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THE UNTOLD STORY

Go ahead, ask a question.   Images are an online-only supplement to the book MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY (plus occasional unrelated arcana )
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"A WILD-RIDE ACCOUNT" —The Hollywood Reporter
"EPIC" —The New York Times
"INDISPENSABLE" —Los Angeles Times
"DEFINITIVE" —The Wall Street Journal
"SCINTILLATING" —Publishers Weekly
"AUTHORITATIVE" —Kirkus Reviews
"GRIPPING" —Rolling Stone
"PRICELESS" —Booklist
"ESSENTIAL" —The Daily Beast
"REVELATORY" —The Miami Herald
"AS FULL OF COLORFUL CHARACTERS, TRAGIC REVERSALS AND UNLIKELY PLOT TWISTS AS ANY BOOK IN THE MARVEL CANON" —Newsday

twitter.com/seanhowe:

    Finally saw Captain America and... →

    timetokvetch:

    Everyone was right. It was a really decent movie. My brother goes to Bates College, so he asked me to wait to see it until he came down to Boston. We went to a matinee screening, so the theater was pretty empty and we could scream “Go, Joe!” as much as we wanted. We didn’t actually, but of course…

    Joe Simon’s granddaughter weighs in on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (Spoiler: she liked the movie, did not like the buried Simon & Kirby credit.)

    — 6 days ago with 48 notes
    #joe simon  #jack kirby  #captain america 
    Late-1965 ad for Fantasy Masterpieces #3. "See the early work of Kirby, Ditko, Heck, Ayers and Sinnott! Prefaces by Stan Lee!"

    Late-1965 ad for Fantasy Masterpieces #3.

    "See the early work of Kirby, Ditko, Heck, Ayers and Sinnott! Prefaces by Stan Lee!"

    — 1 week ago with 42 notes
    #fantasy masterpieces  #jack kirby  #steve ditko  #don heck  #dick ayers  #joe sinnott  #stan lee  #house ad 
    S.H.I.E.L.D. Vs. The Horrors Of The Modern World
(Panels from STRANGE TALES #151, December 1966. Layouts by Jack Kirby. Illustrations by Jim Steranko. Words by Stan Lee. Lettering by Artie Simek.) Suddenly almost everything in the Marvel Universe was reaching some kind of critical juncture, a point of no return. Nick Fury’s modern-day S.H.I.E.L.D. adventures in Strange Tales merged with Captain America’s missions in Tales of Suspense as the heroes teamed against high-tech organizations like A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and HYDRA for a kind of sci-fi paramilitary feedback loop. Here, too, science bounded forward at a dizzying, almost alarming rate—even the flurry of good-guy gadgets like Life Model Decoys carried disconcerting post-atomic associations of that which humanity is not ready to harness. A.I.M.—which consisted of shady industrialists outfitted like futuristic beekeepers—created the Super-Adaptoid and brandished a talisman known as the Cosmic Cube (“The ultimate weapon! The ultimate source of power! The only such artifact known to man—which can convert thought waves—into material action!”), which fell into the hands of the Red Skull, who’d just reemerged from the rubble of the Führerbunker after two decades. All you could pray for was to have the Orion Missile, or the Matter Transmitter, on your side.
Text from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    S.H.I.E.L.D. Vs. The Horrors Of The Modern World

    (Panels from STRANGE TALES #151, December 1966. Layouts by Jack Kirby. Illustrations by Jim Steranko. Words by Stan Lee. Lettering by Artie Simek.)

    Suddenly almost everything in the Marvel Universe was reaching some kind of critical juncture, a point of no return. Nick Fury’s modern-day S.H.I.E.L.D. adventures in Strange Tales merged with Captain America’s missions in Tales of Suspense as the heroes teamed against high-tech organizations like A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and HYDRA for a kind of sci-fi paramilitary feedback loop.

    Here, too, science bounded forward at a dizzying, almost alarming rate—even the flurry of good-guy gadgets like Life Model Decoys carried disconcerting post-atomic associations of that which humanity is not ready to harness. A.I.M.—which consisted of shady industrialists outfitted like futuristic beekeepers—created the Super-Adaptoid and brandished a talisman known as the Cosmic Cube (“The ultimate weapon! The ultimate source of power! The only such artifact known to man—which can convert thought waves—into material action!”), which fell into the hands of the Red Skull, who’d just reemerged from the rubble of the Führerbunker after two decades.

