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0 Comments on PREVIEW: Moon Boy Returns in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1 as of 11/2/2015 7:21:00 PM
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2. Kirby: to recolor or not

A lot of people celebrated Jack Kirby's birthday on Friday by posting a lot of his art, and it is always pleasant to page through galleries of the King. One thing that I did notice on all this art was how stunning (to me anyway) the original limited coloring looks.

10 Comments on Kirby: to recolor or not, last added: 9/1/2015
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3. SDCC ’15 – Comic Book People at Comic-Con

FullSizeRenderWant to know what comic-cons are really about? Get these books.

In my previous post I talked about the importance of community — it is central to proper understanding of ethics, and as such it is essential to a fan life well-lived. As an influx of new people explore the comics universe, the risk of losing sight of what connects us beyond passive viewing increases and the importance of learning from our history only grows.

That’s why Jackie Estrada’s Comic Book People is so vital – and if you’re at San Diego Comic-Con, you can get the hot-off-the-Kickstarter second volume at the Exhibit A Press booth, #1909 (aisle 1900, near the Lobby B2 entrance).

If you’re new to comic-cons there might be a temptation to think that books filled with photos of people from the ’70s and ’80s (vol. 1) and ’90s (vol. 2) are just for people who went to conventions back then, but as Don Draper would say, this isn’t nostalgia; it’s a time machine. The genius of these books is that you are in many ways their target audience — in addition to names and photos, Comic Book People explains who these people are and why they are important. Not only will this help you discover stories you might have otherwise missed, but they show you a world-shaping network as it grows. These folks built a global pop-culture empire that made billions and changed lives, inspiring an intensity of personal connection that rivals if not transcends that found in other art. Know them and you’ll understand the world you’ve just entered; follow their example and you’ll create a world that today exists only in dreams.

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4. SDCC ’15: Marvel Presents Jack Kirby Monster Variants– Full List Inside!

So, it looks like October is going to be pretty terrifying this year.  Yesterday, DC announced that they’d be giving 25 of their books “Monstrous” variants.

Today, Marvel announced that they would be offering “Kirby Monster Variants” for their titles.  They’ve hired talented artists such as Paul Pope, Cliff Chiang, Mike Del Mundo, and Jeff Lemire to pay homage to the legendary Jack Kirby, whose imaginative monsters inspired a generation of artists.  Comicbook.com revealed some of the covers earlier today.


Awesome Android by Erica Henderson (Doctor Strange #1)


Groot by Mike Allred (Guardians of the Galaxy #1)


Rommbu by Eric Powell (Karnak #1)


Infant Terrible by Paolo Rivera (Amazing Spider-Man #2)

Check out the full list of covers below:


Title Monster Artist
A-Force #5 The Crawling Creature (Tales to Astonish #22) Marguerite Sauvage
All-New, All-Different Avengers #0 Devil Dinosaur (Devil Dinosaur #1) David Marquez
All-New, All-Different Point One #1 Nezarr, the Calculator (Eternals #7) Paul Pope
Amazing Spider-Man #2 Infant Terrible (Fantastic Four #24) Paolo Rivera
Ant-Man #1 Scarlet Beetle (Tales to Astonish #39) Tradd Moore
Captain America: White #3 Jinni Demon (Thor #137) Glenn Fabry
Contest of Champions #1 Xemnu the Titan (Journey Into Mystery #62) Dan Brereton
Doctor Strange #1 Awesome Android (Fantastic Four #15) Erica Henderson
Extraordinary X-Men #2 Yeti (Black Panther #5) Phil Noto
Groot #5 Quonian (Fantastic Four #97) Christian Ward
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Groot (Tales to Astonish #13) Mike Allred
Civil War #5 Lo-Karr, Bringer of Doom (Journey Into Mystery #75) John Cassaday
All-New Hawkeye #1 Elektro (Tales of Suspense #13) Jeff Lemire
House of M #4 Kraa the Unhuman (Tales of Suspense #18) Dave Johnson
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Orrgo (Strange Tales #90) Michael Del Mundo
Invincible Iron Man #2 Fin Fang Foom (Strange Tales #89) Mark Brooks
Karnak #1 Rommbu (Tales to Astonish #19) Eric Powell
Ms. Marvel #19 Wrecker’s Robot (Fantastic Four #12) Cliff Chiang
New Avengers #2 The Blip (Tales to Astonish #15) Simon Bisley
S.H.I.E.L.D. #11 Poker Face (Strange Tales of the Unusual #7) James Stokoe
Sam Wilson, Captain America #2 Zetora (Journey Into Mystery #57) Tony Moore
Spider-Gwen #1 Hypno-Creature (Tales of Suspense #23) Francesco Francavilla
Spider-Man 2099 #2 Ulvar (Journey Into Mystery #63) Chris Samnee
Uncanny Avengers #1 Mangog (Thor #154) Geoff Darrow
Uncanny Inhumans #1 Vandoom’s Monster (Tales to Astonish #17) Art Adams


