Monday, August 29, 2011

"The startling secret origin of Her!"

Above: Webcomic cover to Steve Remen’s HIM 2.1 featuring "the startling secret origin of Her!"

Once or twice in various titanic comics tales, Nihilist-Man has met or teamed-up with Steve Remen’s heroic champion… Him. These were some nice moments in Nihilist-Man’s history. Lately, Steve Remen has been posting Him’s adventures online. This includes the classic origin of Him’s crime-fighting partner and ladylove… Her.

Steve told me:

Regarding HER and the story as it stands: yes, it is my intention to continue the story to its conclusion well beyond the Unfinished Lethargic Lad #14. I've had this story, more or less, mapped out almost since HIM started, and after being halted twice (Once in the mini-LCW and once in the Lethargic Lad book), I can finally finish it. It may take a while, but it will get done. For me, this story has always been "THE" HIM story and I've always wanted to do it and finishing it was a big reason I started the website: I'm committed, now.

Above: A most-excellent Him drawing by his creator.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Above: Cover to Scott McCloud’s DESTROY!! which was published in 1986.

From Scott McCloud:

I got the idea when I first heard people complaining about a Marvel comic called SuperBoxers and claiming that it was "nothing but senseless violence from beginning to end." I thought this sounded cool, but was disappointed, upon acquiring a copy, to discover that SuperBoxers included a plot, characterization, and other distractions. It wasn't PURE. Destroy!! was my attempt to get it right.

Above: Cover to Marvel Comics’ forthcoming DESTROY by Carlo Pagulayan.

Scott’s DESTROY was a very funny parody. And Marvel’s more serious use of the title name makes me wonder if the publisher can’t come up with some new ideas.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Who wrote what...?

Above: Cover to Mark Evanier’s most-excellent KIRBY: KING OF COMICS.

I’ve been rereading Mark Evanier’s KIRBY: KING OF COMICS to get Mark’s insights on the issue of who wrote what in the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby collaborations.

Mark, also, addressed this in "Who did what on the Lee-Kirby collaborations?"

Mark Evanier states:

I do think Stan has been unfairly maligned by those who've said that all he did was retype and polish Jack's notations. I also think Jack was wronged to some extent by credits that gave him no credit for anything other than drawing because he certainly did more than that.

That seems believable and reasonable to me.

Above photo: Two inside pages from KIRBY: KING OF COMICS.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

D.J. and Al talk Kirby (and Jack Kirby talks, too)…

Above photo: The King of Comics at his drawing table.

Here’s a recent e-mail exchange between D.J. (Drawer O’ Stuff) Coffman and myself concerning Jack Kirby:

Al, you know what might be cool? If someone emailed this MP3 of Jack Kirby's own voice stating that HE and HE ALONE created the comics and how the process worked.

I think that kinda using his own voice, it's testimony from beyond the grave that counteracts the horsecrap Stan Lee said.

Good day!


Hi DJ,

Thanks for the mp3. I love these old Jack Kirby audio interviews.

I’ve heard and read similar comments by Jack Kirby about he being the sole writer of the comics that he drew. Kirby made such claims to Will Eisner in SHOP TALK and Gary Groth in THE COMICS JOURNAL.

The problem I have with that is (and I’m sure you’re going to disagree with me) that it contradicts the opinions of others like Stan Lee (who I know you dislike), Joe Simon, Roger Stern (who found the Stan Lee plot for FF #1), and even Steve Ditko.

I love Jack Kirby’s work. I believe that he was lied to and screwed by Marvel. I very much doubt that Marvel would exist without the contributions of Jack Kirby. And I think that Marvel/Disney should honor such contributions. But, I have such difficulty believing that Jack Kirby was the only writer of all the comics that he worked on when others say otherwise, especially when at the time of those interviews, Kirby’s memory was quite poor. Am I wrong here?

I hope you don’t think this is a slam against a man that you and I both greatly respect. I just have my doubts.

Does Mark talk specifically about this topic in KING OF COMICS? I don’t recall. I’ll "Cc" this e-mail to him.

Glory to God.

Professor Al Nickerson

Hey AL, no worries there. I just thought in light of how the judge tossed out expert testimony, and basically said well, Stan was there so his testimony was superior... that maybe they'd want to hear Jack in his own words. Because, ultimately he was there too. :)

Nothing against those other guys, they're all great! But they weren't "there" to witness the actual creations either.

