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George R.R. Martin once hailed Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as better writers than Shakespeare

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We’ve all had childhood heroes who we idolized and wanted to be like them. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin found his heroes in comic book legends, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He has been a Marvel fanboy ever since Stan’s and Steve Ditko’s Spider-man was first published, and he often proudly admits that. He revealed he had been sending fan letters to his idols ever since he was a kid, and how they inspired many of his stories.

In a recent interview with The Independent, Martin revealed what he wrote in the earliest of his letters:

“Dear Stan and Jack, you guys are better than Shakespeare!” 

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He continued, “I was a big Marvel fan, and I tried some of those Marvel shows that were on in the Seventies, The [Incredible] Hulk with Bill Bixby and [TV movies about] Captain America. I tried them once and I didn’t watch them again because I didn’t like them very much, but I didn’t go crazy and start writing hate mail. I’ve got to think social media has something to do with it.

 
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He also talked about how Stan Lee inspired his writing style, “That’s all Stan Lee, and you can see it all over my work! Unexpectedly killing characters, characters who are not what they seem, characters who are partly good and partly bad. Grey characters. You don’t know which way they’re going to jump when the moment of crisis comes. Stan Lee’s fingerprints are all over that.”

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