0 Comments on SDCC ’15: Marvel Presents Jack Kirby Monster Variants– Full List Inside! as of 1/1/1900
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5. Unassuming Barber Shop: In Search of the Fantastic Four

On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first human being to achieve Earth orbit, effectively winning the space race. At NASA, scientists sighed, poured more coffee, and redoubled their efforts. In New York, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four. With a new FF movie coming out, readers and fans […]

3 Comments on Unassuming Barber Shop: In Search of the Fantastic Four, last added: 8/7/2015
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6. It’s Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday…why not give to the Hero Initiative today

Jack Kirby, the titanic force of US comics, would have been 98 years old today. While it makes you wonder what exciting things we'll be doing for his centenary, it's also a reminder that it's a good day to contribute to The Hero Initiative, as Kirby's granddaughter Jillian suggests in the above video. For several years, Jillian has promoted the Kirby4Heroes campaign to raise funds for the charity which aids creators in need. I can attest to the many people that this organization has helped, and in a field where 401ks are non existent, it's sometimes the only safety net poplar have.

1 Comments on It’s Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday…why not give to the Hero Initiative today, last added: 8/28/2015
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7. NYCC ’14: Marvel finally confirms their Fantastic Four Cancellation: WWBGD?

garx NYCC 14: Marvel finally confirms their Fantastic Four Cancellation: WWBGD?by Alexander Jones

What would Ben Grimm do?

After a few months of truly bizarre speculation across the internet, and denial from the publisher, Marvel confirmed this morning at their Axel-In-Charge panel at New York Comic-Con that they are indeed canceling their main Fantastic Four title. The publisher seems like they are planning something new for their roster of Fantastic Four characters, but this is mere speculation at this point. The comic is ending in 2015. CBR ran a quote from the panel that featured current author of the title James Robinson speaking on the surprise cancellation of the comic.

“That’s the thing — everyone’s upset now because the book is going away,” Robinson said. “Are they buying the book? I don’t know if they are. A lot of it is just people like to get online and moan and complain. I guarantee you if you kill of any character, the most obscure character, you’ll get one angry person that claims it was their favorite character. Jack Frost, golden age character, they’ve done something to him. Where’s the razor blades, I’m slashing my wrists. People do that on the internet, so you have to take that with a grain of salt.”

The author deserves some massive props for talking about his run on the title so honestly. Hopefully this coming change for the Fantastic Four will be what is necessary to get the book boosted into the top 50 of the Diamond Sales charts. Marvel’s first family deserves it after all.


16 Comments on NYCC ’14: Marvel finally confirms their Fantastic Four Cancellation: WWBGD?, last added: 10/13/2014
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8. Jack Kirby is now getting credit in Marvel titles—and that is pretty freaking awesome

All New X Men 32 2014 Page 2 Jack Kirby is now getting credit in Marvel titles—and that is pretty freaking awesome

It looks like the results of last month’s settlement in the Jacky Kirby lawsuit against Marvel has yielded swift results: Kirby and Stan Lee are now being given co-credit in books including Fantastic Four, Inhumans and the X-men. And Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are being given co-creator credit on Captain America. Among the books already bearing the new credits: All-New X-Men #33, Fantastic Four #12, Inhuman #7, Wolverine and the X-Men #11 and Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1, which has the Simon & Kirby credit. 

Many speculated that the terms of the settlement included not only money but would free the way for Kirby to take his rightful place as the mind behind the visual look of the MCU and the driving force behind many of its greatest storylines and characters. While the FF and the X-Men are being cancelled or downplayed in the comics due to their movies being at other studios, Kirby co-created character such as Cap, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Black Panther, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (not to mention Groot) are going strong in the MCU, so expect to see more tributes to Kirby as time goes by.

I can’t imagine that there is anyone remotely in the comics business who is not thrilled to see this.

kirby inhumans 625x961 Jack Kirby is now getting credit in Marvel titles—and that is pretty freaking awesome kirby cap 625x961 Jack Kirby is now getting credit in Marvel titles—and that is pretty freaking awesome

[Via Robot 6]

5 Comments on Jack Kirby is now getting credit in Marvel titles—and that is pretty freaking awesome, last added: 10/31/2014
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9. Marvel.com salutes Jack Kirby on Veterans Day

54622c82e11e1 Marvel.com salutes Jack Kirby on Veterans Day

This photo was posted on Marvel.com in a piece commemorating Veteran’s Day.

Obviously there is no one in comics more suitable for this kind of salute than Kirby who would tell his war stories to all.




The piece includes family photos and remembrances from Kirby’s son Neal of his dad’s wartime exploits:

Kirby took part in the crossing of the Moselle River at Dornot on September 8, 1944. Paddling themselves across the river in tiny assault boats while under fire from German troops on the other side, the battalion established a small beachhead where they were met by the 37th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Holding a thin line in the woods, the men of the 2nd Battalion held for days. Neal Kirby remembers one harrowing story, when a tank was charging down on his father’s foxhole. Sure to be run over by the massive tank, “the guy next to him stood up and just fired a round right through the drivers slit and the tank stops dead. It’s one of those one in a billion shots,” that saved Jack Kirby and others.

