"Paul worked alongside the comic book duo The Etherington Brothers for a Year 7 Literacy Challenge Day which aims to promote and celebrate the comic book medium. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject set the day alight with his keynote presentation on the history of comics. Paul tailored what the school had asked for and introduced one superhero, Wonder Woman, by analysing how the character has changed in comic books over time. He then provided some workshops for smaller groups, using his extensive knowledge to help students create a shopping list of graphic novels that they would like to see in the LRC. His hands-on approach meant that Paul was also a great support on the day for making it run as smoothly as possible. With such big events, a team effort is essential. Paul even stepped in by helping to keep a record of the Etherington Brothers’ book sales at the end of the day and came to the rescue when there was a technical issue. I have always loved working with Paul."
Katherine Davison, LRC Manager
Ellis Guilford School, Nottingham
"We have found Paul’s support invaluable in the development of our Library comics collection, as well as in the creation and subsequent expansion of our thriving Excelsior Award group. Paul has a practical and charismatic approach, informed by his extensive experience as a young person’s Librarian, and his own love of comics. A consummate professional, the secret of his super-strength is that he is not promoting comics because it is his job, he is promoting comics because he’s a genuine fan of the medium and understands how beneficial it can be in the pursuit of promoting literacy amongst young people and adults."
Ceri Holman and Gemma Sosnowsky, Librarians
Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire
"Quite simply at the top of his game. If it wasn’t for Paul’s passion for promoting reading using comics, boys at my school would have missed a fabulous opportunity in improving their literacy levels. Using the Stan Lee Excelsior Award as a tool in engaging them in reading for pleasure, some boys reading ages increased by as much as five years over a term. Thank you!"
Lesley Hurworth, Resource Centre Manager
Armthorpe Academy, Doncaster
"Paul is a really interesting bloke. His knowledge of all things comic is off the chart and he's happy to share with everyone at any opportunity. I've been involved with the Excelsior Award for a number of years now and it is always a brilliant day for all involved (including us "grown-ups")."
Matthew Soare, Librarian (Connecting Communities)
Hull Central Library, Hull
“Paul is a truly inspiring individual. I’ve enjoyed his warmth, wit and experience in everything I’ve seen him do: from running the Stan Lee Excelsior Award, speaking to students, staff and librarians and delivering training and advocacy. I consider him an asset to the library and education professions and a pleasure to work with.”
Darren Flynn, Information Literacy Lead
Dixons Allerton Academy, Bradford
"I have seen Paul present several times and his easy, relaxed presentation style and wealth of graphic novel knowledge ensured that the sessions were interesting and informative. Every time I talk with Paul I feel I learn a little more about the world of graphic novels and comics which helps me to broaden my own knowledge about this exciting and engaging medium. Paul’s presentations are suitable for both the beginner and the graphic novel aficionado - there’s always something for everyone and plenty of talking points to discuss and debate. As a school librarian, Paul was enthusiastic and inspirational and the students in his schools have always seemed to be very appreciative of his championing of comics. The Stan Lee Excelsior Award that Paul founded has been instrumental in introducing many young people (and adults!) to fantastic reading experiences and it is much valued across the country. In my eyes, he is a comics ‘master’ and I would thoroughly recommend him for any speaking engagement or course where an expert, personable speaker is required."
Bev Humphrey, Literacy and Technology Consultant