Stan Lee: "In what way would [Jack Kirby's] name appear?" — UPDATED

stanleedkeihf Stan Lee: "In what way would [Jack Kirby's] name appear?"    UPDATED

WOW, Creator Rights day on the Internet rolls on with what we might call Stan Lee’s Hilary Rosen moment: an unforced error that cannot be rolled back. In an interview with Moviefone, of ALL PLACES, Stan is asked POINT BLANK about whether Jack Kirby should be credited on THE AVENGERS:

Q: Fans of Jack Kirby are concerned that his name appears nowhere on the credits of “The Avengers.” What’s your take on their concern?
A: I don’t know how to answer that because in what way would his name appear?

Q: His name isn’t mentioned anywhere in the film production as a co-creator.

A:Well it’s mentioned in every comic book; it says “By Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.”


Ugh. Fucking ugh.

Now, we know Stan is employed by Marvel and has contracts and it’s all legal and what could he really say and blah blah. And he’s 89 and maybe doesn’t have the best answers for something. But maybe a “Oh that’s a legal matter” would have been better than this:

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.


Aside: Has the fan press suddenly GROWN a pair? Or have they just figured out that controversy sells?

Anyway, we all have given Stan a pass because he’s Stan and he’s 89 and so on, but this is a very disappointing answer from “The Man.”

Also, we were watching CAPTAIN AMERICA the other night (we’re late, we know, short review: no story, great tone) and at the end the credits had special thanks to Lee and Kirby and if we remember correctly, Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Joe Quesada, and Brian Michael Bendis. If THE AVENGERS doesn’t even contain this level of tiny-type thanks to Kirby that is just shameful.

UPDATED: It is now emerging that Kirby’s name DOES appear in THE AVENGERS, at the end in tiny type, as it did in CAP, as verified by those who saw the film:


This doesn’t make Stan’s comments any less squirmy/justified, but it does change the tone of the questioning a bit.

Comments

  1. Plus, I’ll admit it’s been a while, but do the comics really give Kirby credit for creation of titles like The Avengers?

  2. Shawn Kane says:

    “at the end the creidts had special hanks to Lee and Kirby and if we remember correctly, Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Joe Quesada and Brian Michael Bendis.”

    I don’t get the inclusion of the last 4 names. Sure Brubaker and Epting have produced some great Cap stories but Joe Q and Bendis not so much. Where’s Steranko, Englehart, Stern, Byrne, Gruenwald, Sal Buscema, and Mark Waid among others?

  3. Lee and Kirby were credited as the creators of the X-Men in at least the first of the films. Which is, in some ways, misleading; as I said to my wife (also a huge X-fan), “Magento was created by Lee and Kirby, but THAT Magneto was created by Claremont and Cockrum.”

  4. Carlton Donaghe says:

    Stan Lee, you are my idol. But I’m very, very disappointed in you.

    What you’re doing is a sin, sir, and you need get straight with your maker, because there’s no forgiveness otherwise.

    Before you die, you really need to have a come-clean moment, and do it with the press.

    I mean that, sir.

  5. UPDATE: After attending a NY press screening, Moviefone can confirm that Jack Kirby’s name is listed in the end credits as a co-creator. Previously, we referred to Kirby’s omission from promotional materials of the upcoming film. Original story appears below.

  6. B. Clay Moore says:

    In fairness, what control over this would Stan have?

  7. Carlton Donaghe says:

    Alternate Version:
    “As I said to my wife… “Magento was created by Lee and Kirby, but THAT Magneto was created by Claremont and Cockrum.”

    And my wife said, “What the hell are you talking about?”

  8. Carlton Donaghe says:

    Mr. Moore, I’m not faulting Stan for what the movie does, but what he does.

    I’d imagine he’s still got the clout to speak the truth, if he was of a mind to.

  9. Shawn Kane says:

    I really wish that he would have chosen his words better because this will start the avalanche of the “Stan Lee Is The Devil” comments.

  10. I think it’s pretty damn shameful that the Simon/Kirby creator credit on the Cap movie was hidden under the title cards as those those men were a pair of Best Boy Grips, but what do I know?

  11. Bleh. “As THOUGH.”

  12. Ben Rush says:

    Why should be Stan given a pass…..
    If the man told the truth about Jack,Steve,and the othere’s who have never got a quarter or none of the money he has maybe I would. But he has quite happly laughted all the way to the bank.
    On a week where this and mutiple other sites have torn DC a new one for something nowhere near as bad. It seems a bit weak.

  13. Carlton Donaghe says:

    I hate those. He did great work, and inspired a lot of people.

    If he’s still got balls at his age, he just needs to use them.

    I mean, what could Marvel do to him, really? At his age?

  14. I agree entirely that Kirby should be given credit (and apparently he is), but I think Lee doesn’t need a pass here. His answer is to the point and correct: when asked about Kirby’s credits he said he has no control over the matter and only gets one himself because its in his contract.