You may recall that Marvel and Kirby’s heirs recently reached a settlement over the matter of Kirby’s massive input in creating the Marvel Universe that is currently worth billions and billions of dollars. I suspected that we would see a suddens surge in crediting Kirby and not only do comics now have his name as co-creator, he has a credit on Agents of SHIELD, and now a salute on Marvel.com. You can’t get too much Jack Kirby and I hope this is just the beginning.

And here’s to you Jack and every one of the men and women who have served our nation.

portrait uncanny Marvel.com salutes Jack Kirby on Veterans Day

5 Comments on Marvel.com salutes Jack Kirby on Veterans Day, last added: 11/13/2014
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10. Yet Another Must Read: Jeff Trexler analyzes the Kirby settlement

eternals kirby SCOTUS Yet Another Must Read: Jeff Trexler analyzes the Kirby settlement

I’ve long been awaiting Jeff Trexler’s analysis of the Marvel/Kirby Settlement, and he starts a two-part piece with Should the Kirby Family Have Settled? In case it hasn’t been explicitly stated enough, it was Trexler’s exploration of the potentially ground breaking work for hire aspects of the case that Kirby family attorney Marc Toberoff seems to have used to get the Supreme Court to even look at the case. To allow it to go to decision would have established an important precedent—but it was extremely risky for the Kirby heirs:

That’s not an unreasonable point of view, but it’s also not entirely fair. To see why, it can help to compare the Kirbys’ situation with that of the Siegel heirs in their own pursuit of a historic precedent. As we saw with the Siegels, the calculus in the Siegel case involved more than a decision between a win and a loss. The Siegels filed their lawsuit after agreeing to a set of terms that their previous attorney had informed them was legally binding; the likely and ultimately realized worst-case scenario was that the Siegels would quote-unquote lose with an eight-figure payout. The Kirbys, on the other hand, were in Schroedinger’s Court – the case for the moment was dead and alive, but once the Court observed it the lawsuit would reduce to just one of these states with no in-between.

Trexler also suggest that the votes on the final case may not have been the ones we were expecting. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—who actually requested Marvel answer the petition—may not have been all pro-freelancer:

Nonetheless, while Ginsburg’s dissents in such infamous cases as Citizens United (opposing corporate personhood) and Hobby Lobby (opposing the corporate religious exception for birth control coverage in Obamacare) have made her an anti-corporate hero, her approach to copyright cases is far more tempered. Exhibit #1: Justice Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in the equally notorious case of Eldred v. Ashcroft upholding the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Act, the law that extended the term of copyright and kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain.

Ginsburg also concurred in the Grokster case, an unpopular decision (in free-culture circles, at least) that sided with the music companies against those who believed that online file sharing should be left alone. Moreover, Ginsburg sided with the majority in the recent Aereo case, which helped the big TV networks to keep an Internet start-up from rebroadcasting freely available TV signals. Opposing Ginsburg & the rest of the majority in defending the rights of the corporate copyright establishment: conservative Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

In a subsequent piece, Trexler will look at what we know of the settlement, which it’s been suggested, included a mid-eight figure monetary sum.

I urge everyone to just go read the whole thing. Given what we know, it’s quite possible that we have Trexler himself to thank for the circumstances that allowed the Kirby heirs and Marvel to come to an agreement which allows Jack to finally get his due in the modern Marvel Universe. And for that, we all owe him a huge thank you.

2 Comments on Yet Another Must Read: Jeff Trexler analyzes the Kirby settlement, last added: 11/24/2014
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11. Webcomic Alert: End 2014 with a little “Optimisim” by Anders Nilsen

 Webcomic Alert: End 2014 with a little Optimisim by Anders Nilsen
Anders Nilsen sees the year out at Medium with a beautiful full color comic called On Optimisim: Why 2015 Won’t Suck. It’s a very direct and straightforward work from the often oblique (and marvelously so) Nilsen, but it has a few good words that we should all tam into account for 2015. Even though 2014 was a pretty great year for comics, for a lot of folks (The Beat included) it was kind of sucky on a personal level, and a lot of the creative personnel of the industry seem to be sinking into a “happy peasant” mind set, as living in a hovel on the outskirts of the giant corporate castle seems like a lifestyle choice worth making.

andersnilson optimism Webcomic Alert: End 2014 with a little Optimisim by Anders Nilsen
All that said, optimism is the fundamental human state and despite the setbacks 2014 had a lot of great, amazing stuff. And 2015 will be even better. As I mentioned many times this year, I’m finally living in the world that I envisioned wham I was 13 years old, a world of limitless storytelling and a return to the diversity that comics always had. A world where people don’t think comics are dumb or stupid,

So thank you for your support throughout the year, both in the form of encouragement, written and verbal, and monetary (Advertising, Paypal and Patreon) and to all my wonderful contributors—Kyle, Hannah, Zach, Todd, Torsten, Jeff, David, Kate, Kate, Jason, David, Alex, Matt and Lindsey and anyone I’m forgetting. Thanks to Steve, Zainab and Joshua who quickly moved on to bigger and better things. And thanks to everyone at Stately Beat Manor who fed the cats and made us laugh.

