March 20, 2013 | 4:41 p.m.
PERSPECTIVE It’s probably no coincidence that television reached a new level of critical respectability after its most serious shows embraced serialized storytelling, both as a way to hook audiences and a way to develop more novelistic depth. It’s an approach Marvel Comics already had figured out in the 1960s. When writer-editor Stan Lee and his bullpen of artists started introducing cliffhangers, romantic melodrama and long-simmering subplots into superhero comics, Marvel suddenly became hip and popular, and was even written about in mainstream publications, long before the “comics aren’t for kids anymore” headlines of the 1980s. Yet even more than Lee, the Marvel writer who best played to the strengths of serialization was Chris Claremont. In 1975, when Claremont was still in his mid-20s, he took the assignment to write for Marvel’s revival of “The X-Men”: a team of superpowered, socially […]
Jan. 11, 2013 | 1:44 p.m.
Stan Lee. (POW entertainment) Just two weeks after celebrating his 90th birthday, comics icon Stan Lee shows no signs of slowing down. For his latest venture in a decades-long career that includes co-creating Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, Lee will launch a new family-friendly multimedia imprint, Stan Lee’s Kids Universe, on Feb. 2 at an event in Los Angeles. A joint venture between 1821 Comics and Lee’s company POW Entertainment, the imprint will publish print and digital formats, including graphic novels, picture books, e-books and games tailored to children. Aiming at a younger audience than the usual fanboy demographic, the imprint “was created to provide children with big imaginations an entirely new universe to explore, with the aim of telling stories that they haven’t read before yet provide educational value as well,” Lee said in a prepared statement. […]
Sept. 15, 2012 | 10:00 a.m.
Verticus, an upcoming mobile game from comics icon Stan Lee, enlists anyone with an iPhone to save the Earth from alien invaders. Lee and the game’s developers debuted a trailer for Verticus during a Saturday morning press conference at Comikaze, the homegrown pop culture convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The trailer opens with a view of Earth from space as Lee’s distinctive voice narrates: “The world is in peril. An evil alien race known as the Obliterators has infiltrated the Earth’s core, where they’re constructing a horrific doomsday device… No weapon or ordinary human has any hope of reaching it in time, except for our hero.” The hero is Verticus, a new character created by Lee for the game, which is slated for an October release. Verticus was developed by Moonshark, a fledgling publisher backed by CAA and Qualcomm. The […]
Sept. 13, 2012 | 12:07 p.m.
A legion of zombie fans, comics geeks, wizard wannabes and gamers are expected to converge on the Los Angeles Convention Center for a weekend of panels, exhibits, video games and live music at Stan Lee’s Comikaze. Now in its second year, Comikaze began as a passion project for Southern California siblings Regina, Fabiano and Mario Carpinelli, who sought to create a convention focused on (and affordable for) local sci-fi, fantasy, horror and gaming fans. Despite some logistical hiccups in its freshman year, the pop-culture convention’s turnout of about 30,000 last November exceeded expectations — a success that enticed comics icon Stan Lee and horror hostess Elvira to come on board as business partners, Regina Carpinelli said. The convention was rebranded Stan Lee’s Comikaze presented by POW!, and organizers estimate it will draw 60,000 fans — double last year’s attendance. The […]
July 09, 2012 | 2:09 p.m.
“The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” are both doing heroic business at the box office this summer, but when Comic-Con International begins this week, Stan Lee won’t be there to just to bask in the fanboy glow of his Marvel Comics legacy. He’ll be there to promote his latest venture, the new YouTube channel Stan Lee’s World of Heroes. “I’m happy as hell that Marvel’s doing so well, but I don’t spend that much time thinking about it,” Lee said during an interview at his office at POW! Entertainment. “The fun of what we do is that we’re always moving ahead.” Lee’s innate salesmanship and relentless sense of wonder overpower any nostalgia, which is why his name is on a steady stream of projects every fiscal quarter. One of the latest is a new batch of heroic adventures on the […]
July 08, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.
These are days of silver and gold for Spider-Man. This week he returned to the silver screen in director Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and next month he celebrates his golden anniversary — it will be 50 years since “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 introduced a character who would become the gold-standard creation of the silver age. The new film takes its title from a slab of Marvel bedrock: “The Amazing Spider-Man” was the name of the series that began in 1963 with No. 1 and is now closing in on issue No. 700. But what was the deal with “Amazing Fantasy”? How did the 15th and final issue of a series with something of tin-bucket heritage end up with a holy grail character that would revolutionize comics and define the Marvel brand of melodrama? It’s an elusive question, in a way, […]
June 18, 2012 | 6:07 p.m.
Have the moviegoers of China been holding out for a hero of their own? If so, then help is on the way — his name is Annihilator and, no surprise, Stan Lee is one of the people trying to get him off the ground. “This is the perfect Chinese hero,” Lee said Monday. “China is a nation that is involved with movies and the industry is growing so it’s as though all the pieces are coming together beautifully.” The financing piece is off to a good start, certainly, with Monday’s news that “The Annihilator” tops the inaugural list of co-productions from National Film Capital, the state-run fund-management company that draws on $422 million raised by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and other partners. (The slate also included the action-fantasy “Dragon Scroll”; the historical epic “Genghis Khan,” from Los Angeles-based writer and director Peter […]
May 17, 2012 | 5:03 p.m.
Stan Lee has canceled his Monday appearance at the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival, according to Theo Dumont, a spokesman at Lee’s POW Entertainment. Lee, the 89-year-old comic book icon, was the centerpiece of the final night of the festival, which was also to include video-taped greetings from industry peers and Hollywood elite as well as a screening of “X-Men,” the movie that 12 years ago ushered in the new era of superhero cinema. The festival, in its third year, will now end on Sunday night. Lee is distraught and depressed about the recent death of business associate Arthur Lieberman, according to Yuka Kobayashi, another staffer at POW Entertainment. While Lieberman died on May 1, Kobayashi said the collective fatigue of multiple appearances tied to “The Avengers” release have made it necessary for Lee to clear his upcoming schedule. Lee will be appearing Saturday at […]
May 11, 2012 | 11:01 a.m.
It’s almost here — we’re just one week from the start of the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival and with the franchise in its third year we’ve moved to a sweet new home (Regal Cinemas at LA Live, where in September we brought you a 30th anniversary screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with Steven Spielberg and surprise guest Harrison Ford) and expanded the program (four days now with more than a dozen guests, including three that haven’t been announced). To get a bead on the festival, peruse the photo gallery above — be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option if you don’t see text across the bottom of each image – and you’ll get a snapshot description of all of eight of our separately ticketed screenings. The box here on the right leads to the ticketing page. And how about those fun images in the gallery? […]
May 01, 2012 | 1:01 p.m.
Stan Lee, the living Marvel himself, will close out the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival – and he’ll get some on-screen backup from Wolverine, Magneto and the other uncanny mutants in the landmark 2000 film “X-Men.”‘ “An Evening with Stan Lee” will bring the 89-year-old dynamo of pop culture and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X-Men and hundreds of other characters onstage for an in-depth conversation. You could say that Lee is the most famous name in comic books who isn’t a comic-book character — but at this point he he’s appeared in so many Marvel stories — both on the page and on the screen in his movie cameos — that it’s difficult to know where Lee the creator stops and Lee the character begins. Stanley Lieber was born in New York City on Dec. 28, 1922, but when he got […]