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Kevin Smith Reveals Stan Lee's Key to the City That Was Presented by L.A. Mayor

By Russ Burlingame - February 1, 2019

Kevin Smith held in his hands the key to the City of Los Angeles -- but lest anybody get it confused that the mayor handed such an artifact off to a dyed-in-the-wool East Coast film icon, they first engraved the key with the face of Stan Lee, for whom the key was presented during a memorial service for the Marvel Comics legend earlier this week.

The key, which also featured a likeness of Lee's signature and the word "Excelsior!" on it, was presented to POW Entertainment, who were the stewards of Lee's brand for the last years of his life.

Smith shared a look at the key with fans via social media, which you can check out below.

Smith, who has been friends with Lee for years and collaborated with him on a number of projects, was one of the most eloquent voices after the passing of the famed writer, editor, and personality. He penned a long eulogy for Lee, and a long list of his influences. Many pointed out some of Lee's most memorable characters, stories and quotes in the days after Lee's death, but Smith dove deeper, offering his insight on how Lee shifted the entire culture of entertainment.

"Your characters represented us," he wrote, "Yes, they had extraordinary, unbelievable abilities, but they were also reflections of a world we knew, where a Spider-Man is really just a boy who wants to help. You showed me how to interact with the audience whenever you stepped onto Stan’s Soapbox to reach out to the readers. You showed me how to advocate for my field beyond the actual art itself whenever you tub thumped for comic books outside of the medium."

Smith went on, addressing Lee and thanking him for his generosity over the years. He listed just a few of the projects that the two worked on together -- some before Marvel took over the box office and some after.

"When you did Mallrats with us, you not only made a lifelong fan’s dream come true, you also lent me comic book credibility that I still get to spend today. And whether it was for [Comic Book Men] or [Yoga Hosers], whenever I asked to borrow your heat again, you were always there for me with a smile."

Smith interviewed Lee back in 2013 for his podcast, Fat Man on Batman. The episode is now available only on Stitcher Premium, and it contains a long-form discussion on Lee's career and his feelings on the art of making comic books.

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Kevin Smith Reveals Stan Lee's Key to the City That Was Presented by L.A. Mayor


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