Over the weekend, a meme popped up on the front page of reddit and quickly went viral on the Internet. The meme details Stan Lee's thoughts about digital comics, which he compares to female breasts. "They look great on a computer," Lee supposedly states. "But I'd rather hold one in my hand."
The meme was a popular one over the holiday weekend, gracing the top spots of /r/Marvel, /r/Funny, and several other subreddits. As of this morning, the original post has over one million views on Imgur, the image hosting website on which it first appeared. And knowing how these things work, it'll get spread around Facebook for the next three years, meaning that anyone who's remotely interested in comics will have to deal with seeing it at least a billion times.
There's only one problem with the meme: it's almost definitely false. Up until last week, there's no definitive proof of this quote existing. In addition, the comics blogosphere would have almost certainly been all over one of the most prolific creators alive talking about boobs and digital comics.
So what are Lee's thoughts on digital comics? Here's a couple of quotes from a 2012 interview with Digital Trends in which he talks about the benefits of digital comics :
Digital Trends: What have digital comics and the Internet opened up for people interested in becoming involved with comics today?
Stan Lee: They’ve opened up entire new worlds of opportunities. There are now so many directions we can go even before you’re talking about movies, or even before you’re talking about a comic book. So many kids today, or even older people, are drawing things and writing things. They’re putting them on the Internet, they’re doing them digitally, and they put them on YouTube. They’re just doing things that they hope the fans will discover; things that they hope will become popular, and therefore somebody will want to make a comic book, graphic novel, or movie of it.
And here's a quote from the same interview about whether he thinks digital comics will render physical comics obsolete:
Digital Trends: With comics migrating more and more to games, the Internet, and digital form, what place do you see traditional print comic books having moving forward?
Stan Lee: I think there will always be comic books. There is something very pleasant about a comic book. You can read it at your own speed. You can carry it; it’s not very heavy. You can fold it and put it in your back pocket. You can show it to a friend. You can collect them. They don’t take up much room. You can have your own little collection of whatever character or series you like. You can go back and re-read them. I think there will always be comics, but there will be so many other versions and forms of them. Digital comics now are evolving, you’ll be able to see comics that move. Not quite full animation, but almost full animation, on your cell phone or your computer screen. I think comics are becoming so pervasive culturally in our world, that they’ll be all over the place. I think the humble comic book, which is where they started, will always be with us to some extent.
So, as always, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Now if you excuse me, I need to go cut all red meats out of my diet because a MAJOR HOSPITAL released SHOCKING FACTS about red meats and early onset male impotency.