Monday, October 11, 2010

Comic book king STAN LEE sees gold in digital/cross-media narratives

When the first comic book was published in 1934 as a compilation of newspaper comic strips, who could have imagined how white-hot comic book properties would become?   

Stan Lee, the legendary comic book writer and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics, says the digital age is great for the comic book industry. In a recent interview with The Street TV, he said digital devices like iPads provide great platforms that bring static comic book stories to life. Lee added that the spate of superhero-inspired blockbusters coupled with the allure of lucrative multimedia story deals, has made some screenwriters and novelists eager to write comic books. 

So good are the prospects for comic book gold, in fact, that last year Lee, with award-winning producer Gill Champion and intellectual property attorney Arthur Lieberman, Esq., founded POW! Entertainment (Pink Sheets: POWN), an advanced media and entertainment company for creating, producing and licensing original intellectual properties for the global market.  Disney, which last year acquired Marvel Entertainment, Inc., has a ‘first look’ deal with POW! and also holds a 10% stake in the company.

Lee explained his bullishness for comic books in a televised interview on CNBC's Squawk on the Street. He said, “The need for stories is a human need and whether they're comic books or they're on the internet or on the screen, everybody wants to be entertained.” Lee maintains that a quality story - one that's full of action, surprise and suspense - is still paramount. 

During last week's New York Comic Con, Pow! announced several new projects, including: 

“The Seekers” - a digital comic series in development with MTV for its new MTV Geek website that offers comics, horror, sci-fi and gaming news, as well as coverage of comic-book conventions and previews of new comic books, games and movies.

A three-book development deal with the start up comic book and graphic novel company, 1821 Comics.  The first book is said to be a futuristic retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, titled Romeo and Juliet: The War.

Collaboration with Yoshiki , Asia's most influential music artist and founder and drummer of the band X JAPAN, on a music superhero comic book and motion comic series. 

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