Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kirby vs. Marvel decided...



Above: This Jack Kirby piece was used in "The Art of Mickey Mouse."

Both Bleeding Cool and The Beat are reporting that the court has decided that Jack Kirby’s work for Marvel was work-made-for-hire. Thus, the Kirby estate is entitled to zero money and zero ownership to any characters that Jack Kirby had co-created while at Marvel.

This is no surprise to me. I didn’t think the Kirby estate had any chance of winning this one.

There’s nothing wrong with being compensated for your services. I don’t even have a real problem with work-made-for-hire IF A) you know what you’re getting yourself into, B) you don’t create any characters for someone else, and C) if you're treated fairly.

Hopefully, the Siegel family will clean Warner Bros. clock over Superman.

For more information about comic book Creator's Rights, visit Ya Can't Erase Ink... Here, we feature conversations and interviews with Scott McCloud, Dave Sim, Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, and others about The Creator’s Bill of Rights and other Creator’s Rights issues.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Sean said...

And this is why we have Unions. On their own, no young, up and coming artist can be guaranteed ownership of his/her own work, unless there is a big stick hanging over a publisher's head. Non-predatory contracts could become standard and both parties should get something out of the arrangement.

There are some great companies out there (I can think of Dark Horse) that work WITH the creators to publish their work, but those are few and far between.

I wouldn't want mandatory Unionization, but artists should stick together and help those less fortunate get their fair share of their labors. (Didn't Neal Adams try to do something like that in the 90s?)

Anyway, it's a sad day at the Kirby House, every single one of the blockbuster Marvel comics inspired movie has a lead character created by Kirby, but I doubt lay people would even recognize his name...

my 2 cents

July 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger AlNickerson said...

Hi, Sean!

Neal Adams helped create the Comics Creators Guild in 1978. I like the idea of a guild much more than that of a union. As Neal tells it, the Comics Creators Guild’s methods were more gentle (and persuasive) in communicating needed change in the comics industry.

The fight continues, though.

July 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger John Pannozzi said...

I say we boycott reprints and collected editions of Marvel AND Disney comics, and voice support for them to make it company policy to ALWAYS pay creators royalties on reprinted material. Hey, if DC Comics/TimeWarner can do it, why the Mouse House of Ideas?

August 2, 2011 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger AlNickerson said...

Steve Bissette is promoting a campaign to boycott all Marvel-related products. Not a bad idea. Although, the Marvel boycott is causing some debate with the comics industry. That seems so surprising to me. But, then, many comic book creators aren’t all that crazy about comic book Creator’s Rights at all.

Also, we must remain vocal. Publishers hate bad press. And pressing them from promoting bad business practices has shown to encourage change.

August 2, 2011 at 6:03 PM  

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