I never take anything personal Al! I love you man! :) Thanks for keeping this issue out there and people talking about it!


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Kirby estate files appeal...

Above: Still the comics legend, Jack Kirby. reports "Jack Kirby Estate Appeals Loss To Marvel:"

The notice of appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal was filed today. Specifically, the estate of comic book superhero legend Kirby -- co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor -- sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios that have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created, including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

(Not the Karate Kid) Ralph Macchio exits Marvel editorial…

Above photo (left to right): John Byrne, George Perez, and Ralph Macchio in 1978.

Digital Spy is reporting that Marvel editor, Ralph Macchio, is leaving his editorial position at Marvel:

The publisher's editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told CBR that Macchio is stepping down, but informed fans that they can expect to see him return to writing in the future.

"After 35 years of distinctive service, senior editor Ralph Macchio is retiring," he said. "Ralph's a living legend who's edited some of the most important titles we've ever published - from Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL to Walter Simonson's THOR to the early 'Ultimate' line to the Stephen King series.

"He's also one of the world's true gentlemen - and I mean that from the bottom of my heart - and a master impersonator whose 'Tom Brevoort' has to be seen to be believed. While Ralph's closing the door on his editing work, he's opening the door to another - expect to see him back behind the writer's desk, soon."

Above: A 1980s editorial clipping from MARVEL AGE.

I never got to work with Ralph Macchio, but I always wanted to. Ralph was (and is) one of the nice guys at Marvel. He made Marvel comics feel like Marvel Comics.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Creators continue to speak out about Kirby vs. Marvel decision…

Above: Steve Bissette’s Tyrant.

Steve Bissette discusses further the Kirby versus Marvel/Disney verdict in "Honoring A Fallen King, Part 2". In addition, Mr. Bissette writes about Copyright, work-for-hire, Stan Lee, John Byrne, and contracts:

However, some of the worst abuses of creators I have seen in this and other fields are linked to work-for-hire language and contracts (specifically, the worst I have ever seen came out of Archie Comics, Disney, and various gaming companies, none of whom I have personally worked for under such contracts, though I have copies of those contracts in my files).

Above: Dave Sim’s Cerebus.

Also, thanks to Steve Bissette, as he posted a link to Dave Sim’s recent fax concerning Dave’s thoughts on Jack Kirby, Marvel, and work-for-hire.

For more insights to Steve and Dave’s views on comic book Creator's Rights, visit Ya Can't Erase Ink...

And Colleen Doran continues with "MUST READ: Copyhype on the Kirby Case":

Creators, the lesson was hard won by our forefathers. Don’t sign away your precious creations without the full understanding of what you are doing. I’ve signed many work for hire agreements, and have never had cause to regret it, because the work for hire contracts I sign with DC Comics are substantially better than anything creators got 50 years ago.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Creators speak out about Kirby vs. Marvel decision…

Above photo: The comics legend, Jack Kirby.

Several comic book creators have spoken out about the recent court ruling between the Jack Kirby family and Marvel/Disney.

Stephen Bissette calls for a boycott of Marvel:

I don’t question the legal logic Marvel’s attorneys made, and the court decision reflects. However, nothing is being said about the conditions under which Kirby signed, and was pressured to sign, the contracts presented. I don’t think "extortion" is too unfair a word to use, particularly in the very public case of the Marvel artwork "return" contracts.


I suggest, for starters, simply pulling the plug on all individual support for any and all Kirby-derived Marvel ANYTHING (comics, movies, videogames, merchandizing).



D.J. Coffman writes:

And the Kirby Estate loses to Marvel. So much for Marvel doing the right thing.

Colleen Doran takes a close look at the court papers:

The expert opinions of Mark Evanier and John Morrow on behalf of Kirby were roundly dismissed as hearsay.

And John Byrne says:

Difference being Siegel and Shuster were able to show EXACTLY that, that Superman had been created independently and SOLD to National Periodicals, and was not a "work made for hire".

Everything Kirby did for Marvel falls squarely within the latter category.

Work-for-hire was a sucky system, but it was the only game in town, for most people. It was also not a secret, and, perhaps most significantly, it was how Kirby ran his own company, in the 1950s.

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