Comic book fans around the world are mourning the passing of a legend. Stan Lee, the man who co-created most of the Marvel Comic Universe died Monday in Los Angeles at the age of 95.

"He was a real idea man," said Lovern Kindzierski.

Kindzierski is an award-winning Winnipeg comic book artist who worked on some of Lee's most iconic creations, such as the X-Men, Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk. He says Stan Lee's importance to the industry can't be overstated, not just as a creator, but also for his work as Marvel Comics publisher.

"He helped my little company out," said Kindzierski. "He introduced so many new ways of thinking about the characters, as well as making opportunities for so many artists. A lot of people really owe Stan a great debt."

Lee's influence extended beyond the printed page of the comic book. It could be felt on the big screen, where his characters were brought to life in a new format for new audience.

Many of the characters feature prominently in the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic universe., as did Stan Lee himself, appearing in small cameo roles in dozens of superhero films.

Fans like Glenn Highfield always looked forward to spotting Lee’s face on film.

"You always kept kind of half an eye open for what he might be, where he might be," said Highfield. "And we always had a good laugh at that."

In an interview conducted before he died, Lee said, "When you do something that you know the fans seem to enjoy, that gives you such satisfaction you don't want to stop."

And he didn't stop, until the very end.