A Founder’s Thought’s with D.J. Lewis: Netflix & Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Fallout!

Ok, I’ve noticed that ever since anime has been socially accepted among the ranks of mainstream media (and pop culture), everybody and their mama has been trying to cash in on its profitable success. Sony bought FUNimation to help expand its brand globally and even get several anime movies into theaters, while another streaming giant we all know as Netflix has been throwing their hat into the ring with their own anime catalog. The once niche medium that I used to get bullied over back in high school is now stompin’ with the ‘big boys’, and for me and any other fan; that’s both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing because every other person I’ve talked to has seen at least one or all of hit titles; Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Demon Slayer, and My Hero Academia! Those titles are hot on the market right now. If you’ve been to a movie theater lately (or just recently) you might have come up against one of these titles in a movie. Anime is so mainstream, that it has crossed over into other fandoms like professional wrestling and football. (Hell, even rappers like Megan Thee Stallion talk about it through her lyrics and has probably seen a LOT of My Hero Academia.) In the last decade or so there were probably so many people who were afraid to come out as anime fans due to the ridicule they might receive. Now that its poppin’, they’re coming outta the woodwork like ants at a summer picnic. Anime is now one of the ‘cool kids’ at the party, however everything that glitters…is not gold. 

Many we’re excited about this, but…

Growing up in the 90’s was a fun time; Nintendo and SEGA we’re battling it out for childhood video game supremacy, Gushers were more fun to eat than Skittles, the TGIF lineup was the best primetime lineup in all of television, and Saturday Morning Cartoons were the best invention a kid could ask for! It was also back during this time that the franchises you know and love today decided to take a shot in the world of Live-Action Adaptation. I think the first video game to receive one during this time was Super Mario Bros. with its own movie. Then I think there was the live-action Mortal Kombat movie…um, okay.

Remember when I said that anime being mainstream is both a blessing and a curse? Well, here’s the problem with anime being mainstream. I’m not saying I have an issue with production studios or streaming platforms doing live-action adaptations of anime titles that I (and many other fans) grew up on, but unless you got the original Japanese creator and director as part of the production crew; along with a movie budget that’s somewhere between Pixar and MCU, I’d keep away from that avenue if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So now this brings me to the fallout on Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop. One thing I will applaud them on is the fact that they paid homage to the original anime opening and even kept the original opening theme by TANK. Since Netflix’s track record with live-action anime is shaky at best, many hardcore fans of the series we’re already praying for its downfall…and it did just that after one season. This of course lead to some division amongst fans saying that the toxic portion of the fandom is the reason why the live action failed, while others stated that Netflix didn’t see it as profitable as they’d hoped it would be.

In the director’s defense they we’re trying something a little different out that didn’t match the exact plot of the anime series, nor didn’t want it to be a carbon-copy of it. Even the Mortal Kombat live-action movie of the 90’s had ‘B-Movie’ scripting, but its still beloved by the former children of that decade. Anime on the other hand is a whole other monster when it comes to live-action adaptation. So yeah, Netflix tried to stay true to the original (and in some aspects they did) but due to what I heard in many of those comments is ‘lack of emotion’ and ‘poor direction’, Netflix Bebop never made it past season one.

I’ll say this and then I’ll wrap it up; being an actor, voice actor, director, costume designer or script writer is not an easy job. Sadly social media and other digital outlets don’t make it easy for them mentally when the project they’ve worked on flops, but even so, they get back up and try it again. Netflix tried a live-action Bebop, and it flopped after the first season. Even though there’s a petition to try and make Netflix make a second season, I don’t see Netflix making that happen…especially if they said it was in their words ‘unprofitable’. I think that may be the other reason why it might’ve flopped; because just like another live-action movie I won’t mention, it was all about collecting the check! I dunno Netflix; maybe try being more like Paramount with the Sonic Movie franchise and put people in the production crew who are hardcore fans of the series, who knows what the fans like and wanna see. That’s just me.

Anyway that’s it for my thoughts. Until next time guys.  