    All you could pray for was to have the Orion Missile, or the Matter Transmitter, on your side.

    Text from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    (Source: seanhowe, via seanhowe)

    — 2 weeks ago with 66 notes
    #S.H.I.E.L.D.  #hydra  #nick fury  #captain america  #winter soldier  #cosmic cube  #jim steranko  #stan lee  #jack kirby  #artie simek 

    Over the weekend, author Saladin Ahmed posted images from the a story in The Eagle #2 (Fox Publications, 1941). I guess others have noted Spider-Queen and her web-shooting bracelets before, but I’d never even heard of the character.

    The Spider-Queen stories are credited to one Elsa Lisau. There seems to be an online consensus (no idea where it came from) that it’s a pseudonym for Louis and Arturo Cazeneuve.

    Bear with me for a moment while I backtrack to tell you about Cazeneuve.

    In 1940, Fox Publications editor Joe Simon gathered some of his colleagues to moonlight on a project with Martin Goodman’s Timely Comics (which would later become Marvel Comics). Red Raven #1 included an adventure starring the title character—a collaboration between Simon and Louis Cazeneuve—and two stories by Jack Kirby, in his Timely debut.

    Red Raven bombed—replaced on the schedule, I believe, by The Human Torch—and months later, Cazeneuve was still working for Fox, where Spider-Woman was published.

    But within a few months Simon and Kirby soon delivered a new hero and began working exclusively for Timely/Marvel.

    The hero, of course, was Captain America.









    — 2 weeks ago with 189 notes
    #golden age  #fox features syndicate  #spider-queen  #spider-man  #steve ditko  #jack kirby  #joe simon  #stan lee  #louis cazeneuve  #elsa lineau  #captain america  #silver spider  #harvey  #timely 
    HOW AN UNDERGROUND NEWSPAPER CHANGED MARVEL COMICS (part 1 of 4)
The following essay, by D.A. Latimer, appeared in the East Village Other in March, 1969.
Comics make a lot of money, they sell better than the Reader’s Digest, the Daily News, and Fiery Crashes Monthly put together. They have to make this kind of money, or else it wouldn’t be worthwhile publishing them at all—from the publisher’s standpoint, anyway. The trouble is, for the last fifteen years or so, they just haven’t been worth publishing from the reader’s standpoint. You see, back in the mid-fifties sometime, this very perverted cat named Dr. Frederic Wertham published one of the all-time great works of erotic fiction, under the guise of critical comment of comic books: he called it—now sit tight, fellow pedophiles—Seduction of the Innocent, larded it with carefully cropped, blown up, and retouched cartoon panels, and accompanied these with vast slobbering reams of pseudo-psychosexual case histories about sadists, arsonists, and father-rapers who had got that way from reading Little Lulu and Millie the Model. Wertham was a pornographer of the old school: he sold his thing to all these people who wouldn’t dream of jerking off like common perverts, and they became so inflamed with a sensation that they could only cool off by tromping on the comic book industry. And the industry became so uptight at the prospect of losing money that it commenced printing tripe—but tripe—and has done nothing of any account for the last decade and a half.
Lately, though, it appears that the permissiveness fostered by eight years of Democratic government has infiltrated even unto such as Stan Lee and Carmine Infantino, moguls of Marvel and DC Comics respectively. Comics over the last few years have been mincing apprehensively back into contact with the world, which is a most encouraging development for what McLuhan appropriately terms the coolest of all possible mediums. They need encouragement. And just to warn the Werthams of the world that social relevance does not necessarily entail depictions of graphic sexual activity, this week I’d like to sketch out a short history of The Token Negro In American Comic Books. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll consider only DC and Marvel adventures comics. Archie Comics some while back dabbled uncomfortably with a brawny young hunk of black-haired beefcake called Angelo Angelino—he was Mr. Lodge’s groundskeeper for an issue or two—but they seem to have discontinued this disturbing element (which is pretty much alright, since it turns out, after their debut on television, that the Lodge family has a crackerish southern accent). And to go into an investigation, at this late date, of why the world of Mickey Mouse was kept carefully segregated from the world of Donald Duck, well, that would be disrespectful to the shade of Disney. So we’re hung with Marvel and DC, and we’ll dig Marvel first.
The only black character with anything like top billing in the Marvel lexicon is a cat named T’Challa, one of the Avengers. On a kind of sabbatical from the chieftainship of an African tribe called the Wakanda, T’Challa works with the Avengers in the guise of—now dig this—the Black Panther. No, no—while the Panthers have been around longer than T’Challa, the gentleman in no respect resembles Bobby Seale. He doesn’t even come off like Moms Mabely for Blackness, and he sure got nothing even in common with Jomo Kenyatta. You ever once hear a spade talk like this, outside of Othello: “If words were actions, rash one, I should long since have perished in my native Africa.” PVUNK! Another super-baddie bites the dust. Wakanda (not the river in Kesey’s Oregon, fool) is a super-city located in an artificial under the African veldt, and the Wakanda tribesmen are super-spades who run around in loincloths, toting stun-guns. Like I say, it’s encouraging to see comics coming back in touch with the world.
(Continued here.)

