How is the comic book industry affected by Stan Lee's death?
Lots of people are mourning him, rightly so, as he was a friend, mentor, and inspiration to many in and outside the industry.
Realistically the industry isn't going to miss a beat, as Stan Lee exited Marvel as writer, editor, and publisher in the 1980's and since then only really did one-off collaborations and acted as a spokesperson. He would never admit to being retired, and in a very real sense he never stopped "working," but he essentially was retired for over 30 years by the time he passed away. It's, uh, just a little late to be concerned about his absence from the comics business.