    Maybe the fanboys aren’t the only ones trying to sell controversy?

  15. Much ado about nothing. As is normally the case in the world of comics.

    Someone got screwed over in the business world? Happens every day. Big deal. Who cares? Yawn.

    Someone getting screwed over in the comics world? BIG deal!!! Call out the dogs! Make a website that “outs” the robert granitos of the world! We’re not going to take this lying down! But ultimately, yawn.

    Eventually the truth about the creators will be told in a mainstream way. (Its amazing to me that a behind the scenes movie hasn’t been made yet. Something like Kavalier and Clay might have done a good job of showing the origin story of “the golden age.”) But until then, consider yourselves on the inside looking out. Which is worthless. And priceless.

  16. Ben Rush says:

    Any movie about the truth about Marvel would so be censored/sued out of existance before it even got a showing by the same people who have the most to lose Disney. And we know how the courts treat people against the mighty mouse

  17. B. Clay Moore says:

    Well, it’s not like Stan didn’t play a huge part in turning Kirby into JACK KIRBY. He is the one who tagged him the “King of Comics,” and promoted him relentlessly during the sixties.

    Lee was always more about the corporation, sure. But people tend to overlook how much he did to build the Kirby brand into what it was.

  18. Joseph says:

    Agree with David above. Stan doesn’t need a pass on this one, and I thought his answer was fine. Also, as has been mentioned elsewhere, Kirby didn’t even have a hand in the creation of two of the five main characters in the film. I expect the “reporter” heard something somewhere about Kirby getting screwed by Marvel and decided to ambush an 89 year old man with a question that has already been asked and answered too many times to count.

  19. “UPDATED: It is now emerging that Kirby’s name DOES appear in THE AVENGERS, at the end in tiny type, as it did in Cap, as verified by those who saw the film:”

    Oh, good–I could have sworn I saw that, and was confused by the mad outrage. “Tiny type,” by the way, is the exact same size as so many other people got in the titles.

    Anyway, honestly, I see nothing wrong with Stan’s answer here. He was asked a surprise question in an unrelated interview about something which he has no control over and very little to do with. (As in, aside from filming his cameo, was he in any way involved in the movie?)

    The creators credited in Captain America: Brubaker and Epting were a major influence on the film, and Quesada and Bendis have been actively working on the development of many of the films.

  20. patrick ford says:

    Kirby is NEVER listed as a creator of characters by Lee or Marvel (Disney0. When he is credited he’s credited as a creator of comic books. The latest issue of The X-Men was created by the people who worked on it.
    What you will see is something like “Based on the X-Men comic books created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Also Marvel and Lee describe Kirby as a co-creator for his role as a penciler. In Lee’s and Marvel’s universe Kirby created pencil drawings.

  21. patrick ford says:

    I completely agree Lee relentlessly promoted the idea Jack Kirby was a penciler. Lee did such an extraordinarily good job of demeaning Kirby as a creator, that most people are convinced if it weren’t for Stan Lee Kirby would be unknown today. Kind of like how Carl Barks is unknown because he never worked for Lee. Other creators who are unknown because they didn’t work for Lee would include Joe Kubert, Alex Toth, John Stanley, Frank Frazetta.

  22. Christian says:

    Reminiscent of ‘The Man’s’ comments in the “Search for Steve Ditko” documentary with Ross and Gaiman.

    Another lesson for creators: Don’t Die first.

  23. b.t.t.c. says:

    I don’t find Stan’s comments that horrible at all. Everything in this article had me waiting for the other shoe to drop, for Stan to say something like “Kirby didn’t create them” or “I deserve credit and Jack doesn’t.” But Stan didn’t say anything wrong.

    The “In what way would [Jack Kirby’s] name appear” headline is kind of misleading. It’s obvious from the context that Stan was thinking in terms of “Executive Producer” credits — y’know, REAL positions on the ACTUAL project in question, as opposed to “created by” fine print.

    Disclaimers: I’m not even going to see this movie. I am not a defender of Marvel. I think Kirby was easily more creative than Stan.

    But the parade of spin-heavy hit-pieces on Stan got tired sometime around 2002. Stan is co-creator. He never claimed otherwise. He’s still not claiming otherwise. But it seems like there’s this mass hysteria out there that seeks to shortchange/villify Stan at every opportunity. Whatever his age, whatever his degree of involvement as “Executive Producer”, he doesn’t have control over the credits.

    The bottom line is that the interviewer made an ass out of himself for suggesting that Kirby’s name WASN’T listed in the credits, when evidently it IS. So how can Stan be blamed for answering a question based on misinformation?

  24. I see nothing wrong with what Stan said here. He has no control over it, I don’t get this newest “outrage”.

  25. ron thibodeau says:

    count me in as one asking what the outrage is. From what he said in the interview, he was supposed to be being interviewed in regards to a documentary, and was under the impression that the questions would be about that.