    HOW AN UNDERGROUND NEWSPAPER CHANGED MARVEL COMICS (part 1 of 4)

    The following essay, by D.A. Latimer, appeared in the East Village Other in March, 1969.

    Comics make a lot of money, they sell better than the Reader’s Digest, the Daily News, and Fiery Crashes Monthly put together. They have to make this kind of money, or else it wouldn’t be worthwhile publishing them at all—from the publisher’s standpoint, anyway. The trouble is, for the last fifteen years or so, they just haven’t been worth publishing from the reader’s standpoint. You see, back in the mid-fifties sometime, this very perverted cat named Dr. Frederic Wertham published one of the all-time great works of erotic fiction, under the guise of critical comment of comic books: he called it—now sit tight, fellow pedophiles—Seduction of the Innocent, larded it with carefully cropped, blown up, and retouched cartoon panels, and accompanied these with vast slobbering reams of pseudo-psychosexual case histories about sadists, arsonists, and father-rapers who had got that way from reading Little Lulu and Millie the Model. Wertham was a pornographer of the old school: he sold his thing to all these people who wouldn’t dream of jerking off like common perverts, and they became so inflamed with a sensation that they could only cool off by tromping on the comic book industry. And the industry became so uptight at the prospect of losing money that it commenced printing tripe—but tripe—and has done nothing of any account for the last decade and a half.

    Lately, though, it appears that the permissiveness fostered by eight years of Democratic government has infiltrated even unto such as Stan Lee and Carmine Infantino, moguls of Marvel and DC Comics respectively. Comics over the last few years have been mincing apprehensively back into contact with the world, which is a most encouraging development for what McLuhan appropriately terms the coolest of all possible mediums. They need encouragement. And just to warn the Werthams of the world that social relevance does not necessarily entail depictions of graphic sexual activity, this week I’d like to sketch out a short history of The Token Negro In American Comic Books. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll consider only DC and Marvel adventures comics. Archie Comics some while back dabbled uncomfortably with a brawny young hunk of black-haired beefcake called Angelo Angelino—he was Mr. Lodge’s groundskeeper for an issue or two—but they seem to have discontinued this disturbing element (which is pretty much alright, since it turns out, after their debut on television, that the Lodge family has a crackerish southern accent). And to go into an investigation, at this late date, of why the world of Mickey Mouse was kept carefully segregated from the world of Donald Duck, well, that would be disrespectful to the shade of Disney. So we’re hung with Marvel and DC, and we’ll dig Marvel first.

    The only black character with anything like top billing in the Marvel lexicon is a cat named T’Challa, one of the Avengers. On a kind of sabbatical from the chieftainship of an African tribe called the Wakanda, T’Challa works with the Avengers in the guise of—now dig this—the Black Panther. No, no—while the Panthers have been around longer than T’Challa, the gentleman in no respect resembles Bobby Seale. He doesn’t even come off like Moms Mabely for Blackness, and he sure got nothing even in common with Jomo Kenyatta. You ever once hear a spade talk like this, outside of Othello: “If words were actions, rash one, I should long since have perished in my native Africa.” PVUNK! Another super-baddie bites the dust. Wakanda (not the river in Kesey’s Oregon, fool) is a super-city located in an artificial under the African veldt, and the Wakanda tribesmen are super-spades who run around in loincloths, toting stun-guns. Like I say, it’s encouraging to see comics coming back in touch with the world.

    (Continued here.)

    — 2 weeks ago with 149 notes
    #marvel comics  #black panther  #t'challa  #wakanda  #falcon  #stan lee  #jack kirby  #angelo angelino 
    seanhowe:

Jack Kirby poses as Captain America

Seems like a good time to dig this one out of the archives.

    seanhowe:

    Jack Kirby poses as Captain America

    Seems like a good time to dig this one out of the archives.

