Free Minds & Free Markets

Remy: The Legend of Stan Lee

A ballad to the man who stood up to the Comics Code

Remy recalls a time when experts were claiming that "Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry," and he recounts how Stan Lee took a stand.

Written and Performed by Remy
Video Produced by Meredith and Austin Bragg
Music tracks and background vocals by Ben Karlstrom

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Stan Lee was the creator of comics aplenty
He did Spider-Man, X-Men, and your mom in the '70s
OK, not really, but a legend yes was he
But there was another role that Stan Lee had
Besides writer/actor/maybe your dad
And that role was as a defender of free speech

You see back in the '50s it wasn't cool to be clownish
Or geeky or nerdy or quirky or brownish
And many found violence in comic books unsound
One best-selling author found the comics concerning
Moral crusaders took the comics to burnings
And lawmakers on both sides found some common ground...

So the Senate held hearings on comic books
(That's right, Senate held hearings on comic books)
With scientific claims you'd swear came from a commode
So comic book creators across the nation
Facing the threat of regulation
Created a censoring body they called the Comics Code

Which takes us back to our hero Stan
Who was putting out an issue of Spider-Man
When the Comics Code folks said "we won't approve"
Then to no Merry Marcher's dismay
Stan told the Code folks "not today"
And he published it with the Comics Code seal removed

Now, present day, we cringe and writhe
At the thought of banning books—but why?
Why such strong reactions to an infringed right?
Well it was each woman, was each man
Who was brave enough to take a stand
Go against the grain and claim that "that ain't right"

So from all your readers once thought foolish
Hypothetical kids who maybe weren't the coolest
We thank you for not going with Plan B
So let's all pause and raise a glass
to the legend who done kicked their...
I see no reason we shouldn't toast to Stan Lee

Stan Lee
Stan Lee

We love you, Stan.

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  • ||

    Remy singing Jimmy Dean songs to commemorate Stan Lee comes awful close to making America great again all on its own.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Things like this is what makes me believe in the long term viability of decentralization and ultimate degovernmentization.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What of roadz?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Flyink carz!

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    You jest, but as soon as I perfect my anti-grav mass displacement tech I will be very rich and you will all be excitedly making Back to the Future jokes as you hover out of the dealership in your Sky Potato Model 1.

    Unfortunately were that even possible, I'm sure the Governmedia would find a way to spread panic and distrust about such terrible and scary new things and it would all become highly regulated, expensive, and inneficient.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Comics Code in the '50s

    PMRC in the '80s

    You Can't Say That! identity politics in the 2010s

    Looks like we're running on a 30 year cycle.

  • Eddy||

    America sure is irritable during this part of her 30-day cycle.

  • Eddy||


  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You forgot PC 1.0 in the 90s.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    He probably had a Macintosh.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Stan Lee was the creator of comics aplenty
    He did Spider-Man, X-Men, and your mom in the '70s
    OK, not really, but a legend yes was he
    But there was another role that Stan Lee had
    Besides writer/actor/maybe your dad

    He and Jaeger had a running contest ...

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    Hmm. Yes and no.
    "Well I was very proud of our publisher because I went to him. His name was Martin Goodman. I said, 'Martin, you have got to let me send these three issues without the Code.' He said, 'gosh Stan, that's taking a big step. I mean, we're supposed to abide by the Code. And I said, "Yeah, but we're supposed to do what the government tells us and I got this letter from Washington. And besides, this is a good thing. It's letting kids know that drugs are harmful. This time he said, "Ok Stan, you go ahead and do it and I'll back you up."
    I suppose there was a partial in-your-face kind of move on Stan's part, but the whole "do what the government tells us" part tells a slightly different tale than a free speech hero (as I see it)

  • majil||

    Sorry but Mad Magazine and Crack Magazine were my choice.
    Super hero bullshit seemed childish to me at 10 years old

  • CE||

    because Mad Magazine was so much more mature.

  • JeremyR||

    I think Warren Publishing was the one that really defied the comics code. He did so by publishing magazine sized comics, which were not considered comic books.

    Stan Lee really didn't even care about the Code

    "The Code mentioned that you mustn't mention drugs and, according to their rules, they were right. So I didn't even get mad at them then. I said, 'Screw it' and just took the Code seal off for those three issues. Then we went back to the Code again. I never thought about the Code when I was writing a story, because basically I never wanted to do anything that was to my mind too violent or too sexy. I was aware that young people were reading these books, and had there not been a Code, I don't think that I would have done the stories any differently."

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    I remember this. The issue concerned drug-addiction. Peter Parker's roommate Harry Osborn got addicted to street-pills.

  • spork||

    Love it Remy, keep it up!

    I always super appreciated Lee's public availability and willingness to participate in fans' experiments, crossovers, spoofs and cameos. Not so sure the 'code' violation makes him a libertarian hero but fsck it, we'll take him.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Remy by my lights is the best asset Reason has going--up there with John Stossell and Mr A!

  • Jack Gritt||

    Stanley Martin (((Lieber))) was yet another who perverted the minds of teens with his American-eroding filthy in the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Ryan the Sea Lion||

    Who is Stanly? What is Stanly's last name?

  • CE||

    maybe your dad? just think how many unknown kids guys like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne have.

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