    When he was asked why jack kirby wasn’t in the credits (it turns out it was), what did you expect him to say?

    he was honest. He didn’t know why Jack’s name would be in the credtis, and he said it isn’t something that he has any control over.

    Why the outrage?

  26. Kevin says:

    Moviefone indeed has a pair and yes, it is for controversy…because I had no idea Moviefone still existed. I don’t see much wrong with that questioning (even if it was revealed there’s a special thanks(?) or is it a creator credit for Jack in the credits) mostly since for most of Lee’s career he’s positioned himself and only himself as the creator of the Marvel universe to the general public. Everyone knows Stan Lee and most think he drew it all also. (Seriously, I’ve had run ins with people that just assumed Stan wrote and drew everything). Even for little exposure to the fact he didn’t do it alone is enough for me.

  27. Kevin says:

    *And by exposure I mean to the general public, not comic book readers*

  28. WorseHorse says:

    Jack’s name as a creator appears in the same place as Creator Stan Lee. Executive Producer Stan Lee gets his name in the front titles. Consistent among all the Marvel Studios films. It makes sense, I suppose.

    That said, I’m curious why the Marvel-produced films have, let’s say “less emphatic” creator credits than some of those at other studios. The Sony SPIDER-MAN trilogy and Fox’s FANTASTIC FOUR films had “Based On The Marvel Comics by —” credits up front. I can see skipping that kind of credit on the X-MEN films because it’s such a mix of characters and creators. I’d almost be inclined to accept it from Marvel for the same reason on AVENGERS, or the IRON MANs (possible Kirby design of the first appearance muddies a Lee-Lieber-Heck byline). By why have such straightforward properties as THE INCREDIBLE HULK, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA had the creator credits relegated to “thanks” in the end titles?

  29. Will Naslund says:

    “Lee did such an extraordinarily good job of demeaning Kirby as a creator, that most people are convinced if it weren’t for Stan Lee Kirby would be unknown today.”

    I seriously doubt that’s true. On the other hand, there are a depressingly large number of folks who think that Kirby did everything and Stan contributed nothing.

    Kirby certainly got screwed and deserves more credit (and his heirs deserve more money) for his contributions to Marvel — but the outright dismissal of Stan’s central creative role by most Kirby partisans prevents me from making common cause with them, and I suspect I’m not alone in feeling that way.

    What’s so hard about saying ‘Stan and Jack created a ton of awesome stuff *together* and they should both be rewarded/recognized in equal measure’?

  30. I agree his answer could have been more tactful, but if anything it is extremely Hollywood point-on for being 89. He is right: Jack had nothing to do with producing this movie. It’s a very bittersweet answer for us to hear, but it’s true.

    Should the moviemakers thank him, perhaps even dedicate it to both of them? Of course! Would we be seeing an Avengers movie if not for Jack? Probably not. But you can’t make Jack Kirby an Executive Producer on this movie — as much as we all long and wish that he could be.

    The real question is does Moviefone even know who Jack Kirby is or are they just repeating something from Variety?

  31. Kevin says:

    It’d be nice to see “Stan Lee and Jack Kirby present” in the beginning of every comic title they collaborated on together that is still on going…but nope. Just Stan Lee Presents…

  32. Ben Rush says:

    I’ve had people tell me the Lee created Captain America. on the Marvel facebook page and when I correct them I get insulted by them for being a Kirby fan and he was a hack.
    I just shake my head and wish for a better world where all Comic Book companys had ethics.

  33. Well, Stan of course has no say what appears on the movie, so can’t really take him to task for that but there is the theory of being a stand up guy and at least saying something like “hey, why’s Jack not up there” as opposed to what he did say which is closer to “hey, I got mine”.

  34. Kevin says:

    I’ll be honest, when I was a kid and didn’t really know anything about writers/artists I just assumed Stan Lee was this genius who birthed the entire Marvel Universe out of his head alone. I’m not discounting his contributions at all, I’m just saying that’s what Marvel’s marketing department put out there and continues to put out there.

    I do love the spot Stan’s cameo in each movie and don’t fault the man, (he was a great businessman with self promotion) just the public’s perspection of Marvel and the creation of many of its characters.

  35. >> I don’t get the inclusion of the last 4 names. Sure Brubaker and Epting have produced some great Cap stories but Joe Q and Bendis not so much.>>

    I believe those 4 people actually consulted with the filmmakers, in creative meetings.

    kdb

  36. Okay okay, now that the premise of the question has been proven false, we can all put Stan back on the shadowy shelf of ambiguity where he will reside forever more.

  37. AndyD says:

    “By why have such straightforward properties as THE INCREDIBLE HULK, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA had the creator credits relegated to “thanks” in the end titles?”

    This is a question I also asked myself. If your novel is remade into a movie or a tv-series, you get a credit at the begining.

    But in the Marvel Studios movies they got as good as hidden at the end? What a disgusting behavior.

  38. Kevin says:

    Um…yeah sorry didn’t mean to further open the Lee/Kirby pandora’s box. DC: Before Watchemn. Marvel: Jack who? uh… Image Comics is great!