    — 2 weeks ago with 741 notes
    #captain america  #jack kirby  #joe simon  #photos 
    Cover to Daring Mystery Comics #6. Cover by Jack Kirby.

    Cover to Daring Mystery Comics #6. Cover by Jack Kirby.


    — 4 weeks ago with 37 notes
    #daring mystery  #jack kirby  #race relations  #marvel boy 
    Jack Kirby. Photo by Al Ortega, Wizard magazine.

    Jack Kirby. Photo by Al Ortega, Wizard magazine.

    — 1 month ago with 30 notes
    #jack kirby  #al ortega  #photos  #wizard 

    boomerstarkiller67:

    Strange Tales Monsters - art by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Dick Ayers (1961)

    (via atlas-tales)

    — 2 months ago with 565 notes
    #strange tales  #monsters  #Marvel Monsters  #jack kirby  #steve ditko 
    From Journey Into Mystery #83.

    From Journey Into Mystery #83.

    — 2 months ago with 93 notes
    #thor  #jack kirby  #stan lee  #don blake 
    Spend the next 30 minutes with Jack Kirby →

    Jack Kirby died twenty years ago today, but step in the time machine and spend half an hour shooting the breeze with him, thanks to this video posted at The Kirby Museum.

    — 2 months ago with 259 notes
    #jack kirby 
    Jack Kirby’s Big Dick.(Update: thanks to the Robot6 Tumblr for reminding me what I’d failed to jot down when I grabbed image a while ago—it’s actually a collage of Kirby art by the French artist Reed Man; Tom Scioli posted it here.)

    Jack Kirby’s Big Dick.

    (Update: thanks to the Robot6 Tumblr for reminding me what I’d failed to jot down when I grabbed image a while ago—it’s actually a collage of Kirby art by the French artist Reed Man; Tom Scioli posted it here.)


    — 2 months ago with 77 notes
    #jack kirby  #reed man  #tom scioli 
    Jack Kirby at the San Diego Comic-Con, 1980, drawing The Thing. (Photograph by Jackie Estrada)
In 1980, the summer of Dark Phoenix and Elektra, a 19-year-old foulmouthed Canadian—on a baseball college scholarship, and soon to be recruited by a Seattle Mariners scout—attended the San Diego Comic-Con. He stood mesmerized as he watched Jack Kirby graciously speaking to the fans who swarmed around him. If he didn’t make the majors, he told himself, he’d be a comic book artist. Sure enough, when an ankle injury dashed his big-league hopes, Todd McFarlane began spending more and more time practicing at his drawing table, and reading with interest about Kirby’s and Gerber’s struggles, and the soapbox speeches of Neal Adams and Frank Miller, in the pages of the Comics Journal.
The above text is adapted from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.[Note: Jackie Estrada is raising funds to publish a book featuring hundreds of the photographs of comics giants she’s taken over the years. Check it out!]

    Jack Kirby at the San Diego Comic-Con, 1980, drawing The Thing. (Photograph by Jackie Estrada)

    In 1980, the summer of Dark Phoenix and Elektra, a 19-year-old foulmouthed Canadian—on a baseball college scholarship, and soon to be recruited by a Seattle Mariners scout—attended the San Diego Comic-Con. He stood mesmerized as he watched Jack Kirby graciously speaking to the fans who swarmed around him. If he didn’t make the majors, he told himself, he’d be a comic book artist. Sure enough, when an ankle injury dashed his big-league hopes, Todd McFarlane began spending more and more time practicing at his drawing table, and reading with interest about Kirby’s and Gerber’s struggles, and the soapbox speeches of Neal Adams and Frank Miller, in the pages of the Comics Journal.


    The above text is adapted from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.

    [Note: Jackie Estrada is raising funds to publish a book featuring hundreds of the photographs of comics giants she’s taken over the years. Check it out!]

