Wednesday, March 17, 2010
There's a danger in meeting your heroes. I don’t have a lot of heroes per se and have never made an effort to meet those that I do have because I know there to be an inherent danger of them being dottering old men or suffering from an arrogance of fame or worn thin by celebrity. I should think it almost inevitable that the constant spot light of comic fandom, with all of its idiosyncrasies and obsessive personality types, would either inflate ones ego to the point of insufferable or make you callous and critical of your fans. As far as I can tell, none of these things can be said of Mr. Lee.
Simply put, he was exactly what every fanboy - such as myself - hopes he would be: charming, funny and quick- witted, generous and appreciative of his fans. If I am half as charismatic, funny and sharp as he is when I'm 87… well, if I were half that now I'd be happy. I'll settle for reaching 87. He is a showman and who knows, maybe this is part of the act. But if so, he's a very good actor.
As I said, I'm a fanboy. But to be fair, he's the reason I learned to read, learned to draw and left the farm to become a professional artist. I told him something to this effect - that he was the reason I'm an artist and not a farmer - to which he laughed, "Yeah well, I get blamed for a lot of things. And besides, we need more farmers." I've wanted to meet Mr. Lee since 1974 and he was exactly who I wanted him to be.