Funnybook Babylon

May 15, 2012

Jack Kirby and The Great Chain of Being (Screwed)

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — Chris Eckert @ 1:20 pm

So in just two weeks, Marvel’s The Avengers has made a billion dollars worldwide. Over the past fourteen years, films based on Marvel superheroes have grossed over nine and a half billion dollars at the box office, and with the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man 3, Wolverine, Thor 2 and others, you can expect to add a couple billion more to the ledger in the next year or so. As anyone reading this probably already knows, Jack Kirby — co-creator of the characters starring in Avengers and many of these other blockbuster films — does not receive credit in the films, nor does his family receive even the smallest scrap of this massive revenue stream.

CORRECTION: Apparently Jack Kirby’s name is listed in the credits of Marvel’s The Avengers, a film I have not seen. I was under the mistaken impression that he was not credited in two films I did see recently, Thor and Captain America.

In Thor, the credit “Based on The Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby” is placed in the latter half of the end credits, in between those for Stand-Ins and Production Supervisor.

In Captain America, the credit “Based on The Marvel Comic by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby” is placed in the latter half of the end credits, in between those for Stand-Ins and Supervising Sound Editor.

In Marvel’s the Avengers I do not know the placement of the credit. It may also be easy to miss. A story circulated last month in which Stan Lee seemed to indicate Kirby’s name was not in the credits for the film. This was later confirmed to not be true. Having seen neither the film itself nor the corrections, I passed along this incorrect statement. Jack Kirby is credited in Marvel’s The Avengers. He just isn’t being paid for it.

Plenty of other pundits have remarked on this — Steve Bissette, Tom Spurgeon, David Brothers, our own Jamaal Thomas to name just a few — and recently Spurgeon provided a handy list of all the creators whose work led to the Avengers becoming a billion dollar movie.

That list reminded me of a comment from a few months back, in response to another good Kirby post from Brothers. RS David said:

The result of the Kirby trial changed the way I purchased comics too. Essentially, I cut out all Marvel comics focused on Kirby creations (unfortunately that included Parker’s Hulk, but still buying Thunderbolts).

On one hand, this is a perfectly rational response. Marvel’s lack of respect towards the Kirby estate is a massive, prominent thumb in the eye of treating comics creators like human beings. If you’re not prepared to go cold turkey, dropping the books most clearly built off Kirby’s unrewarded labor seems like the logical thing to do. But in practice, this is a tangled web. (more…)

June 8, 2010

FBBP #126 – Four Number Ones

As a follow-up to our theoretically award-eligible podcast Three Number Ones, Funnybook Babylon planned to look at Four Number Ones, the Billboard #1 singles on our respective birthdays!

Sadly, due to a quirk of fate, our birthdays are paired closely together, so we only have two number ones:

MacArthur Park” by Donna Summer (Chris & Jamaal)
Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes (Joseph & Pedro)

So we had to go with our backup plan: reviewing comics. I think we can all agree those are a couple of wretched songs; will the comics be any better?
(more…)

May 13, 2010

FBBP #125 – Geoff! Jeff! Jeff!

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 9:57 am

The Funnybook Babylon Podcast is back at full power and looking at a trio of books written by a trio of homophonic dudes!

Yes, This is Being Published: Brightest Day #1 (DC) by Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi and a Big Bag of Artists

Underground (Image Comics) by Jeff Parker & Steve Lieber (collected edition out this week)

Sweet Tooth Volume 1: Out of the Woods (DC/Vertigo) by Jeff Lemire (collected edition also out this week)

This was a happy accident, the Trio of [Geo/J]effs, and one we may follow up on in the future. What show would you guys like to see? The Briancast? The Petercast? The Sarahcast? The Bongcast? Let us know!

Powered by WordPress