    — 2 months ago with 237 notes
    #jack kirby  #todd mcfarlane  #comic-con  #san diego  #thing  #jackie estrada  #photos 
    Steve Gerber at the San Diego Comic-Con, 1978, holding a copy of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Silver Surfer graphic novel. (Photograph by Jackie Estrada)





In February 1978, Steve Gerber, the last to sign a writer-editor contract, and falling behind on deadlines once again, was relieved of his duties as the writer of the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. Gerber’s lawyer informed Marvel that this was a violation of his contract, and that he was considering legal action regarding the ownership of the Howard the Duck character; shortly thereafter Marvel terminated Gerber’s contract altogether. Asked by the Comics Journal if chronic lateness was the reason for the company’s decision, Shooter replied, “I would just say that we found it advantageous to get out of the contract we were in.” Gerber maintained that he and Gene Colan were not getting advance payments on time. 
Stewardship of Howard was split up: Marv Wolfman took over the newspaper strip, and Bill Mantlo took over the comic book. When the strip was canceled later in the year, Gerber complained publicly about the “downright horrible” quality of Wolfman’s work. “Once I was gone,” he told the Village Voice, “Howard was lobotomized, devoid of substance, and turned into a simple-minded parody. So, they’re putting him out of his misery.” 



An ending to Gerber and Skrenes’s Omega the Unknown saga, repeatedly promised in letters columns and repeatedly rescheduled, was finally written without its creators’ input. “It just got to the point where we couldn’t work with Shooter anymore,” Skrenes said. “He was screwing with us and punishing us and trying to have somebody else write it, like they always did with Howard.” Omega was killed off in an issue of The Defenders. Gerber and Skrenes swore to each other that they’d take their original plans for the character’s ending to their graves. 




Jack Kirby’s contract was up for renewal in April 1978. At a convention in West Virginia, Stan Lee announced that Kirby had signed a long-term contract as an artist only; he said Kirby’s scripting was “imaginative but undisciplined,” but Lee was confident that the artwork would return to form once Kirby was paired with other writers. (Lee also characterized Kirby’s work on their just-completed Silver Surfer graphic novel, two years in the making, as “better than recent stuff, but not his best.”) 
But there was no new contract. Kirby’s tour of duty was, in fact, coming to an end. His latest return had been a major disappointment, to him and to Marvel. None of his books had sold as well as hoped, the reaction from readers was less than enthusiastic, and even his supposed autonomy had been undermined. “The editorial staff up at Marvel had no respect for what he was doing,” said Jim Starlin. “All these editors had things on their walls making fun of Jack’s books. They’d cut out things saying ‘Stupidest Comic of the Year’… . [T]his entire editorial office was just littered with stuff disparaging the guy who founded the company these guys were working for. He created all the characters these guys were editing.” 
Tensions were now worse than they’d ever been in the sixties. Kirby reportedly received hate mail on Marvel letterhead, and crank phone calls from the office. When Roy Thomas persuaded him to draw an issue of the imaginary-tale series What If? (it was a self-reflective story called “What if … The Fantastic Four were the Marvel Bullpen?” starring Lee, Kirby, Thomas, and Flo Steinberg), Kirby refused to allow Thomas to script it, and replaced the Thomas character with a Sol Brodsky one. Once the pages arrived at Marvel, an editor went through and changed all of Kirby’s references to “Stanley” to “Stan” and corrected all the grammar in the dialogue—except for that of the Jack Kirby character. 



“I didn’t really get a shot,” Kirby later said of his 1970s work at Marvel, pointing to professional jealousy. “A guy will create a book, another will fill his book up with knock letters—he’s off in five months, or three months, and the other guy’s got his shot… . I see it as a serpent’s nest. And in a serpent’s nest, nothing can survive. Eventually all the snakes kill each other. Eventually they’ll also kill whatever generated them.” 
In the end, Kirby’s exit plan from the frustrations and limitations of the comic-book industry was the same that Stan Lee’s had been: Hollywood. Kirby was invited by Hanna-Barbera to produce storyboards for NBC’s new Fantastic Four cartoon—for which both Lee and Thomas were writing. Kirby still wasn’t calling the shots—because the Human Torch had already been optioned by Universal, Kirby had to create a cute robot named H.E.R.B.I.E. to be the Fantastic Four’s fourth member—but the pay was better, and the treatment was more respectful. 
Jack Kirby would never work for Marvel Comics again. The above text is excerpted from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.[Note: Jackie Estrada is raising funds to publish a book featuring hundreds of the photographs of comics giants she’s taken over the years. Check it out!]

