As you might expect from a Power Pack fan, I was "Gee."
Anyway...despite my being hazy on the date, I remember this actual chat pretty vividly, and I do some reminiscing at the end, if you care to read that far! So, without further ado, here's what Stan Lee had to say back in the day!
Host Stan_Lee: Hello culture lovers, this is Stan Lee, and I'm ready to be your next victim, just throw your questions at me!
Host Stan_Lee: Sure I remember you, are you still wearing that funny looking shirt?
Host Stan_Lee: Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but we're doing new and better ones every day, just be patient and hang in with us. I hated it and I'm glad it's over [BRIAN'S NOTE: This last sentence actually refers to someone asking what Stan thought of the Clone Saga.]
Host Stan_Lee: Because we never intended to release that one, there is a new big budget one in the works now, and it'll knock your socks off!
Host Stan_Lee: No plans at the moment, but we'll give anybody a title of his own if we feel enough readers want it
Host Stan_Lee: That's one of the titles I've been discussing, I'll either do that, Dr. Strange or Shield. I'll probably end up doing all 3 of them
Host Stan_Lee: I like every character we've ever had since the dawn of time
Host Stan_Lee: We haven't thought of that, but it's not a bad idea. I'll [tell] our editor, Bob Harris
Host Stan_Lee: Not really, the only thing that's cut into our sales is the fact that there aren't enough stores to sell the books
Host Stan_Lee: Believe it or not, I'd be interested in writing any title because I like them all. The X titles are terrific, but I'm like a parent who loves all his children equally
Host Stan_Lee: No, no, the more competition the better, it keeps us on our toes, makes everybody do their best work and it's you the readers who benefit by it
Host Stan_Lee: Well, Peter isn't a murderer, so I would have to say no. Maybe it was one of the Image heros who did it
Ben_Reilly: But he threw a bag of pumpkin bombs at him!! Couldn't we just call it self-defense?
Host Stan_Lee: From the goblin's point of view, it certainly was self-defiance. I have a soft spot in my heart for Gobby
Host Stan_Lee: I hope it isn't heading into oblivion. I think things are better than ever, just wait and see all Marvel's new plans in the coming months
Host Stan_Lee: We pay attention to every comment we get from anyone. We appreciate every comment and we love you for sending them
Host Stan_Lee: I'm not the guy who reads them, but if you contact Marvel NY, and address your inquiry to the submission editor, he or she will tell you whatever is required. I'm not sure who that is at the moment
Host Stan_Lee: No, I don't have any plans to go to the Megacon, but I will be at the Museum of Cartoon Art on February 16th, I'm going to make a speech there (In Boca Raton)
Host Stan_Lee: Not that I know of. But I'm not in charge of that, they may be talking about it back at the office.
Host Stan_Lee: Oh, we certainly do! In fact we're planning to do an animated cartoon based n Ghostrider as well as the live action picture and of course, additional comic books
Host Stan_Lee: I'm easy to please, I like dark tones and light tones. The important thing is -- do you like them? You're the readers!
Host Stan_Lee: Aunt May was probably in her 70's before she went to that old kitchen in the sky. I would love to find a way to bring Aunt May back again, I miss her
Host Stan_Lee: The beautiful thing about comics is these days they're read by every type of audience. We have old readers, young readers, dumb readers and we have brilliant readers; we even have readers who can't read if you can figure that out
Host Stan_Lee: I don't know, we've let Jim Lee and Rob Layfield (sic) do it their way and I haven't' been too sure myself. We're really waiting to get the reader's reaction and I'm eager to get every opinion
Host Stan_Lee: Yes, the first one you'll be seeing will be "Blade the Vampire Hunter". They're going to start photographing that in the next few weeks, it stars Wesley Snipes. I have bit part in it myself, I hope that won't ruin the movie
Host Stan_Lee: Oh yes, the cartoons are still being produced and the older copyright date, though I'm not a lawyer, might be because the characters were created years ago
Host Stan_Lee: I certainly hope not. I never cared for the Spider-Clone story
Host Stan_Lee: If I'm saying hi to Adam, how about his wife, Eve?
Host Stan_Lee: A huge Hollywood motion picture would make Spiderman greater than ever and it wouldn't do me any harm either! And just wait, that movie will be there sooner or later
Host Stan_Lee: Well, Ghostrider isn't on TV yet, and far as the comics, I'd suggest your nearest comics book store
Host Stan_Lee: You ain't seen nuthin' yet! I just had a meeting with our editor in chief, Bob Harris, and I've decided to get much more involved in the comics myself and we have big plans for new ideas you'll be seeing in the next few months. And in case I forgot to tell you, I'm going to be doing Stan's Soapbox column again, and I'm going to answer all the reader's questions about anything at all in one page in our magazines in every issue and then later I'll do it on the Internet
Host Stan_Lee: Probably in the same place, but I wouldn't be as happy
Host Stan_Lee: Unfortunately the MMMS was disbanded years ago, but hold onto your money, because I'm thinking of starting a new club as soon as possible
Host Stan_Lee: I don't' know if I'll write Spider-titles, but I will be writing some new books soon, because I miss writing comics. But I won't do it if you keep calling me Mr. Lee -- my name is Stan!
I really didn't chime in a whole lot in this chat...I was content to see what everyone else was asking, and I was seeing that a lot of questions were getting rejected by the chat host. But I did get a lot of praise for my "more developed" movie question, and the question that people seemed to like that didn't get answered was, "Have you read any of Kurt Busiek's 'Untold Tales of Spider-Man'? If so, what do you think of the way he's weaving in and out of your stories?" I think I just posed that too late in the proceedings.
As for the chat itself...Stan never had anything to do with the Spider-Man clone saga, and you can tell he didn't know all the nuances of it. Specifically, he didn't know that Ben Reilly ("we'll give anybody a title of his own if we feel enough readers want it") was the Spider-Clone ("I never cared for the Spider-Clone story"). I always wondered what his responses would have been if "Ben_Reilly" hadn't just assumed that Stan would see the name "Ben Reilly" and think, "Oh, that's the Scarlet Spider, who later became Spider-Man!"
And I would love to ask Stan today if he knew about the story that brought back Aunt May, and what he thought about it. (Essentially, the real Aunt May was kidnapped and replaced by a duplicate, and it was the duplicate who died. Really, a lot of fans have just developed mass amnesia about the entire clone saga.)
Yes, there WAS a better Spider-Man video game coming out. Several, in fact.
The eventual release of "Blade" was a huge, huge deal for me, after years of reading "Stan's Soapbox" installments promising "Spider-Man" in the mid-90s, and "Captain America" in theaters, and a "Thor" series and a "Daredevil" series...I felt like, finally, Marvel had its act together. I had no idea how much.
The revival of "Stan's Soapbox" was, for me, probably the biggest news to come out of this chat. It did come back, not really as an opinion forum or a behind-the-scenes glimpse, but as a place where, every week, Stan would field a couple of fan questions, and every fan whose question was published received a No-Prize. The fact that Marvel (as of August 2004) has gotten away from No-Prizes and letters columns still bothers me. On the bright side, I think the stories are better now than they were then.
And when he said "But I won't do it if you keep calling me Mr. Lee -- my name is Stan!", I wanted to cheer. I can't help it...I'm a great admirer of the man, and his great gift is to make you feel like he's your buddy, and you're part of the club. Don't get me wrong -- I appreciate the artists' contributions on those classic Marvel comics, and I can understand the people who value Kirby's and Ditko's work more than Stan Lee's. But, to me, Stan is The Man.
Questions? Comments? Have a legal or technical reason that I shouldn't have posted this chat? Write to me.