And here’s to a 2015 filled with ninjas, dinosaurs, kittens, iPads, shooting stars, pirates, emeralds and chocolate hazelnut Vietnamese instant coffee.

We’ll leave you with this reminder: Always don business wear before sitting down to the drawing board or keyboard. IF JAck Kirby did it, it’s good enough for the rest of us.
10888538 10203340396259629 408005690093616737 n Webcomic Alert: End 2014 with a little Optimisim by Anders Nilsen

2 Comments on Webcomic Alert: End 2014 with a little “Optimisim” by Anders Nilsen, last added: 1/3/2015
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12. Nice Art: Joe Casey, Nathan Fox and Connor Willumsen take on Captain Victory


Leave it to Joe Casey. He’s a Pied Piper of the unusual, writing superheroes everywhere and dragging fresh art styles along with him (Sex at Image, Catalyst Comics at Dark Horse). This time it’s Dynamite’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #5 which features art by Nathan Fox and Connor Willumsen. Fox is of course a terrific illustrator, cartoonist and teacher. Willumsen is a wandering ronin of comics who every once in a while pops up with a mind boggling experimental comic.

And Joe Casey is just one of a kind. And what better crew to take on Jack Kirby’s twilight weirdness, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers?

On sale today!

Layout 1



CVATGR05 3.jpg

CVATGR05 4.jpg

CVATGR05 5.jpg

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #5
Joe Casey (w)
Nathan Fox, Connor Willumsen (a)
Nathan Fox (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
Nathan Fox “Virgin Art” retailer incentive cover
The crew of the Dreadnaught Tiger is within reach of their goal! But can they get to Captain Victory — either one of them — before they’re destroyed by the hostile environments they’re stuck in? Cosmic Armageddon is right around the corner!

0 Comments on Nice Art: Joe Casey, Nathan Fox and Connor Willumsen take on Captain Victory as of 2/11/2015 6:03:00 PM
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13. Tonight @ Society of Illustrators: Is That Art?

Yoe-is-that-artThis exhibit of works from Craig Yoe’s original art collection has already garnered stellar accolades – tonight you can see why. And that’s not all …

I had the good fortune of seeing an early preview of Is That Art? at the Society of Illustrators a few weeks ago, and it’s a must-see for anyone who wants to connect with the magic and the power of creative design. The exhibit covers much of the first century of comics & cartoon art, and the work is displayed in ways that highlight deep connections and spark new ideas. A original Spark Plug parallel to a Peanuts strip where Snoopy is dismissed as a dog; a landmark portrait of Superman for Siegel-and-Shuster’s syndicate chief near a reflection on a woman’s dual identity by Fay King; the first Pogo newspaper strip; the original Fin-Fang-Foom-awakes page, signed by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers ….


I could go on, but I’ll leave you to discover all the wonders for yourself. The exhibit’s official opening is tonight from 5pm – 10pm at the Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St. in New York City. If you can’t make it this evening (or at all, alas), you can find some consolation in the extensive Yoe! Books library, which includes lavish and faithful restorations of material ranging from kitsch to classics. One place to start: the latest Yoe! Books/IDW publication, Milt Gross’ New York, which has been receiving impressive reviews.


If you can make it to the Society of Illustrators, don’t miss its other must-see exhibits. The original art from Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream is up through tomorrow (April 9), and seeing it at full size reminded me of seeing the original art for Robert Crumb’s Book of Genesis at the Hammer Museum – a revelation. As for the exhibit on Alt-Weekly Comics curated by Warren Bernard and Bill Kartalopoulos, well, that too deserves a book of its own – this exhibit is important not just for chronicling an influential, if under-appreciated genre within North American comics, but for helping us understand the world today.


1 Comments on Tonight @ Society of Illustrators: Is That Art?, last added: 4/9/2015
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14. This Food Truck Honors Animation Legends with Pretzels

We'll have 2 Chucks, a Natwick, and a Blair.

0 Comments on This Food Truck Honors Animation Legends with Pretzels as of 5/27/2015 2:45:00 PM
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15. How helping the Jack Kirby Museum could be the best response

201205291101 How helping the Jack Kirby Museum could be the best response
Creator/publisher Zak Sally weighs in on the Kirby Matter, and the actions he suggests are more proactive:

actually, over the course of writing this, i think i DO have an answer– not THE answer, but an idea anyway: it’s somewhat presumptive on my part, and it is NOT what “should” happen, but it falls under the category of “the least you could do”.

i think Marvel comics should pay for the Jack Kirby Museum. they should fund the thing in its entirety, right now– and not a temporary, pop-up (which would still be awesome), but a permanent, brick and mortar space. what is that– 10, 20 million bucks to do it right? that’s a drop in the bucket. and all profit from the museum in perpetuity could go to the Kirby estate.

and there’s where the presumption comes on my part– what SHOULD happen is that Kirby is given some credit on all his creations and a commensurate slice of the action. but i don’t think that’s going to happen; do you? so, this would be a simple, classy way to honor the man and his contribution, without endangering their precious legal status as “creators” of the work in question (and, again, as i write this– all of you who are yelling about “well, they did it under a work-for hire contract”, which, yes, is legally binding– what you are then saying is that THE CORPORATION IS THE CREATOR OF THE WORK AND CHARACTERS, both morally and legally. that, effectively, NO ONE CREATED the stuff, just this amorphous, profit yielding, non-human entity. you’re ok with that, as an ongoing and seemingly perpetual situation? HAVE FUN.)