    Steve Gerber at the San Diego Comic-Con, 1978, holding a copy of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Silver Surfer graphic novel. (Photograph by Jackie Estrada)

    In February 1978, Steve Gerber, the last to sign a writer-editor contract, and falling behind on deadlines once again, was relieved of his duties as the writer of the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. Gerber’s lawyer informed Marvel that this was a violation of his contract, and that he was considering legal action regarding the ownership of the Howard the Duck character; shortly thereafter Marvel terminated Gerber’s contract altogether. Asked by the Comics Journal if chronic lateness was the reason for the company’s decision, Shooter replied, “I would just say that we found it advantageous to get out of the contract we were in.” Gerber maintained that he and Gene Colan were not getting advance payments on time.

    Stewardship of Howard was split up: Marv Wolfman took over the newspaper strip, and Bill Mantlo took over the comic book. When the strip was canceled later in the year, Gerber complained publicly about the “downright horrible” quality of Wolfman’s work. “Once I was gone,” he told the Village Voice, “Howard was lobotomized, devoid of substance, and turned into a simple-minded parody. So, they’re putting him out of his misery.”

    An ending to Gerber and Skrenes’s Omega the Unknown saga, repeatedly promised in letters columns and repeatedly rescheduled, was finally written without its creators’ input. “It just got to the point where we couldn’t work with Shooter anymore,” Skrenes said. “He was screwing with us and punishing us and trying to have somebody else write it, like they always did with Howard.” Omega was killed off in an issue of The Defenders. Gerber and Skrenes swore to each other that they’d take their original plans for the character’s ending to their graves.

    Jack Kirby’s contract was up for renewal in April 1978. At a convention in West Virginia, Stan Lee announced that Kirby had signed a long-term contract as an artist only; he said Kirby’s scripting was “imaginative but undisciplined,” but Lee was confident that the artwork would return to form once Kirby was paired with other writers. (Lee also characterized Kirby’s work on their just-completed Silver Surfer graphic novel, two years in the making, as “better than recent stuff, but not his best.”)

    But there was no new contract. Kirby’s tour of duty was, in fact, coming to an end. His latest return had been a major disappointment, to him and to Marvel. None of his books had sold as well as hoped, the reaction from readers was less than enthusiastic, and even his supposed autonomy had been undermined. “The editorial staff up at Marvel had no respect for what he was doing,” said Jim Starlin. “All these editors had things on their walls making fun of Jack’s books. They’d cut out things saying ‘Stupidest Comic of the Year’… . [T]his entire editorial office was just littered with stuff disparaging the guy who founded the company these guys were working for. He created all the characters these guys were editing.”

    Tensions were now worse than they’d ever been in the sixties. Kirby reportedly received hate mail on Marvel letterhead, and crank phone calls from the office. When Roy Thomas persuaded him to draw an issue of the imaginary-tale series What If? (it was a self-reflective story called “What if … The Fantastic Four were the Marvel Bullpen?” starring Lee, Kirby, Thomas, and Flo Steinberg), Kirby refused to allow Thomas to script it, and replaced the Thomas character with a Sol Brodsky one. Once the pages arrived at Marvel, an editor went through and changed all of Kirby’s references to “Stanley” to “Stan” and corrected all the grammar in the dialogue—except for that of the Jack Kirby character.

    “I didn’t really get a shot,” Kirby later said of his 1970s work at Marvel, pointing to professional jealousy. “A guy will create a book, another will fill his book up with knock letters—he’s off in five months, or three months, and the other guy’s got his shot… . I see it as a serpent’s nest. And in a serpent’s nest, nothing can survive. Eventually all the snakes kill each other. Eventually they’ll also kill whatever generated them.”

    In the end, Kirby’s exit plan from the frustrations and limitations of the comic-book industry was the same that Stan Lee’s had been: Hollywood. Kirby was invited by Hanna-Barbera to produce storyboards for NBC’s new Fantastic Four cartoon—for which both Lee and Thomas were writing. Kirby still wasn’t calling the shots—because the Human Torch had already been optioned by Universal, Kirby had to create a cute robot named H.E.R.B.I.E. to be the Fantastic Four’s fourth member—but the pay was better, and the treatment was more respectful.

    Jack Kirby would never work for Marvel Comics again.

    The above text is excerpted from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.

    [Note: Jackie Estrada is raising funds to publish a book featuring hundreds of the photographs of comics giants she’s taken over the years. Check it out!]

    — 2 months ago with 102 notes
    #steve gerber  #howard the duck  #jack kirby  #silver surfer  #omega  #photos  #jim shooter  #mary skrenes  #roy thomas  #H.E.R.B.I.E.  #jackie estrada