Media Release — Barry Renshaw and Cassandra Conroy are delighted to announce that Stan Lee – the celebrated co-creator of such enduring Marvel characters as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and the X-Men – has agreed to become patron of the Eagle Initiative.
Agreeing to give his backing to the innovative worldwide talent search, Lee said, ‘Way back in 1976 mine was the first name enrolled on the Eagle Awards Roll of Honour and I’m thrilled, lo these many years later, to be invited to be a patron of this pioneering initiative which stems from such prestigious and long-running prizes.
“Breaking into comic books has never been easy and I think it’s great that Barry and Cassandra are devoting their energies to helping newcomers from around the world get their foot on – and up – the ladder,” added the venerated writer. “I’m delighted to add my name to the Eagle Initiative and wish every contestant all the best, both with their entries and their subsequent careers. Who knows, this ambitious project might lead to the discovery of a 21st century Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko… or Stan Lee!”
Responding to the celebrated Marvel creator’s comments, Renshaw – who is spearheading the project – said, “Having an industry legend like Stan Lee not only support the Initiative but agree to be its patron is both incredibly exciting and humbling at the same time. I certainly never expected to receive the amount of interest and support from industry professionals that we have done over just a few short months, and everyone behind the scenes at the Initiative is absolutely dedicated to making sure we live up to their faith in the endeavour.”
Now heading up the Eagle Awards, Cassandra Conroy added, “The Marvel Universe had just had its 30th birthday when I came into this world but my dad familarised me with those classic early stories throughout my formative years. It is, therefore, a great honour to have Stan Lee not only support us on the Initiative but also be so enthusiastic about what Barry is doing. I’m sure his involvement will catapult the Initiative and the Eagle Awards themselves into the wider public spotlight.”
Eagle Awards founder Mike Conroy is serving as a consultant and publicist to the Initiative. He commented, “Things just keep getting better for Barry and Cassandra. The industry has been behind them from the start but to get backing from the living legend that is Stan Lee just turns things up to 11!”
For further details on the Initiative, a full list of judges and complete submission guidelines, go to http://www.eaglesinitiative.com/. For press enquiries, contact Mike Conroy: email@example.com. For further details on the Eagle Awards, contact Cassandra Conroy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ABOUT THE EAGLES INITIATIVE:
Launched in May 2010, the Eagles Initiative provides a unique platform from which the next generation of writers and artists can promote their storytelling ability in an increasingly competitive market. The brainchild of Barry Renshaw, the Initiative is an unprecedented global talent search, entrants will be asked to submit an original self-contained illustrated story. The winner will be awarded a £1,000 cash prize; the runner up will win £500 with the third place submission being given £250. All three stories are to be included in the Initiative Anthology, which will be released as a print publication and in multiple languages across the digital media.
ABOUT THE EAGLE AWARDS:
Introduced in 1976, the Eagles are the comics industry’s longest established awards. Unique in that they reflect the people’s choice, they are awarded by fans who vote for their favourite in each category of the awards. They are named after the fondly remembered 1950’s British comic anthology Eagle, and were originated by two British fans, Mike Conroy and Richard Burton. The awards proved to be successful, with American publishers announcing their victories with pride. They have relaunched in 2010 with a new look, a new mandate and a new vision for the future.
ABOUT STAN LEE:
Stan Lee is the man whose co-created superheroes such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man and many others have been monster movie hits and helped make Marvel Comics the dominant force in the comicbook industry.
Without question, Stan ‘the Man’ Lee has exerted more influence over comicbooks than anyone in history. The numbers are staggering – more than 2 billion Marvel Comics have been published in 75 countries and in 25 languages. In Europe alone, Stan Lee’s name appears on over 35 million comics annually.
He supervised such diverse animated series as X-Men, Spider-Man and The Hulk. To date, Stan’s characters have populated over 24 separate television series, all of which continue in syndication around the world.
Additionally, many of Stan’s other creations, such as the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil have been major motion pictures with no end in sight for the sequels, while Doct or Strange, the Mighty Thor, Avengers and Silver Surfer, plus many others, are in development for motion pictures even as you read these words.
Stan Lee’s admirers are not limited to the younger generation – his avowed fans include Presidents (Ronald Reagan once said he started every day reading Spider-Man comics and George Bush, in presenting Stan a Medal of the Arts, praised him for encouraging and assisting “millions of young people to broaden their own imaginations”) and even his competitors (“Most of my generation of writers learned our craft from or through Stan Lee. He’s an incredible part of the business,” said Paul Levitz of DC Comics).
Now, as he enters the 21st Century, Stan Lee is broadening his horizons. Stan is currently developing entirely new franchise for film and television with his own company POW! Entertainment while still proudly cherishing the title of Chairman Emeritus of Marvel.
ABOUT BARRY RENSHAW:
Barry Renshaw has been an active creator in the UK independent comics industry for over a decade, as publisher of his own Engine Comics imprint, the award winning Redeye Magazine, and the popular How to Self Publish – A Rough Guide, as well as running or appearing at various workshops, seminars and panels over the years. He was asked to join the Eagle Awards committee in 2009 to help reinvent the brand, and saw an opportunity for the Awards to play a more progressive and proactive role in the comics industry. The Initiative is the first part of that expanded role.
ABOUT CASSANDRA CONROY:
Cassandra Conroy has been a regular presence on the UK convention scene for several years. In 2008 her father Mike Conroy handed over the running of the Eagle Awards to Cassandra, who was then just 16-years old. She has worked on Eaglemoss’s Classic Marvel Figurine Collection and DC Comics Super Hero Collection.
ABOUT MIKE CONROY:
Formerly editor of Comics International, Europe’s trade paper, veteran comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy is the founder of the Eagle Awards. Established in 1976, they are one of the comics industry’s earliest established and most coveted international prizes. Sought after to talk about comics and movies on TV and radio, Mike has written extensively on those subjects for various publishers and magazines. He is the author of 500 Great Comic Book Action Heroes its sequel 500 Comic Book Villains and War Stories: A Graphic History as well as a major contributor to Comix: The Underground Revolution. His former position on CI followed his 10-year reign as the magazine’s news editor. For over 12 years, his monthly Frame to Frame – the comics industry’s longest-running column discussing the interaction between movies and comics – had been a feature in CI, which he had been associated with since the magazine’s very beginnings in 1991. Contact him at: email@example.com.