A few lucky comic book fanatics and superhero geeks got the opportunity of a lifetime Saturday: a Q&A session with the legendary Stan Lee. The Marvel creator -- who will turn 90 in December -- held a panel at Comic Con NY 2012 to introduce his new YouTube channel and to get acquainted with some of his biggest fans.
The comic industry icon was accompanied by the first America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry and acclaimed writer Peter David, who are both working with Lee on his World of Heroes channel.
The programming lineup for World of Heroes includes “Stan Lee’s Super.Model,” “Geek Therapy,” “Head Cases,” “Chatroom of Solitude,” “Bad Days,” “FanWars,” “Adrianne Curry’s Super Fans,” “Stan Lee’s Academy of Heroes,” “Stan’s Rants,” “Cocktails With Stan,” and more.
“The best thing about working on YouTube is [that it’s called] Stan Lee’s World of Heroes,” Lee said with a laugh. “They make my name big enough, these people are geniuses.”
The panel kicked off with clips from “Bad Days,” an animated show that debuted on Oct. 4 featuring iconic characters such as Spiderman. Curry then took the spotlight to discuss her show, in which she seeks out the biggest nerds to learn their story.
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“People always talk smack to people who collect [memorabilia], but I collect,” said Curry. “I have a lot of gentle giants that chill at my house. But a lot of people who collect make a whole lot of money, so I wanted to show how amazing some people’s collections and passions were.”
Curry wants to focus on real "nerd culture" in her Web show.
“When you engage someone about their passion, it’s brilliant television,” she said. “Everything has a story.”
After the footage finished, Lee took questions from the audience, revealing which of his own characters he would be.
“Well I don’t know, maybe Tony Stark,” he said as the crowd erupted with applause. “I mean, we already look alike.”
To the crowd’s surprise, Lee revealed that he once worked on material for Marvel's archrival, DC.
“I had written a series of books for DC called ‘What if Stan Lee Had Created Superman or Batman?’” he said. “But [it] couldn’t continue because they didn’t want to compete with their own characters because mine are obviously much better,” he said as the audience roared with applause.
Although Lee has become the face of comic culture and has created characters that are timeless, his work wasn’t always well received.
“Years ago, people didn’t have respect for people who wrote comics,” he said. “People would ask what I do, and I would tell them I’m a writer. Eventually I had to say [I wrote] comics, and guys would walk away from me like I had the plague. But now I go to a party and somebody catches a glimpse of me, they say: ‘Excuse me, President Obama, I see Stan Lee over there!”