Stan Lee Talks About How He Came Up With the Idea For Spider-Man and Was Told It Was a Terrible Idea

In June of 2017 Stan Lee (previously) sat down in front of that year’s UCLA Extension Certificate class and told them the story of how the iconic Spider-Man came into being and how the idea was almost squashed. Lee stated that he didn’t want to make a long speech, but instead told them a story.

I’m not going to make a long speech but I’m going to tell you I was told to tell an anecdote. Anecdotes are easy. So I thought to myself what kind of anecdote can I tell these people who really have more important things to do and I figured I’m going to tell you how Spider-Man came into being it’s a true story although sometimes it’s hard, even for me to believe it.

Lee told the class that he got the idea when he saw a fly on the wall and thought about the powers that went along with that ability. He went through a variety of names until he happened upon Spider-Man. After being told that it was a terrible idea because people hated spiders, Lee decided to move forward with the idea with great success, something he encouraged the students to understand.

Now why am I telling you this? …If you have an idea that you genuinely think is good don’t let some idiot talk you out of it. Now that doesn’t mean that every wild notion you come up with is going to be genius but if there is something that you feel is good something you want to do something that means something to you try to do it because I think you can only do your best work if you’re doing what you want to do.

After Lee came up with the initial idea of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko went on to develop the character.

via Geeks Are Sexy

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.