  39. horatio weisfeld says:

    I love this story:

    A freelancers told me what happened the day he was doing a joint signing with Stan, The Man.

    After the event ended, some suits, who where running show, took my friend and Stan to get some dinner.

    Stan saw a Hooters (or some other big-tits-serving-burgers joint) and got all excited: “Hey-Lets go there”

    The suits became upset + reminded Stan that the group had made reservations at a very upscale joint that they were presently driving toward. The Man relented -but was pissed.

    After all the other fell silent he raised his finger into the air and gave his final lamentation (which my buddy recreated w/a an amazing pitch perfect impression):

    “OH ALL RIGHT… BUT YOU GUYS REMEMBER: STAN LEE IS NO FAG!”

  40. b.t.t.c. said:

    “Stan is co-creator. He never claimed otherwise.”

    That’s pretty patently false. He is not saying that now, but there were certainly times when he’s said things like “when I came up with the idea for the Fantastic Four,” etc. Just read the Origins of Marvel Comics books. I read those when I was a kid and they were fresh off the stands, and I certainly had the impression from what he wrote that he was the mastermind behind all those characters (with the possible exception of the Silver Surfer … he gave Kirby a nugget there).

    I believe he’s realized the tide of history is against that point of view recently, but there were plenty of times he didn’t really allow for co-creators.

    And please … don’t make this an either/or argument … Kirby needs his name to be lifted up and restored, but that doesn’t mean we need to ignore Lee’s contributions. Saying one does not equate to saying the other.

    Also, no one knows who Frazetta is? Are you joking??? I knew a lot more people who knew who he was than Lee or Kirby growing up. You just had to like sci-fi/fantasy and/or paintings of sexy girls!

  41. It kinda bugs me that in all these articles all we ever here about is Jack Kirby (yes he’s the greatest comic book artist ever and deserves credit as such) but Don Heck created two of the major character in this and no one seems to give a damn about him.

    I’ve met stan and he’s a really nice guy and very sharp for an 89 year old man, but he’s still an 89 year old man and I’m going to chalk this up to just a bit of confusion.

    Also it’s important to remember in all this that Stan personally isn’t the one who screwed Jack out of anything. Fans need to seperate the company with all the lawyers and such from the art.

  42. >> Don Heck created two of the major character in this and no one seems to give a damn about him.>>

    Larry Lieber wrote the first Thor and Iron Man scripts, too, naming Don Blake, Tony Stark, Jane Foster and “Uru.”

    For whatever it’s worth, Don Heck has said that if there’s a Jack Kirby cover on a book that introduces a new character, hero or villain, and the cover shows off that character, then the odds are very good that Jack at least designed that character, and the cover was used as a way to pay him for the design.

    The Black Widow appeared on Kirby covers both in her first appearance and her first costumed appearance (though the costume one doesn’t really look like a “here’s what the new design is” image). Hawkeye doesn’t. Whether there was a Kirby cover for the Hawkeye debut and it was rejected or unused for some reason, we may never know.

    kdb

  43. Did Joe simon get a credit at the end of Captain America (movie)? He should have.

  44. Executive Producer absolutely does allow one to exert a substantial amount of say over every aspect of a film.

  45. Shawn Kane says:

    I’d prefer to see Kurt Busiek consulting on the Avengers movie!!!!

  46. And we call it the “House that Jack Built” not the “House that Stan Built”. Writers are generally notorious for very rarely ever doing any actual heavy lifting.

    (How many of Stan’s non-Marvel related ventures of the past decade have honestly panned out? Who bought his book on funny political reminiscing? Who wants to bet the Archie thing will last longer than did the Boom thing? He knows the score.)

  47. Shawn Kane says:

    I firmly believe that without Jack Kirby there would be no Marvel as we know it but over the years in the effort to get The King more credit, critics have tried to diminish Stan in the equation. I know that the usual suspects love the uneasiness that this question caused Stan and I’ve read and seen interviews where he has addressed the Kirby issue (maybe not to the extent that his detractors want) but why don’t these questions get throw to Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, David Gabriel, Axel Alonso and so on? You know people that are actually part of Marvel right now.

  48. Bill K. says:

    “Executive Producer absolutely does allow one to exert a substantial amount of say over every aspect of a film.”

    Not true. Executive Producer, like most impressive sounding titles in the creative industries,is bestowed upon individuals with a hugely varying amount of power and responsibility. An Executive Producer credit can mean you’re the person who actually oversaw production, an important financial backer, someone who played an important creative role, lending your name for publicity purposes, or someone involved with intellectual property upon which a project is based who negotiated a good deal. I would guess that Stan Lee falls more into those latter categories where creative control and input is minimal.

  49. Dave Elliott says:

    Bill K. and Richard Caldwell,

    Bill’s pretty much correct. Stan made a deal for himself to get an exec producer credit just for being “The Man” way back. It doesn’t mean that he is even present for any meetings. Many producers manage similar deals, it doesn’t mean they have any say over the film in any way.

