So many people were affected by the passing of Stan Lee yesterday, and it's because we all know what we lost.

In a world where Hollywood is recycling ideas and rebooting old shows, it's clear that some of our creative institutions are lacking creativity. Right now, we're lacking the true imagination like that of Stan Lee. He brought us so many of our favorite heroes. Most importantly, he not only brought creativity to the world, but inspired it.

Nowadays some Marvel "fans" may just be fans of the movies. In those movies, Stan Lee is known as the old guy with the awesome cameos. But he's been so much more than that to Marvel, and to us. We all can remember at one time or another running around the yard pretending to be Spider-Man or one of Stan Lee's other creations. It was part of our childhood and thus, Lee himself was a part of it, too.

Aside from his creativity, and what he brought to the Marvel universe both in print and on the big screen, Stan Lee was a great person. There are countless stories from countless people that suggest it. He cared about the Marvel product, but more importantly the Marvel fans that loved it.

Even away from anything Marvel, he stood up for civil rights and social equality. In 1968, Stan condemned racism and bigotry in a "Stan's Soapbox" segment. In it he said:

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them — to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater — one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen — people he’s never known — with equal intensity — with equal venom.

Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race — to despise an entire nation — to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God ― a God who calls us ALL ― His children.

Pax et Justitia, Stan.”

There is no doubt that the world needs more like the great Stanley Lieber. While I know there will never be another Stan Lee, I hope that his example and his work inspires a new generation or creators. A new generation of out of this world thinkers. I hope he inspires a new generation of men to think, act and live outside the box.

Onward and upward to greater glory, Stan. And thank you. Excelsior!