationInspirationComicsStan LeeFace front, true believers!

EmpathyCharacter DevelopmentStorytellingRelatabilityIf you have a character that seems to be all perfect, it's hard to relate to him because when you read a story you really want to empathize with the character that you are reading about. And it's hard to empathize with someone who is flawless and who has no problems.

SuccessHumilitySelf-PerceptionTo tell you the truth, I never thought of myself as much of a success.

StorytellingReadingI think the way you become a good storyteller is to read a lot of stories and evaluate them in your own mind.

ChildhoodStorytellingImaginationFantasyVirtually every kid is exposed to giants and ogres and talking wolves, and so forth. And magic. And I think you never outgrow your love for those imaginative, fanciful, farfetched, fantastic characters and situations.

Self-IdentityExpectationsDisappointmentSuper PowersI know the world expects me to have superpowers, and it'll be quite a disappointment. But I just play myself.

SuccessAmbitionComic BooksAll I thought about when I wrote my stories was, "I hope that these comic books would sell so I can keep my job and continue to pay the rent." Never in a million years could I have imagined that it would turn into what it has evolved into nowadays. Never.

QualityStan LeeQuality. That's the first word, the one word that comes to mind when I think of the books published by Abrams. In a world where so many companies are willing to cut corners, to do things the easy way in order to enhance the bottom line, it's gratifying to know that there's one company that obviously takes such pride in its finished product, one company that can always be counted on to design and produce a book that is, itself, as much a work of art as the illustrations on its pages.

Comic BooksComic books themselves are getting more literate. And there are people who are screenwriters and television writers and novelists who are writing for the comics, for some reason, they love doing it and some of the art work in the comics, I mean it rivals anything you'll see hanging on the walls of museums, they're illustrations more than drawings and all the people are discovering this and they're turning on to it.

DirectionStorytellingTechnologyAudienceTechnology isn't a villain. Technology should help, but if you just use the technology for the sake of technology, then you're cheating your audience. You're not giving them the best story and the best direction and so forth.

NovelsImaginationComicsShakespeareSome people will say, "Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it's showing you." The only answer I can give is, "You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn't want to see it on the stage?

FunIt's just, it's fun to stay in the game.

Stan LeeSuperheroesI think superheroes are bigger than life and they're very colorful.

FameProblemsRelatabilityI like Spider-Man because he's become the most famous. He's the one who's most like me - nothing ever turns out 100 percent OK; he's got a lot of problems, and he does things wrong, and I can relate to that.

EntertainmentInfluenceWritingImpactReadersIf you're going to write something, that's going to be read by people, a lot of people, you hope it will not only entertain them but maybe do them some good in some way.

SuccessCareerPopularityI never thought that Spider-Man would become the world wide icon that he is. I just hoped the books would sell and I'd keep my job.

SuperheroesEntertainment IndustryI always thought it was more interesting to think about Reed Richards. As you know, he had the ability to stretch, and sexually, that would seem to be a great asset in many areas.

The power of prayer is still the greatest ever known in this endless eternal universe.-The Watcher in The Avengers #14

InspirationEntertainmentWritingWritersSome people are able to not only entertain the public in any way that they can but also in some way to throw in some sort of inspirational message with the entertainment. I have always tried to do that with whatever I wrote. And I'm sure that a lot of other writers do, too.

StorytellingWe're living in a world where everything moves very quickly. We've become a very visual society, so I think it's a very natural thing that people are captivated with the illustrations in a story.

StorytellingGrowing UpEvery kid loves fairy tales, stories of witches and giants and magicians. Then, when you get a little older you can't read fairy tales anymore.

CrimeWhat did Doctor Doom really want? He wanted to rule the world. Now, think about this. You could walk across the street against a traffic light and get a summons for jaywalking, but you could walk up to a police officer and say "I want to rule the world," and there's nothing he can do about it, that is not a crime. Anybody can want to rule the world. So, even though he was the Fantastic Four's greatest menace, in my mind, he was never a criminal!

VulnerabilityCharacter DevelopmentWritingIf you're writing about a character, if he's a powerful character, unless you give him vulnerability I don't think he'll be as interesting to the reader.

KnowledgeNegative information is that which, immediately upon acquiring, causes the recipient to know less than he did before.

Personal PreferencesComicsSuperheroesI hated teenagers in comics because they were always sidekicks. And I always felt if I were a superhero, there's no way I'd pal around with some teenager, you know.

PassionCreativityRelatabilityUniquenessI always figure I'm not unique, and something that would please me hopefully would please a lot of other people that have the same tastes that I do.

SuccessPopularityI've been very lucky. All I wanted was to pay the rent. Then these characters took off and suddenly there were Hulk coffee mugs and Iron Man lunchboxes and The Avengers sweatshirts everywhere. Money's okay, but what I really like is working.

DialogueWriting StyleComic BooksFrom 1940 to about 1960, I had been writing just regular comics, the way my publishers wanted me too. He didn't want me to use words of more than two syllables if I could help it. He didn't want me to waste time on worrying about good dialogue or characterization. Just give me a lot of action, lot of fight scenes.

Personal PreferencesStorytellingStereotypesComic BooksI had been writing comic books for years and I was doing them to please a publisher, who felt that comics are only read by very young children or stupid adults. And therefore, we have to keep the stories very simplistic... And those were all things I hated.

SuperheroesThe cliché I tried to avoid was I hated "teenage sidekicks." I always figured if I were a superhero, there's no way on God's earth that I'm gonna pal around with some teenager. So my publisher insisted I have a teenager in the series, because they always felt teenagers won't read the books unless there's a teenager in the story; which is nonsense.

RespectRelationshipsGender RolesCommunicationWives should be kissed - not heard.

Human RaceI like Silver Surfer because he's the most philosophical, always philosophizing about the human race and the human condition and why people are the way they are, why they don't appreciate this wonderful planet they live on... he has a nice moral tone.

New YorkSkepticismStan LeeSuperheroesSuperheroes? In New York? Give me a break!

Super PowersJust because you have superpowers, that doesn't mean your love life would be perfect. I don't think superpowers automatically means there won't be any personality problems, family problems or even money problems. I just tried to write characters who are human beings who also have superpowers.

Time ManagementReadingRegretsPersonal LifeMy biggest regret is that I don't really have time to read.

MarriageImportanceLuckLongevityRoleLuck is one of the most important things in the world and really has a role to play in everything, and in marriage, I've been lucky enough to be married to the same girl for all these years.

AppreciationIf there are people who like the work you've done, because of that, they like you and want your autograph and to take a photo, that's really gratifying. You have to be appreciative.

MoviesPopularityComicsThe comics of course, help the movies, because all of the comic fans want to see the movies. And the most amazing thing about it is these movies seem to appeal to young people, to old people, and to people all over the world. They're as popular in China and Latin America as they are here. That's really amazing and gratifying.