    I for one would rather see an end to his appearances in the films.

  50. Shawn Kane says:

    As a kid of the 70’s and 80’s I get a kick out of Stan’s cameos. I loved when he narrated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends too.

  51. Without Stan Lee there wouldn`t be a Marvel.
    respectfully “stam”

  52. Dave Elliott says:

    The truth is simple. Without Stan, Jack, Steve and Don there wouldn’t be a Marvel.

    They were the Fantastic Four.

    It just isn’t fair that Stan gets all the credit and the money, but that’s life. We don’t get to like it and we’re not going to be able to do anything about it.

  53. >> I’d prefer to see Kurt Busiek consulting on the Avengers movie!!!! >>

    Thanks. But too late.

    And judging from advance reviews, they didn’t need me.

  54. horatio weisfeld says:

    I think Stan wrote really good copy in the early 1960s (I still have questions about how the work was done). Otherwise, I don’t find anything about him very interesting or worth a lot of discussion.

  55. DJ Coffman says:

    Here’s the thing… Listen to Stan carefully and he always says “back when WE did this and WE did that…” he uses a lot of WE’s. I wish he’d just say Jack Kirby’s name more. Or that he’d correct dumb people in the media who say “Stan you created all these characters…” but instead he just says “Yes” all the time and turns into Funky Flashman. It’s sad.

  56. This would be of interest if “special thanks” or “co-created by” would get Kirby´s heirs some money, wich is exactly what the “executive producer”credit does for Stan Lee.

  57. What makes this esp. disappointing is that I’ve seen Lee in person at smaller venues/events where he was being honored and go out of his way to make sure Kirby was acknowledged and given credit, showing some sensitivity to the fact that Kirby has not received enough credit. I always found it touching in the moment. But in this instance, Lee certainly stumbled in his response and missed an opportunity to show a little generosity and acknowledge his old partner.

  58. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Stan Lee isn’t a jerk in the slightest for saying what he said. He has absolutely no control at Marvel and no ability to change a thing. Getting mad at him for something everyone here already knows he has no power over is crazy. It’s getting mad for the sake of getting mad. Getting high off self-righteousness.

    Also, these Moviefone guys are liars so the point is moot anyway. I’ve sat for the post-credits scenes in Marvel movies and the “by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby” credit is always there. They need to eat a little crow for the lies and manipulative questioning.

  59. @B. Clay Moore: “In fairness, what control over this would Stan have?”

    I don’t think it’s about control, or blaming Stan. But the fact remains that he’s being acknowledged — monetarily and in terms of credit — as the “creator” of these characters, while his collaborators are not.

    And as such, it seems like a perfectly natural, if uncomfortable question to ask him. Who else if not Stan Lee should know or have an opinion about what kind of credit Jack Kirby deserves? Stan’s entitled to his opinion, certainly, but I don’t see where the harm or foul is in asking the question.

    There are a lot of unresolved moral and legal issues in comics, and if we don’t ask these types of questions because we think we already know the answers, or because we don’t want to incommodate the nice old chap, then they’re not going to resolved.

    Go and ask the questions. Get people on the record. They’re entitled to their opinions and “no comments,” but those, two, belong on the public record.

  60. I shouldn’t type things before breakfast. Meant to say, “then they’re not going to get resolved,” and, “those, too, belong on the public record.”

  61. Zoomy says:

    This is a weird article. I agree with all the people who don’t see how Stan Lee has said or done anything wrong here.

  62. Shawn Kane says:

    “I think Stan wrote really good copy in the early 1960s (I still have questions about how the work was done). Otherwise, I don’t find anything about him very interesting or worth a lot of discussion.”

    Kind of odd for you to be discussing him then.

  63. Shawn Kane says:

    “And as such, it seems like a perfectly natural, if uncomfortable question to ask him. Who else if not Stan Lee should know or have an opinion about what kind of credit Jack Kirby deserves?”

    I realize that hounding Stan Lee makes for a more interesting and I’m all for uncomfortable questions but ask them to the current Marvel staff as well.

  64. Shawn Kane says:

    I meant a more interesting article, apparently I shouldn’t be typing before breakfast either.

  65. Sean Murphy says:

    “Okay okay, now that the premise of the question has been proven false, we can all put Stan back on the shadowy shelf of ambiguity where he will reside forever more”.

    Let me understand. The Beat quoted an article where a so-called journalist makes a “gotcha statement” that is just not true. The Beat then mocks Mr. Lee’s response even though a) he is absolutely correct that he has no power to determine credits; and b) he may have been confused because Jack Kirby is indeed credited in the movie.

    Yet when it turns out that the whole story is based on a house of cards, rather than issuing an apology or a “we regret the error”, you make a cutting remark about Mr. Lee’s legacy?

