Stan Lee is one busy man. At 90, the comic book legend is busier than ever. Last weekend, his third annual Comikaze Expo had record attendance among fans and celebrities alike. Thousands of fans came out to hear panels from the latest web series, graphic novel and movie experts, to meet some of their favorite artists, to add to their collections of comic related memorabilia and to see the man himself.
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo presented by POW! Entertainment offered an incredible experience for fans of comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and anime.
Animation Examiner caught up with Lee right after the announcement of his precedent venture into an animated series. His latest upcoming project “Stan Lee and the Mighty 7 (or SLAM 7) sees Lee for the first time as a regular character in the series about a group of superheroes who fight to save the world. For the project, Lee tapped such actors as “Glee’s” Darren Criss, Mayim Bialik, Jim Belushi, Teri Hatcher and more. We chatted about his many projects and his latest cameo in “Thor: The Dark World."
Check out the interview with Stan Lee below:
Phyllis: So here we are at The Comikaze Expo. How does it feel to be here?
Stan Lee: It feels wonderful, I can’t believe it.
Phyllis: It’s in its third year and it seems like there are lot more people attending…
Stan Lee: Oh, there are. Every year it gets bigger which is only natural. It’s Los Angeles. It’s the center of the entertainment industry in the world.
Phyllis: Have you had a chance to look around and see all the crazy costumes or booths?
Stan Lee: No, I never get a chance to look around. I’m always busy doing interviews or panels or something.
Phyllis: You just announced a new project, SLAM 7. How did it come about?
Stan Lee: I wanted to get something that was different and also everybody is into reality television so I thought it would be fun to have a reality comic book or movie or cartoon where real people are actually in the fictional story, the fictitious story. So I dreamed it up where my character’s in it. And we are going to have a lot of other real people in it, popping up. It’s fun to do.
Phyllis: How many episodes have been worked on so far?
Stan Lee: At the moment we are working on three and each one of them is a separate movie that will be on the Hub Network. So they’ll have three cartoon movies after which will segway into real movies and television shows and where ever we can go. When I say real movies, I mean live action. The cartoon ones are real also (laughs.)
Phyllis: You’re the King of both, live action movies and animated movies.
Stan Lee: I like the sound of that.
Phyllis: How is it for you in the studio doing your voice overs? Do you have a lot of fun with it?
Stan Lee: I love it, I love it. The actors are so good, the director is good and I always say "One Take Lee." I’m always perfect and then I leave.
Phyllis: You are working with Archie Comics….
Stan Lee: With the owner of Archie Comics.
Phyllis: Have you known each other for a while?
Stan Lee: For years, for years. Everybody in the comic book business knows everybody
Phyllis: About this Comikaze Convention, how many years do you see it going for?
Stan Lee: It’ll go on forever and ever and it’ll get bigger each year. More and more people are talking about it, learning about it and its run beautifully. I have nothing to do with the running but it is run beautifully and I think people enjoy it.
Phyllis: It’s a great operation and I’m glad that it’s in Los Angeles.
Stan Lee: It’s where it should be, at the center of the entertainment world.
Phyllis: The mighty cast, your SLAM 7 cast has many talented, big name people including Darren Criss and
Jim Belushi. How you’d get all these great people to join with you?
Stan Lee: I paid them a lot of money. (Laughs) I don’t know. Like every other actor they like a good role and I think they all realize that these roles can be fun and that they should do well.
Phyllis: How do you keep so busy? Do you write every day? Do you draw every day?
Stan Lee: Well, here’s my partner Gil Champion. He’s the CEO of the company. I pretty much do whatever he tells me to do.
Gil Champion: All he wants to do is keep busy so we make sure that he doesn’t get bored.
Phyllis: You’re famous for your cameos. Do you have one coming up in the new Thor movie?
Stan Lee: Every single one of those movies has a cameo of mine in it. I’m not allowed to say exactly what they are, but don’t miss them.
Phyllis: Of all of the ones that you’ve done, what has been your favorite cameo so far?
Stan Lee: The one in "Spiderman II" I think it was or III where I say, ‘Yes, one man can make a difference.' I go over to Peter Parker and say that to him.
Phyllis: I met you initially when you were launching your Romeo and Juliet project and you were very busy then. Are there any ideas that you and POW Entertainment are working on that you can tell me about?
Stan Lee: Well, we’re working on a number of new movie themes but unfortunately I’m not allowed to mention them. The Romeo and Juliet thing is coming closer to being a movie, too. We already have a movie called “The Annihilator,” which is going to be a co-production with us and a Chinese company. It stars a Chinese actor who is absolutely fantastic. It’s not just a movie for China but for all over the world. We also have an Indian superhero called "Chakra, the Invincible" and that’s being done by an Indian studio. It’s a cartoon at the moment and it’ll be on The Cartoon Network in India and later on it’ll become a live action movie for the whole world.
Phyllis: When you are not working, what do you do to relax? Do you vacation or take time off?
Stan Lee: There’s never a time when I’m not working. I don’t take vacations. Being in a place like this is a vacation for me.
Twitter at @Phyllis_Thomas