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Originally posted to Comics on Fri May 11, 2012 at 02:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Or, worse: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Larsstephens

    According to Peter David (who has written numerous Marvel titles)

    "The sequel has been green-lit.  If they keep Joss at the helm, it is entirely possible it would be "Avengers 2 - The Musical!"  There is precedent, in any case.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:09:53 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV, Larsstephens

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:11:31 PM PDT

  •  Oh boo hoo! Jack Kirby made a very nice (0+ / 0-)

    living as an artist for Marvel.  The person I feel sorry for is the poor schmuck who designed the McDonalds Golden Arches.  Where is his share of the profits?  Why isn't he getting the recognition he deserves?

    It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

    by msstaley on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:12:20 PM PDT

    •  ? -eom- (0+ / 0-)

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:38:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? Do you know what you are talking about? (17+ / 0-)

      I've read several books about Jack Kirby. He made a living, that is true, but he was a middle class guy who lived a middle class life while he co-created with Stan Lee the Marvel Universe which makes gazillions for Disney. Jack Kirby was a work-horse, his wife would often wake up in the morning and find Jack hadn't been to bed yet because he he had been up all night drawing. He would then sleep in til 10 or 11, get up and work basically all day again, with short breaks for meals. He was incredibly prolific because he got paid by the page, and not a whole lot either. He earned no percentage of profits and had no rights to any of his creations, that's not how it worked back then, no artist or writer did. He was made a lot of promises that more money would come, things would be made better for him at Marvel. He was tasked with teaching much of the art staff how to do exciting layouts in the early sixties, that's how the "Marvel style" of art and action came about (although no one was as good as Kirby). His artwork was used on posters, t-shirts and misc. without any additional payment which also made him upset. After a few years of the empty promises from Marvel, he was enticed to move over to DC where he worked for a few years, and his creations there still have an impact today (even though the main DC characters were already in place when he joined). Jack spent years trying to get the original pages of art he created for Marvel back so he could sell them and try to supplement his income (there was no pension for comic creators, just SS). I don't remember the particulars, but I believe he was told over and over that it would happen. But most of his art pages were stolen from the Marvel offices, although he did finally get some back (after decades of pushing from the entire comic book community).

      He did finally make a little more money when he moved to California and worked on some cartoon projects in the 70's.

      I could go on, but that's the basic story there. For someone who was a giant talent in his field, he only finally began to get the recognition and accolades he was due a few years before he died. He worked hard and gave 110% of himself to every project and his creativity and genius is finally being appreciated, but to the end of his days he knew that he had been screwed over big time and that bothered him.

      I don't begrudge Disney making a profit off the Marvel franchise, they paid for Marvel Inc. and had nothing to do with the Kirby situation. But I do wish that we heard more about Jack Kirby these days when we are seeing his creative works (and Stan Lee's) doing so well for Disney.

      "If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again." Groucho Marx

      by Ruh Roh on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kirby's creations at DC include Darkseid (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ruh Roh, Zack from the SFV, Lupin

        who seems to be the Big Bad behind half the Big Uni/Multiverse-shaking Events nowadays. He and/or his Parademons are behind the first storylines in "Justice League" and "Earth-2", for example.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Fri May 11, 2012 at 04:08:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, I appreciate the info (4+ / 0-)

          I'm not a DC expert, but I have been surprised that his short time at DC is still being felt with his characters being integrated into the DC universe. DC let him have a lot of creative freedom there, which was great, he really got to show off his creative/storytelling side and got credit where credit was due.

          When Marvel comics really got popular in the mid-sixties and Stan Lee had so many comic titles to write, Jack was given more and more freedom to basically plot and layout the stories (after he and Stan would have a brief story conference) then Stan would come in after the art was done and write dialogue (which he was better at). That was the Marvel approach to comics, it was done to give Stan the ability to handle more writing duties, but it ended up loosening the stories and art, gave them more dynamism because the artist controlled the pacing, not the writer's script. When the writer controls the pacing you usually get more text and the story tends to drag. One thing you can say about any Jack Kirby story, they never drag, it's pretty much "hang on for the ride!" as the plot and action power their way through the pages.

          Just as an aside, Steve Ditko was also very important to the development of Spiderman and the early storylines and characters, much as Kirby was with his work. Ditko had some personal issues which helped to short-change his career, but he was brilliant in those early Spiderman stories.

