The American Heritage Center (AHC) is a unique library and archive at the University of Wyoming in the unique Western town of Laramie. AHC is the university’s repository of manuscript collections, rare books, and university archives. One of its many fine collections focuses on the Comic Book Industry.
The Comic Book Industry collection is “unique in documenting the editors and writers of this industry increasingly recognized by scholars as having significant impact on the nation’s popular culture.”
One of the most noteworthy collections at AHC is the Stan Lee Papers (others include Private Snafu writer/editor Harold Elk Straubing and Superman editor Mort Weisinger). The Stan Lee collection is a seemingly endless archive of Lee’s work at Marvel, particularly strong in the era from the 1940s to 1970s. The Stan Lee Papers contain a wide range of documents and items, not just papers, though the archive has box after box of Lee’s business correspondence, fan mail, and Marvel internal memos. There are countless audio and videotapes, for example, that would take a researcher weeks to examine.
Since most fans and Marvel aficionados will never get the chance to visit AHC, over the next year I will share some of the unique findings I uncovered.
The Stan Lee figurine is one of the interesting pieces among the Stan Lee Papers.
According to WizardUniverse.com:
“Bowen Designs immortalizes the father of the Marvel Universe as this 5” tall collector’s bust! Sculpted by the master, Randy Bowen, the Stan Lee Mini-Bust is scaled to the rest of Bowen’s Marvel busts! What can we say, except “Excelsior, True Believers!” Painted and ready to display.
Sculptor Randy Bowen founded Bowen Designs in 1992 and quickly gained fame for his Marvel collectible statues.
The Stan Lee Mini-Bust sold for $45 in January 2003 with only 1,500 available. Some 14 years ago the figurine would have been a great investment. Recently on eBay, the mini-bust ranged from $175 to a signed statuette for $500.