Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the Marvel Office
(1) Jack Kirby, with cover of Tales of Suspense #76 (cover date April 1966).
(2) Stan Lee, with cover of Strange Tales #151 (cover date December 1966).
These two photographs—rare glimpses of Kirby and Lee at work in the Marvel offices of the 1960s—were shot at the same desk; note the blinds, the lamp, and the black sculpture in the background of each. Comics were cover-dated roughly three months ahead of publication, so if each man were finishing work on the page in his hand, it might be four months before the cover date. So it’s very possible that the Kirby photo is from the tail end of 1965 (around the time of the infamous Herald Tribune story), and that the Lee photo is from the late summer of 1966 (around the time that Marvel began billing stories as “A Lee-Kirby Production” instead of crediting writer and artist separately). The issue of Thor #136 in the left foreground of the Lee photo is cover dated January 1967, which is consistent with that timeframe. One could make an argument that these pictures were taken at the same time, and that Kirby was simply holding an old cover as a prop…except that you’ll notice that it looks like the frames on the wall to the right of the window have changed.
Anyone know who took these photographs?
You can read more about Marvel in 1966 in this excerpt from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, which will be out in paperback on October 1, 2013.