I’m going to come right out and say it: I have no idea how to review this
book graphic novel. This is the first one that I have ever read and as such, I am woefully under qualified for the task. So, instead of reviewing this, I’m just going to give my impressions. That way, no one can get mad at me for not understanding what the hell I’m talking about.
First of all, I loved the way that the story jumped around a little. Nothing like the jumping in Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography, but this still wasn’t a linear story. Lee would be talking about his childhood, then jump forward a few decades, only to jump back to what he was originally talking about. I felt like this spoke to the excitable character that Lee created for himself in this memoir. The Stan Lee presented in this book is enthusiastic and excited about everything and will talk and talk and talk to his co-conspirators, only to realise (too late) that he’s lost them and has to go back and explain himself again. Lee reflects this in his stream-of-consciousness structure, while never actually losing his audience. I liked it.
Secondly, I felt like this story had been cleaned up so that anyone of any age could read this. Specifically, kids who are interested in the creator of their favourite comic books. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. I still found out some cool stuff about Stan Lee and Marvel and how some of my favourite Marvel characters came into being (for instance, Iron Man’s origins? So cool!), but I felt like there was a little more to the story than what Lee was saying. Of course, it’s his memoir so he can choose what he puts in and leaves out, but I’d be reading a part of the story and then the story would move on before I felt like Lee was done explaining himself. Does that make sense?
Finally, I definitely feel like I need to branch out into graphic novels/comics now. This was an interesting experience for me as a reader, considering very few of the books I read have pictures in them, and if they do these pictures are somehow connected to a message the author is trying to convey, rather than as a story aid. But I am totally infatuated with the MCU and this graphic novel has really inspired me to actually go out and buy some of Marvel’s comics. I really want to start with Sandman (Neil Gaiman? Um, yes please!), but I am also starting to become incredibly intrigued by Deadpool. Mostly because of how intricate and brilliant the advertising campaign has been for the movie, but also because of the bits and pieces I see of the character himself on the internet. I mean, have you guys seen this yet?!
I don’t know, what do you guys think? Deadpool or Sandman? Sound off in the comments!
And…that’s it. Those are my impressions of Stan Lee’s memoir. It was enjoyable, interesting, and suitably G rated for all of the younger fans (I really would have liked a little more grit, but I understand why it wasn’t there).
I don’t want to give a star rating, because I have nothing to compare this book to.