Stan Lee 3: The King and the Man in their own words

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jack kirby suit Stan Lee 3: The King and the Man in their own wordsGerry Giovinco‘s blog is always worth reading, but here’s a telling piece setting the two titans’ accounts of the origins of Marvel side by side and coming to a conclusion:

The reality is that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee simply represent two different types of men. Jack Kirby was an amiable, creative genius who’s imagination knew no boundaries. He created for two primary reasons, to comfortably support his family and to express his ideas. Any reward beyond that was secondary to his nature, by the time he realized his loss it was too late.

Stan Lee had his eye on the prize his whole career. He continues to live for the fame and the fortune. He believed in the Marvel product and aggressively sold it with a huckster’s gleam in his eye that exists to this very day.”

STAN LEE BONUS LINK: You might think from all the forgoing that Stan Lee is everywhere, but not so. From a profile of Hollywood Reporter editor Janice Min in the Times:

But somewhere in the middle of the meeting, a proposed picture for the back page, a strong, iconic image drawn from the trade magazine’s 80-year history, is slid down the table for inspection. After being handed a picture of a back-in-the-day Stan Lee, the comics genius, posing with some badly dressed superheroes, Ms. Min cocked her head to the side as she took a skeptical look. Bill Higgins, a reporter who was hired away from Variety, said, “I know that look, I’ll keep looking.”

Comments

  1. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. They were two people in the right place, in the right roles, at the right time. No doubt Jack could not have marketed or sold the books the way Stan did and no doubt Stan collaborated and refined more than he’s stated over the years.

    Creator rights have evolved so much since then that they both would have certainly done better and there would be a clearer story, but would the characters have taken hold the way they did if they were encumbered by creator rights?

  2. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. They were two people in the right place, in the right roles, at the right time. No doubt Jack could not have marketed or sold the books the way Stan did and no doubt Stan collaborated and refined more than he’s stated over the years.

    Creator rights have evolved so much since then that they both would have certainly done better and there would be a clearer story, but would the characters have taken hold the way they did if they were encumbered by creator rights?

  3. Trev, I agree. I don’t think anybody will ever know “the truth,” and I doubt Stan and Jack did, either. Their creations were built up over time by different artists and writers. It’s like saying somebody “created” Bugs Bunny.

    I think Kirby had a couple of key things going for him: he was there when they needed him; his stuff was far more dynamic than the stuff that came before; and perhaps most important, he was fast.

    But I think we’ve all read Kirby’s non-Stan Lee stuff. I think Stan had a bigger hand in this than Kirby would like to have admitted.

  4. Trev, I agree. I don’t think anybody will ever know “the truth,” and I doubt Stan and Jack did, either. Their creations were built up over time by different artists and writers. It’s like saying somebody “created” Bugs Bunny.

    I think Kirby had a couple of key things going for him: he was there when they needed him; his stuff was far more dynamic than the stuff that came before; and perhaps most important, he was fast.

    But I think we’ve all read Kirby’s non-Stan Lee stuff. I think Stan had a bigger hand in this than Kirby would like to have admitted.

  5. KillJoy says:

    Ha! A magazine! I remember those!
    You keep on shinning you crazy Hollywood reporter diamond! Fight the good fight while no-one is listening!~

  6. KillJoy says:

    Ha! A magazine! I remember those!
    You keep on shinning you crazy Hollywood reporter diamond! Fight the good fight while no-one is listening!~

  7. True Believer says:

    Oh, plenty of people know the damn truth! Except for Stan Lee apologists and fans.

    Stan Lees next cameo will be in a special place in hell

  8. True Believer says:

    Oh, plenty of people know the damn truth! Except for Stan Lee apologists and fans.

    Stan Lees next cameo will be in a special place in hell

  9. I admire Stan Lee and his ability to sell shit and make you agree that it was apple pie.

    That is how you become successful.

    That doesn’t mean I think too much of him as a moral human being. But it’s good to know where you stand with an honest huckster.

    (In between him and your wallet)

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