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 Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!

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JimInks

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PostSubject: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:34 am

The day has finally arrived for some justice! Marvel Comics is crediting Jack Kirby with being the co-creator of the characters he did with Stan Lee. Even if it was to avoid the matter being heard by the Supreme Court, it's finally happened. I only wish Jack and Roz were here to see this day.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/marvel-comics-changes-credits-wake-745318
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:20 pm

Jim only just saw this. Hot damn its about time he got recognition for his genius! I'm sure he's up there smiling.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:58 pm

One of the commentators pointed out something I've never noticed because I've never actually bought an issue of 'Agents of Shield' Kirby has always been listed as a co-creator of that book??

Another interesting thing I can't find, the before issue doesn't list anyone as creator... So the family basically forced Stan Lee's name on the book too...

Wonder how much the family raked in off dad's work. Not saying it's right or wrong, IF he was legitimately cheated out of money then they deserve it... If he sold the rights or whatever they didn't. I don't know the back story and I'm not going to presume anything. Apparently there was enough legitimacy to the claim to force Disneys hand otherwise you know they'd have fought it to the bitter end.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:32 am

puros_bran wrote:
One of the commentators pointed out something I've never noticed because I've never actually bought an issue of 'Agents of Shield'  Kirby has always been listed as a co-creator of that book??

Another interesting thing I can't find, the before issue doesn't list anyone as creator... So the family basically forced Stan Lee's name on the book too...

Wonder how much the family raked in off dad's work.  Not saying it's right or wrong, IF he was legitimately cheated out of money then they deserve it... If he sold the rights or whatever they didn't.  I don't know the back story and I'm not going to presume anything. Apparently there was enough legitimacy to the claim to force Disneys hand otherwise you know they'd have fought it to the bitter end.

Well, as Disney legally came to an agreement to finally credit Jack for his creator role at Marvel, it's only fair to credit Stan Lee, who co-created many of them with Jack, too.

Jack never sold any rights to Marvel. Marvel took advantage of Kirby just as most all companies took advantage of the creators from the time comic books started, from Siegel and Shuster on Superman, to Bill Finger on Batman, and thousands of other characters by creators. It was standard practice at the time by the companies. In recent years, Aquaman co-creator Paul Norris got a lot of money when filed copyright termination of the character. The case is true of Mart Nodell for Green Lantern.

But when you think of the billions of dollars Marvel got from Kirby's creations, and Jack never got anything more than a freelancer's paycheck for the pages he wrote and drew, you can see how unfairly he was treated. Marvel's claim was Jack did work-for-hire, which is not true because the concept itself did not come into being until 1978, well after Jack and Stan created the Marvel Universe. Jack was never paid a single penny for the characters and concepts he brought to the company. Stan Lee, being a company employee, was never eligible for payment because he did his co-creation as a staffer. And Stan spent years denying Kirby was a co-creator in interviews. He even lied on the witness stand in the recent Marvel versus Kirby Estate case. I read the testimony. It was shameful. And goes against what everybody alive in the 1960s who worked at Marvel knew, most of whom are sadly deceased. The corporation did not want to give Jack anything they didn't have to. It took many years for Jack to even get his artwork back, and when he did, he found a majority of his best, most important work had been stolen. He was never compensated for the stolen work, most of it by Marvel employees and freelancers, either.

Jack wanted the credit because he had seen how DC spent years not crediting Siegel and Shuster for Superman, or paying them any money either. Jack wanted his due recognition, which I believe few people in good conscience could disagree with. He also wanted to profit off his work and explicitly stated many times publicly that he wanted that money for his kids and grand kids. I believe anybody in his position would feel the same way for the same reasons.

For decades, the comics community has helped keep this issue alive, not only for Jack's sake, but for all those who deserve fair treatment. Marvel/Disney only gave in because they were deathly afraid that the Supreme Court would rule against them. It came too late by twenty years for Jack, God rest his soul.
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:53 am

The only point of all that in which I would take issue is that Jack 'was never paid a single penny for what he brought to Marvel'. He was paid or he wouldn't have been there..... Apparently at the time he thought it was fair recompense for what he did or he would not have did it.
It could just as well be argued that 'what he brought to marvel, the characters etc etc' would be just as obscure and unprofitable as some of his other stuff* if not for Marvel marketing it. Anyway, I don't pretend an insiders knowledge and I've been out of print comics for quite some time. As I said in my original post, I'm not taking a side either way.