Avidd Music Fridays: Dariasirene – Angel in Tokyo (feat. Nyokee)

Sorry this one took so long, but D&A Anime Blog would like to welcome you to a special segment where we highlight independent music artists, DJ’s and producers called Avidd Music Fridays! To kick off this new segment we bring to you an awesome artist that reached out to us a couple months ago on the blog. Her name is Dariasirene, and we’ve had the chance to check out her latest single featuring another artist known as Nyokee. It’s a fun little song that has a future type of techno vibe with chiptune sounds that kind of remind me of an ending from a futuristic anime. The title of the track is called “Angel in Tokyo”, and it’s available on all music streaming platforms! Check it out! 😉

Candy Girl: Anime REvisited Kicks Off with Dagashi Kashi Season One!

As more stay-at-home orders continue to get issued all across North America, a lot of us are jumping online to create new content to take our minds off of what’s happening. With us our content comes in the form of a new series of anime reviews called Anime REvisited, and to kick things off for the month of April, we’ll be reviewing the whole first season of a show about candy I’d like to call Dagashi Kashi! If you’re looking for a show about Japanese candy, manga, slice-of-life, and comedy, then you’re gonna love this show! Starting next Monday April 6th through April 30th (every other day), we’ll be posting full-length episodic reviews on anime’s favorite candy-lovin’ girl, Hotoru! Hope you gotta sweet tooth, cuz’ it’s gonna be a fun ride! 😉

Anime REvisited was a little idea we were thinking about while under quarantine. It mixes dry comedy (dry sense of humor) with anime reviews as we pick apart an anime series episode by episode; from the characters to the plot itself. Hopefully fans will have a fun time reading these reviews as a way of taking their minds off of world events.

D&A Anime Blog: Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) Movie Review!

Before we kick off this awesome review, we just want to say Happy Valentine’s Day to all the guys who are taking their gals out for a night on the town. Today (or tonight rather) is the opening day for the controversial-yet-anticipated movie about the World’s Fastest Hedgehog known as, Sonic. We of course had the chance to catch the movie ourselves and went in with clear thoughts as to what we may or may not be expecting from the movie. However one thing that we must credit both the fanbase as well as Paramount for, was the new design for Sonic. Compared to the hot mess we were given back when the first trailer for the movie aired, I’m glad that the companies and producers really put some thought into this movie. So with introductions out of the way, let’s review the movie – shall we?

Without spoiling too much from the movie, here’s what you’ll be in for if you decide to go see it. The story is based off the well-known franchise that is Sonic the Hedgehog; where he finds himself on the run from those who want his power to use for their own malevolent, and selfish desires. From his world (which was designed to look like modern day Green Hill Zone) to our world, Sonic is able to bounce between worlds through his golden rings. For this movie, the rings allow him to teleport between worlds as opposed to keeping him alive much like the games. Now in the human world Sonic befriends a human who is the town sheriff of Green Hills, Montana, and the two of them find themselves on an adventure to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman as we call him) from trying to capture Sonic, and use his power to take over the world.

The Review

As we mentioned before, we got a chance to see the movie knowing what we might be expecting from it. Based on what we knew so far from the trailers we were right about two things; there were no chaos emeralds like we said in our last post, and the Dr. Eggman we know and love goes through an evolutionary track into his descent into being a mad (and slightly unstable) scientist. The opening started off with a scene from near the end of the movie, as if that hasn’t been done before many of times before. As a big Sonic fan, I’m glad that they kept a lot of the core source material from the games (such as the rings, the opening of Green Hill Zone, and Sonic’s trademark sneakers) while reintroducing the blue hedgehog to our world in a brand new origin story.

There were some good moments as well as some touching ones that weren’t too sappy, and in spite of the fact that there may have been a few inconsistencies here and there, there was a good balance between action, Sonic’s dialogue and relationship with the human world, comedy, and adventure. Seeing as though he’s been around since the 90’s, the movie kept a little bit of his original mentality, while introducing a more modern disposition to much of the younger generation – memes and internet dances included. Overall I’d say that this movie is a cross between a buddy-cop comedy, a kid’s superhero thrill ride, a journey of self-discovery, and finding a place that you can call home. Both us 90’s kids and Gen-Z have played all of the games (good and bad), read the comics, and watched the series (again, both good and bad).

