While DC and Warner Bros. “won” their legal battle with the Joseph Shuster estate when the Supreme Court denied the review concerning the rights to Superman, Disney and Marvel worked out a quiet settlement with the Jack Kirby estate. The details of that settlement were kept private, until now.
There’s a lot of shame to go around when one looks back at how creators, and the rights to their creations, were treated back when comic books were still a fledgling industry. It gets even more confused when you throw in the truck loads of cash made when these characters started to appear on the big screen. Something that back then, wasn’t really a consideration when these characters were created. Hell, it wasn’t until recently that some creators actually got any compensation or credit for their creation in movie credits. All because the lawyers and purse string monitors didn’t want to accept their shameful role in the whole thing or loss even a percentage of all that wonderful superhero movie money. (more…)
Marvel Comics, after making billions and billions of dollars based on the works of Jack Kirby, appears to have become magnanimous to the Kirby family, who have now achieved at least a small victory in its intense legal fight with Marvel and their owners at the Walt Disney Company. Just as the case looked to be heading to one final trial at the Supreme Court of the United States, both sides have come out today to say that their differences have been settled and all systems are go for comics, movies and other media to me made about the characters co-created by Kirby at Marvel during his legendary Silver Age run at the publisher. (more…)
Most talk on Marvel Studios’ Phase 3 circles around confirmed films like Ant Man, and rumored prospects like Black Panther and Doctor Strange. Of course, that’s not the end of the Marvel catalog, and there are plenty of other characters left to explore, and recently, no less than the man who co-authored the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee himself, suggested one possibility: The Inhumans.
What ware The Inhumans? Well, clearly you’re not a real comic fan and have no place trolling a nerd news site. New to comics, you say? Well, The Inhumans are a group of highly evolved humans granted powers via the Terrigen Mist, essentially making them mutants, but they’re really distant cousins of the alien Kree Empire. The Inhumans first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four, but the creations of Lee and illustrator Jack Kirby, strangely enough, aren’t covered by Marvel’s FF deal with 20th Century Fox, meaning that Marvel can make an Inhumans movie in-house.
One important person in particular thinks that an Inhumans movie is a great idea, and in a recent interview with TooFab, Lee talked about how it might actually happen:
[T]he people at Marvel are looking through our whole list of candidates and wondering which ones are we going to use now. They are going to do the Black Panther. They are going to use Doctor Strange. They are going to do Ant-Man. They are going to do the Guardians of the Galaxy. And they’ll probably do the Inhumans.
That’s not really a definitive “yes, an Inhumans movie will happen,” but if next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy turns out to be a success, then Marvel may look for more cosmic characters to bring to the screen on the bandwagon.
What do you Bastards think, wanna see an Inhumans movie?
The long debate/battle over creator vs publisher rights in the comic industry will probably always be a source for heated and visceral comments. Ones you can find in the strangest places. Like ESPN’s website. From Stan Lee (well an ESPN-related website called Grantland.) What I can say is what Stan ‘The Man’ has to say is actually rather surprising, but also not surprising at all. In short while he’s always been rather flippant with the claims of ownership made be the estates of his former co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko , he really just seems flippant on the whole topic.
“I’ve never been one of these people who worries about [that]. I should have been. I’d be wealthy now, if I had been. I always felt the publisher was the guy investing all his money, and I was working for the publisher, and whatever I did belonged to him. That was the way it was. And I was always treated well, I got a good salary. I was not a businessman. Now, a guy like Bob Kane, who did Batman — the minute he did Batman, he said, ‘I wanna own it,’ and signed a contract with DC. So he became reasonably wealthy. He was the only one who was smart enough to do that. Did you read that the check that Siegel and Shuster got for Superman — I think it was four hundred dollars, or two hundred dollars — just sold at auction for $140,000?”
“I murmur something what-a-world/you-never-know-ish. Then I ask him if he feels, in general, that the comic-book industry has been fair to comic-book creators.”
“I don’t know,” Stan says. “I haven’t had reason to think about it that much.” Five-second pause. “I think, if somebody creates something, and it becomes highly successful, whoever is reaping the rewards should let the person [who] created it share in it, certainly. But so much of it is — it goes beyond creating. A lot of people put something together, and nobody really knows who created it, they’re just working on it, y’know? But little by little, the artists and the writers now are a different breed than they were, and most of them, if they create anything new, they insist that they be part owners of it. Because they know what happened to Siegel and Shuster, and to me, and to people like that. I don’t think it’s a problem anymore. They make much more money than they used to make, when I was there. Proportionately.”
“Everybody thought that I was the only one that was getting paid off, but I never received any royalties from the characters. I made a good living, because I was the editor, the art director, and the head writer. So I got a nice salary. That was all I got. I was a salaried guy. But it was a good salary. And I was happy.”
Amazing, Stan really just dismisses the whole topic all the while still sounding like a damn nice guy at the exact same damn time. A nice guy that debatedly screwed over the legends like Jack Kirby, but still a nice guy. The whole article is well worth a read, so you should.
Source: Comics Beat
To see Stan Lee in person is to witness a display of dynamism and enthusiasm that is both unbelievable and delightful — after all, the man is 89 years old and he certainly owes no one a tap dance. Still though, he performs, he glad-hands, he gushes about everything and everyone around him — perpetually playing the content, shrugging, jovial old man; the legend, the architect and now mascot for Marvel Comics.
