Scans of original art are from the Kirby Museum's Original Art Digital Archive.
Scans of pencil art photocopies for the Kirby Museum's Pencil Art Photocopy Archive courtesy of the Kirby Family, with thanks to TwoMorrows Publishing.
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That's some big piece of bristol!
I, thereby, inform each Wik user that I won't allow any rating below 5 stars.
PS: What a beauty you got us there, Tom!
This is a thing of beauty!
Iconic page which would probably go for six figures. No shot of the back of the page? The whole of this issue was removed from the Marvel warehouse prior to the Irene Vartanoff inventory. As with the other page from this issue posted here I would assume the page does not have the release Marvel stamped on the back.
This complete issue along with several other complete FF stories in the run were given to Joe Sinnott by Marvel at his request. I believe Stan ok'd it. This occurred prior to Marvel's return of Jack's artwork in the mid-80's. That may explain why the pages are not stamped or on Vartanoff's list.
Where has this been reported? What I've heard does not match up.
What I've heard in the past (in TCJ #108) is (quoting from TCJ) "Marvel inker Joe Sinnott visited the Marvel offices in December 1979 for the first time in 23 years. She (Irene Vartanoff) said Sinnott left Stan Lee a note saying he was sorry he'd missed seeing Lee and saying he'd like to have some of his (as opposed to Kirby's???) old originals back. On Feb. 22, 1980, at Lee's behest, Vartanoff sent sent Sinnott all 20 pages of original art to Fantastic Four #9. Vartanoff said Sinnott signed no agreement assigning copyright to Marvel."
If Joe Sinnott had not visited the Marvel offices since 1956 how did he get the complete original artwork to several issues of the FF? If this was being done "under the table" in such a way that Marvel as a corporation was not involved, that was probably done so the issues of legal transfer would not be traceable and there would be no suggestion that by returning the artwork Marvel risked transferring rights. Couldn't someone at Marvel have had the decency to mail artwork to Kirby?
Until a few years ago, the complete FF's #45, 47, and one of the gangster planet stories(mostly whole but missing the splash) were in the possession of the Sinnott family. I know this to be true because I was privy to offers that were being solicited to buy everything Joe had in his possession at the time. The offers were exceeding the million dollar mark.
I don't know exactly when Joe obtained the stories in the first place but if they're not on the Vartanoff inventory list, they had to have left Marvel before 1980 which is about the time Irene relinquished her duties. As far as release of the art, because of the question of ownership, we know there was a double standard when it came to releasing art to Jack as opposed to any other artist in the bullpen. What else can I say?
Thanks for the information. Missing from the Warehouse at the time of Vartanoff's inventory were FF issues; 1,2, 4-6, 19, 22, 28, 31, 35, 37, 40, 42-48, 52-62, 67, 69-88. By contrast almot every issue of Ditko's Amazing Spider-Man was in the warehouse at the time of the inventory. The only issues missing were; 18, 20, 22,23, 29, 32.
The sad thing is almost all of Ditko's Spider-Man artwork was stolen from the Marvel offices. The theft is ocured in late June 1982, and the comic book convention where large quantities of Ditko and Kirby art showed up as a direct result of the theft is identified as the 1982 New York City Creation Con held over the July 4th weekend.
Art dealer Tony Dispoto, "Shooter had it (the art) moved to the back of the snackroom, everybody had free access to the snackroom, and it was less the twelve feet from the freight elevator. I don't know why they didn't think of locking up Spider-Man 1 through 15. Those are the stories that were stolen, now they're on the market."
BTW. As I pointed out the way Trimpe, Steranko, Morrow, and Sinnott, got pages from Marvel was risk free for Marvel since it was done in an unofficial manner. I assume that's the whole reason the pages weren't stamped, and why no one knows how Sinnott came to posses whole issues of FF artwork penciled by Kirby when Sinnott was the inker.
So it's very clear this goes way beyond what happened in 1986 with the copyright release contracts. Who ever was mailing or hand delivering pages to Sinnott could have done the same for Kirby, and it would not have been linked to an official release by Marvel. At a minimum Sinnott should have offered to return most of the pages he was given to Kirby.