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Goodbye Stan Lee

This week a very important man in the world of comic books died. That man was Stan Lee. Stan Lee was the creator of superheroes. He created Spiderman, The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, Black Panther and many other famous heroes. Stan Lee lived a very long life. He was born in 1922 and died this week on November 12, 2018. He was 95 years old.

Japan is very famous for its culture of manga and anime. In many Western countries, before we knew about manga, we only had comic books. It is very interesting to see how different the comic books are between Japan and other countries. When I was a boy I read a lot of comic books. I loved to read superhero stories. I think that a lot of boys my age did the same thing. Maybe we liked the feeling of adventure. Maybe we liked to feel we could be strong, just like the heroes we saw in the comics. Maybe people in Japan have the same special feeling for Tezuka Osamu and the stories he made.

Some people might say that comics are only for kids. But, just as you know in Japan, that is not true. There is a great variety of manga and comic books that people can read and enjoy. There is a communication between art and story that is special in manga and comics. It is a unique and important form of expression, and an important form of art.

Of course some comics and some manga are crazy. Some are not very good, or very interesting. Some are too simple. Some have terrible art. Some have boring stories. But, when we find a comic or manga that has great art, a unique style, wonderful characters, and excellent writing, a comic book or manga becomes something wonderful. Maybe you have a favorite manga or comic book. Why do you like it? Is it the art only? Is it the story only? Or, is it something about the combination of those two things?

Comic books and manga have a great power for education. In the style of manga or comics we have many chances to learn something new or important. We can learn about history, science, geography, literature, drama, and government through manga and comics. It is a very good place to begin your study, and a place to get some interesting or unique information.

But comics and manga is not the end of our study. It is at the beginning. From comics and manga we also need to move up and graduate to books, novels, and literature. We need to develop strong reading skills so that we can understand more, and be able to make our own opinions and deeper understanding.

Many students do not enjoy reading so much. This is understandable. It is easier to watch TV, look at YouTube, or look on the Internet. You do not see people in coffee shops reading books so much. You see everyone holding a cell phone. But books are still very important, and very beautiful things to enjoy and explore. A good staring place to look at literature and history can be a manga or comic book. Many times the writers of such comic books also love reading and want to introduce you to some new things you can learn.

To the Western world we are very happy that Stan Lee, the father of Spiderman and so many heroes, came to us.

Tezuka Osamu was the god of manga in Japan. Stan Lee was the god of comic books in the West. We are grateful for these men and the gift of making stories through art and words