by Glen Downey, Comics in Education, www.comicsineducation.com
I had the great fortune of having my kids--who absolutely adore Stan Lee--get their picture taken with the legend when he made an appearance at the 2012 Fan Expo in Toronto. It's nearly two years later and they still haven't stopped smiling.
Imagine my delight, then, in discovering the Stan Lee Excelsior Award, a prize given to one of eight graphic novels each year as selected by the real experts on comics and graphic novels: teenagers! Here's the description of the award from the website:
The Stan Lee Excelsior Award is the only nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga - where kids aged 11-16 choose the winner by rating each book as they read it!
You'll be pleased to know that the organizer of this award is Paul Register, the librarian at the Ecclesfield School in Sheffield, England. Ecclesfield specializes in visual and performing arts and I can't help but think that it shares a kindred spirit with my own institution, The York School in Toronto. As noted in the award description, Stan the Man himself has endorsed the award, and it's such a great way to help foster and promote the idea that a school--an academic institution--sees comics and graphic novels as worthy of study, appreciation, and recognition.
So hats off to Paul Register and the Ecclesfield school for the Stan Lee Excelsior Award.
Dr. Glen Downey is an award-winning children's author, educator, and academic from Oakville, Ontario. He works as a children's writer for Rubicon Publishing, a reviewer for PW Comics World, an editor for the Sequart Organization, and serves as the Chair of English and Drama at The York School in Toronto.
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