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Gabe99 04-13-2010 04:09 AM

Jack Kirby
From AICN:
Sid & Marty Krofft team up with Ruby-Spears to develop a host of original Jack Kirby concepts - lost to the ages!!!

From The NY TIMES:
Jack Kirby’s Heroes in Waiting

Originally Posted by DAVE ITZKOFF
The characteristics of a Jack Kirby illustration are easily distinguished: extravagantly costumed heroes and nefarious villains locked in titanic struggles; foreshortened fists, feet and muscles that seem to pop off the page; intricately detailed settings meant to conjure the ancient past or suggest the distant future.

His style made Mr. Kirby a sought-after talent at DC Comics, now a piece of the Time Warner empire, and at Marvel Comics, a recent acquisition of the Walt Disney Company. At Marvel in particular he played a crucial role in creating superheroes like the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and the X-Men — work that is now at the center of a property dispute between the heirs of Mr. Kirby, who died in 1994, and Marvel and Disney.

Those same signature design elements are also vividly on display in hundreds of illustrations for never-produced cartoon shows and toy lines that Mr. Kirby created in the 1980s for the animation studio Ruby-Spears Productions — work that thus far does not belong to any of the media conglomerates and that has been seen by few people.

Now, a partnership between that studio’s founders, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, and Sid and Marty Krofft, the longtime children’s entertainment producers (“H. R. Pufnstuf,” “Land of the Lost”), is planning to revive these unseen Kirby characters in as many forms as possible. It’s a proposition that faces challenges as the studios scour the landscape for the next comic book or cartoon character they can transform into a franchise, but also one that has piqued the interest of some powerful Hollywood players.

“I love comic books, but this is a treasure,” said Ariel Z. Emanuel, the co-chief executive of the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment agency, who is representing these Kirby works for Ruby-Spears and the Kroffts. “It’s like a boat sank at the bottom of the ocean, and all of a sudden you’ve uncovered it.”

Mr. Kirby started working for California’s animation studios in the late 1970s after becoming disillusioned with comic-book companies in New York that he said he felt did not give him fair payment or credit for his creations. After a stint with Hanna-Barbera, he was hired by Ruby-Spears in 1980, first to design characters and backgrounds for its Saturday morning action series “Thundarr the Barbarian,” then to draw presentation boards for new projects.

“Many times, he didn’t have enough to do, or there weren’t enough assignments,” Mr. Spears said. “He was such a prolific guy that he would, on his own, just start sketching out some thoughts.”

Among the far-flung, unrealized projects that Mr. Kirby helped create or contributed to were “Roxie’s Raiders,” an Indiana Jones-style serial about a female adventurer and her allies; “Golden Shield,” about an ancient Mayan hero seeking to save earth in the apocalyptic year 2012; and “The Gargoids,” about scientists who gain superpowers after being infected by an alien virus.

Though none of these series made it past the planning stages, Mr. Kirby was glad to have gainful employment, health insurance for himself and his family and a job where he felt he was respected.

“He’d walk in, and all the young animators would fuss over him and salute him,” said Mark Evanier, the author of “Kirby: King of Comics” and a television writer who has worked for Ruby-Spears and the Kroffts. “It was fun for him to go in there, whereas in the past, when he’d gone to a comic-book company’s offices, it was a contentious atmosphere and a lot of emotional baggage.”

In an e-mail message, Lisa Kirby, one of Mr. Kirby’s daughters, wrote, “My dad always spoke well of Ruby-Spears, and that they treated him fairly.”

For more than two decades, the work that Mr. Kirby created for Ruby-Spears — an estimated 600 production boards — remained boxed up and unseen while the studio was unsure what to do with it.

“I’m going, ‘Joe, why don’t we just take this stuff and give it away?’ ” Mr. Spears said. But Mr. Ruby, he said, was “absolutely insistent” that “someday, someplace, somebody’s going to want this stuff.”

