Kirby vs. Mickey...
Above: Jack Kirby’s unused piece titled "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."
Several sources, including the Los Angeles Times, are reporting that the estate of Jack Kirby is attempting to terminate Marvel and Disney’s copyright to characters created and/or co-created by Jack Kirby.
This is very interesting news, of course… especially to those of us that support comic book Creator’s Rights.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Kirby, who is widely considered to be one of the most influential comic book artists of all time, served as penciler and a co-plotter with writer Stan Lee on most of the Marvel characters in question. If Marvel, Disney or any of the other companies challenge his claims, it may be a complex legal process to determine what exact role Kirby played as creator or co-creator of various characters who first appeared nearly 50 years ago.
The Los Angeles Times also reports:
Kirby's children would be eligible to claim their father's share of the copyright of the Fantastic Four in 2017, while the Hulk would come up in 2018 and X-Men in 2019. The copyrights would then run for 39 more years before expiring, after which the characters would enter the public domain under current law.
A representative for Marvel declined to comment. A Disney spokesperson said, "The notices involved are an attempt to terminate rights seven to 10 years from now and involve claims that were fully considered in the acquisition."
Above: This Jack Kirby piece was used in "The Art of Mickey Mouse."