Game of Thrones Writer Cites Marvel's Stan Lee as Big "Influence"

Game of Thrones Writer Cites Marvel's Stan Lee as Big "Influence"

Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin believes that Marvel's Stan Lee "introduced the whole concept of characterization" to comic books.

At this point we feel pretty safe in saying that George R.R. Martin is one of the important writers of our time. Setting aside the fact that his work inspired HBO's Masochist Viewer Hour (a.k.a. Game of Thrones), the books they're based on have helped to draw countless readers into the fold of fantasy fiction and arguably reinvigorate the genre as a whole. Considering these accomplishments, as well as the rest of his large body of work, you really do have to wonder where the heck he gets all his ideas?

The answer may lie with Marvel Comics and Stan Lee.

You see, back when was younger, Martin was an avid reader of Marvel's comics and frequently write into the publisher with fan letters that, on an occasion or two, found their way into the correspondence sections of the books themselves. Martin was recently reminded of his forays into fan letter-ism by actor John Hodgman who approached the writer with a photocopy of one of his write-ins. In the letter Martin complemented Fantastic Four #32 and Avengers #9. Amused, he offered further commentary into the role of Marvel and comic books in both his life and his development a writer.

"It's hard to understand, I think, from the vantage point of 2011 exactly what was going on in comics back in the early '60s. The Marvel comics that I was writing letters to were really revolutionary for the time. Stan Lee was doing some amazing work," said Martin. "The Marvel characters were constantly changing. Important things were happening. The lineup of the Avengers was constantly changing. People would quit and they would have fights and all of that, as opposed to DC, where everybody got along and it was all very nice, and of course all the heroes liked each other. None of this was happening. So really, Stan Lee introduced the whole concept of characterization [chuckles] to comic books, and conflict, and maybe even a touch of gray in some of the characters. And boy, looking back at it now, I can see that it probably was a bigger influence on my own work than I would have dreamed."

Amusingly, Martin's also expressed disappointment over Marvel's decision to revive Wonder Man, who was introduced and then supposedly killed in Avengers #9. In his comments he chalks it up to "being comic books," but still, it's hard not to wonder if Game of Thrones is maybe his way of compensating for the lack of death in the reading material of his formative years.

Source: Comic Book Resources

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At this point we feel pretty safe in saying that George R.R. Martin is one of the important writers of our time.

I had to stop reading at that point. He is a mediocre writer who's work is the foundation for what amounts to shitty pacing, mostly bad characterization, but ample supplies of tits and blood to keep people coming back. You face episodes of boredom hoping episode 9 means a damn.

That said: If it's your thing, that is fine. I'm not attacking the readership, I'm just giving my personal opinion on the writer and what his writing has wrought. The fact that Stan Lee is an influence on Martin is so immaterial, it may as well not even be thing. So many of the writers on this site basically advertise this guy, it defies reason.

I lied, BTW. I did read the article. He is right about Marvel back in the 60's and his comment echoes my own comments that I have posted on this very website on some articles.

Baresark:

At this point we feel pretty safe in saying that George R.R. Martin is one of the important writers of our time.

I had to stop reading at that point. He is a mediocre writer who's work is the foundation for what amounts to shitty pacing, mostly bad characterization, but ample supplies of tits and blood to keep people coming back. You face episodes of boredom hoping episode 9 means a damn.

That said: If it's your thing, that is fine. I'm not attacking the readership, I'm just giving my personal opinion on the writer and what his writing has wrought. The fact that Stan Lee is an influence on Martin is so immaterial, it may as well not even be thing. So many of the writers on this site basically advertise this guy, it defies reason.

Ironically, whether the writing is good or not doesn't matter in this case. He's important because of how popular Game of Thrones has become, which is a reflection on the story that is being told, not the way the words are written that tell it.

It seems like you're basing your opinion based on the TV show though, not the books. Believe it or not, but sexuality is far less present in the books than it is in the show. Don't get me wrong, it is still there, just no way near as much.

P.S. You might not want to point out flaws in someone else's writing when you use "who's" when "whose" is the correct word to use.

