Wednesday afternoon Marvel and Netflix jointly announced they were canceling its Saturday evening New York Comic Con panel dedicated to Netflix upcoming The Punisher series in response to the tragic events in Las Vegas earlier this week. Marvel, however, has stepped up to find replacement programming.
Announced Friday afternoon, a special event that took place this past spring between Marvel CCO Joe Quesada and the legendary Stan Lee will be broadcast to a large audience for the very first time as Joe Quesada Presents: My Chat with Stan Lee.
Quesada gave Newsarama a few minutes of his time to explain what fans can see Saturday evening, to talk about the online video message from Lee Marvel released earlier this week, and his plans for a special second 'Cup O' Joe' that will also take place Sunday at NYCC.
Newsarama: In some late breaking news, there is big event being added to the Saturday panel schedule here at New York Comic Con. Joe, what can you tell us about it?
Joe Quesada: Saturday from 5:15 to 7:00 pm Eastern in the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
I did this really awesome Q&A with Stan Lee at the Paley Center for Media earlier this year. It was a bit exclusive with a packed house of around 150, but we recorded it. We here at Marvel weren’t sure what we were ever going to do with it, but we saved it for posterity. Fast-forward to this month, and I called Stan and asked if we could show it to the general public and he said yes.
In this 90-minute Q&A, I think you’ll see Stan in some ways you’ve never seen him before. It’s a great discussion about the past, from his childhood and his parents and into his decades working in comics. There’s a lot of things many fans have never heard before, and it was just a good old time.
Stan is hysterical and charming, and Saturday’s screening will be its debut – and most likely the only time it’ll be seen.
Quesada: I can’t guarantee “only,” but there are no plans at this time to show it again. This is a perfect venue for a special experience.
Nrama: You and Stan have a lot in common, and have steered the Marvel ship as Editor-in-Chief and have shared experiences few others could claim. Given that, and your years working with Stan, how was it coming up with things to ask Stan about in this interview?
Quesada: That’s a great question.
I sat in the seat he sat in, so I have that perspective. It’s wonderful to find out that while times change and fashion changes, there are still similar things in his time, and in mine, that we’ve gone through.
I also did a lot of research. I read, I talked to people here at Marvel, and I also contacted those who were very near and dear to him, including Flo Steinberg. I talked with several past creators who worked with Stan, and in those conversations I came up with snippets to formulate into some fun questions for him.
Stan and I had a great time, and he’s great at telling stories. I think fans will really enjoy the Q&A, the film, and the presentation. To run as a Q&A:
Nrama: Speaking of Stan Lee and video, the other day Marvel released a video of him calling for tolerance and an end to hatred and bigotry. Is there any backstory in terms of the purpose or timing of that you can share?
Quesada: It was pretty simple.
There’s a climate right now in the industry. To me personally, comics are about heroism and love for your fellow man. Regardless of what side of the argument you fall on, there’s no need for insults or name-calling. Those have unfortunately been something inherent in fan culture for a long time, but it seems to be getting worse now. And Stan is fully, fully aware of it.
He and I have talked about these issues in the past, and this week’s video is something he filmed and we then presented; it’s really no more than that. It’s not a statement he hasn’t said before – he just felt like saying it again in light of what’s going on now. He’s not going to say anything he doesn’t believe; he just felt it was a time to remind people of it.
Didn’t he recently re-release a 1966 Stan’s Soapbox ...
Nrama: Yes, the one from 1968 that echoed some of the statements from this week’s video.
Quesada: Yeah, that’s it. This has definitely been on his mind for a while now, and for people who want to say he is being spoonfed ... Stop. Just Stop.
You defeat your own argument, and you are belittling a man who means so much to all of us – and he’s still here and saying the same things he did in 1962, ’63, ’64, and so on. He’s always been that guy.
So I just think he felt it needed to be said, and we felt it needed to be posted – simple as that. There’s no conspiracy here.
Nrama: Finally Joe, on Saturday you hold your traditional 'Cup O’ Joe' panel at NYCC but you'll be doing another on Sunday, which we think is a first. What can you tell readers about that?
Quesada: I’m doing a second 'Cup O’ Joe' at New York Comic Con, with a new format - the first collectible issue, true believer.
It’s unlike the traditional 'Cup O’ Joe' panels where me and a large dais talk to a large audience. This new format, 'Cup O’ Joe: Q & U' is a smaller panel room with just me and one special guest. I won’t reveal who they are ahead of time, but I guarantee it’ll be someone awesome – and someone not necessarily in the comics industry, per se.
Nrama: This room seats 300, so space will be limited.
Quesada: As far as what we’ll talk about, it’s not unlike what Stan Lee and I did recently at the Paley Center that is being screened Saturday evening.
'Cup O’ Joe: Q & U' is one-on-one, and I hope to do it every time I’m at a convention.
It’s not what you’ll expect, but it’ll be engaging and we’ll also have time for fans to ask question, time permitting.
Joe Quesada Presents: My Chat with Stan Lee premieres Saturday at 5:15pm at Madison Square Garden's Theatre, while the 'Cup O' Joe: Q & U' panel will take place Sunday at 12:15 in room 1A06.