We want to like Lee, and he makes it easy. We want to learn more about him, but that is made hard because we’ve been fed his smile-inducing anecdotes and the history of his and Marvel’s rise for years and years. It isn’t his fault, the man’s been living in the public eye for nearly half a century, feeding the quest for insight on his work for just as long — trouble is, there are unexplored areas of Lee‘s career, questions that are rarely asked, and never fully answered.
It was my great hope going into With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, that we would get a look into the mindset of Lee and get a fuller examination of his take on the more controversial elements of his career and still developing situations like the fight being waged against Marvel by the family of departed comic legend, Jack “King” Kirby, the artist and co-creator of many of Marvel Comics’ (and before it, Timely Comics’) most lasting and iconic characters. Sadly, this is not that kind of “documentary”, but rather it is a moving biography that never really feels objective or independent. (more…)
A long time ago, in the distant history of Marvel comics, there was once a powerful force in the world of creativity known as Jack Kirby. Kirby would eventually leave Marvel due to irreconcilable differences with the company and his fellow artist Stan Lee, but during his time he helped develop some of the most iconic characters in the comic book world.
Since then, Kirby had been undergoing a fight with Marvel to get the rights to his characters and original artwork back. With Kirby’s death in 1994, his estate took up where he left off, though they have made no better progress then he did on the matter.
The issue of rights is a touchy one for both artists and fans alike, with big companies doing whatever they can (including some rather shady practices) to gain and maintain ownership of the already underpaid artists’ creative endeavors. This means that Kirby, among others, got left out in the cold when his creations started generating billions of dollars for his former employers.
Rumors hit the web that Kirby would not be receiving a credit on Joss Whedon’s new Avengers film. This caused quite a shit-storm among fans. Some of them called for a boycott of the film, while others wanted a boycott of all things Marvel.
Moviefone recently interviewed Kirby’s former partner-in-crime, Stan Lee, concerning his upcoming documentary, With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. They took this opportunity to ask him his opinion concerning the lack of a Kirby credit on Avengers. Though he seemed a bit confused about the subject being brought up, he had this to say:
“I know, but you’re talking to the wrong guy because I have nothing to do with the credits on the movies. I’m credited as one of the executive producers because that’s in my contract. But Jack was not an executive producer. So I don’t know what he’d be credited as. Again I know nothing about that, I have nothing to do with the movie’s credits. You’d have to talk to whoever is the producer of the movie. Is there anything you want to ask me about the documentary because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be talking about.”
Apparently, all this controversy was for naught. Moviefone, who was privileged enough to get to attend a New York press screening of The Avengers, confirmed that Jack Kirby is indeed listed in the credits as co-creator.
This may not solve the issue of artists’ rights, but at least people can put this one to rest.
We’ve all had those jobs. The jobs that we want to storm out of, double-handed flip-offs on full display with a smile and a string of profane words so severe that they would make Andrew Dice Clay wash his own mouth out with soap. Sadly though, that’s just a fantasy for most of us. A “one day I’ll” that dances around in our brains during the blissful peace of a cubicle daydream. That’s why Chris Roberson (iZombie and Superman) is destined to become a momentary icon, not only did he tell his boss to go to hell, but that boss was DC Comics, and he did it in a very public, and embarrassing way by questioning their ethics and the way they treat writers.
Now, Roberson wasn’t explicit in speaking on the details of his mistreatment by DC, hell he didn’t even say he was mistreated — and who knows, maybe a few well placed tweets on the way out the door are merely the appetizers to a more stout statement on DC, everything is a teaser for another teaser nowadays, an ad for the big reveal. Maybe that’s how Roberson will play this, and maybe he won’t say anything more — focusing on his work and building a career away from DC. One thing is clear though, it takes guts to stand in against Goliath and it is something that is uncommon due to the long memory of powerful people. (more…)
I think I’ll eventually get around to writing about every Stan Lee issue #1 in the Marvel canon, not just because they’re all of distinct importance in the history of comics, but because I find them fascinating. Nearly everything happening at Marvel now is linked directly back to the ideas of this one man and his stable of collaborators. Lee had a knack for making superheroes seem a little more like real people, but even when he was injecting more complexity into his medium he was working with very broad strokes. Those early Stan Lee creations don’t possess a lot of depth by today’s standards, but we could argue that without Lee’s breaking ground, the depth we have now would never have existed at all. With that in mind, this week we turn our attention to a group of Lee’s creations that remain among the most complex and fluid in all of comics: The X-Men.
It’s that day again, the day where comic nerds all over the world avoid their real lives and dive into a whole new weeks worth of comic books.
Welcome to Attack of the New Comics Wednesday! I venture into a local comic store, randomly grab a handful of books off the shelf and give them a once over. I think it is every comic nerds duty to keep grabbing up new titles and seeing how they fit, and I am more than happy to do it for you.
This week, we venture into the wild cosmic with Kirby: Genesis, go two the depths of the oceans with two 2nd string characters that rise to the occasion (and no, Sebastian the Crab isn’t one of them) and we attend the first day of classes as Wolverine starts his career as the mutant Mr. Belding.
It all happens after the jump.