The Producers Guild of America will bestow its 2012 Vanguard Award on comic book icon Stan Lee when the group holds its 23rd annual PGA Awards ceremony January 21 at the Beverly Hilton. The award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Lee helped create such indelible superheroes as Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and the Avengers during his career at Marvel Comics. The characters that have been translated into books, television series, video games, web series, Broadway shows and some of the past decade’s most profitable tent pole films. Lee co-founded POW! Entertainment in 2001 to develop properties for multiple platforms; most recently, POW! teamed with Michael Eisner’s Vuguru to produce original digital content. “Stan Lee’s creative vision and imagination has produced some of the most beloved and visually stunning characters and adventures in history,” said Producers Guild Awards co-chairs Paula Wagner and Michael Manheim in announcing the award this morning. “He not only has created content that will forever be in our culture but continues to make strides in the digital and new media realms, keeping the comic book industry fresh and exciting. Stan’s accomplishments truly encompass the spirit of the Vanguard Award and we are proud to honor him.”

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