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Warners Online joins forces with Stan Lee

Comics community shares up 41.2%

Warner Bros. Online has partnered with startup online comics community Stan Lee Media — the first time WB Online has pacted with a brand outside its own WB-owned family.

Under terms of the agreement, WB Online (via its home Web page community AcmeCity) will offer visitors to Stan Lee Media 20 megabytes of free personal Web space, including e-mail, chat and message board services.

The announcement, scheduled for today, comes on the heels of Stan Lee’s first day of Nasdaq trading under its new ticker symbol SLEE. Performing well, shares of Stan Lee increased 41.2% Monday, up $2.62 to close at $9 per share.

WB Online prexy Jim Moloshok gives the alliance a thumbs-up because “we know that the people who are Stan Lee fans are a core part of the Internet’s users.”

Moloshok is betting that Stan Lee (creator of Marvel comics’ Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk) will drive traffic to WB Online because “he has cornered the comic book marketplace and has a major competitive advantage over everyone else.”

Launching in early October, Lee’s site “7th Portal” will unveil 14 superheroes and villains of his creation. The 76-year-old artist will go digital, leaving the traditional comic medium behind. In new story installments every two weeks, real voices will replace dialogue balloons and streaming video scenes will go in place of still panels.

Also helping to seal the deal for WB Online is Stan Lee Media’s all-star staff lineup, which includes Oscar winner for best visual effects Mark Lasoff (“Titanic”).

Lee said he is grateful for WB Online’s involvement because “a project of this scope requires a partner of super heroic proportions … enter Warner Bros. Online and their incredibly successful AcmeCity community.”

‘Net research firm Media Metrix recently reported that WB Online’s aud reach rose 50% in the past six months, making it the fastest-growing studio site on the Internet.

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