Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | October 23, 2010

Kirby's margin notes

Since Kirby wrote and dialoged this issue there are no margin notes. If you zoom in you can see Kirby's penciled dialog in the page.

Mike T's picture
Posted by: Mike T | July 26, 2014

Margin notes aside, it's still the same old same old

But Stan was the editor, not Jack, so unlike Jack's soon-to-follow scripted and edited pages, these pages were tweaked. And when it gets right down to it, that's pretty much all Stan really had to do to Jack's pages anyway--tweak them and polish up a bit. The only difference I can see here is that Jack put the words in the panels rather than the margins, and Jack got the writing credit.

It's been said that Jack didn't approve, but I think it's actually too bad that this arrangement didn't last, because Stan's tweaks were very helpful--at least for me. Having grown up on "Lee/Kirby," I have a hard time connecting to Jack's writing without Stan's input. Corny as Stan often was, he gave Jack a bit of warmth and made the dialog flow more naturally.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 27, 2014

Right, don't Write!

Of course Jack Kirby didn't approve.
The real question is: how could Jack accept being ripped off of his writer share for so long?
Lee abused of his editor position to get stories from freelancers for which he received sole writer payment and credit.

Stan Lee wasn't just an editor… He was also supposed to be a writer.

Mike T's picture
Posted by: Mike T | July 27, 2014

Working Class Hero

I think Jack put up with it for as long as he did due to his working class values, ethical code, and basic heroic nature. It actually happens every day, where people work hard and give extra to their employers, who then profit from it and seldom compensate fairly. Jack did what he did because he believed in giving his best, not just giving what he was paid for.

Eventually it got old. The "arrangement" seems even more unfair when you consider that Ditko got writing credits while Jack did the same amount of writing plus a heckuva lot more creating! I have this theory that he was waiting for Stan to give credit where credit was due without having to ask for it. If that had happened, the preceding unfairness might have been forgotten. But this was not to be, and unsurprisingly, by the time The King finally got some writing credits at Marvel it was too late for the team of "Stan and Jack."

Earlier in the "Marvel Age," Stan did more of his share of writing and plotting. I think it was an abuse to always put his name first, but he was the boss and it was within his power. This was a relatively small abuse compared to what evolved! Probably sometime in the latter half of 1965, Stan should have started being listed as editor, co-potter (when deserved) and co-scripter. Jack should have been listed as artist, plotter, and writer, and compensated accordingly. Marvel Comics failed to be fair, failed to be proactive, and milked what they could out of The King until even his herculean patience ran out.

pat ford's picture
Posted by: pat ford (not verified) | August 8, 2014

There is absolutely no

There is absolutely no evidence Lee contributed more to the plots in the early years at Marvel. If anything the evidence points at Lee contributing less during the first five or six years. A fan who accepts Lee's authorship claims could easily say the border notes left by Kirby are based on a plot given to him by Lee, just as a fan of Kirby can say they feel the synopsis for FF #1 was written after Kirby explained the characters and plot to Lee.

For those reasons I think it's wise to look at the characters and plots and figure out where they have antecedents.

What do we know for certain about those early years? One thing we know is the Spiderman character and story brought to Lee by Kirby was based on The Fly, a character co-created by Kirby and Joe Simon. We also know Lee did not realize this until Steve Ditko pointed out the similarity to Lee. That is strong evidence Kirby was bringing Lee characters and stories during those seminal years.

We also know the Fantastic Four has little or nothing in common with the JLA and a laundry list of things in common with The Challengers of the Unknown.

According to Kirby during those early years he would bring his completed pages containing story and artwork to Lee, explain the plot to Lee, and then tell Lee what he had in mind for the next issue. Kirby later began writing the story in the borders of the pages rather than giving Lee a verbal description of the plot.

Once Kirby began using border notes it is possible to read the story Kirby sold Lee. I believe many fans see the border notes as an indication Kirby began taking over more of the plotting, but there isn't any reason to assume that.

One thing the border notes do tell us is that in every single instance where Kirby's border notes have been closely compared to the story in the published comic book, it is evident Lee has radically rewritten the story Kirby sold to Lee.
In the years prior to the time Kirby began using border notes there is still evidence Lee either rejected or tampered with Kirby's intended plots. One example is the a fore mentioned rejected Spiderman story and another is the story intended the THE HULK #6.

So on the whole it's my opinion the situation was very much the same from 1958-1963 as it was from 1964-1970.
The only reason people say Kirby took over more of the plotting is because that is the story that has been repeated over and over again until it has been accepted as "history."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
X