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Keeper of the Flame

After being mocked for blogging I pause to wonder where the idea of the blog comes from.

I think  Stan Lee  invented blogging back in the 70s. In the 60s he created Spider-Man, The Hulk etc, then in the 70s his comics began to contain a weird outburst of several paragraphs just telling the world what he was thinking.

Huh?? Thinking??? What the heck was Stan up to? (As it happens, he was usually up to plugging his comics!) But while Stan wasn’t scripting any titles, ‘Stan’s Soapbox’ gave the wacky wordophile a new way to vent his vivacious verbosity on the cosmos.

Why am I suddenly using the awful agonies of alliteration? Well, that’s the way Stan always wrote his soapbox. He not only had a genius for inventing characters, he also invented a whole new advertising language – and then he invented the blog. It just took technology another thirty years to catch up with him!

Stan is close to my heart, as his super-hero comics are a great inspiration for my Candle Man series of books. Keeper of the Flame was one of Stan’s phrases, for anyone who bought and recommended his comics to others. At one point I suggested ‘Keeper of the Flame’ as the title for Candle Man 1. It’s relevant to my hero, and also to the whole kind of story genre I am keeping alive.

My book ended up as The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance. I’ve been a bit worried about the title, as it seemed rather a mouthful, for the book to achieve word-of-mouth success. But everyone has ended up just calling it ‘Candle Man’, anyway.

Stan Lee was once told by his publisher than his comics were only a success because of their short snappy titles. So Stan sat down and wrote ‘Sergeant Fury and His Howling Commandos’ – which was also a success, of course.

Stan left an answerphone message for me once. Probably my proudest moment at Marvel UK. Half the office came over to hear it.

Back to work… you can have fun following Stan on twitter, btw… check out:


About Glenn Dakin

Glenn Dakin is a writer, cartoonist and editor. He is author of the Candle Man series of fantasy novels for Egmont. His best-known comics are Abe - an autobiographical strip (Top Shelf);Temptation (Penguin Books and Active Images); Spider-Man heroes and Villains (Eaglemoss);the Rockpool Files (With Phil Elliott, Slave Labor/Marvel UK); Robot Crusoe (Funday TImes); Plasmer (Marvel UK); Clan Destine (Marvel USA).

One response to “Keeper of the Flame

  1. Alan ⋅


    It would have been my best birthday party ever if Stan The Man had turned up! Wish we’d kept the message!

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