The answer may like with? Did you mean lie with? Sorry for being nitpicky just thought I would point it out.

frobalt:

Baresark:

At this point we feel pretty safe in saying that George R.R. Martin is one of the important writers of our time.

I had to stop reading at that point. He is a mediocre writer who's work is the foundation for what amounts to shitty pacing, mostly bad characterization, but ample supplies of tits and blood to keep people coming back. You face episodes of boredom hoping episode 9 means a damn.

That said: If it's your thing, that is fine. I'm not attacking the readership, I'm just giving my personal opinion on the writer and what his writing has wrought. The fact that Stan Lee is an influence on Martin is so immaterial, it may as well not even be thing. So many of the writers on this site basically advertise this guy, it defies reason.

Ironically, whether the writing is good or not doesn't matter in this case. He's important because of how popular Game of Thrones has become, which is a reflection on the story that is being told, not the way the words are written that tell it.

It seems like you're basing your opinion based on the TV show though, not the books. Believe it or not, but sexuality is far less present in the books than it is in the show. Don't get me wrong, it is still there, just no way near as much.

P.S. You might not want to point out flaws in someone else's writing when you use "who's" when "whose" is the correct word to use.

Nice, English Nazi! :p

I have read his books, I was referring to his writing. But I have not read A Song of Ice and Fire. I have read some of his other books and they are not very good at all. I was however pointing to the fact that the show is drawing people in with tits and blood, which makes more people read the books. If someone can sit there and say that just because a movie does well in the theatres, that does not automatically make it a good movie. Then I can say the same about a book that sells well or has a TV show based on it.

And, I feel like I need to point this out again, I am not attacking his readership. Taste is personal and only based on opinion.

Baresark:

frobalt:

Baresark:

I had to stop reading at that point. He is a mediocre writer who's work is the foundation for what amounts to shitty pacing, mostly bad characterization, but ample supplies of tits and blood to keep people coming back. You face episodes of boredom hoping episode 9 means a damn.

That said: If it's your thing, that is fine. I'm not attacking the readership, I'm just giving my personal opinion on the writer and what his writing has wrought. The fact that Stan Lee is an influence on Martin is so immaterial, it may as well not even be thing. So many of the writers on this site basically advertise this guy, it defies reason.

Ironically, whether the writing is good or not doesn't matter in this case. He's important because of how popular Game of Thrones has become, which is a reflection on the story that is being told, not the way the words are written that tell it.

It seems like you're basing your opinion based on the TV show though, not the books. Believe it or not, but sexuality is far less present in the books than it is in the show. Don't get me wrong, it is still there, just no way near as much.

P.S. You might not want to point out flaws in someone else's writing when you use "who's" when "whose" is the correct word to use.

Nice, English Nazi! :p

I have read his books, I was referring to his writing. But I have not read A Song of Ice and Fire. I have read some of his other books and they are not very good at all. I was however pointing to the fact that the show is drawing people in with tits and blood, which makes more people read the books. If someone can sit there and say that just because a movie does well in the theatres, that does not automatically make it a good movie. Then I can say the same about a book that sells well or has a TV show based on it.

And, I feel like I need to point this out again, I am not attacking his readership. Taste is personal and only based on opinion.

I'm pretty sure it's more than safe to say that "tits and blood" being the primary reason for the viewship is plainly false, given the wide variety of paid capble shows which also have tits and blood but nowhere near the viewership that Game of Thrones enjoys. It's certainly not why I'm watching it. The only real case, or parallel, I'm seeing here is one that would say "the show is drawing people into reading the books", because that's about as valid as this statement gets.

Also, saying something is shit at the basic level of writing, pronouncing that what draws people in is entirely shallow and to do with nudity and "sensual subjects" whilst saying, "but that's ok, I'm not judging people, taste is subjective" is kind of definitely judging people :P. You can not reduce a text to one of its basic elements in your argument and then say "but it's ok for people to like that stuff, I no judge! (but that's definitely the reason they like it, guys, srsly!)"

