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May 14 2012

Stan Lee revels in success of 'Avengers'. CNN interview with Stan Lee about The Avengers.

Now I'm curious what "one thing" Stan Lee didn't want to see in an Avengers movie that was in fact left out? Anyway, it's great to see him credit Joss, if not by name, then at least by role in making the Avengers movie the success it is.
I think it's a shame that the man that created the characters doesn't see a penny of the profits. I get mad all over again whenever I read that. You'd think someone would take care of that. Feels like taking advantage.

I do love his spunk, he's a funny, geeky guy.
I love Stan, really do, but he is the kind of guy who will tell you that he is your greatest fan, your work is magnificent, your cleverness, your creativity, if he had you on marvel back on the day, it may have been even better... while you can easily perceive he actually has no clue who you are.

Bless him, though.
I think it's a shame that the man that created the characters doesn't see a penny of the profits. I get mad all over again whenever I read that. You'd think someone would take care of that. Feels like taking advantage.

Welcome to the comic book business. Screwing over one creator at a time. Although you could probably say that Stan has fared better than a lot of others.
I think it's a shame that the man that created the characters doesn't see a penny of the profits. I get mad all over again whenever I read that. You'd think someone would take care of that. Feels like taking advantage.

I do love his spunk, he's a funny, geeky guy.
Willowy | May 14, 18:57 CET


I don't disagree with you, Willowy but the issue still stands that Jack Kirby made a deal with Marvel at the time he woule be paid a certain amount for his work and that's it. Marvel apparently paid him the amount and the matter was settled...until his creations became seriously hot commodities.

It's horrible that people like Jack Kirby and the creators of Superman (as two comic industry examples) or someone like Shirley Temple (as a Hollywood one) get screwed over by family or big business and they have to become examples for the system to change to protect the artist and their efforts.
Didn't we see only a couple of weeks ago someone sold the cheque that bought out the rights to Superman from the creators? And the cheque was for a couple of hundred dollars?

Though I guess we never hear about the cases where the artist got a few hundred dollars and the character flopped and was never heard of again, so it might even out.
BlueEyedBrigadier, yes, thank you for mentioning, Jack "The King" Kirby. Any discussion on this topic without mentioning Jack is pretty silly, imo.

Willowy, Stan was questioned by Mr. Moviephone in an Avengers related interview recently and he threw Stan a curveball question (linked below)--he asked why Jack Kirby didn't get credit in the movie titles (which he actually does). Stan's response was kind of unexpected (or maybe misunderstood) but he replied, "A: I donít know how to answer that because in what way would his name appear? " Nobody loves Stan Lee more than me but he has taken a lot of the credit for making the characters and I think he doesn't do enough to champion his collaborators. Joss is the first to put his "peeps" on a pedestal attempting to give them their due credit. That is not normally the case with Stan. (As alanfalcon mentioned above, Stan doesn't even mention the writer/director of the movie, someone he just did another project with--Comic-Con the movie.)

Many comic fans are furious about the treatment Kirby has received and they use Stan Lee as the example of someone that DOES get all the credit and doesn't "share the wealth." Many comic fans of Kirby are "boycotting" the film. (clearly they are the only ones that haven't seen the movie yet) Others are making small donations to the Kirby estate to give Jack his cut of the money.

I refer you to some of the very heated discussions about this topic as a for example. Stan Lee has received a million dollar per year for the last several decades as Chairman Emeritus at Marvel. Its a drop in the bucket for the currently very deep Marvel coffers. However, Jack Kirby was instrumental in the creation of literally hundreds of comic book characters and he is practically unknown among non-comic fans.
Just to quickly way in on the Jack Kirby debate, I agree with BlueEyedBrigadier here.
Yea I love the man's work but he made a deal at the time and no one forced him into it. Sadly it didn't work out in his favor in the long run but it's no one's fault but his own.
You can't sell someone exclusive rights to your creation for a set fee then ask for more if that creation gets popular, that's not how the world works.
If it was then the reverse logic would be true and any company could ask for their money back from any creators who's works didn't turn a profit.
He could have asked for residuals at the time and they might have said 'yes' or they might have said 'no', we'll never know but you can't retroactively change a contract.

[ edited by Kzap on 2012-05-14 20:29 ]
If Joss read this interview, I'm sure he got a real kick out of this part:
"I thought this movie was as perfect as a movie like this can be."
I do know who Jack Kirby is, but never knew there was a vs. Stan Lee thing.

I realize how contracts work, guys. It still seems unfair. Jack should see the same thing, too.
Kzap: You can't sell someone exclusive rights to your creation for a set fee then ask for more if that creation gets popular, that's not how the world works.


Actually under current US copyright law, creators or their heirs can file to regain copyrights (or partial copyrights as some of these characters were not completely Kirby's creations) after a certain period of time has passed. This is exactly what the Kirby heirs have done although Marvel/Disney have been arguing that Jack Kirby never owned these characters and he was working as work for hire for Marvel. My understanding is that Kirby's agreement with Marvel wasn't very well documented, so there have been an endless number of lawsuits over this issue.

Because if Kirby estate can prove that Kirby did partly own these characters and were licensed to Marvel, then they are within their rights to take the license back and do as they wish with it. Which I imagine is license it back to Marvel & Disney for a higher percentage of the profits.

Meanwhile, Jack Kirby fans put together this site, A Buck For Jack. They are hoping fans will donate a buck to Jack Kirby. However, right now it's going to the Kirby Museum, until the site can make contact with the Kirby Estate and pass money their way.


It's horrible that people like Jack Kirby and the creators of Superman (as two comic industry examples) or someone like Shirley Temple (as a Hollywood one) get screwed over by family or big business and they have to become examples for the system to change to protect the artist and their efforts.


Actually, I would say the biggest lesson learned from Jack Kirby & the Superman creators, is to have proper documentation of who owns what. As it's the lack of documentation of who owned what when that has resulted in decades of lawsuits.

The Superman rights is even more confusing when one of the creators still owned the rights to Superboy. This was because Siegel had pitched Superboy back in 1938 the same year as he and Shuster sold the rights to Superman. His pitch which involved secondary characters such as Pete Ross, Lana Lang and a lot more, but his pitch was turned down. However, DC Comics (then National Publications) to use the pitch in 1945 while Siegel was fighting in World War 2. Both Shuster & Siegel sued over Superman and Superboy and result was Superboy was given to Siegel and Shuster while DC Comics got Superman. I'll stop here, as very long article have been written about the ins and outs of this case and what exactly happened. However, the main point is that it's not exactly clear cut, which is why lawsuits keep going decade after decade.

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