Far from the gloom of mourning, I’m willing to bet as much as anyone that recently-departed legendary comic book auteur and fandom pioneer Stan Lee’s life is more pointed toward celebrating than anything.
Over at the LegionM official website, they’ll be making this point all the more clearer with tickets sales for Excelsior! A Celebration of the Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible & Uncanny Life of Stan Lee. Sales will go live at 8pm EST/5pm PST on Wednesday.
The tribute event on Wednesday, January 30, will begin with a public appreciation of Stan’s life and work at Hollywood’s iconic TCL Chinese Theatre forecourt that will feature fan-favorite speakers, an art exhibit celebrating Stan’s legacy by famed pop-culture artist Rob Prior, select costumes and props from Stan’s cameos and creations, a musical performance and a special moment of remembrance centered around Stan Lee’s hand and foot imprint. After a red carpet arrival of guests, the evening will proceed with a private tribute inside the IMAX Theatre hosted by one of Stan’s biggest fans, Kevin Smith.
Kevin will moderate conversations with celebrity speakers from the entertainment industry such as Mark Hamill, Rob Liefeld (Co-Creator of Deadpool), Michael Uslan (Executive Producer, “The Dark Knight”), Vincent D’Onofrio, RZA, and Tom DeSanto (Producer, “X-Men,” “Transformers” franchise) among others who will share their favorite memories and personal stories of Stan. The evening will be rounded off with video tributes and live performances of Stan’s favorite music and poetry.
Smith’s 1995 comedy, Mallrats, saw a cameo from the iconic Lee shared with actor Jason Lee. The famed patriarch of Marvel whose spate of cameos spanned a multitude of film and TV properties and franchises was once even to appear in a Mallrats sequel that fell dead as recently as 2017 when a TV series was in development instead.
Kevin Smith on Stan Lee, “Thank you, Stan, for making me not only the boy I was but also the man I am today. You had great power and you always used it responsibly, fostering billions of dreamers who all know your name – a name written in the stars for all time. You were not just the literary titan of comic books, you were our modern-day Mark Twain.”
Scott D. Williams, CEO of Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment said, “We are honored for this chance for Stan’s fans and friends to come together in a celebration of his remarkable life. Despite his passing, Stan’s name, work and legacy will continue to flourish and be revealed to the world. We are committed to honor Stan’s extraordinary life and work.”
Gill Champion, Stan Lee’s partner and confidante for over 18 years, said, “Stan was a unique and unforgettable human being, truly adored worldwide. He loved coming to work and creating endless new ideas and stories and in spite of his genius he was a relatable and kind man that his admirers could relate to with ease. He will be dearly missed and his legacy will live on now and for many more generations to come.”
Producer of the event David Baxter, VP Development at Legion M, writes, “Stan Lee played a major cameo in all the lives of the fans he loved, be it through his writing, his acting or his personal interactions. We feel this tribute is a perfect opportunity for Stan’s beloved fans to unite with celebrities and friends of Stan to give the man the grand sendoff he deserves.”
Agents of Mayhem founder Darren Passarello, who got his start in entertainment from Stan and is also co-producing the event added, “Stan saw the good and the potential in everyone he met, and he never hesitated to help them if he could. It is not only an esteemed privilege but a personal honor to be a part of this tribute.”
The head of The Hero Initiative Jim McLauchlin knew Stan for decades and said, “Stan believed in the ‘golden rule,’ and always went out of his way to make time for others and make their day just a little bit better. I think this tribute is absolutely in that spirit, and a great chance for fans to get together, share their love for Stan, and find strength in that.”
Champion, who serves as president of POW! Entertainment, will oversee Lee’s legacy along with a plethora of projects and concepts Lee has since left behind.
Proceeds from the event will reportedly go to The Hero Initiative to help aspiring comic book creators, artists and writers in need. Further details and announcements for the event will be made in the days ahead at the official Twitter pages at Kevin Smith, Legion M, Agents of Mayhem, and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. (@TheRealStanLee, @ThatKevinSmith, @LegionMofficial, @AgentsofMayhem)