It doesn’t take much to get Kevin Smith crying, but he was especially emotional on Wednesday evening while paying tribute to Stan Lee. The Clerks director hosted “Excelsior! A Celebration of the Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible, & Uncanny Life of Stan Lee” at Los Angeles’ TCL Chinese Theatre in honor of the Marvel Comics legend, who passed away last November at 95 years old.
“This was a guy who spent his life dreaming of writing the great American novel, and he didn’t realize he was doing it, over and over and over again,” said Smith, who met Lee on the set of Mallrats. “The world didn’t need another In Cold Blood. It needed Spider-Man.” He added the event was “not a funeral, though he’s gone. This is a celebration! That’s how religions start. We all agree that we saw him tonight and that he’s no longer gone. Stan’s spirit is here with us.”
“He never gave me any advice, which was so awesome because that’s what a friend is. He doesn’t tell you how to live your life. He just enjoys the life that you live. He never gave me advice, but he gave me so much more than that. That man lived the life, where I was like, ‘I’m gonna borrow that, gonna borrow that, gonna borrow that.’ He was never like, ‘Kev, be like me.’ I just chose to be like him.” (Via)
Also in attendance was Clark Gregg, Felicia Day, Rosario Dawson, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, RZA, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Mark Hamill, and Laurence Fishburne, who said that buying a Marvel comic book when he was a child “opened my eyes to the possibility that you could be more than your surroundings say you can be.”