Sonic meant a lot to so many of us growing up the same way Mario does, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo decides to make a live-action Mario movie (but that’s another post for another day). Ultimately, if you’re a Sonic fan, you’re gonna love this movie. If not, then you’re probably gonna hate it.

That’s our review! Now here’s our score:

D&A Movie Score – 4.4 / 5 Stars

There you have it! That will do it for our movie review post, and as always until our next one, have a Happy Valentine’s Day – and stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Get This! Cruchyroll and Webtoon Are Joining Forces!!

While doing our usual check-up of our social media for updates and other things, we’ve stumbled upon some rather exciting news! Crunchyroll, one of our favorite anime streaming services, is joining forces with Webtoon, the digital comics website dedicated to webtoons. What does this mean? It means that Crunchyroll and Webtoon will be co-producing animated content from the webtoons that have been created. This is very exciting news because this means that Crunchyroll will have brand new original anime content and series coming out, and if you’re a webtoon creator, this is an opportunity to showcase your creation to the masses! That’s our 411, and until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

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Crunchyroll and Webtoon, UNITE!!

The (Brief) Origin Story of “Waifu” and “Husbando”

When the otaku culture was in its infancy stages, there were basic terms and meanings that have made the transition from Japan to North America. For modern day fans those terms would include such words as kawaii which means ‘cute’, and senpai which means ‘someone you admire’. The word otaku of course meant that an individual has vast knowledge (and an obsession) of a certain topic that others may deem insignificant. In Japan the word meant that you were a straight-up loser, but in America its definition was redefined as an individual who not only knows a lot about something (usually anime), but is a functioning member of society.

The two words that have been circulating throughout the anime/otaku community for a good number of years now, has to be the words waifu and husbando. A handful of anime titles (and its abridged parodies) have been using this word to describe certain character types throughout the show, but where exactly did the words waifu and husbando come from? Before we answer that question, let’s bring up the real definition behind them.

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Where do I know this girl from…?

A waifu is a term for a fictional character (pretty much from anime or video games) that a male fan has great admiration for, or is in love with and wants to make their wife. Like otaku, the term waifu has come under some kind of scrutiny from the outside world; that being the fact that you’re so in love with an imaginary girl who doesn’t even exist, that you’ve sworn off real women in order to fulfill your affection for something that is transparent. Nevertheless male anime fans love and admire female anime characters, and are willing to defend them by any means necessary. On the flip side, a husbando is basically a male version of a waifu – only for fangirls.

The true origins of the word ‘waifu’ comes from Japanese borrowing of the English word wife. The 80’s was the first indication of the term ever being used in Japan; where the word was used more often due to the limitations of the word ‘kanai’, which means ‘in the house’. When the early 2000’s rolled around however, waifu took on a different meaning throughout the anime and manga culture.

Nowadays the term is used to describe a female character that male fans are particularly fond of, however because of the sheer amount of anime that is currently available, fandoms have adopted more than just one waifu – which has lead to a few waifu wars. (That’s another post for another time.)

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“Your husbando doesn’t exsist!” – Unknown

Like waifu, husbando is an anime or video game character that female fans admire or even want to marry. There are some moments in anime where we see ourselves as either the waifu or the husbando. When it comes to relationships, the male and female characters that we see in anime come from all walks of life. Some of them may have gone through a traumatic experience that has left them feeling vulnerable on a mental, emotional, and psychological scale; while others want to become a better version of themselves and be there for the ones they love.

Life has a funny way of teaching us some things that we can’t learn from our parents, but in the terms of the waifu-husbando relationship, it’s basically translated as a husband-wife relationship filled with the desire to be there for one another. The husbando is the one that will be there for the girl that he loves; to protect her from the dangers of the world, to listen to her, and to care for her in times of need. The waifu is the one that encourages the guy that she loves; to nurture him, to support him in his struggles, and to remind him how much she loves and appreciates him.

