By Sahar Vahidi
Comic book giant Stan Lee’s Spider-man, the X-Men and the Hulk are just of his created fan favorites that have been around for generations. While riding high on his successful creations, Lee’s still at work and branched away from his mainstays with a new brand for 1821 Comics. During an exclusive interview, Lee promised that he’ll be devoting time to creating new characters and background stories, but this time just for kids.
1821’s “Stan Lee’s Kids Universe” premiered at New York Comic Con as a platform. Lee explained to the crowd that comics have become too adult in nature and he hoped to bring in humor and general fun to the market.
Never willing to do anything half-hearted, Lee will be working on all types of products for this new generation to indulge in. 1821 Comics is currently working on six projects; five books and an interactive game for the iPhone and iPad, which will be released by Spring. The company is also working on producing a video game featuring the man himself, humorously titled, “Stan Lee Saved the World.”
“As much as I possibly can because this project is very important to me,” Lee replied when asked how much hands on work will he be able to take on. “And every little detail, Terry [Dougas] and I go over it. We decide what the characters will be, what they’ll look like, what they’ll personalties will be. Who’ll draw them, who’ll write them and so forth, we are on top of everything. This is an important project, not something we’re just casually doing.”
Terry Dougas, CEO of 1821 Comics, backed up his partner’s claim that this isn’t just some casual project of theirs; they’ve been working together for years to get it just right. “We’re going to do a lot of books,” Dougas added. “We’re starting with amping everything up now for next year.”
In quite the literal sense, Lee has lended his own voice to the project. At the 1821 Comic Con presentation, fans were treated to an exclusive preview of the colorful motion graphics, not limited to a cartoon version of Lee. “That’s me!” Lee exclaimed to the screen.
While Lee admitted that adults are welcome to read the new comics, they are meant for a kid audience without an agenda. ‚ÄúWe’re not on a crusade of any sort.” Lee assured and also added while he wanted products to be educational, he’s been foremost concerned in the entertainment value. “Kids have a great sense of humor if you can reach them the right way.”
Will Lee be able to reach kids? Dougas believed so and called him a “perfect partner” during the interview. “He knows what the kids want, which is amazing… He’s like a little kid,” Dougas said smiling, gesturing to Lee on his side.
Dougas and Lee first met 8 years ago when the duo were imagining children’s characters for film and television. Ultimately, they agreed that comics were what they wanted to do. “We kinda try and create stories and ideas, things that we really want to read.” Dougas said. “What people want see now, kinda have fun with them, characters like Reggie the Veggie Crocodile, it’s funny to have Reggie run around the world on adventures.”
“Since we – Terry and I – have good memories as kids, we still remember what we liked as kids, and that’s what we’re trying to put out on the printed page – for today’s kids.” Lee explained in an interview.
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