Thursday, May 8, 2014

What’s Stan Lee Really Worth? Neal Adams?

The artist Dick Ayers passed away on Sunday and another very fine artist and friend Neal Adams called me this morning out of concern. I hope he won't mind my mentioning this.

“Do you know Dick’s widow’s situation?” Neal asked. I told him I didn’t. And when we hung up I thought about how genuine and special Neal is. He has a busy studio to run and deadlines to meet and his own family concerns, and he avoids funerals and memorial services like they're the Third Pandemic. But he’s always the first to inquire regarding the welfare of the widow and the family—and the first to organize help if needed.

I didn’t know Dick Ayers. I was a fan, of course, and I had purchased several drawings from him over the years, which I treasure. He was a nice man, a happy man, and a fine artist. Dick and I would sit and chat at conventions, but we weren’t pals. But Neal’s example has been kicking me into action for most of my adult life. So I made some inquiries.

Stan Lee was the first to reply. I received a return email within moments of my query to him (at 7:30 California time).

What’s the big deal? Lots of folks are up early and return email and phone messages. Nearly 23% do it within a reasonable amount of time, according to a study never conducted at the University of Michigan.

Stan will be 92 in December. And he has more going on than most three people you know. And he’s wealthier than the 20 richest people you've ever known all together. But he always responds immediately, and he's always been available to help with matters big and small when asked. And I've asked plenty.

Call it solid time management. Call it three-quarters of a century of professionalism. Or maybe Stan's parents just raised him right.

Neal Adams and Stan Lee.
Websites and magazine writers often speculate regarding celebrity bank accounts. There are people who like to count other people’s money. Go figure.

As for Dick Ayer’s widow, Stan didn't know her situation either. But if she’s in trouble, there’s people who will help.

So what’s Stan Lee worth? Neal Adams?

It has nothing to do with money.

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