In fact, Lee was on Radio 4 this morning, talking about his career, and, despite being 92 years old, still telling great stories (clearly much told, but with no loss of enthusiasm) about turning points in his life like the birth of Spiderman.
Spidey and the other Marvel characters have since gone on to found what is apparently the most successful film franchise in history, bigger even than Harry Potter or James Bond.
So what about the royalties? Mr Lee must be rolling in gold, right? After all, he created the characters. Well, apparently not. Stan Lee was, as he put it: "a writer for hire". It was the company he worked for that got rich on the royalties, not him. And this is an important lesson for all our students:
Don't sign away the rights to your creations, unless you absolutely have to.
|The original SpiderMan|
Of course, there is a little more to it than that (else why pay lawyers?), but Stan's story on the radio this morning is a reminder of the importance of understanding how business works.
And one of the many skills we teach here at Escape is the business of being a creative artist.
|Stan Lee. Wikimedia|
Now we shouldn't worry too much about Stan Lee - he isn't doing too badly. In fact, he has clearly made a great living from his characters over the years.
But imagine what the rights to Spiderman are worth today. The Disney coporation paid $4 billion for them back in 2009.
Remember: Don't sign away the rights to your creations, unless you absolutely have to.
The Escape Studios Animation Blog is a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MA starting in September 2016, follow this link. To apply, visit the offical page here.