* yes I realize his 'other stuff' is worth a fortune now, but at the time he had some pretty big mass market failures.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:33 am

One more just to be clear... If the Kirby's estate deserved that money I am happy for them. And if it makes you happy Jim well I reckon that makes me smile too... I'm just making conversation with you about something you seem passionate about. Back in the 80's and 90's I was an avid comic book reader... If they didn't cost so much now I'd still be. I realize the art involved is worth the sticker price but it's just hard to justify following all the stories I'd want to.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:33 am

puros_bran wrote:
   The only point of all that in which I would take issue is that Jack 'was never paid a single penny for what he brought to Marvel'. He was paid or he wouldn't have been there..... Apparently at the time he thought it was fair recompense for what he did or he would not have did it.  
It could just as well be argued that 'what he brought to marvel, the characters etc etc' would be just as obscure and unprofitable as some of his other stuff* if not for Marvel marketing it.   Anyway, I don't pretend an insiders knowledge and I've been out of print comics for quite some time.  As I said in my original post, I'm not taking a side either way.


* yes I realize his 'other stuff' is worth a fortune now, but at the time he had some pretty big mass market failures.  

It's a publicly documented fact that Kirby was never paid for his creations for Marvel. He got a page rate for what he wrote and drew. Nothing else. No, he did not consider it fair recompense, but his options were limited. Charlton paid less than half the going rate, Dell, Archie, Gold Key paid lesser rates. The only company that didn't was DC, and Kirby was black balled after a fight with editor Jack Schiff, so he couldn't go there until Schiff retired. Jack openly complained about what was happening to him at the time and that, too, has publicly documented for over forty years in various venues. But he had a family to support, and nowhere else to go in the business to make a decent living. Just because somebody works somewhere doesn't mean he's happy or being treated fairly. I don't see how you can say that. I'll bet a lot of people in this forum alone would testify to that.

No, it can not be rationally argued that what he brought to Marvel would have obscured or unprofitable if not for Marvel's marketing. They were a small company that nearly went out of business when Kirby and Lee started creating characters to sell the books. That was how they survived. Publisher Martin Goodman was phasing out of comics because the books were near the bottom of sales. DC had tons more money, distribution rack space, and merchandising abilities than Marvel, and would have done more than Marvel could have afforded if they had those characters. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are proof of that.

As for Kirby mass market failures, well, he co-created or created so many characters that not all could click just by sheer volume. But, with Joe Simon, he created Captain America in 1940, wrote and drew many million dollar selling crime comics, co-invented the multi-million dollar romance genre, co-created Boy Commandos, which was DC's second best selling comic during WW2, and the long running Newsboy Legion, among other important properties. All before he teamed up with Stan Lee. So, your supposition is incorrect.

By 1961, Simon and Kirby had co-created more characters and/or series than any other individual or team in comics history. Simon created nothing of consequence without Kirby. The same is true of Lee. But I could give you a long list of multi-million dollar properties Kirby created by himself after he left Marvel and went back to DC in 1970.


Last edited by JimInks on Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:58 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:42 am

puros_bran wrote:
One more just to be clear... If the Kirby's estate deserved that money I am happy for them.  And if it makes you happy Jim well I reckon that makes me smile too...  I'm just making conversation with you about something you seem passionate about.     Back in the 80's and 90's I was an avid comic book reader... If they didn't cost so much now I'd still be.   I realize the art involved is worth the sticker price but it's just hard to justify following all the stories I'd want to.

I'm passionate about it because I have worked in the comics business for over twenty years as a cartoonist. I'm passionate because I was close friend of the Kirbys, and saw the pain and suffering it caused him and his family. I'm passionate because I know and heard first hand the stories of others who died broke and unknown because of corporate greed. Most of those people didn't have the money or the health or strength to fight for fair pay and treatment or the properties they created.

Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman, died in obscurity and poverty and the family had to borrow money to bury him. Joe Shuster, the co-creator of Superman, went virtually blind and became a delivery man to survive, sleeping for years in the back room on a cot at his brother's small business. Once, he had to deliver a package to the building where DC operated. The owner, Harry Donenfeld, saw Joe in the hall. Joe had gotten off on the wrong floor. It was the dead of winter. Donenfeld asked Joe why wasn't he wearing a coat. "I don't have the money for a coat. " Donenfeld gave him ten dollars and said, "Joe, go buy a coat." He went back to his office, called the company Shuster was working for, and bawled them out for sending Shuster to the building, and said, "Don't ever send that man to this building again or we'll stop doing business with you." There are many more stories like that, but you get the message, I'm sure.

As for your comment about today's comics, well, I'm a working professional, and I can't afford them all either. Unfortunately, it's helping and hurting the comics business, and in these days of shrinking sales for all print media, it's not helping our careers. But, I can't blame anybody who cannot afford to buy all the crossover books for not buying them.
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:25 pm

Happens in every business bro.  

My comment regarding apparently he thought it was fair is kinda proofed by the fact that he stayed... I was the top employee at my last job in the chemical industry, I produced more revenue than the next three guys below me on the revenue chart combined.  I asked for fair pay on multiple occasions, always promised never delivered. One day I'd had enough and walked away from an industry I'd been involved in for 17 years.  That was in 2010 (I think).. I still get calls asking me to come home. I've been promised almost 3 times what I was making then so apparently what I was asking for was more than justified.