Also, there's a whole genre of fiction which has to deal with sex, I don't see it as widely popular (that is, unless we're going to bring things like Fifty Shades of Garry into this conversation, which I would rather not.). As far as I understand, from... Almost everyone, is that the show's primary draw is the sprawling narrative that spans multiple character PoV's whilst also allowing for room to let all of those characters develop their own motives, not paint any as the primary villain. As far as Martin's prose and writing prowess, I couldn't give less of a shit as long as it's legible and uses words. Some writers don't deal in analogous or prose-heavy styles, that and it would probably not fit the series anyhow.
No opinion on characterization, other than that I've not seen any real issues with as far as I've gotten. All of them are believable, flawed, and have a tendency to die quite a bit.

Well, looking back, Marvel really did introduce the idea of making superheroes human. Before that, heroes were gods, idols, some ideal version of us we could never hope to be. The new Hercules of our time. Kubrick and Stan Lee, however, made PEOPLE, with issues and personalities beyond broad strokes.

Baresark:

frobalt:

Baresark:

I had to stop reading at that point. He is a mediocre writer who's work is the foundation for what amounts to shitty pacing, mostly bad characterization, but ample supplies of tits and blood to keep people coming back. You face episodes of boredom hoping episode 9 means a damn.

That said: If it's your thing, that is fine. I'm not attacking the readership, I'm just giving my personal opinion on the writer and what his writing has wrought. The fact that Stan Lee is an influence on Martin is so immaterial, it may as well not even be thing. So many of the writers on this site basically advertise this guy, it defies reason.

Ironically, whether the writing is good or not doesn't matter in this case. He's important because of how popular Game of Thrones has become, which is a reflection on the story that is being told, not the way the words are written that tell it.

It seems like you're basing your opinion based on the TV show though, not the books. Believe it or not, but sexuality is far less present in the books than it is in the show. Don't get me wrong, it is still there, just no way near as much.

P.S. You might not want to point out flaws in someone else's writing when you use "who's" when "whose" is the correct word to use.

Nice, English Nazi! :p

I have read his books, I was referring to his writing. But I have not read A Song of Ice and Fire. I have read some of his other books and they are not very good at all. I was however pointing to the fact that the show is drawing people in with tits and blood, which makes more people read the books. If someone can sit there and say that just because a movie does well in the theatres, that does not automatically make it a good movie. Then I can say the same about a book that sells well or has a TV show based on it.

And, I feel like I need to point this out again, I am not attacking his readership. Taste is personal and only based on opinion.

No, you're right. The first book was legitimately great, but afterwards it became bloated incoherent mess with some of the worst pacing I've ever seen. It's made all the worse by the fact that it had so much potential. I would argue that his dialogue and characterization are pretty good, but that's not nearly enough to save a shambling mass that isn't going anywhere. You think nothing happens in the show? Try reading hundreds of pages, only to realize nothing of consequence happened until maybe the last fifty pages. Go read Berserk instead.

Incidentally, I've heard he's a decent short story writer, so I picked up his anthology, dream songs, the same day as this article. He spends about ten pages gushing about comic books. He doesn't even mention novels. Go figure.

Fox12:

snip

No, you're right. The first book was legitimately great, but afterwards it became bloated incoherent mess with some of the worst pacing I've ever seen. It's made all the worse by the fact that it had so much potential. I would argue that his dialogue and characterization are pretty good, but that's not nearly enough to save a shambling mass that isn't going anywhere. You think nothing happens in the show? Try reading hundreds of pages, only to realize nothing of consequence happened until maybe the last fifty pages. Go read Berserk instead.

Incidentally, I've heard he's a decent short story writer, so I picked up his anthology, dream songs, the same day as this article. He spends about ten pages gushing about comic books. He doesn't even mention novels. Go figure.

I'm gonna have to check out that short story collection. Many authors are excellent at different things. I personally feel his characterization is lack luster, but it would probably be really good in a short story. I have noticed that he will start with some characterization of a main or the main characters, then it becomes kind of expository. But that would work very well in a short story.