While getting Disney to fund this might not be…feasible, maybe this is a better way to go. It’s my own feeling that getting support for actual things (i.e. crowdfunding) is easier than boycotts. At least you have a nice museum at the end of it.

Speaking of which…would an IndieGoGo or Kickstarter for the Kirby Museum do well?

15 Comments on How helping the Jack Kirby Museum could be the best response, last added: 5/29/2012
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16. HeroesCon proves thirty is fabulous

201206270344 HeroesCon proves thirty is fabulous

Whoosh! HeroesCon just raced on by! We arrived late on Thursday, hit BarCon and the rest was just WHOOSH! So much fun, we barely had time to type about it at all. That isn’t to say there weren’t some snafus–all on our own part–but they came and went so quickly.

First off, hats off to Shelton Drum for running a show this long! It is, at this point, a beloved institution. Everyone knows Drum and the Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find staff treat the guests like family. From the shuttle that picks you up at the airport to the big art auction party on Saturday to the dead dog party at the store to the shuttle that takes you to the airport on Monday. It’s all so friendly and comics-loving. As mentioned in the previous post, this edition of the show was notable for there being NO EDITORS around. No one to buy drinks or dinner. Instead everyone bought their OWN drinks and dinner…and it seemed to work out just fine.

Although we never glimpsed Stan Lee he was definitely the main presence. As several con reports have alluded to, whenever Stan was doing something — signing, talking, facing front — crowds on the show floor seemed to sparsen. (Is that a word? It is now.) Sales slowed for some during the Stan-induced lulls, but it was still a great show for art purchases, and most everyone seemed to sell loads of stuff. The HeroesCon attendees appreciate art and like spending money on art — and luckily the local economy has some pep in it and they can still afford to do what they like.

I will admit one of the reasons the show whooshed on by was that I could barely spend any time on the show floor. Friday I had a ton of work to catch up on so I got there late. Saturday I had two panels, one of which lasted more than two hours…so again I got to the floor very late. Sunday I had some personal business to attend to, and had to make an offsite…but I managed to cram as many meet and greets in as I could.

As for those panels, well this is where I managed to mess things up because I didn’t have as much time to prepare as I should have. One of the things I’ve learned about panels over the years is…the more you prepare the better they go. And when you DON’T prepare, it tends to show. This year I had to more or less wing it, because it was the best I could do, and all I can say is…the more you prepare the better things go!

The first one, Humor in Comics, was basically the same as last years, with Evan Dorkin and Roger Langridge from ‘11 and Tim Rickard sitting in for Richard Thompson. I had prepared a slideshow but neglected to tell the show crew that I needed AV. We tried to set it up in the middle of the panel but…that is not a good idea. To avoid asking the same questions as last year I opened it to the floor, as it was a well attended panel (not all were.) The talk veered to how hard it is to make a living doing humorous comics, which isn’t the world’s funniest topic. However, all the panelists were very smart and funny (especially Evan, but you all know that) so there were manny laughs. Still: LESSON: ALWAYS MAKE SURE THERE IS AV BEFOREHAND.

The next panel was the epic mega-panel “Echoes of 1982″ which was organized by Craig Fischer. This was truly an epic with a v

3 Comments on HeroesCon proves thirty is fabulous, last added: 6/27/2012
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17. And now….topless Jack Kirby

It’s “see half dressed Marvel gods day” at the Beat!tumblr m97v80FFHO1qzoglfo1 500 And now....topless Jack Kirby

More from Sean Howe!

12 Comments on And now….topless Jack Kirby, last added: 8/24/2012
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18. Preview: Comics About Cartoonists: The World’s Oddest Profession

Tweet Before “meta” was physical, before Modernism became Posted, before Art Popped, cartoonists drew stories about cartoonists and cartooning! Some of it was autobiographical (or possibly semi-auto… I doubt Milt Gross almost became Batman!), some of it was pure fantasy.  (The pygmalian dream of a drawing come to life is represented twice in this volume, [...]

2 Comments on Preview: Comics About Cartoonists: The World’s Oddest Profession, last added: 1/22/2013
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19. Art Wall: Cubist Thing, them Mighty Morphin’ kids and Batman- lots of Batman

TweetHello and welcome! We are starting a weekly art thingy and have -rather thoughtfully- set it for Friday, that interminable day where the weekend is within touching distance and yet you still have to be at work. Hence, pretty and cool stuff that will help tide you over- forget words, just feast your eyes. This [...]