Having a waifu or husbando that you love or admire, doesn’t completely mean that you won’t find that girl or guy who possesses the same traits. Nobody’s perfect, as the ones we call our waifus and husbandos may have some baggage or may have gone through some things that almost broke them mentally and emotionally. We look up to these male and female anime (and video game) characters as a source of inspiration; individuals who we want to model our personalities after. Yeah, the outside world may not understand it, but if you have a waifu or husbando that you admire, continue to admire them. (But please avoid any wars if you can. >.<)

That will do it for this filler post, but we’ve got more great stuff coming your way! As always and forever, stay gold! 😉

PASWG: Sonic Khaotica 2nd Sneak Peek!

As a disclaimer, we don’t own any of the characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog, and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt series. (Except for the OC’s in the fanfiction.) This fanfiction is rated M for language, dirty jokes, and anything you’ve seen in PSG.

Sonic did a spinning roundhouse kick as the ghost slammed against the oak tree before the hedgehog finished it off with an energy blast using his own Khaotica. The assault did a little over 10000 HP in total damage due to the ghost’s extremely low defense stat. “I was really trying to avoid doing this, but a hog’s gotta do what a hog’s gotta do!” he smirked.

The other tree root ghosts powered up their Khaotica as well, but it proved no match against Sonic’s speed and trained combat skills. One of the ghosts tried to launch a projectile at the hedgehog but dodged out of the way before launching an uppercut to its face. Sonic then followed up the attack with another spinning roundhouse as the tree root ghost smashed against another tree before dying (having its HP drop to 0).

Three other tree root ghosts lunged at Sonic as the hedgehog was prepared for a 3-on-1 rumble. The ghosts launched a flurry of stabs as Sonic used his speed to dodge all of them; afterwards he spun into a spinning blue ball, and vigorously attacked the ghosts with multiple strikes via Homing Attack. Each hit carved out chunks of their HP until the ghosts were down to less than 300 each, and then Sonic destroyed them all with a blast of Khaotica. After the smoke has cleared he set his sights on Lily…

You’re a meanie!” she pouted as she slowly descended to the ground. “Meanies are bullies that deserved to be punished! So prepare to be punished, meanie!

Sonic stood in his battle pose as Lily increased her Khaotica a little bit more than before. “Wow, her power’s even higher than before! Garter said that if she’s over 25000% I’ll have a tough time beating her, so I’ll have to wrap this play date up quick!

Lily charged full speed ahead at Sonic as the hedgehog soon found himself on the defending side of the battle. He had no choice but to block a flurry of punches and kicks from the little girl, as her Khaotica kept increasing in the process. Eventually he saw and opening, as Sonic took the opportunity to attack Lily with a jab to the face and a knee to the abdomen. Normally he would never fight girls (especially little ones), unless they were a massive threat to anyone or anything.

That’s no way to treat a lady, meanie!” sneered the girl ghost as she slapped Sonic in the face causing him skid on the ground several feet. He managed to rebound as he did a backflip before landing on his feet, but not before having his HP cut to the low 8000’s. Lily didn’t stop there, as Sonic again found himself on the defensive end but managed to put some distance between him and the little ghost girl using his speed.

“I guess your mother never spanked you, did she?! Guess I’ll have to!” Sonic shot back. He phased out using his Khaotica before reappearing behind Lily, and struck her with multiple punches and kicks before launching her upwards with a shockwave of Khaotica. Although she took the full damage from the attack, Lily activated her special ability that Garterbelt had warned Sonic about, as her HP was fully recovered to 10000. She then landed on the ground gracefully before turning her attention to the hedgehog that attacked her.

You’re gonna have to fight better than that, meanie!” smirked Lily. “The others played with me a lot better than you!

Sonic knew that as long as Lily’s Khaotica level was above 25000%, he was going to have a hard time taking this boss down. He had to come up with a new strategy, and fast!

Just an FYI, the different Khaotica levels are based off the power levels found in the Dragon Ball Super Card Game; only Sonic and the others power up in increments of 5000 (with 5000% being the base level of Khaotica power), and health or HP is locked at 10000 for regular Players/Bosses (and 20000 for the Final Boss).

COMING SOON JANUARY 2019!!

