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Comic Book Legend Hails Popularity of DVD

24 Feb, 2005 By: John Gaudiosi

Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel's best-known properties, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Hulk and Daredevil, is working on original comic book characters for his new company POW! Entertainment.

Lee, who recently spoke at the 2005 DICE Summit in Las Vegas, said his company is now working on bringing these new characters to TV and DVD.

“The DVD industry is huge,” Lee said. “Rabid fans want to learn as much as they can about their favorite movies.”

POW! has signed a distribution agreement with IDT Entertainment for DVD distribution of the new comics in animated form. Anchor Bay Home Entertainment will release four DVDs based on original POW! Comics “El Lobo,” “Chameleon,” “Ringo” (with Ringo Starr) and “Whirlwind.”

Lee said the DVDs are in preproduction now, and the plan is to introduce new characters digitally through DVD. Each DVD will include 66 minutes of animation. Lee will be doing extensive behind-the-scenes work for all the DVDs to provide additional content to fans and explain how the new characters came about.The animated content could also be divided into 22-minute segments for TV, which is part of the overall plan at POW! Entertainment.

In addition to the DVDs, Lee said he is working on bringing some of his new characters to the video game front.

“Every one of these comics could be a great video game,” he said.

Lee acknowledged that the comic business has suffered today because of the growth of DVDs, video games, the Internet and PCs.

“There's so much today to occupy fans of wild adventure,” said Lee, who added that there's room for great properties to stand on their own.

“If you make a great comic, people will read it. If you make a great video game, people will play it,” he said.

Lee has watched video games replace comics as the most popular fodder for Hollywood films. He said movie producers today are very aware that a movie based on a popular game comes with a pre-sold audience. There will always be a place for comics on the big screen, he said, but video games, with their millions of copies sold, will continue to be a popular source of Hollywood films.

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