Bill Maher vs Stan Lee

This past weekend Bill Maher wrote a post on his “Real Time with Bill Maher Blog” about the passing of comic book icon Stan Lee and comic books, now Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment fires back.

Bill Maher, best known for his sarcastic attitude, political satire and sociopolitical commentary is the host of Real Time with Bill Maher, a weekly hour-long political comedy talk show on HBO.

It’s obvious when you read Mr. Maher’s post that he does not like comic books or comic book movies as he feels they are only for kids and if that’s his personal opinion then so be it. He can write all he wants on how childish and stupid it is for an adult to read or watch such.

What Mr. Maher did wrong with his article and by wrong I mean being a dumb ass, insensitive jerk was using the passing of Stan Lee just five days after the comic book universe lost its one true superhero in order to make a point.

If Mr. Maher really thinks that adults pretended comic books are sophisticated literature then maybe it’s Mr. Mahr who has the problem.

I began collecting comic books as an adult, specifically Batman comics and I hold down a job with plenty of real world responsibilities. Does that make me stupid Mr. Maher because I like comic books? My Podcast co-host James is big into comics and works in the same professional industry that I do. Does that make him stupid Mr. Maher?

I really don’t expect Mr. Maher to answer my questions, nor do I want him to. What I’m getting at with all of this is if Bill Maher wanted to write an article denouncing comic books and the current comic-book/superhero films then Mr. Maher could of and should of taken a different approach.

It was insensitive and disrespectful to Stan Lee’s family and fans of Stan Lee’s work for Bill Maher to use Mr. Lee’s passing as an excuse to tell everyone that comic books are only for kids and that adults who continue to read them or watch the movies based on those comics are some how stupid for doing so.

Dear Mr. Bill Maher

As much as I disagree with what you wrote and how you wrote it and the tone in which it comes across, I do not hate you for your opinion. You have the right in this country to have an opinion and to voice your opinion. Just remember that I have the right to voice my disagreement to your opinion.

If you don’t like comics and the movies based on those comics then I feel sorry for your inner child that you’ve lost touch with. It’s that inner child that allows us to escape the day to day grind allowing us a little bit of hope whether that’s for ten minutes reading a comic-book or two hours seeing a comic book movie.

It’s those who don’t understand who complain and unfortunately Mr. Maher you will never get or understand what Stan Lee’s work means to the comic book world or all the fans that have him to thank for the enjoyment he brought and will continue to bring for decades still to come.

I can’t say the same about your career.

Best Regards.

If you haven’t read what Bill Maher wrote that has everyone talking you can read it below and the response Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment had for Bill Maher.

Bill Maher…
“The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, “I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own. Now, I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys. But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.

But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle.

I’m not saying we’ve necessarily gotten stupider. The average Joe is smarter in a lot of ways than he was in, say, the 1940s, when a big night out was a Three Stooges short and a Carmen Miranda musical. The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”

Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment
Mr. Maher: Comic books, like all literature, are storytelling devices. When written well by great creators such as Stan Lee, they make us feel, make us think and teach us lessons that hopefully make us better human beings. One lesson Stan taught so many of us was tolerance and respect, and thanks to that message, we are grateful that we can say you have a right to your opinion that comics are childish and unsophisticated. Many said the same about Dickens, Steinbeck, Melville and even Shakespeare.

But to say that Stan merely inspired people to “watch a movie” is in our opinion frankly disgusting. Countless people can attest to how Stan inspired them to read, taught them that the world is not made up of absolutes, that heroes can have flaws and even villains can show humanity within their souls. He gave us the X-Men, Black Panther, Spider-Man and many other heroes and stories that offered hope to those who felt different and bullied while inspiring countless to be creative and dream of great things to come.

These are but a few of the things we the fans of Stan Lee also consider “adulting,” because life both as a child and grown-up can indeed be a struggle. Stan is the author of millions of happy childhood memories and the provider of so many of the positive tools of adulthood.

Our shock at your comments makes us want to say “‘Nuff said, Bill,” but instead we will rely on another of Stan’s lessons to remind you that you have a powerful platform, so please remember: “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!”

-Team Stan



Categories: Comics

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