Legendary comic book creator Neal Adams has written this open letter regarding fellow legendary comic book creator Stan Lee and his current situation.* He writes:
To whom it may concern,
I know Stan Lee as well as one can, having not had daily contact with Stan. I have met his wife, who was a charming, lovely, and intelligent person. I have met his daughter only briefly when she worked as a receptionist at Marvel Comics. She was not liked by anyone I spoke to, and I haven’t heard anything good about her since then except a few people’s brief encounters, at which time she was described as charming and gregarious. Stan’s loss of his wife, Joanie, devastated him as if he had lost everything because, in effect, he had. She was the dream wife, the model actress, the blonde vivacious girl he met in England and was lucky enough to marry.
Max Anderson is a street punk. He is also a straight talker, and there’s no bullshit with Max Anderson. He had his own agenda as anyone with a brain would have, but he was dedicated and devoted like a dog to Stan Lee. Some people don’t like street punks. But I would place my family’s safety in the hands of a street punk rather than a lawyer or conniving businessman.
Stan had a devoted, perfect man for his needs in Max Anderson. And now — if anyone wants to understand why I am terrified for Stan Lee’s life right now, just read the news. You could say, “why do you give a damn? Stan will be dead soon,” and I would tell you that my family kept my mother alive between the ages of 80 and 93, and I treasure that time. I have cried knowing what has happened to Stan.
I do not know the answer to this one. I know that Stan needs Max just as a farmer needs his dog. The only advice I have for anyone involved is to please, please have the police continually monitor the situation for anything that might endanger Stan. For the sake of us all who love Stan, remember that depression affects life. Please protect him until Max can once again act on his behalf as his guard dog. This is street-level stuff, folks. It really is.
*All statements made here are the opinion of Neal Adams.
Rich Johnston’s note: When I spoke to Stan Lee’s current representative, Keya Morgan, on Friday, he brought up the concerned statements from comic book creators that had previously run on Bleeding Cool, including from Neal Adams. Morgan told me he didn’t know who Adams was, but he said I shouldn’t take the word of someone who had just shaken Stan Lee’s hand at a show over someone who had shared Thanksgiving with him.
Neal Adams was employed by Stan Lee for the first revival of the X-Men in the ’60s and then on the Avengers, bringing us the Kree/Skrull War. More recently, Lee also wrote the introduction for Adams’s comic about artist and Holocaust survivor Dina Babbitt.