          "If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again." Groucho Marx

          by Ruh Roh on Fri May 11, 2012 at 04:34:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ditko (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ruh Roh

            was a Randian so if he got shortchanged by a big corp. he deserved it. That said I'm more a fan of Ditko than Kirby, although Kirby got shortchanged by marvel  more than anyone with the "marvel method". He did 95% of the work in most of those comics

            •  Yes, I know, a Randian (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Steve Ditko was not easy to work with and he ended up sabotaging his career when he left Marvel and his run on Spider-man. Like Jack Kirby, Ditko felt he was getting the short end of the stick, and he kind of was. But so was everyone in the comics industry. Ditko ended up getting wrapped up in Ayn Rand's philosophies and he seemed to me he had some personality issues he had to deal with that made him not the most pleasant person to work with. But of course, I didn't know him, just going by what I've read. I don't think he necessarily deserved the downfall in his career, it was actually pretty heartbreaking although he brought a lot of it on himself. He was never a hot property like Kirby was though, so he slaved away at Charleton comics for quite a while before working at Marvel and Charleton really paid peanuts. But they let him do what he wanted, which he loved. He hated it when Stan or others would try to change his stories, that really made him blow his stack. He was not a compromiser and didn't play well with others. If he were alive today he would probably be a tea partier. Too bad, he was brilliant and groundbreaking, and in ways completely different from Kirby.

              "If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again." Groucho Marx

              by Ruh Roh on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:36:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't have any choice either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ruh Roh

        If I remember those days correctly, it was "work-for-hire or the highway."  I don't know about today, but in Kirby's time there was no tradition of royalties in the comics industry.  Good post, Ruh Roh.

        Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Fri May 11, 2012 at 04:39:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know a lot more about it than you apparently. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ruh Roh

        Let's take the idea that Kirby was unable to get back his original art.  Kirby routinely was given his original art back, just like any other artist who worked for Marvel.  There was no problem, he just had to sign a release.  At some point Kirby got some lawyers involved and then it became complicated.  Marvel owned the original artwork and the reason a release had to be signed was so it was clear Marvel wasn't giving up it ownership by giving the original artwork to the artist.  Kirby also got paid extra money when they gave him the art after signing the release.  Once he got lawyers involved the lawyers started making demands of Marvel so it was on Kirby not Marvel as to why Kirby wasn't getting his original artwork back.

        As far as recognition, you may not know this but Kirby wouldn't be that well known today if not for Stan Lee's desire to promote everyone who worked on all the Marvel books.  Until Stan Lee the readers didn't know who wrote or penciled or inked or did anything on a comic book.  Lee was the guy who made sure that people got credit for their work.

        Also, Kirby didn't leave Marvel because he was angry from years of broken promises.  Kirby was a ping pong ball.  He would have trouble with someone at one company and quit then work for the competition then he would have problems with someone else and quit and go back to the other company then have trouble with yet another person and quit, so you get the picture.  It was only his artistic talent that kept him employed.

        There are a lot of myths about Kirby and Marvel just as there have been about the creators of Superman and DC.  However, the facts are out there if you are willing to find them.  I used to be very sympathetic with the creators of these characters because I only saw the surface propaganda but out of curiosity I started looking into it and was surprised at what really went on.  I used to work in a bakery and I can tell you that you don't really want to look behind the curtain to see how things are made.

        It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

        by msstaley on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:59:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm No Kirbiologist... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ruh Roh

          ...But Ruh Roh's comment pretty much jibes with what I've read about Kirby written by people who knew and worked with him.  And I appreciate that Ruh Roh was careful not to denigrate Stan, as some Kirby partisans do.

          As for the matter of the Kirby artwork, I honestly don't know the full story behind that.  There was a lot of outrage in the fannish community at the time, as I remember, and it was really easy to take Jack's side, especially since Jim Shooter was the public face of Marvel Corporate then and he couldn't have played the role of a Marvel villain better if he wore Galactus's hat.  

          I think I remember reading somewhere that Jack was on the verge of accepting a deal with Marvel, when at the last minute their lawyers slapped on some more legalese requiring him to renounce all claim to the characters he helped create before he could get his art, something no other artist had been required to sign.  Perhaps I'm misremembering.

          Maybe Jack was to blame for getting a lawyer when he should have just trusted the suits to act in a benevolent fashion.  But the idea that Jack was a greedy ingrate trying to take advantage of the Noble and Unjustly Maligned Corporation...

          I dunno.   I'm not sure that even Stan could sell that story.

          "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

          by quarkstomper on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:18:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hah, of course he shouldn't have trusted the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            management.  However, this specific thing always seems to convince people that Kirby was taken advantage of.  It was not Marvel that was causing the trouble with Kirby getting his art, it was Kirby.  What Kirby was being asked to sign was something his lawyers had written up and not Marvel.  Yes, all the artists had to renounce any claim to the characters they had helped create, this was not exclusive to Kirby.  It was standard that the art was being given to the artists as a gift from Marvel and not because the artists had any rights to it or the characters depicted and the artists had to sign such a statement.  Legally they had no rights to their creations because they had been hired to create them.  What you call the fannish community seems to get outraged by this because it doesn't seem just.  It then becomes easy to outrage them with tales of injustice.  