Baresark:

Fox12:

snip

No, you're right. The first book was legitimately great, but afterwards it became bloated incoherent mess with some of the worst pacing I've ever seen. It's made all the worse by the fact that it had so much potential. I would argue that his dialogue and characterization are pretty good, but that's not nearly enough to save a shambling mass that isn't going anywhere. You think nothing happens in the show? Try reading hundreds of pages, only to realize nothing of consequence happened until maybe the last fifty pages. Go read Berserk instead.

Incidentally, I've heard he's a decent short story writer, so I picked up his anthology, dream songs, the same day as this article. He spends about ten pages gushing about comic books. He doesn't even mention novels. Go figure.

I'm gonna have to check out that short story collection. Many authors are excellent at different things. I personally feel his characterization is lack luster, but it would probably be really good in a short story. I have noticed that he will start with some characterization of a main or the main characters, then it becomes kind of expository. But that would work very well in a short story.

It's interesting so far. The beginnings a pretty rough ride, since it includes material from his high school years, but it gets better. It is interesting to see someone progress as their talent improves through age and practice. My problem with Martin is that he doesn't plot ahead, and so his novels rarely go anywhere. He's already admitted to not knowing where the plot is headed. In a short story, however, this is less of a handicap. I think his writing style is uniquely suited toward short stories, though certainly not novels. As I said, if you're looking for a decent fantasy story check out Berserk, and (maybe) Dark Souls.

Baresark:

At this point we feel pretty safe in saying that George R.R. Martin is one of the important writers of our time.

I had to stop reading at that point. He is a mediocre writer who's work is the foundation for what amounts to shitty pacing, mostly bad characterization, but ample supplies of tits and blood to keep people coming back. You face episodes of boredom hoping episode 9 means a damn.

Amusingly cyclical how the writer of such books is influential while he cites a comic book writer as a major influence on his writing.

What? Oh, I'm sorry. I seem to have accidentally dropped all my Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Dean Koontz, Peter David, Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, and assorted other books from real writers of merit, covering Martin all up, only to be further covered by more classical giants like Asimov, Bradbury, and Tolkien.

Bottom Line: He's not one of the most important in his echelon of sci-fi and fantasy. He's alright, but let's not get carried away with the whole Best Writer Evar schtick, okay?

FalloutJack:
What? Oh, I'm sorry. I seem to have accidentally dropped all my Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Dean Koontz, Peter David, Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, and assorted other books from real writers of merit, covering Martin all up, only to be further covered by more classical giants like Asimov, Bradbury, and Tolkien.

Bottom Line: He's not one of the most important in his echelon of sci-fi and fantasy. He's alright, but let's not get carried away with the whole Best Writer Evar schtick, okay?

"Most important" doesn't necessarily mean "best". The general public know of Stephen King and Terry Pratchet, they've likely heard of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but may not know who wrote it, Neil Gaiman is most certainly entrenched in Geek culture, I wouldn't say the mainstream know or have any reason to know who he is (unfortunetly), I've personally not heard of Koontz, David or Goodkind, but I haven't read much outside of comic books in some time, (on that note, I really need to go reread some of David Eddings stuff) so feel free to call me an igorant philistine there, but they're also not in the public eye as far as I'm aware.

As such, Martin sits at "most important of our time" because Game of Thrones has exploded into very much a mainstream thing, he even eclipses King, just because for most people, he hasn't done anything "BIG" in a while. This is kinda rare for a hardcore high fantasy author, especially in this day an age. By /our/ time, I'm kinda taking it that means my generation(I'm 22, so next genration made of our children hasn't really had time to solidify themselves yet.)

But... Game Of Thrones has nothing in common with Stan Lee's stories. Nothing in common at all.

Also, as much as I love reading his novels and I just can't put them down, I would NEVER call him "one of the most important writers of our time". He's got the notable ability to always keep you hooked to the story, but that's the only thing he has. He writes poorly.

"In those days, the smell of leather and blood had clung to him like perfume. Now it was perfume that clung to him like perfume."

I'm not sure that's what I'd call good writing. One single page of a random Terry Pratchett's novel blows all of Martin's writings out of the water.

(And that's not even taking into account the very unsettling obsession Martin has for underage girls and incest. If he wasn't a famous writer, he'd be on FBI watch.)

 

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