Tuesday, February 01, 2005

stan the man

This is more of an Evan type of story, but I'm going to bring it to you because Stan Lee is a personal hero of mine. Enjoy.

Superhero Creator Fights Back
Jan. 31, 2005

Comic book legend Stan Lee tells CBS Correspondent Bob Simon that he was hurt by Marvel Comics' resistance to paying him part of the profits generated by the characters he created over his 60-year career with the company -- a company he says he loves.

Simon's interview with Lee, who stands to make millions after winning a lawsuit against Marvel Comics earlier this month, will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Wednesday, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Lee tells Simon that it wasn't an easy decision for him to sue the company where he has spent his entire adult career.

"It was very emotional," says Lee. "I was really hurt. ...We had always had this great relationship, the company and me. I felt I was a part of it."

While he was part of the company, Lee created blockbuster superheroes such as Spider-Man, X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk.

Since then, each of the two "Spider-Man" movies have grossed about $800 million in worldwide ticket sales.

"My contract called for me getting a certain share of the profits [for] movies, television, licensing and so forth, and I think when the contract was written, nobody may have expected that those movies would be so successful," says Lee, who has been earning a million-dollar salary since 1994.

"Don't forget I've written about superheroes all my life. And they're the good guys and they always do the right things, and I always thought our company is the good company and we always did the right thing...and suddenly I felt I wasn't being treated well, and it really hurt."

A federal judge agreed and awarded Lee 10 percent of the profits Marvel made on the Spider-Man movies, as well as the other movies based on his superheroes.

"That part feels good, I must admit," says Lee. "Just like every superhero should have a bit of vindication."

And when Simon asks Lee on what he'll spend the tens of millions of dollars that he stands to receive, he replies, "I could always use a new pair of sneakers."

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