It’s Not Just Me

From The Jack Kirby Collector #42:

Give Jack Some Credit!

Many fans assume that the Kirby family will in some way benefit financially from the big-budget Fantastic 4 movie. The truth of the matter is, the Kirbys make very little from the legacy Jack left behind.

While DC Comics does pay royalties any time they reprint Jack’s work, Marvel does not. This is particularly galling when Marvel is currently paying other creators royalties for reprints of their work on series begun by Jack. The Kirbys didn’t see a dime for Marvel’s recent reprints of Jack’s 1970s Captain America and Black Panther series in trade paperback and most insulting, Marvel didn’t pay them for their hardcover Marvel Visionaries: Jack Kirby book which solely spotlighted Jack’s contributions to the company. Marvel is also set to release some high-ticket Fantastic Four publications over the next few months, including an over 800-page reprint of FF #1-30, and a 200-page tome devoted to FF #1 — and the Kirbys have no reason to expect payment for those, either.

While Stan Lee is contractually guaranteed to benefit financially from films like X-Men, X-Men 2, and Hulk, Jack had no such deal, and his family never got a cent from those films. We at TJKC feel it only fair the Kirby family, like Stan, should benefit financially from what looks to be a blockbuster film, based on Jack’s co-creation which started the Marvel Age. If you agree, we’d ask you to write to both:

James Gianopulos, Chairman

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

P.O. Box 900

Beverly Hills, CA 90213

Florence Grace, Senior VP, Corporate Publicity

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

P.O. Box 900

Beverly Hills, CA 90213

Say something like: “Comic book artist Jack Kirby co-crated the Fantastic Four and so many other Marvel Comics characters with Stan Lee. I feel Mr. Kirby should be credited as co-creator on F4 film, and his family should be compensated for his achievements that are finally being brought to the big screen.”

Better yet, copy and paste this post on every online film forum you frequent.

Except in the interest of energizing fellow fans, don’t bother posting to the comics forums. That company cannot be shamed. Movie studios, though, tend to be a little smarter and more sensitive about their image.

3 Responses to “It’s Not Just Me”

  1. A.L. Baroza Says:

    While it’d be nice if Fox provided the Kirby estate with some kind of compensation, I don’t see them ceding a (co-) creator credit to Jack. The X-Men and Spider-Man movies used the phrase “based on the comic books by”, which is probably some kind of legalistic means of acknowledging authorship of the stories without recognizing Stan or Jack or Steve as the creators. Marvel will never allow for that.

    I guess it’s a small victory that due to the Joe Simon settlement with Marvel over Captain America that Kirby will likely have a co-creator credit for the Cap movie whenever it gets made. The Kirby estate probably still won’t receive a dime, however.

    Hell, I think Jack should have gotten a credit for The Incredibles…

  2. Rodrigo Baeza Says:

    “and a 200-page tome devoted to FF #1 — and the Kirbys have no reason to expect payment for those, either.”

  3. Rodrigo Baeza Says:

    Sorry about the previous blank post. What I meant to post was my surprise at reading that the Kirbys won’t be receiving any royalties from the 200-page book about FF #1, which I understand is written by Mark Evanier (a friend of the Kirbys). I would have expected Evanier’s participation in the book to have resulted in some sort of royalty-sharing arrangement with the Kirby Estate.