CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Comic book legend, Stan Lee, died Monday at the age of 95. Inside the Charlotte store 'Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find,' Shelton Drum, a friend of Lee’s went rummaging through his most valuable items.
“This is the good stuff,” he said as he opened a box.
Drum went to the bank to pick up some of the comics Stan Lee wrote.
“This is his first work,” Drum said as he turned one of the over. “He wrote a two or three page text story in Captain America number three so that's the first time Stan Lee ever did professionally.”
Lee, who grew up in the Bronx during the Great Depression, ended up taking a job as an assistant at Timely Comics at the age of 16. He was just an office boy until two of his bosses left.
“I looked around to see who'd replace them and I realized there was nobody,” Lee said once in an interview. “I was the only guy there,” he said.
Drum showed FOX 46 another comic book he treasured, the first appearance of Spider-man in a comic book from August 1962. “This is his crowning achievement right here,” he said.
That first appearance turned into a title.
“Spider-man number one,” Drum said as he pulled out Spider-man’s first title. “I bought this book when I was in junior high school from a classmate for 40 cents,” he said.
Drum says the book is now worth $30,000-$40,000. It’s just one of the countless comic books Lee created in his lifetime, not to mention the characters that came to life on the big screen.
“He was just a larger than life figure to me,” Drum said. “He was the creator that was making all the stuff I was enjoying.”
Drum who now owns Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find knows the hero in his life wasn’t like the ones he read about in comic books; Stan was the real deal.
“He's going to be forever tied to Spider-man,” he said, “and that's fine because we wouldn't have Spidey without Stan,” he continued. “[There will] never be another one like him.”