    I love this site, visit it almost every day. But there are moments like this which are disappointing, when the fan seems to overtake the journalist.

  66. Sean Murphy says:

    To clarify, I’m not the comic book artist named Sean Murphy, just a long-time reader. So my personal feelings on this are entirely un-newsworthy.

  67. Marco Polo says:

    lol @ Sean

  68. MBunge says:

    It’s nice that the Comics Revolution is clearly going to be more Cultural than French. Trying to subject 89 year old Stan Lee to a public shaming isn’t great, but it’s better than sending him to the guillotine.

    Mike

  69. Credits are always fucked up. Who gives a shit? Go Stan!

  70. filippod says:

    I am a Kirby fan but this was an ambush and a shameful act.

  71. horatio weisfeld says:

    Shawn Kane
    horatio weisfeld
    >>
    “I think Stan wrote really good copy in the early 1960s (I still have questions about how the work was done). Otherwise, I don’t find anything about him very interesting or worth a lot of discussion.”

    Shawn Kane
    >>
    Kind of odd for you to be discussing him then.

    >>

    Earlier in this thread I did recall a funny story about the guy– because the story certainly helped me see this person in a (human) prospective – I thought others might find it amusing. I was not looking for feedback or discussion, as I believe the story speaks for itself.

    As far as parsing through and then debating this person’s every present day utterance, for some moral compass or revealing insight – or to hold him in judgement, for that matter – I think this a waste of time.

  72. @horatio, what part of the defamatory, gay-bashing Stan Lee anecdote were you expecting us to find amusing?

    Frankly, you wreak of jealousy and desperation for attention.

  73. Zoomy says:

    All this talk about crediting Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Joe Simon… what about Martin Goodman? Didn’t the Avengers come from him saying “Hey, Stan, this Justice League thing is selling like hot cakes, write one for us, willya?” Let’s see a credit for those poor neglected big bosses once in a while!

  74. horatio weisfeld says:

    @horatio, what part of the defamatory, gay-bashing Stan Lee anecdote were you expecting us to find amusing?

    Frankly, you wreak of jealousy and desperation for attention.

    >>

    1. Yes, of course: I am ALWAYS desperate for attention …are you bright?

    2. I don’t think I’m jealous of the guy -as in: I don’t sit around wishing I were him. I don’t wish I were anybody else, except Chris Rock.

    2. So I guess now you’ve called me out: I guess I will have to (a) go into a long bit that sounds like I am both talking about Stan + and trying to call (yet more attention to myself) – because if I don’t, then I will have been seen “gay-basher” or accusing somebody else of “gay bashing” or taking GB lightly, or obviously, myself, gay, and trying to cover for being gay by spreading gay bashing.

    Everybody who know me, even passingly, know that I am all of those thing — but anyway- here goes:

    I don’t think the story is defamatory and
    I thought it was worth repeating because it pegs this person as old school, macho, politically incorrect type– although, if I heard a younger guy, being serious, say the same thing, I would would probably think of it quite differently (like: this guy is obviously some kind of anti-gay nut). I told the story (yes, I didn’t witness all things myself– and so perhaps thoughtlessly) because it actually makes Stan feel real to me- unlike all the stuff I’ve seen him do for the last 30 years, which seems to render him more and more as some kind of master huckster / bullshit artist. You see…I want to believe in some sort of real Stan Lee. I’ve worshipped Stan and Marvel since I was a kid. The stuff I read about him on this board makes me, well, kinda sick– and so I’ll take the Stan in the story — I guess, I was thinking, maybe some of you would also rather take that one. Whatever your race, creed, color or orientation.

    OK–If I offended anyone, least of all Stan (who I doubt would bother to read the stuff written in here (by a nobody and a nothing –like ME), then I hear by apologize to one and all for my insensitively and indiscretion.

  75. Since you responded with such gusto, I guess I’ve been called out too.

    I understand your point now. I guess you forgot to turn on the “old school, macho, politically incorrect type” font. (I dont know if The Beat allows HTML tags but I tried using some below) I suggest you re-read what you initially wrote because I think many readers would confuse your meaning. Possibly prefacing a potentially loaded/offensive story like that would eliminate the confusion in the future. From my perspective, all I saw was that your content and tone were meant to accomplish two goals; paint Stan in a bad light and bait other readers to respond to you.

    Then when someone took the bait and asked you why you were discussing Stan if you were not interested in discussing Stan, to which you responded with some BS about the technicalities of the discussion,
    “As far as parsing through and then debating this person’s every present day utterance, for some moral compass or revealing insight – or to hold him in judgement, for that matter – I think this a waste of time.”

    Nobody was parsing through his every utterance. They were talking about the specific utterances relevant to the story, not some hearsay anecdote about how Stan used the word “fag” in a car full of business people. You were the one that brought that to the discussion. Further, since you’re in a comic site ripping Stan Lee apart, its logical to assume you were looking for attention and further discussion/debate. (Remember “…are you bright?”)

