A fan reception and candlelight vigil for Stan Lee, the late Marvel Comics impresario and former longtime resident of Woodmere and Hewlett Harbor, will be held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook.
"He's an iconic presence that all Long Islanders could and should take pride in," said Brian Finnegan, 26, of East Northport, who is helping organize the event with Charlie Ziegler, president of the Tri-State Stan Lee Fan Club, and John C. Tsunis, owner of the hotel.
Mourners will light candles, and fans, including cosplayers, can display their comic books and collectibles on tables in the hotel lobby. The hotel's televisions will play Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, which featured Lee, who died Monday at 95, in his famous cameo roles.
"He's someone who brought out the hero in all of us," said Ziegler, 33, of Kings Park, the hotel's director of operations. "Kids growing up reading the comics, and watching the cartoons and seeing the movies — it was something you could do from a young age to adulthood. He had superhero stories you could relate to in everyday life," Ziegler said of the superheroes-with-everyday-problems approach Lee innovated with collaborators including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, beginning with "The Fantastic Four" in 1961. "For inspiring so many people, it's a way to pay our respect."
Candles will be provided, and attendees at the free event also are welcome to bring their own. The year-old Tri-State Stan Lee Fan Club, a group of about 50 that meets roughly every two months, will have a sign-up sheet for those interested in information about joining.
Lee's connection to Stony Brook comes from his guest appearance at I-Con, the pop-culture fan convention held at Stony Brook University from 1982 to 2008 and from 2010 to 2012. It was held primarily at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood in 2009 and 2017.