Last fall Mr. Ruby and Mr. Spears brought the properties to the Kroffts, who have begun adapting their vintage television shows into feature films, and who also saw potential in the Kirby material.

“This is a 20-year business for somebody,” Marty Krofft said.

Unlike the work that Mr. Kirby did for Marvel Comics — whose ownership may be decided by a lawsuit filed last month against Marvel and Disney by the artists’ heirs, who seek the copyrights to many of his lucrative Marvel characters — the control of his animation art is more clear-cut.

During his time with Ruby-Spears, Mr. Kirby was employed under a work-for-hire agreement, which means that his work is the property of the studio, lawyers for the partnership said. Marc Toberoff, a copyright lawyer representing the Kirbys in their suit against Marvel and Disney, said that he reviewed Mr. Kirby’s agreement with Ruby-Spears and that he believed any art produced under it was work for hire.

This affords Ruby-Spears and the Kroffts a wide berth to turn their Kirby properties into movies, television shows, comics, videos games and more — all of which they intend to pursue.

They will face steep competition in a marketplace already saturated with established (and not-so-established) comics characters that major media companies have spent years snapping up for their own development purposes. Compared with decades-old franchises like Batman, Superman and Captain America (the last of which Mr. Kirby created with Joe Simon), unknown properties like Roxie’s Raiders and Golden Shield have only Mr. Kirby’s pedigree to distinguish them.

For Mr. Emanuel, that is more than enough to get behind this cache of rediscovered material.

“You can’t go wrong,” he said. “Just close your eyes and throw a dart. And I only saw 5 percent of it.”

Gabe99 08-16-2013 01:24 AM

Re: Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby is The Most Important Artist You Might Not Have Heard Of
The artist who created so many of Marvel's superheroes cast a big shadow on the world we live in today

Gabe99 08-28-2013 07:09 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
Forbidden Planet:
Jack Kirby - King Of Comics, would have been 96 today.

Comics Beat:
It’s Jack Kirby’s 96th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby
Today would have been the 96th birthday of writer and artist Jack Kirby, who passed away in 1994. In his long career in the comic book industry, Kirby co-created the Marvel Universe and made over and entire medium without breaking a sweat.

Gabe99 10-12-2013 08:52 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
NYCC EXCLUSIVE: IDW Announces "Watchmen," "New Gods" Artist's editions

Gabe99 06-12-2014 11:47 AM

Re: Jack Kirby
How The Supreme Court And Jack Kirby Could Change Everything

“I would like to suggest, to anyone in the media, that they won’t be wasting their time if they follow the ‘Jack Kirby rights at the Supreme Court’ story, more closely” – Neal Adams

Erzengel 06-19-2014 08:34 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
It's sad that most non-comic book fans don't know the greatness of Jack Kirby and it can almost be argued that he had as much if not more to do with the creation of those Marvel characters than Stan Lee.

Gabe99 08-28-2014 08:07 AM

Re: Jack Kirby
SEE IT – TO BELIEVE IT: Jack Kirby’s Wildest DC Comics Covers In Honor Of The King’s 97th Birthday

tzarinna 08-28-2014 09:57 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
Lovely. :up:

Batmannerism 08-28-2014 10:41 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
My favourite Kirby-isms are big helmets.........


.....and the Kirby crackle ! probably the most imitated innovation in comic books ever, since Superman's tights.


Gabe99 08-28-2014 11:34 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
Comic Creators #WakeUpAndDraw For Jack Kirby's Birthday
The man behind your favorite superheroes gets some much-deserved recognition

Originally Posted by Graeme McMillan
August 28, 2014 would have been the 97th birthday of Jack Kirby, a fact marked on social media during the day with a special hashtag devoted to the co-creator of Iron Man, Captain America, X-Men and countless other Marvel and DC characters, #WakeUpAndDraw.

Jack Kirby: A ‘King-Sized’ 97th Birthday Tribute Spectacular, Part One!

