In a press release today, The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced that they will bestow the internationally acclaimed cherished comic book icon Stan Lee with the prestigious Vanguard Award during their awards ceremony in January, 2012.

“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. “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.”

The Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Previous recipients include George Lucas, Joss Whedon, John Lasseter (Pixar, Walt Disney Animation), and  YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Will Wright.

“I am extremely appreciative that the Producers Guild has chosen me for this distinguished award,” said Lee. “I am eager to continue to expand comic book storytelling into the digital space and am honored to be awarded alongside such amazing visionaries.”

This is a good year for Lee as at the beginning of the year he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (if you want to see the star, it is located by the Live Nation Building at 7072 Hollywood Boulevard) and the Visual Effects Society will be honoring him with a lifetime achievement award as well.

As a producer, writer, editor, publisher, actor, host and executive, Lee has exerted more influence over the comic book industry than anyone in history having either created or co-created 90% of Marvel’s most recognized comic characters. His creations have spawned books, films, television series, video games, web series, Broadway shows and more.  In 2001, Lee co-founded POW! Entertainment to develop film, television and video game properties.   The company is currently developing seven new movie franchises, two TV series, two live-action shows and their first non-American superhero to provide new characters across various platforms for a new generation of fans. One can see with all of his achievements, Lee is very deserving of this award.

The PGA will present the Vanguard award to Lee at their annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 21st at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.