Stan Lee recorded a heartfelt final message for his fans and we can't stop crying
One of the downsides to being famous is that it's often all too easy to believe your own hype. When you're a nobody, you might know that you have talent, but until it's confirmed, chances are that you will be doubting yourself and what you're doing at every available opportunity - something which the late Marvel creator, Stan Lee, knew all too well.
Despite starting out in the entertainment industry at the age of 17 (he was an assistant at the new Timely Comics), Lee's talent was not embraced by those in the know of the literary world because, simply put, comic books weren't seen as a legitimate form of storytelling, and it was for this reason that Lee remained incredibly humble. When the industry leaders, as he put it, avoided him "like the plague", he developed an appreciation for fan mail in a way that most celebs don't.
Knowing that it was his fans who were the key to Marvel's success and the enduring legacy of his many characters, shortly before his death, Lee recorded a heartfelt message to them - and it really is the ultimate tearjerker.
After the 95-year-old's death last Monday, his thank you was posted to his Twitter account:
The video was captioned: "So many wonderful moments with Stan came spontaneously. As we were setting up the camera one day, he casually started talking about his fans. We know how much Stan meant to you, and we thought it would be nice for you to hear how much your support meant to him."
Indeed, following the death of the Marvel creator, celebrities and Average Joes alike were quick to flood social media praising the 95-year-old for his many iconic creations including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, and the Fantastic Four.
One fan even went as far as to create fan art celebrating Lee's life, sharing this heartbreaking creation on Twitter. It depicts Marvel characters attending Lee's funeral and, appropriately, Lee's catchphrase "Excelsior" is engraved into the coffin.
"I love my fans. I cannot tell you how much I love my fans," Lee said in the video. "There's something, if you think about it, that is wonderful about somebody caring about you as I care about them, whom you've never met, who may live in another part of the world. But they care, and you have something in common, and occasionally you contact each other. This business of fans, I think is terrific, and I love 'em all."
In response to the video, some fans took the opportunity to share their own stories of Lee's dedication to his fans, with Twitter user @MetroManTO writing, "Stan Lee genuinely loved his fans. In 2013 at Fan Expo, Stan's handler made an announcement to a lined up crowd that he would only be signing autographs for 10 more minutes. I returned well over an hour later and he was still there, signing autographs with a big grin on his face."
Now, can somebody please pass the tissues?!