The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) has announced new inductees into its famous Science-Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. They include author J.K. Rowling, Marvel's Stan Lee, the video game series The Legend of Zelda, and Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, and celebrates the greatest figures and franchises in the science-fiction and fantasy genres. Previous inductees include the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry, Terry Pratchett, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In 2016, the program branched out to honor works as well as individuals, recognizing franchises like The X-Files and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nominations are submitted by the public, but the final decisions are made by a panel of authors, editors, artists, publishers, and film professionals.
This year's nominations include two of the industry's biggest names; Stan Lee and J.K. Rowling. In addition, MoPOP has added two major new franchises into the Hall of Fame, The Legend of Zelda and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Lee isn't the first figure from Marvel to be recognized by MoPOP; James Gunn was inducted in 2015. But his induction marks a turning point for the Hall of Fame, as he's the first comic book figure whose cultural impact has been recognized in this way. MoPOP issued a statement crediting Lee for his influence on the entire comic book industry, pointing to creations like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the X-Men.
"Lee’s characters and storylines have appeared across all types of media including animated series, video games, television shows, and the long-standing Marvel Cinematic Universe. A self-proclaimed frustrated actor, Lee has made a cameo in every Marvel film to date."
It's certainly fitting for Lee to be honored in this way in 2018, the 10-year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Rowling, meanwhile, is recognized for her work on the hugely successful Harry Potter series, with the first novel published in 1997. The Harry Potter films have grossed a combined $7.7 billion in the global box office. Rowling is currently working on the spinoff Fantastic Beasts series, with the next film due out later this year. As MoPOP note, "She has received five honorary degrees from various institutions including the University of Edinburgh and Harvard University, and has won numerous awards including the Hugo Award and the National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year."
In addition to these two legendary creators, MoPOP has also inducted The Legend of Zelda and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They praise Zelda as "one of the first 'open world' video games," a franchise that includes no less than 19 installments. Buffy, meanwhile, is described as "a quintessential example of turn-of-the-century genre television." MoPOP praise the series for its ability to blend "monster of the week" supernatural plots with "deeper metaphorical stories about the struggles of daily teen life."