Fantastic Four: TWGCM >> View Post
Post By
Grey Gargoyle

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 10,987
In Reply To
Ancient One

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,002
Subj: Re: 200 page analysis of Fantastic Four issue 1
Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 at 11:01:08 am EST (Viewed 221 times)
Reply Subj: Re: 200 page analysis of Fantastic Four issue 1
Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 at 09:49:19 am EST (Viewed 199 times)

    Stan has never been in he position to grant rights to creators. As you say, he's been EIC, President and Publisher, but he's never OWNED the company.

    From 1939 to 1968 the only man with the power to give creators their copyrights - or a portion of them - back was Martin Goodman. When Goodman sold his business to Cadence in '68 the copyrights passed to them, and to their successors. Even as President, Stan always had a board of directors above him and it was they who dictated company policy.

Yes but Stan Lee was perceived by fans, media & the hierarchy of Marvel comics as the pivotal creator of the Marvel Universe, relegating pencillers as satellite creators orbiting around him.

Both Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko felt that their contribution to the stories had been diminished.

Jack Kirby even created the Funky Flashman as a severe criticism of Stan Lee.

Also, in an interview, Jack Kirby made it clear what he thinks of Stan Lee's contribution to the stories.

    KIRBY: Remember this: Stan Lee was an editor. He worked from nine to five doing business for Martin Goodman. In other words he didn’t do any writing in the office. He did Martin Goodman’s business. That was his function. There were people coming up to the office to talk all the time. They weren’t always artists, they were business people. Stan Lee was the first man they would see and Stan Lee would see if he could get them in to see Martin Goodman. That was Stan Lee’s function.

Even to these days, the controversy is unresolved.
(In an interview, Stan Lee answered about it. )

Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko were freelance artists. Stan Lee said that he proposed to them to become employees of Marvel Comics like he was.
Still, they didn't want that.
They wanted to have the opportunity to create characters which they would own.
Of course, it wasn't in the best interest of comics companies back then.

When Steve Gerber, as a writer, had a similar conflict with Marvel Comics (for the intellectual property rights of Howard the Duck), Jack Kirby helped him by drawing the Destroyer Duck comic book.
In the book, GodCorp is a pastiche of Marvel Comics as an evil corporation.

I want to point out that I don't want to say that Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko & Steve Gerber are right and that Stan Lee & Marvel Comics are wrong. It is not that simple. From the beginning, there were contracts to establish the relationship between artists & the company.

Still, Stan Lee, as a high-level corporate officer, was on the side of Martin Goodman & Marvel Comics.

I think that if the editor-in-chief himself is considered the co-creator of most of the main characters of the Marvel Universe, then it will be much more difficult later for the penciller to claim any intellectual property right.

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