    I respect the last part of your last sentence, “I hear by apologize to one and all for my insensitively and indiscretion.” That’s all you needed to say because I think you kind of flubbed with posting that personal story from one of your freelancers.

    And as for my claims of being jealous, I was reaching. Whether its true or not, your tone came off as jealousy. Not that you’re sitting around your house wishing you could be him (or Chris Rock) but as if he just didn’t deserve all that he has obtained. Plenty of people have excelled in their chosen fields at a young age only to never be able to catch the “lightning in the bottle” again. However this does not diminish the original achievements. Tiger Woods has been untouchable for a long time but now he’s had a major decline—don’t know if he’ll make it back to the top but he’ll always be in the discussion. Einstein did his best work as a young man. So what if Stan did his best work in the 60s and never outdid himself as an older man?

    I’m finished discussing this, so I’ll allow you the final word if you want it. I’ve appreciated and enjoyed the respectful discourse. Best of luck Horatio.

  76. The people who run this site should be ashamed of themselves for trying to make an old man look like a fool. say what you will about what he should have done in the past, the fact is he could just as easily spend the rest of his years at home with his wife, but he spends his time signing autographs and doing interviews and this is how you treat him. Even Bleeding Cool has more class than this. And this is the site the comic pros say is one of the good ones?

  77. horatio weisfeld says:

    I’ve appreciated and enjoyed the respectful discourse. Best of luck Horatio.

    >>
    @Alex:
    My last word(s): Ditto/thanks.

  78. horatio weisfeld says:

    he could just as easily spend the rest of his years at home with his wife, but he spends his time signing autographs and doing interviews and this is how

    >>

    I don’t know, Josh. The guy strikes me a businessman, through and through…not that they’re is anything wrong w/ that.

    A couple of weeks ago he was signing comics at a show in NY – and charging $50@. At the end of the day, Stan dropped the price to a mere $30 per comic. I listened to bitter complaining from a dealer, who earlier had paid Stan $1,000 to sign 20 comic books.

  79. Tom Dee says:

    Stan has always been about Stan. In many ways, the character whose fiction Stan has worked on the hardest over the years has been Stan “The Man” Lee. He’s been spinning his contribution and has been an integral part of the screwing machine for his collaborators for decades. We all know Jack wrote most of the stories, Stan. Can’t you just be happy to have worked with him on the dialog and the promotion?

    He’s been a true SOB over the years, and the fact that he’s here and Jack’s twenty years gone sickens me.

  80. Ronin says:

    Congratulations, The Beat. Maybe it’s the only comics site that published an article connecting the iniquity of Marvel’s treatment to Kirby with Avengers movie.
    The movie is a great opportunity to take a stand for the defence of Kirby rights, but unfortunately almost all comics sites, mainly Comics Alliance, are promoting Avengers (they say it is news but looks advertising).
    It looks a interesting movie but I will not watch. I will not give a cent to a company that mistreats a giant like Kirby that way.

  81. Mark me down as another one who doesn’t get what the reporter involved thought he was accomplishing by trying to get Stan to attack the AVENGERS movie.

    I think it’s legitimate, if not particularly productive, to ask Stan questions about the credit Jack Kirby was given when they worked together at Marvel. But why would Stan even have an opinion as to the supposed injustice of Kirby not being credited in the AVENGERS movie?

    Though Stan may not have argued his case very well, it’s abundantly clear that he believes that the person with authority over the way a given serial work develops is the “creator” of the work. No matter how many arguments are made as to the contributions of an artist like Kirby– and I’ve seen many good arguments– Stan’s not going to change his mind about this in terms of the work he and Kirby did together. To him it would be like (using a made-up example here) Frank Frazetta arguing that if he created Moonbeam McSwine under the aegis of Al Capp’s LIL ABNER, then Frazetta should own a piece of Moonbeam McSwine, even though Frazetta agreed to work under Capp’s aegis, knowing that Capp would own everything.

    So, by all means, continue to ask Stan all the questions you want about why Kirby doesn’t own a piece of Marvel. You’ll get the same answer every time, but you’re within your rights to ask.

    But asking him about the crediting in a movie that he doesn’t control is foolish.

  82. Ben Lipman says:

    For everyone who gives Stan a free pass whenever it comes to Kirby getting paid, or even getting due credit, saying ‘what could Stan do? – He is STAN LEE.
    At any point from the 70’s on, he’d have been able to kick up a fuss about it, and the owners would have rectified it to keep him happy. All it would take is a threat from Stan to talk publically in support of Kirby, and he could get him a big credit on the film in the opening titles. Hell, he could get him. Edited in every book, film, and probably get some money given to the!irby museum or the heirs if he wanted.
    He’s just never seemingly wanted to.

    @B. Clay Moore
    “Well, it’s not like Stan didn’t play a huge part in turning Kirby into JACK KIRBY. He is the one who tagged him the “King of Comics,” and promoted him relentlessly during the sixties.