            It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

            by msstaley on Fri May 11, 2012 at 11:17:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You make some valid points (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I don't consider myself the premier expert on Kirby and his life, however I did read a book about his life, another book about Kirby and Simon and Lee and how they came together and then a book about Kirby and his art and career. That was a while ago though, so I'm going from memory on the big picture.

          About Kirby and his original art, I don't remember the details, it did stick in my head that a bunch of his art pages were floating around the Marvel offices at one point and many were stolen, not necessarily the company's fault, but a real shame. Jack probably got lawyers involved because he got tired of getting screwed, which happened to everyone in the industry at the time. I would bet that everyone ends up looking bad in this situation, I'll defer to your knowledge here.

          I can't agree with the ping-pong comment. That is a distortion. Jack was at Marvel from 1958 to 1970, then at DC from '71 - '75, then back to Marvel from '76 to '78. The nature of the business before he was at Marvel was that you went to where the work was, everyone moved around. Staying at Marvel for 12 years was actually a long time for a comic artist at the time. Here's a bit from Wikipedia about the end of his first period at Marvel:

          Yet he grew increasingly dissatisfied with working at Marvel. There have been a number of reasons given for this dissatisfaction, including resentment over Stan Lee's increasing media prominence, a lack of full creative control, anger over breaches of perceived promises by publisher Martin Goodman, and frustration over Marvel's failure to credit him specifically for his story plotting and for his character creations and co-creations.
          I'm not saying Jack was a saint, or that Stan Lee was some kind of narcissistic jerk. Jack and Stan both had their flaws and both were also great guys. Stan was the outgoing, gregarious personality, so when reporters would want an interview about the new Marvel, Stan would shine because that's how he was. Jack was not much of a talker, unless he was telling war stories to his friends and co-workers, and then you couldn't shut him up. I agree that Stan did a lot to promote the artists and writers at Marvel, which didn't happen much before then. It didn't strike me that Stan was trying to be crappy to Kirby. I think Jack took some things too personally.

          Martin Goodman, who was related to Stan by marriage, was a business man. He didn't really care so much about comics, he just wanted to create whatever would sell. If Westerns were the hot thing, then by golly they did Western comics, or Romance comics or Horror comics. Once when the industry was in a big slump, after the "Seduction of the Innocent" scandal, Goodman had Stan fire all the artists that worked on staff at Atlas/Marvel and they used comic pages that Stan had been stockpiling to keep publishing for quite a while. So it was a very unstable industry all through Kirby's career. You went wherever there was work and you took whatever pittance they would pay and whatever terms they offered. There was no union. If you wanted a better situation, you had to leave and go to a competitor. Hell, I've done that myself in my working life.

          Yes, it was only Jack's artistic talent that kept him employed, he didn't exactly have a sunny personality. He was gruff and tough, even  though he was a little guy, because he grew up in the tough and poor Lower East Side of Manhattan (the Bowery Boys were pretty much exactly like the kids in his neighborhood).

          So, while I agree that there are certainly nuances in the situation, and I was probably glossing over those, together I think we have gotten a clearer picture of Jack Kirby, the man and the artist. And I hope you have had a chance to read some of his better comics, the Fantastic Four issues that introduced Galactus come to mind, but even his later stuff, like the Eternals is pretty great. I loved his DC comic Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, even if it was a bit derivative. I think that's what Ruben's comic was all about. Let's celebrate Kirby's (and Lee's) contributions to the field of comics, they are certainly giants of the industry.

          "If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again." Groucho Marx

          by Ruh Roh on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:19:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Avengers not fan of Fox News? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, citizenx, rbird, sancerre2001

    At the end of the movie, there are multiple tv screens scrolling by, with news stories about what has happened.  MSNBC is there, CNN is there, CSPAN is there but there was no screen with the Fox logo on it.

    Apparently Super Heroes have higher standards than Republicans!

    •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, rbird

      With Fox rushing reboots of the Fantastic Four and Daredevil in order to keep the rights from reverting, I can imagine Marvel Studios is not a fan.

      No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful. Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful.

      by Kid Zemo on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:31:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They're already on kids clothes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    Occupy the voting Booth!

    by anonevent on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:30:32 PM PDT

  •  Im eating some cereal and reading this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hard to keep cereal in mouth.

    #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:49:22 PM PDT

  •  Many comic creators need help, especially older (5+ / 0-)

    ones and there is a charity created specifically for this purpose called The Hero Initiative:

    It has been around since 2000, and has given out $500,000 in that time. They rely on donations from individuals and artists of work to be auctioned.

    Or put another way, in 12 years they have received and distributed .0025% of what Avengers grossed at the box office in the US it's first three days.

  •  shouldn't "g-d" in title be capitalized? (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Fri May 11, 2012 at 04:23:53 PM PDT

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