News : 2007 : Stan gets Jules Verne Award (Ditko doesn't)

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We received the following press release:

A FEW FIRST STORIES FROM THE JULES VERNE FILM FESTIVAL...

EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGES INTO EXTRAORDINARY THEATERS

THE JULES VERNE ADVENTURES FILM FESTIVAL
The Ultimate Event to Explore and Preserve our Planet
December 5 through 15 - LOS ANGELES

Shrine Auditorium (5 through 9)
Los Angeles Theatre (Closing Event, Saturday, december, 15)

STAN LEE, THE FATHER OF SPIDER-MAN RECEIVES THE JULES VERNE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD!

The spirit of Captain Nemo's creator Jules Verne will float in the air when another visionary artist receives the prestigious Award celebrating those who's achievements help to encourage the spirit of adventure, imagination and open-mindedness.

Stan Lee, the creator of so many Super-Heroes including the X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron-Man and the Incredible Hulk, will be the star of a full day and night dedicated to the super-heroes. Movie Premieres, Exclusive Previews, Props and Special Guest Stars will generate the super-electricity at the magical and historic Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway, hosting the second half of the Festival from December 13 through 16th.

SUPER-TRIBUTE TO STAN LEE - Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival, Saturday, December 15, 2PM - at the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway - LA, CA

Of course, in true Sci-Fi spirit, there's a bit of imaginative fiction going on here.

First up, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that a bunch of guys driving across town in their SUVs to watch movies is going to "Preserve our Planet". But I guess you can't hold an event in LA without jumping on the tree-hugging band-wagon these days. Secondly of course, even the Jules Verne guys (who should know better) have snubbed Ditko once more in calling Stan the "creator of Spider-Man".

I'm not going to trawl through the arguments here, but I think it's safe to say that the bulk of Spider-Fans out there firmly believe that Steve Ditko deserves his fair half of the credit for giving birth to the webbed-wonder. Even Stan admits it... albeit that his begrudging language sometimes makes me wonder if he truly believes it in his heart of hearts.

But that's the end of my objections. Of course there's no doubt at all that Stan deserves this award. There's equally no doubt that while Steve Ditko (while deserving a co-credit for Spidey) has no such equal claim to a "lifetime achievement" award.

Throughout his life, Stan produced dozens of great characters and ideas. He collaborated with hundreds of other great creators. What's more, Stan has happily filled the role of icon and inspiration to countless kids and adults alike.

He didn't do it out of altruism, or even particularly for love of the genre - at least not at first. As a young man he held higher aspirations of "real, serious writing". No, he did it because it was his job, and because he was compulsive-creative. Later he did it because he was successful, because that meant money, recognition and fame. He enjoyed the celebrity status and the material success, and presumably over time his values changed and he developed a true respect for the comic medium. Presumably.

But whatever his motives, Stan Lee has been the foremost symbol of the genre. His influence is undeniable. Meanwhile, Steve Ditko got his nose out of joint and decided to go live in a damp cardboard box. While Ditko's early contributions are equally undeniable, they are limited in scope and very limited in duration. This is a lifetime achievement award, and as such it belongs to Stan alone. Well done, Stan. Excelsior!