Comic book legend, publisher and entrepreneur Stan Lee has been selected by the VES Board of Directors as the recipient of the VES 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lee isn’t slowing down, however. At New York Comic Con, in his current position as chairman and chief creative officer of POW! Entertainment, Lee unveiled two new projects with Paris Kasidokostas and Terry Douglas’ 1821 Comics: Stan Lee’s Kid Universe and Romeo and Juliet: The War.
Stan Lee’s Kid Universe will introduce a whole new audience to Lee’s work and fill what POW!’s CEO Gill Champion said was a void in the children’s space. “While we want these to be reasonably educational and good for kids, our main purpose is to be entertaining,” Lee said.
Romeo and Juliet: The War takes place about 200 years in the future and is a reimagining of the timeless story, according to Lee. “This is the graphic novel I’ve always dreamed of doing. Take one of the world’s greatest stories, known and loved throughout the globe [and] place it against the background of a future age.”
Terry Dougas, co-cwner and co-publisher of 1821 Comics, said the property has “a tremendous amount” of potential to branch into other mediums.
It’s his entire body of work so far that the VES is honoring, however. Lee is known to millions as the man whose Super Heroes propelled Marvel Comics to its preeminent position in the comic book industry and whose co-creations include Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Avengers, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange, among many others.
Lee first became publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972 and is presently the chairman emeritus of Marvel Enterprises Inc. and a member of the editorial board of Marvel Comics.
“Stan Lee’s imagination has created a completely original and profitable niche in the entertainment world and has allowed visual effects to flex its muscle in service to it!” said VES chair Jeffrey A. Okun. “Thanks to Mr. Lee’s fantastic creations and amazing stories he not only created a future filled with gadgets and inventions that we aspire to create for real – but all while inspiring the minds and imaginations of storytellers, visual effects artists and computer wizards everywhere.”
Lee has created or co-created 90 percent of Marvel’s recognized characters, which have been successfully licensed and marketed since 1965. More than 2 billion of his comic books have been published in 75 countries and in 25 languages, and his characters have populated over 24 separate television series, all of which continue in syndication around the world.
The VES Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals whose “lifetime body of work has made a significant and lasting contribution to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry by way of artistry, invention and/or groundbreaking work.” The award will be presented at the 10th Annual VES Awards, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on February 7, 2012.
Previous recipients of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award are: George Lucas (2004); Robert Zemeckis (2005); Dennis Muren (2007); Steven Spielberg (2008); Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall (2009); James Cameron (2010); and Ray Harryhausen (2011).