1 Comments on Art Wall: Cubist Thing, them Mighty Morphin’ kids and Batman- lots of Batman, last added: 2/10/2013
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20. Titan Unveil ‘Monster Massacre’ Anthology

The Brit Zone continues, sort of, with a new announcement from Titan Comics. This week Titan unveiled a new co-publishing deal between themselves and Atomeka, which will put out ‘Monster Massacre’. This anthology will feature stories all about – you guessed it – monsters. On top of stories from creators like D’Israeli, Ian Edginton, Ron Marz, and Dave Wilkins, the book will also include a Joe Simon/Jack Kirby story, ‘The Greatest Horror of Them All’, taken from Black Cat Mystery.

The cover is far too rude for me to post on The Beat, so instead here’s a page or two of interiors.

mm2 Titan Unveil Monster Massacre Anthology

Put together by writer/artist Dave Elliott, the anthology’s full list of credits are:

Joe Simon/Jack Kirby, Andy Kuhn, Dave Dorman, Mark A Nelson, Ron Marz /Tom Raney, Dave Elliott/Alex Horley,Vito Delsante/Javier Aranda, Dave Wilkins/Dave Elliott, Jerry Paris/Arthur Suydam/Dave Elliott,  Ian Edginton/D’Israeli, Alex Horley and Steve White.

A little bereft of female creators perhaps, but that’s a fine line-up. There are ten stories collected in total, along with two art galleries.

mm1 Titan Unveil Monster Massacre Anthology

The anthology will be released in September, and be day-and-date digital.

6 Comments on Titan Unveil ‘Monster Massacre’ Anthology, last added: 3/14/2013
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21. Stan Lee talks to Playboy about everything—but is it the truth?

[Stan Lee answers the greatest question of all: who would win, Thor or the Hulk in this shot from the Wizard World FB page.]

Playboy has a long interview with Stan Lee here (link NSFW but not really as much as you’d think), Normally I’d call this an “autumnal” interview, but under the circumstances, it’s more…the lion in winter. Lee, perhaps realizing this is one of the few spots he has to dig in a little, sometimes avoids the kind of jokes and spin he uses in other interviews. And while his memory is always spotty (and any Lee interview includes may places where he takes the question and moves the answer to more familiar territory) his grasp on things is still pretty sharp all things considered. This is truly a “you need to read the whole thing” interview, as he discusses Kirby and Ditko at length, discussing the last time he saw Ditko (10 years ago) attending Kirby’s funeral 20 years ago and staying in the back (something I can attest to as I was there) but ultimately saying he did the best he could by them. And that’s his final word, I’m sure. But I’m sure this interview will eventually get some vetting. Mark Evanier has already noted that there is a LOT to dispute:

A lot of the history is not only at odds with my understanding but it’s different from things Stan has said in the past, both in print and in private conversations. I suspect an upcoming issue of Playboy will feature a letter from Steve Ditko saying much the same thing.

That said, there is still a lot of vintage Stan:

You have to understand that growing up during the Depression, I saw my parents struggling to pay the rent. My father was always unemployed, and when he did have a job, he was a dress cutter. Not very much money there. I was happy enough to get a nice paycheck and be treated well. I always got the highest rate; whatever Martin paid another writer, I got at least that much. It was a very good job. I was able to buy a house on Long Island. I never dreamed I should have $100 million or $250 million or whatever that crazy number is. All I know is I created a lot of characters and enjoyed the work I did.

And memories of WWII:

PLAYBOY: You went off to the Army in World War II and wrote military pamphlets with an elite group that included Frank Capra, William Saroyan and Theodor Geisel. What’s your standout memory?

LEE: That Dr. Seuss was slow. In the comic-book world, you live and die on your speed, but Geisel was slow. Most of them were slow. I was writing faster than all of them. One day the major who was in charge of our unit said, “Sergeant, will you work a little slower? You’re making the other guys look bad.” I wrote all these training films about things I had no knowledge of. I remember I did one film, The Nomenclature and Operation of the 16 mm IMO Camera Under Battle Conditions. What got the most attention, though, was something I wrote about venereal disease.

I think Lee has slowed down a bit over the last few months. Since his lawyer Arthur Lieberman died in 2012, we’ve seen a lot less “pacting”. I haven’t seen Stan showing up at quite as many comic-cons of late, although he’s confirmed for Dubai. Certainly the guy has earned a wee rest, and whatever the sins of his past, Stan’s late in life resurgence has allowed fans of all ages to connect with a living myth.

16 Comments on Stan Lee talks to Playboy about everything—but is it the truth?, last added: 3/21/2014
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22. Kirby Case to SCOTUS more likely?

kirby captain victory

The family of Jack Kirby’s quest to regain some rights to the Marvel characters still has a chance to go all the way to the Supreme court, as THR’s sturdy legal expert Eriq Gardner reports. Gardner quotes some amicus (friend of the court, i.e. supporting document) briefs by experts as weighing in favor of it being heard:

It was authored by Bruce Lehman, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the chief advisor to President Bill Clinton on intellectual property matters. He writes on behalf of himself, former U.S. register of copyrights Ralph Oman (who served as chief minority counsel of the Senate’s IP subcommittee during the consideration of the 1976 Copyright Act), the Artists Rights Society (whose past members included Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso), the International Intellectual Property Institute and others.