Back on comics... How do you feel about the digital comics?  Like Comixology, Marvel  Unlimited, etc..

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:25 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Happens in every business bro.  

My comment regarding apparently he thought it was fair is kinda proofed by the fact that he stayed... I was the top employee at my last job in the chemical industry, I produced more revenue than the next three guys below me on the revenue chart combined.  I asked for fair pay on multiple occasions, always promised never delivered. One day I'd had enough and walked away from an industry I'd been involved in for 17 years.  That was in 2010 (I think).. I still get calls asking me to come home. I've been promised almost 3 times what I was making then so apparently what I was asking for was more than justified.  

Back on comics... How do you feel about the digital comics?  Like Comixology, Marvel  Unlimited, etc..

I think more people stay with jobs they don't want to than there are those who stay in jobs they enjoy. But they seldom get cheated the way that Kirby did or to the extent.

Digital comics are fine. I prefer holding a book, magazine or a newspaper in my hands rather than read from a computer. Easier for me to read them that way, and the tactile experience of doing so is more comfortable and familiar.
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:15 pm

I just did the $9.99 month Marvel Unlimited thing on my iPad. Not bad... Not as good as the real deal but it seems pretty cool so far. Anything of yours in the Marvel catalog? If so and its sensitive to talk about in public feel free to pm... Just started on the Deadpool series. One of Marvels few Exceptional DC quality villains. Marvel has a bunch of ok badguys, a few handfuls of good badguys, but very few top quality badguys... Ironically DC is the exact opposite. IMO of course.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:52 pm

It's been a long time since I worked for Marvel. I've been working the past decade and a half for Archie, Disney, Warner Brothers, and some DC work. All my Marvel work was in the 1990s. I left when they went bankrupt in 1996, returned for a short while in '98 and '99, but my regular editors all lost their jobs, and I went where the work was, which at the time was elsewhere.

Since 2001, I have been an associate editor/head writer/interviewer of Alter Ego magazine, which chronicles the Golden and Silver Ages of comics. I've also written/co-written five biographies in recent years. Btw, my friend Mark Evanier is currently working on the definitive Jack Kirby biography. He also has a great blog: www.newsfromme.com
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:47 pm

I left them when you did... Just on different ends of the chain I suppose.

I started on 'The Civil War' event.. Good storyline...


Question: Assuming you know other guys like I know other Thoroughbred Haulers... Did Marvel at some point give the editors free reign over the books? In the 90's there was a satisfying uniformity.. I mean you could tell the good stories from the bad and the exceptionally artist stood out, but it seemed like they all worked off the same color pallet,etc. Just working through this series and it looks vastly different, some books are extremely detailed and vibrant, some are dark, some look like an 8th grade future artist drew the story... The writing seems good overall but considering it's an event it's hard to comment there.

Archie was a good book back in the day. Haven't picked one up in a long time.. Ever noticed Jughead looks like a Stanwell pipe? That big S with a crown over it.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:08 pm

puros_bran wrote:
I left them when you did... Just on different ends of the chain I suppose.  

I started on 'The Civil War' event.. Good storyline...


Question: Assuming you know other guys like I know other Thoroughbred Haulers...   Did Marvel at some point give the editors free reign over the books?      In the 90's there was a satisfying uniformity.. I mean you could tell the good stories from the bad and the exceptionally artist stood out, but it seemed like they all worked off the same color pallet,etc.       Just working through this series and it looks vastly different, some books are extremely detailed and vibrant, some are dark, some look like an 8th grade future artist drew the story... The writing seems good overall but considering it's an event it's hard to comment there.

Archie was a good book back in the day. Haven't picked one up in a long time.. Ever noticed Jughead looks like a Stanwell pipe? That big S with a crown over it.

With a few exceptions, editors haven't had free reign since the 1970s. What you saw in the 1990s was a company trying to sell books in a style they thought would sell.

Archie still does good books, and have expanded the kinds of stories they tell. You should check them out. They're a lot easier to follow than DC and Marvel's books.
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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:28 am

I'm on book 76 of the 97 book Civil War...

One thing I've noticed in my adult years that never bothered me much in my younger. The 'off' panel pulls me out of the universe.  Just one little head drawn 'wrong' or a body proportioned different than it was in the preceding 50 panels messes it all up.

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PostSubject: Re: Marvel FINALLY Credits Jack Kirby!   Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:34 am

Finished Civil War the other day... Been working on Planet Hulk & World War Hulk.

I don't really like reading on an iPad but I've got to admit having more or less the entirety of Marvels archives at my finger tips for $10 a month or $100 a year is pretty neat.

They killed Captain America. Not cool... Hulk is fixin to kill all of them. cool...

I wish DC would offer something like this. It cost little and generates plenty.. Not like I would have spent the $3-400 it would have cost me by now purchasing digital copies.

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