Stan Lee’s Press Conference at Comic-Con

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Comic-Con’s events started a little early yesterday: an hour before Preview Night began, Boom! Studios had a press conference to announce three new ongoing series created with Stan Lee’s involvement. Paul Cornell and Javier Pina’s Soldier Zero begins in October, Mark Waid and Chad Hardin’s The Traveler in November and Chris Roberson and Khary Randolph’s Starborn in December.

Lee has lent his name to some dubious projects in the past few years–anyone remember Stripperella?–but he’s also a beloved figure for a lot of comics culture, and still a working writer at the age of 87. (He’s presently writing a backup serial in Amazing Spider-Man, featuring spectacular artwork by Marcos Martin.)

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He’s also still a bottomless font of wisecracks. “What was the ‘aha’ moment that made you want to go forward with a partnership with Boom!?,” one attendee asked. Lee responded instantly– “Oh, they offered a lot of money!”–but also noted that he’d liked the Poe project they’d published: “Edgar Allan Poe–he was always my favorite. If any of you want to stay after this I can recite all of ‘The Raven’ by heart.”

All three writers noted that they’d grown up on Lee’s comics. Cornell, in particular, discussed how important Lee’s work had been to him, and noted that Soldier Zero is the only exception to his DC exclusive. “I think, rather like Rick Rubin getting Johnny Cash in and showing the world what was great about him, there’s nothing retro about these projects,” Cornell said.

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“It doesn’t matter what a guy with an English accent says–it sounds profound,” Lee replied.

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