Last Time On Dragon Ball Super…

It was only several weeks ago that we received a huge announcement that was going to change the mainstream world. Every year millions of Americans are treated to the spectacular parade of floats that we all know as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. It’s an annual tradition in the ‘Big Apple’ (aka New York City) where tens of thousands descend upon the downtown area of Times Square, to look at the awesome floats as well as mini performances that take place during this occasion. Now for the first time in 20 years, a key character from a legendary franchise is about to represent the anime community in a whole new way! For the first time ever, our favorite saiyan from Earth will be floating high above the NYC during the Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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Go! Super Saiyan Blue Son Goku!!

In less than 12 hours history is about to be made, and it will be made not just in the NYC, but to every family that will be watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. This will be an amazing moment for every Dragon Ball fan (from 90’s to 00’s kids), as they’ll get the chance to see their favorite Z-Warrior soaring high above, while basking in his glory. Never in the history of this annual parade would fans live to see this proud moment, so if you’re in the NYC or near it (say, New Jersey) you don’t wanna miss this moment!

For us this moment can be looked at as both historic as anime fans, as well as a way to promote the much-anticipated Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie. No matter how you look at it this is but a small step to some bigger possibilities down the road, and who knows what will happen next year – maybe Naruto Uzumaki might get a shot above the NYC! If the mainstream media hasn’t acknowledged our otaku presence by now, after tomorrow…they will.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving guys and gals, as you’re one of the reasons why we’re the most thankful during this season! 🙂

King of the Trolls: The Top 5 Anime titles with ‘Gainax Endings’!

What do you look for when you’re watching anime? A good plot? Complex character development? An unexpected plot twist? These days there’s only a large handful of anime that have all of these things, but there’s one anime studio in particular that not only does an over-the-top job in having all of these attributes, but now has an entire trope dedicated to the way they end their titles. This, my friends, is what is called the ‘Gainax Ending’ trope.

You haven’t been trolled until you’ve been trolled by the King of the Trolls. (Say that three times fast! XP) Perhaps this may be their M.O. but Gainax has a reputation of building up plot lines and getting us attached to the main or supporting characters, only to have some bizarre plot twist or ending that made some of believe that it was ‘pulled out of the ass’ of its creators. (We’re surprised there isn’t a meme out titled “You Got Gainaxed!” yet, but someone will probably make one.)

On that note, here are the Top 5 anime titles with Gainax Endings.

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion – The Final Scene

This trope all started with the classic title that any kid from 90’s is familiar with. Evangelion started the ‘Female Tsundere’ trend that we see in every rom-com anime that has been produced since that decade, and of course, it also gave us this scene. Shinji has chosen to accept himself for who he is, and the rest of the cast congratulated him for that. Little did the fanbase know, this scene was only the tipping point for the hell that was going to be unleashed afterwards…

4. Shikabane Hime – The Final Battle of Makina & Hokuto

This anime title came out in the mid-to-late 2000’s (perhaps around the same time the Negima! dub came out), and had everything you’d want to see in an action/supernatural anime. The story and plot was great all the way up to the final confrontation between Makina and Hokuto. Fans were treated to an action-packed fight, but the results were never finalized – in fact it got ‘Gainaxed’. It’s been a little over ten years since the dub came out, but we doubt we’ll find out how this fight truly ends.

3. Mahoromantic – Ending

We’re not too familiar with this series, but since it was produced by Gainax we’re pretty sure the ending got ‘Gainaxed’ somehow. All we know from this anime title, is that Suguru was so distraught over the death of Mahoro, that he becomes a bounty hunter who hates robots. His partner betrays him and (literally) stabs him in the back, and while Suguru gets injured to the point of dying, he sees Mahoro again, but they never tell you what happens to him afterwards – or even if he’s still alive. If that’s not a Gainax Ending, then we don’t know what is. (You find out what happens in the manga however.)

2. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

One of the best anime titles to ever be produced by Gainax has to be this beauty that is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Anyone who has gotten the chance to see this series may be familiar with the quote “Who the hell do you think I am?!” from the infamous Kamina, but at the same time the ending to this series left most fans down in the dumps, while others thought the exact opposite. Ultimately the reaction to the finale will come down to the viewer itself, so what do you guys (and gals) think?

1. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt – The BIGGEST F**k U Ending, Ever!

The biggest ‘middle finger’ to ever come from the ‘Gainax Ending’ trope would have to be from this raunchy and over-the-top profane series. We all saw it, and we all tried to deny it in every way possible, but the fact of the matter is…Gainax ‘Gainaxed’ us good on this one. What’s even worst is that fact that we’ll probably never get that second season that they promised us, but then again, the series wasn’t really meant to be taken seriously. (Quiet as kept we have enough resources to make our own second season, we just gotta get Gainax to sell us the license – unless Trigger gets to it first!)

So there you have it! Gainax has been known to do some crazy things throughout their productions of anime titles that we all know, and love. Although they’re known for trolling their fan base with certain hit titles, they have given us some moments where we’ve laughed, cried, and enjoyed the ride. That’s it for this filler post, but there’s more on the way! Until then, stay gold! 😉

 

Stan Lee: The Man, The Myth, The Legend…

If there’s one thing that many of us know from growing up as a kid, its the fact that you had the freedom to let your mind run wild. The possibilities were endless when it comes to the imagination of a child, and if you were lucky, that imagination would carry over into adulthood. For decades mankind has been telling stories that have allowed us to open the door to a new world; a world filled with things that were not from the ordinary, but from the fabric for our own imagination.

When it comes to these kinds of stories we turn to our favorite authors and writers, but one writer in particular has captured and touched the hearts and minds of not just children, but adults as well. Whether you’ve heard of him or not he’s been involved in some part of your childhood (and adolescence), and if you’ve seen any great action movies lately (or have been to the comic book store), then you’re well familiar with his name. Some call him the “Founding Father” of Marvel, and some call him the man who changed the way we look at superheroes.

His name…is Stan Lee.

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R.I.P. Stan Lee (1922-2018)

The legendary creative leader of Marvel Comics is the man behind many of the superheroes that you see on the big screen (and at conventions) today. When it came to creating characters as well as comics, Lee didn’t do it in the conventional way that most writers would have done it; he had a method. During the 60’s and 70’s that method changed the game in terms of how superhero comics were written, and the method that Lee used was deemed “The Marvel Method”. Lee would work with the artist after creating an idea and synopsis, and then a few ‘trades’ later, a story is born.

Lee’s approach to the superhero archetype changed the way that kids and preteens view them as a whole; instead of them being individuals with no flaws or problems at all, Lee introduced a darker and more complex realistic side of their identity that lets us know that even though they have powers, they are also human – in some way. This made the storytelling not just more interesting, but more appealing to the teenage adolescents who were in the angsty years of their youth. I guess you can say that there was a superhero type for everybody, and in this day and age there are superheroes for just about every race; whether your White, African-American, Hispanic, Native-American, Caucasian, or other. Stan Lee along with his partner Jack Kirby had a hand in creating a lot of the wonderful characters and worlds that we come to know in the 20th century.

Lee was also not afraid to push boundaries when it came to his creative works. In 1971 he helped reform the Comics Code; which came in the form of the three-issue subplot of The Amazing Spider-Man #96-98, where Peter Parker’s friend was addicted to prescription drugs. The CCA (Comics Code Authority) refused to grant its seal due to the fact that the issues contained drug use, however Lee published the story without the seal, as he was confident in the request U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare for him to do so. Thus the CCA loosened their restrictions and allowed negative depictions of drug use as well as other freedoms.

If there’s one thing that fans love about Stan Lee, it was the fact that he loved his fans – every single one of them. It didn’t matter if you were a kid or a grown man (or woman), if you were a fan of Lee’s work, then Lee was a fan of you. Although he retired from working with Marvel in the 90’s, he was always connected to his passion in some way. From his charity work to creating various other sources of media for kids as well as aspiring superhero comic book artists, Lee was truly someone who wanted to change the world. There were some who thought that he was wasting his time creating comics for kids and preteens, but truthfully, Stan Lee was an entertainer who wanted to put a smile on the faces on everyone he touched.

So from us to you, we say Excelsior! Stan Lee!!

In loving memory of our favorite real-life superhero…

Stan Lee (1922-2018)