Let’s take a look at a few pages from The Mighty Thor # 166 (July 1969)
“Trail May Lead to the Ends of Infinity”

Gabe99 09-26-2014 12:44 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
Marvel, Jack Kirby Estate Settle Superhero Rights Dispute


Marvel and the Jack Kirby estate have settled a long-running legal dispute.

“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history,” read a joint statement from Marvel and the Kirby Family.

More to come.

Erzengel 09-26-2014 01:09 PM

Re: Jack Kirby

Panthro 10-02-2014 10:27 PM

Re: Jack Kirby

Originally Posted by Erzengel (Post 29795217)


I'd love to see a film just for the New Gods - Darkseid, Orion, Highfather, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda & all the rest - without the rest of the DC Universe stepping on their feet but sadly that'll probably never happen.

Erzengel 10-13-2014 01:27 PM

Re: Jack Kirby
I'd like to see that as well.


Possibly, worried he may have said too much, my very well-connected source defined the settlement as “eight figures. Mid eight figures.” Which leads me to believe we could be looking from anywhere between $30 million to $50 million, either way the largest single sum settlement that any comic book creator’s estate has ever received for such a legal settlement in history.

The deal also ensures that Jack Kirby will receive full named credit on upcoming movies based, or partly based, on his work.
I don't care about the money but it's nice that Kirby will get the credit in any upcoming stuff. :up: x 1,000,000

Gabe99 07-22-2017 05:29 AM

Re: Jack Kirby

Deadline July 20, 2017:
Comic-Con: On Jack Kirby’s 100th Anniversary, Tributes To “The King Of Comics” From Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Kevin Feige, Geoff Johns & More

Originally Posted by Dominic Patten
Without Jack Kirby there would be no Comic-Con. Period, full stop.

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of the man now known as the King of Comics, no tribute can really do justice to Kirby’s vast impact and importance. Last week at D23, Disney boss Bob Iger made a pretty fine effort when he praised Kirby as “an industry icon who redefined comics.” With those words in mind, we reached out to Kirby’s most famous collaborator Stan Lee, DC Entertainment head Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, Frank Miller, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, Deadly Class creator Rick Remender, Calexit‘s Matteo Pizzolo and American Gods co-showrunner Michael Green for their takes on Kirby, his artistry and influence.

Having worked on almost every major comic character at one time or another until his death in 1994, Kirby created or co-created icons including Captain America, Iron Man, The Avengers, Hulk, the original X-Men, Magneto and Black Panther. Over his 40-year career, he also spawned the likes of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Nick Fury, the Fantastic Four and their foe Doctor Doom and the ravenous world-destroying Galactus, as well as Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy and DC’s The New Gods, Darkseid and the efficacious Kamandi.

In fact, as part of its plan to honor Kirby’s centennial, DC is putting out a new Mister Miracle series and a half dozen one-shots.

After years of battling with Disney-owned Marvel over rights and credits to the characters he helped create (mostly as work for hire) for what have become multibillion-dollar film franchises, the studio and the Kirby estate settled their differences in fall 2014. Which is why now when the Ryan Coogler-directed and Chadwick Boseman-starring Black Panther comes out next February, like most Marvel movies the past few years, Kirby’s name will be there in the credits just like they should be.

Recently honored along with Kirby as a Disney legend, Lee was publisher of Marvel Comics and, of course, makes those cameos in the Marvel movies.
Well, Jack practically invented the visual language of American comics through his visceral sense of action and story. He gave vision to characters that are still beloved around the world seven decades later. His imaginative mind and skilled pencil work envisioned superheroes for the entire world to enjoy. I think it’s a safe bet that he’d be proud, as well he should. Excelsior!

Marvel Studios, President
I really hope he would be pleased that his work continues to be so influential, and is now seen and experienced by billions of people around the world. I’d love to be able to thank him.

DC Entertainment, President & Chief Creative Officer
Simply put, Jack Kirby re-created the visual power of comics. He made you actually feel the super in superheroes; creating larger-than-life heroes and villains, the massive worlds they come from and the uncanny power they wield. His impact on both Marvel and DC, and the generations of artists and writers in the field, is unlike any other because of that.

