Comic book lesson - Stan Lee

Stan Lee: “Avengers”

Learning goal: Multi-panel comics/storyboards


  • 3-4 letter sized scratch paper for each student.

  • A blank comic book for each student. This uses 6 pieces of paper all folded in half and staple bound. Every two sheets are taped together on the short edge so that each “page” is 2x as thick. This is to prevent bleed through when inking and coloring. Watch this video on how to bind.

<Have your teacher load up “Stan Lee.ppt” on the big screen. It should be in a folder on the desktop called, “Art Class”>

Do you guys recognize any of these superheros? How many people do you think thought up all of these awesome characters? 10, 5? It was one guy.

His name is Stan Lee. He made up all these characters, and it only took him about a year. He grew up in the great depression in the 1920s and he watched his parents struggle to earn enough money to feed him and his brother. It was a hard life for him, but he had a best friend, his bike. He imagined it was his rocket ship, or noble horse. His parents encouraged his imagination and he never lost his childlike fantasies as he grew older.

His biggest inspiration was one of his teachers that taught him that learning could be fun (and funny). And when he was 15 he entered a story into a big newspaper in New York (where he lived). The editor of the paper told him he should be a professional writer. And he’s been writing and bringing his stories to life through comics and film ever since.

When he was 17 he got a job as an assistant in a comic company and quickly worked his way up through the ranks. His first break was writing a short story in a Captain America comic. The comic book company changed its name to Marvel and in 1961 Stan started creating his own characters, much of them inspired by his childhood in New York. His characters, unlike the other superheros of the day, were all flawed or had something wrong with them. Hulk has a problem with anger. Spiderman wants revenge. Ironman is full of himself. These “realistic” characters connected with readers.

So today we are going to learn a little more about creating comic books. Comics are great because you can make a long story, but only use a few pages. You don’t have to describe everything and the reader can make a lot of the connections for you. Look at these transitions. The space between the panels is where the reader’s imagination takes over. <talk through the 6 different transition types>

You might be thinking that making comics are hard. Well look at this comic.

Stick figures are a great way to get started.


  1. Think of a problem for your character you made up last time. Maybe that turtle has to watch the eggs on the beach, but he really needs to go to the bathroom in the ocean. Who’s going to watch his eggs?

  2. Try to think how they would get out of that problem.

  3. Draw it out on a few sheets of papers using panels to tell the story.

  4. Remember that people read from left to right and top to bottom

Wrap up:

Download: 2 stan lee.ppt

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