But before getting into what’s said in this brief (provided below), we’ll turn to another amici curiae brief (also below) that offers a better set-up to what exactly is disputed. This one comes from Mark Evanier, a comic book historian who once apprenticed for Kirby and has been an advisor to Marvel, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics. He joins John Morrow, another Kirby historian, as well as the PEN Center USA, one of the most prestigious organizations of novelists, poets, playwrights and screenwriters.

Although the Kirby case has gotten much further along in its journey to the Supremes than most of us ever thought, observers still pint out that it has one element that makes it being heard unlikely: a lack of division among lower court rulings. Marvel/Disney has won at every level of the court system. And the business-friendly current make-up of the Supreme Court makes a Kirby victory kind of unlikely, no matter how many heavy hitters weigh in on the amicus briefs.

That said, Kirby was always an underdog. And the fact that the underlying elements of the case—the meaning of the ‘instance and expense’ test to prove whether work was work for hire/on staff or independent—have been prominent enough that the court has actually ASKED for brief is telling as well.

Looks like this is going to go all the way down to the wire. 

13 Comments on Kirby Case to SCOTUS more likely?, last added: 6/23/2014
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23. New Painting for the Jack Kirby show in Seattle.

This is for the Jack Kirby show that's coming up in August. I always loved the way he visually told stories made with crazy bold graphics. This one is taking an extra creature from an old comic book and painting it up in Photoshop while keeping the bold designs that Kirby created.
I wanted to do something more complicated but I've got many other projects that need my attention right now so this one will have to suffice.

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24. Marvel and Jack Kirby estate settle their disputes

CapBicentennialBattlesBackCover en 640h1 Marvel and Jack Kirby estate settle their disputes

A joint statement has just been released by Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby indicating that a settlement of somekind hs been made:

“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.” 



The Kirby Estate had been suing Marvel for right to the characters Kirby created over the years, from Captain America in the 40s to the Fantastic Four in the 60s. Although every court case went against the Kirby family, recently it seemed that the case might actually go to the Supreme Court, and it may have been the unpredictable nature of the claims that led to this settlement.

While an initial wave of joy over the end of this battle is the natural emotion, one hopes that the Kirby family got something out of this and it wasn’t just keeping up appearances in the light of an ongoing battle that didn’t look like it would end favorably.


18 Comments on Marvel and Jack Kirby estate settle their disputes, last added: 9/26/2014
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25. Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we don’t

jack kirby alex ross Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we dont

Tribute to the King by Alex Ross.

Friday’s announcement of a settlement between Jack Kirby’s heirs and Marvel seems like good news—but is it? And what does it mean?

I’m told Jeff Trexler, whose identification of the “instance and expense” aspect of the lawsuit may have helped get that into the petition to the Supremes, is writing his summary for TCJ.com, so while we all eagerly await that, here’s a little of the known knowns and known unknowns:

First off, Mark Evanier, a Kirby family confidant, a witness at various Kirby-related trials and filier of an amicus curiae brief is certainly in a position to know more of the Kirby position and this is all he had to say on the matter:

It was announced this morning that the family of Jack Kirby has settled with Marvel Comics (i.e., Disney) ending a very long dispute. The Supreme Court was only days from considering whether to take on the case and obviously, the timing of this settlement has much to do with both sides’ concern with what would get decided there.

If you’re coming to this page in search of details and commentary, you’ve come to the wrong place. I will be saying nothing about it other that I am real, real happy. And I’m sure Jack and his wife Roz, if they’re watching this from wherever they are, are real, real,real happy.

That’s either great fronting or a pretty solid indication that the Kirbys got what they were looking for. Since Evanier was intimately involved in the case, it’s probably legally all he can say. But if Mark thinks Jack is smiling, I’m smiling.

You can read all the petitions and briefs here. And you can bet a lot of people will be poring over these for a lot of reasons.

Charles Hatfield has a good round up of the ins and outs of the case itself, the many friend of the court briefs, and how the case grew in importance as more Hollywood vested interest signed on.

However, news of the cert petition reignited publicity over the case, and in May SCOTUS discussed the case in conference, after which the Court requested a response from Marvel. Then, in June, things started to happen: several important amici curiae briefs supporting the Kirbys’ petition brought high-profile attention to the case. One of these was filed on behalf of Kirby biographer Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby Collector publisher and editor John Morrow, and the PEN Center USA (a nonprofit representing diverse writers).