I hope he would be happy and proud to see so many people getting joy from it and that he would be receiving the accolades he deserves for his incredible talent in every sense of the word. It’s hard to believe Jack Kirby is underrated, but considering the number of characters and universes he created that are up on the big screen alone — he is.

The Dark Knight Returns, resurrected Daredevil for Marvel, Sin City, 300, directed The Spirit, and so much more
Jack created grammar of the superhero. If you look at this history of comics, there’s before Kirby came and after Kirby came and they’re two distinctly different periods. Everything in the look of comics was completely changed by this angry, supercharged, genius, World War II veteran Jew who’d lived through the worst anti-Semitism in American history. This is the point I make repeatedly. Some people get sick of hearing it. You can’t understand the history of superheroes without understanding the history of American Judaism because it starts with Superman, Siegel and Schuster. It climaxes with Jack Kirby and you see all of that in Kirby explode into the Fantastic Four and all the rest.

I mean the page wasn’t big enough for Jack Kirby. Who else would have come up with a character named Galactus? I mean the guy who eats planets. To be around Jack Kirby, the guy had so much energy you almost wanted to duck when he was around. When I knew him he was in his 70s at least. The man I knew was not mellow. I asked him once why when people got angry or agitated in his stories, he said, because they do.

Luke Cage, showrunner
Jack Kirby is to comics books what Jimmy Hendrix is to guitar or Rakim to emceeing. Sure there are many other influential artists and writers and my biggest influences (Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Jeph Loeb and Brian Michael Bendis) came years after Kirby, but that’s the thing. Kirby was amongst the first to make comic book characters people. He expanded the possibilities of the kinds of stories you could tell on the page.

One of my prized possessions in my writing nook is Fantastic Four #52: the first appearance of the Black Panther. If Black Panther hadn’t been successful as comic, who knows if Luke Cage would have existed.

Deadly Class, creator
Jack invented an entire visual language that is used by most every comic creator today, the good ones anyway. He taught us to create, not to parrot. Jack got to his desk everyday and did the work, he was all of the most important things, a prolific and inventive craftsman and dynamic and clear storyteller. There were endless universes inside Jack’s head, we only got a small taste of them, but that sampling changed not only comics but our entire culture.

Jack famously said, “Comics will break your heart.” And when you look at the way he was treated, after creating so much that many so many other people rich, you can understand why. He didn’t get any of the public acclaim for his Marvel creations. I think he’d be happy to see the legal stuff finally settled with Marvel, and knowing that his family would be rewarded for his genius might make him enjoy seeing all of his co-creations in all their many iterations across media.

American Gods, co-showrunner/Logan and Blade Runner 2049 co-writer
There are prolific artists, and there is Jack Kirby. No one comes close.

One of the most fascinating things about his legacy is how readily his works have translated to the 3D space. His style and forms, his backgrounds and worlds, were all always striking. But it wasn’t until we saw them large on screen in the last decade that we could finally understand how alive it all was. His pages weren’t comics, they were landscapes.

Calexit, creator
ack Kirby is one of the chief architects of modern mythology. His characters and worlds have inspired millions of people to imagine the infinite possibilities of space and time while simultaneously urging us to fight the good fight here on Earth. He did more than just play a pivotal role in the creation of a storytelling medium — although that would be enough to make him King Kirby. He also played a pivotal role in expanding the dreams and aspirations of generations of people around the world and on into the future.

Being a WWII veteran and co-creator of Captain America, I imagine Kirby would be delighted that his characters are celebrated today as icons of resistance. But it’s no secret he was furious about the business of comics and intellectual property, so I imagine he would also be distressed to see his creations generating billions of dollars for massive mega-corporations, with some of that money actually supporting political figures he would most likely despise. Overall, though, I think the positives of providing a fresh pantheon of heroes we can all admire and seek to emulate would outweigh the negatives.

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