Artists forever leave impact on fans


Claire Meyer

Marvel memorabilia can be found everywhere, including schools nationwide.

There are few things more intimate and meaningful than making something entirely new, like carving angels from marble or composing a piece of music. Even doodling a little cartoon character on a piece of notebook paper can be satisfying. As an artist and a writer myself, I have found great value in making and sharing my creations with others. However, when an artist dies, it seems like an entire universe is stopped in its tracks.

Recently, the world lost two very influential artists. On Nov. 12, Stan Lee, Marvel Comics creator, died from heart failure and breathing issues at the age of 95. Soon after, Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the Spongebob Squarepants cartoon series, died on Nov. 26 because of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at 57.

However, when an artist dies, it seems like an entire universe is stopped in its tracks.”

— Claire Meyer, 11

Both men were gifted people, bringing more to the table than simply their creations, which was already enough. They were kind souls. Hillenburg strove to share his sense of humor in his show. Lee even had a non-profit organization made to promote literacy, education and the arts in the United States.

These two brilliant minds exemplified imagination and passion. They were the epitome of what it means to be a visionary. Each seemed called to their art. Hillenburg was fascinated with both ocean life and drawing at a young age and continued to pursue these interests into college. Eventually, of course, these led to the making of Spongebob Squarepants. Similarly, Lee jumped into to the comic-book world head on when he became office assistant at Timely Comics, and soon was promoted to editor. Before long, he was designing an abundance of lovable characters with help from his partner, Jack Kirby.

These creations are revered by fans across the globe. Spongebob is an internet sensation. People, mainly teenagers, can quote specific episodes without missing a beat. At the most recent Marvel movie, Avengers: Infinity War, millions of followers cried as their favorite heroes suffered. These works of art mean something to so many people and without them, our world would be a very different place. One of the most-viewed children’s cartoons would never exist. Comic-Cons would lack Thor, Spiderman and Hulk; the entire superhero genre would be somewhat underdeveloped.

There will not be a legitimate Stan Lee cameo in the next Marvel movie.”

— Claire Meyer, 11

Though, in some way, these moments have become a reality. There will not be a legitimate Stan Lee cameo in the next Marvel movie. There is something truly surreal, almost incomprehensible, when I realize this, or when I wonder what other brilliant concepts could have sprouted from the mind of Hillenburg in his later years.

The trick is, as with most deaths, to remember what made that person who they were. For doctors, it’s the lives they saved. For educators, the minds they shaped. When an artist dies, it’s up to their fans to make sure they live on through the worlds and characters they so lovingly created.