Fans share Stan Lee memories at local comic-book store

'When you meet him, it's infectious,' one employee recalled. It's like meeting a little kid.'

Treehouse Collectibles
Treehouse Collectibles at Donlands and Sammon Aves. has a variety of vintage pop-culture items, including Stan Lee comic books. Kasy Pertab/Toronto Observer

The passing of Stan Lee has broken the hearts of Marvel fans everywhere. While the superhero genius made a big impact through films, a local comic-book store is sharing the mark he left in print.  

John Farrar has worked at Treehouse Collectibles for over three years. The store, located at the corner of Donlands and Sammon Aves., sells toys, action figures, records and, of course, comic books.

Since Lee’s passing, “Customers come in saying, ‘Hey man, have you heard?’ and then we just start talking comics and it ends up being, ‘What was your first Stan Lee moment?’” Farrar said. “So the nostalgia has really kicked up in a lot of people, and they start going back to their first experience with him.” 

Although it’s a sad time, Farrar added, prices of Lee’s work will go up as a result because sellers will try to capitalize on his passing. He hopes, however, that prices for comic books being sold in stores won’t change. 

Farrar has been a comic-book fan since he was a young boy. Lee’s death brought back the memory of buying his first Thor comic book when he was 8.  

“When I found out he passed on, I immediately thought about the first comic I ever bought with my own money as a child,” he said. “Even though it wasn’t written by Stan Lee, it was a Thor comic, and he created it.”  

Comic books sold at Treehouse Collectibles store.

Older editions of Stan Lee comic books at Treehouse Collectibles at Danforth and Sammon Aves. (Kasy Pertab/Toronto Observer)

Max Lemay, who also works at the store, had the chance to meet Lee two years ago at a Fan Expo convention.

“When you meet him, it’s infectious. It’s like meeting a little kid,” Lemay said. “It’s strange to say that about someone his age, but he really had that joyful spirit about him. It was just so nice being in his presence and hearing about all his experiences.” 

Lemay thinks that Lee’s witty and cheerful personality is why he was given so many cameo appearances in Marvel films. Of the people he has spoken to, he added, not one had a negative experience when meeting Lee.  

Although fans are mourning in their own ways, Lemay understands why comic-book stores are a place where they can go to relate to Lee’s work. 

“People come in and you don’t have a personal connection to him, but at the same time you do,” Lemay said. “A comic-book store is kind of like that place where you come and commiserate with other people that understand.”

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Posted: Nov 16 2018 11:53 am
Filed under: Arts & Life News