Saturday, 2 July 2011

Stan Lee Excelsior Awards report

I was honoured and delighted to be part of the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards in
Sheffield yesterday.

Organised by Paul Register, the Learning Resource Centre Manager (that's
Librarian in old money) at Ecclesfield School, this splendid award involved a
number of local schools (10 I believe, Paul will correct me), whose pupils were
given the opportunity to read, review and vote on a shortlist of 8 graphic
novels and their votes would find a winner. A few hundred pupils, drawn from
each of the participating schools, were in attendance at the presentation.

I did my small Comic Art Masterclass keynote speech, which kept them entertained
for half an hour, then we had a presentation from the most marvellous special
guest - Theodore "Ted" Adams from the Stan Lee Foundation, who had come all the
way over from the States just to be here and give Stan's seal of approval to the
event. We watched some highly entertaining video by and about Stan, and the
whole hall posed for a video clip of us shouting "Excelsior" which should wind
up on Stan's website.

Then the awards were presented. Paul will give you the full shortlist (which I
didn't come away with a note of and don't want to get wrong). In 3rd place was
the manga version of Twilight, in 2nd place was Bryan Talbot's Grandville Mon
Amour - Bryan was there to accept the award - and the winner, quite
overwhelmingly if the students' applause was anything to go by, was Black Butler
by Yana Toboso.

Bryan and Dan Heggarty, author of shortlisted title Mesolith, signed books, the
guys from Sheffield Space Centre sold books, the whole event was filmed and
should end up online, and I did drawings and signed comics for kids.

This was an absolutely excellent event, reaching precisely the sort of audience
that I always wanted my Comic Festival events to reach. The school hall was full
of kids who now read comics, some of whom did before but all of whom will do

Thanks Paul & congratulations

Kev F Sutherland

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