Dustin Plantholt’s “Life’s Tough—YOU CAN BE TOUGHER!” podcast this week features Stephen Shamus, President and co-founder of ACE Universe—foremost producers of immersive and experiential events that bring together top-name Film and TV celebrity talent, professional Illustrators & Writers, Award-Winning Designers, Gaming, Cosplay, Comic Books and top-notch daytime & evening Q&A and instructional Programming.
Collecting has always been in Stephen’s blood. From a young age, he would store and treasure anything he could get his hands on—comic books, sports collector/trading cards, comic art, and memorabilia. His passion is infectious, and his expertise and understanding of the material is extensive and widely respected.
In the early 1990’s, Stephen was CMO of Wizard, co-founded the world’s leading magazine covering comic books, toys, games, and animation, along with many specialty books. By the mid-90’s Wizard then acquired and launched its first of many live events including the Chicago Comic Con. This began Stephen’s 20+ year career of producing over 175 Comic Con festivals across North America—booking over 3,000 celebrities, tens of thousands of artists, and playing host to millions of ecstatic and satisfied fans.
Stephen co-founded ACE Universe in Sept 2017 and has spearheaded the company’s growth and influence, reaching premier status in the comic-based experiential events production industry.
Stephen works with all the major talent agencies and managers, including WME, CAA, UTA, ICM, APA, Innovative Artists, and Gersh. He is the premier talent booker of the biggest and most significant celebrities in the industry, including what is considered the greatest Comic Con lineup ever, which saw nine of Marvels’ The Avengers. His most recent celebrity bookings include Gal Gadot, Brie Larson, Henry Cavill, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Saldana, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Kit Harington, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Michael Fassbender, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Zazie Beetz, Tye Sheridan, Tom Ellis, Lee Pace and more!!
Stephen recently created a talk-show style podcast called “Take a Break with Stephen” that features collectibles and airs on the ACE Universe podcast network. He is also the co-creator of several ingenious and ubiquitous collectible products, including those related to Autographed Comic Books, Lithographs and Photographs. These products are used on most occasions where special handling is required when comic books are being signed by the illustrators, writers, or celebrities.
Join Dustin and Stephen for a delightful and lighthearted conversation to hear about his fun and unique universe and what makes “Superheroes Tougher!” and the legions of fans that adore them.