'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin wrote heartfelt goodbye to Stan Lee, and shared that his first published work was a letter in a Marvel comic

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  • “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin said goodbye to Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee on Friday in a blog post.
  • Lee died at the age of 95 on Monday.
  • Martin said his first published piece of writing was a letter in an issue of a “Fantastic Four” comic by Lee and artist Jack Kirby when he was 13.
  • “Comics as we know them today would not exist except for Stan Lee,” Martin wrote. “They might not exist at all, if truth be told.”

One legendary creator said goodbye to another on Friday.

George R.R. Martin, author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels that HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is based on, said goodbye to Marvel legend Stan Lee in a heartfelt blog post. Lee, the former president of Marvel Comics who co-created iconic characters Spider-Man, Black Panther, Iron Man, and more, died on Monday at the age of 95.

In the post, titled “Farewell to a Marvel,” Martin wrote that he owes “so much” to Lee, because his first published piece of writing was a letter printed in an issue of the “Fantastic Four” comic book when he was 13 years old. Martin said he compared Lee to Shakespeare.

“He was, in a sense, my first publisher, my first editor,” Martin wrote. “‘Dear Stan and Jack.’ Those were the first words of mine ever to see print. In the letter column of FANTASTIC FOUR #20, as it happens. My first published loc, a commentary on FF#17, compared Stan to… ah… Shakespeare. A little overblown, you say? Well, ok. I was thirteen…”

He continued: “And yet, and yet… the comparison, when you think about it, is not entirely without merit. There were plays before Shakespeare, but the Bard’s work revolutionised the theatre, left it profoundly different from what it had been before. And Stan Lee did the same for comic books.”

Martin said that he had drifted away from the comics in the 1950s, but then Lee “came along, and pulled me right back in.” Along with his co-creators like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee helped pioneer modern comic books. Martin wrote that what made the characters Lee co-created so special – from superheros like The Hulk and Thor to villains like Doctor Doom and Doctor Octopus – is that they had personalities.

“Quirks, flaws, tempers,” Martin wrote. “The heroes were not all good, the villains were not all bad. The stories had twists and turns, I could not tell where they were going. Sometimes good guys fought other good guys. The characters grew and changed.”

He added, “You had to be there to understand how revolutionary all this was. Comics as we know them today would not exist except for Stan Lee. They might not exist at all, if truth be told.”

To read Martin’s full post, click here.

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