    Lee was always more about the corporation, sure. But people tend to overlook how much he did to build the Kirby brand into what it was.”

    Wasn’t Kirby already a name, due to all his Simon/Kirby strips of the past two decades?
    Kirby had a full career before he teamed up with Stan – Stan promoted Jack because he was THE NAME.
    Stan got there by the end, but it was Kirby who was attracting people to the books.

  83. Shawn Kane says:

    “We all know Jack wrote most of the stories, Stan”

    Unless we were in the Marvel Bullpen in the 60’s, we don’t all know that. We DO know that those two together created something special. It’s sad that one of the great partnerships in comics became HE SAID, HE SAID. It’s even sadder when people who think they know it all pick sides and bash the one they didn’t pick unfairly.

  84. Ben Lipman said:

    “For everyone who gives Stan a free pass whenever it comes to Kirby getting paid, or even getting due credit, saying ‘what could Stan do? – He is STAN LEE.
    At any point from the 70’s on, he’d have been able to kick up a fuss about it, and the owners would have rectified it to keep him happy. All it would take is a threat from Stan to talk publically in support of Kirby, and he could get him a big credit on the film in the opening titles. Hell, he could get him. Edited in every book, film, and probably get some money given to the!irby museum or the heirs if he wanted.
    He’s just never seemingly wanted to.”

    Nonsense. No one but the hardcore fans cared about the Lee-Kirby controversy until fairly recently. The editor of Marvel “going public” about the injustice meted out to a Marvel employee would have been of less consequence to the news media than how the writers of DALLAS figured out “who shot J.R.”

    And as I said above, Stan does consider himself the primary creator, so he’d been unlikely to put his own position in danger for the sake of fannish ideals. You can argue against his position all you want, but it’s pointless to say he could’ve done thus-and-so when there’s no indication he would ever have agreed with your opinions enough to take thus-and-so actions.

    As to Kirby being a “name,” no, by the time the early 1960s rolled around, the kids buying comics didn’t know him from a hole in the ground. It was his extraordinary visual skill that sold the books, not a reputation held over from the WWII years, or even from the uncredited CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN books from DC.

  85. Ben Lipman says:

    “Nonsense. No one but the hardcore fans cared about the Lee-Kirby controversy until fairly recently. The editor of Marvel “going public” about the injustice meted out to a Marvel employee would have been of less consequence to the news media than how the writers of DALLAS figured out “who shot J.R.””

    But if Stan had threatened to walk from Marvel? If Stan had ever just pushed for Kirby to get treated right? He’s always been seen as the public face of Marvel, and a key asset – if he made treating Kirby right a priority, each successive owner would have done it.
    He could go public now and get the issue attention, but doesn’t want to. In the past he could’ve just made a fuss with the suits.

    “You can argue against his position all you want, but it’s pointless to say he could’ve done thus-and-so when there’s no indication he would ever have agreed with your opinions enough to take thus-and-so actions.”

    As I said, he’s just never wanted to.

  86. “But if Stan had threatened to walk from Marvel? If Stan had ever just pushed for Kirby to get treated right? He’s always been seen as the public face of Marvel, and a key asset – if he made treating Kirby right a priority, each successive owner would have done it.”

    We’re used to the face of Smilin’ Stan as the image of Marvel, but back in, say, 1967, I doubt even Stan thought himself irreplaceable. By then he’d even trained his heir apparent, Roy Thomas, so if he’d got snotty with the bosses they could’ve bounced his ass and promoted Rascally Roy as Marvel’s new face.

    I don’t know how much you know about then-owner Martin Goodman, but all the evidence I’ve read suggests that he thought Marvel’s 1960s success a fluke, since by the late 60s he was angling to sell the company while its value still looked high. I don’t think he ever dreamed that Marvel could become a merchandising giant, or that Stan would become a celebrity through such association. So as I read his character, things would go like this:

    STAN: “Martin, I think we ought to give Jack Kirby ownership and profit participation.”

    MARTIN: “You’re fired.”

    It’s always easy to be moral with someone else’s job.

  87. Buh buh but says:

    Why should Kirby be credited. He had nothing to do with 2 out of the 5 characters in the movie. That’s not even 80%! Who does he think he is, a creator. Give me more interviews with Stan like the one on CNN where he take credit for all of it.

  88. People have been giving him a break on this same question since the 80s & 90s.., not since he was in his 80s or 90s but in the same number decadres. Back when we he STILL considered an old man living on borrowed time.

    Maybe there is a magic spell on his life linking longevity to not answering that any questions about Kirby & how much money they owe him?

  89. Robert Close says:

    There is no story here. What Stan said is simply “meh”. Did he say that Jack didn’t deserve credit? NO!

    He pondered how giving credit would work out, then brought out a positive point, which is that Jack does still get credit in the comics.

    And mind you, this whole debate started around something that wasn’t even true.

    Stan gets a full pass, and the media looks like desperate idiots.

Speak Your Mind

*