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He might be 90 years old, is getting over a flu and has canceled several comics convention appearances, but comics legend Stan Lee still proved he could still draw a crowd Saturday for the book launch of Monsters vs. Kittens, the debut tome from his family-friendly imprint, Stan Lee’s Kids Universe.
The event, held at Giggles ‘N Hugs in Century City, attracted a diverse group ranging from Make-A-Wish Foundation families to hipsters and Hollywood moms with their kids.
Kittens is joint venture between Lee’s POW Entertainment and 1821 Comics, run by Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis and Terry Dougas — an odd combination if there ever was one. But the pair have had success in publishing before, with the best-selling graphic novel Romeo & Juliet: The War.
With the new imprint, which will encompass books, e-books and apps, Lee said he and Dougas “were looking in book stores and on the Internet, and we noticed that there’s really nothing that great, we thought, for very young children — children who are just starting to read. So we thought we could try to produce some reading matter for them and introduce them to the joy of reading.”
Lee holds the title of creative director for the imprint and had a great deal of input on the book, which was written and illustrated by Dani Jones.
At the event, still nursing a cough, Lee read the very simple book to the crowd of attending kids, but every few sentences he displayed his trademark charm with one-liners that had their parents chuckling out loud.
It’s hard to say what drives Lee — the co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Daredevil, Avengers, and other iconic Marvel characters — to keep pursuing ventures that deal with storytelling and imagination long after his peers put down their pens.
On one hand, he jokes that “greed” keeps him going, but then he follows that up with this: “Most people say, ‘I can’t wait to retire because then I can do the things I want to do.’ But I’m doing what I want to do, so why retire?”
He adds: “I never really thought I’d live to be 90.”
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