In addition, the California Society of Entertainment Lawyers filed a brief. Another brief that became very important for the press coverage of the  case was submitted by Bruce Lehman, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, and an authority on intellectual property law. Lehman filed in collaboration with former US register of copyrights Ralph Oman, the Artists Rights Society, and the International Intellectual Property Institute; they were joined by the American Society of Illustrators, the National Cartoonists Society, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and other organizations representing arts professionals—as well as scores of cartoonists and illustrators who also signed on.

Kurt Busiek has been debunking some common myths about the case in the Beat’s own comments, but perhaps because Beat commenters are just smarter or less pig-headed than the average commenter, he saved his masterpiece in the genre for this CBR thread where he debunks from all times that the Kirby heirs were just greedy and opportunistic. (Link via Tom Spurgeon) He also speculates about the outcome, just like Iim gonna do in a few paragraphs:

Based on that, it sure doesn’t look like Marvel’s throwing the Kirbys a few bucks to go away. If that’s what they wanted to do, they could have done that any time within the last few years. Whoever blinked, it was the side that had the most to lose if the case went to the Supreme Court and risked a ruling they didn’t like.

That wasn’t the Kirbys — they were already getting nothing, so the Supreme Court deciding against them wouldn’t hurt them any.

But Disney/Marvel has billions on the line. They don’t want to risk losing that. Not even with a pro-business Supreme Court likely to rule for them. Because they’re not sure the Court would rule for them. Not with a bunch of people on the other side who make IP contracts their life — including one of the guys who helped write the 1978 Copyright Law. If that guy is saying, “No, no, it doesn’t work that way,” there’s too much of a chance that the Court will listen.

So my prediction is: All the public changes you see coming out of this are going to be favorable to the Kirbys. Probably the first thing you see will be creator credits. And the family’s going to suddenly be financially secure, like their father/grandfather wanted them to be.

What the “greedy heirs” morons don’t get is that this was a case with very important principles set off by the Copyright Law of 1976 regarding what is work for hire. As Kevin Melrose reports of a Law.com article, many issues remains undecided by the settlement, and it’s entirely possible that these will crop up again and the Supreme Court may yet hear such a case:

The Kirby heirs insisted the artist was an independent contractor who worked from home, provided his own supplies and received no benefits. However, he Second Circuit, using its frequently criticized “instance and expense” test, found that because Marvel assigned and approved projects and paid a page rate, Kirby’s contributions were indeed “for hire.”

The Kirbys took aim at the Second Circuit’s definition of work for hire in their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, which drew support from the likes of Hollywood guilds and a former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, demonstrating the potentially far-reaching ramifications of the dispute. However, the 11th-hour settlement announcement arrived just ahead of a Supreme Court conference on Monday to determine whether to review the case — meaning the Second Circuit’s finding stands.

So the gray area surrounding work for hire before 1978 remains, although experts say given that 56-year window — or 35 years for copyrights transferred after 1979 — it’s only a matter time before another case, more likely to involve a musician/songwriter than a comics artist, makes its way to the Supreme Court, requiring the justices to weigh in.

As Kirby family attorney Marc Toberoff told Law.com, “At some point there will be another case like this.”


While it seems unlikely from the outside that SCOTUS would ever have sided with the Kirby heirs, Marvel didn’t know, and a happy smiling settlement was vastly to everyone’s benefit.  And more to the point, there’s no such thing as secret in entertainment any more. As Joshua Riviera writes for EW:

One of the great things about modern pop culture isn’t just the wealth of content available, but the interest it has spurred in the creators behind it. Showrunners, once an invisible position in the broadcast era, are now at the forefront of fans’ minds when obsessing over TV. Similarly, the public perception of filmmakers has slowly evolved from the days of the monolithic studio system to accommodate directors and screenwriters and cinematographers and composers and VFX teams and crew. Comics have come a long way from the 60s, which saw Jack Kirby slowly become frustrated with the business that grew and endures to this day thanks in large part to his labors—now many comics are sold based on the strength of the people making them. But the way comics creators are credited in other media based on their work is often lacking.

Yet, things have changed a lot from the days when Marv Wolfman was barred credits of Blade, setting off a lawsuit he eventually lost and the current spate of copyright battles. Nowadays, one imagines, Marv would be saluted at the Hall H panel and trotted around to talk shows. While it’s pretty clear that you need to lawyer up to get your share of whatever pie — mini or maxi — may exist, Marvel/Disney has become more sensitive to the bad publicity of the starving creator railing against the corporation as he rolls around in his ratty sleeping bag from his stately cardboard box on the street.

And now some speculation from me. Given the fair-enough-to-shut-them-up treatment of Jim Starlin and the family of Bill Mantlo  over Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney and Marvel seem to be on a better path now. You can attribute that to the bad optics of the cardboard box creator, but I’m pretty sure most of the top brass at Marvel proper, including Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso, would wish to see creators fairly treated if it were within their powers. (The same was undoubtedly true of Paul Levitz and Jenette Kahn at DC.)

Given the huge, vocal and unending respect for the work of Jack Kirby by just about every creative type involved with all these “comic book movies,” I share the Busiek viewpoint that we’ll see more public inclusion of Kirby among the “Marvel founders.” Kirby always got acknowledgement in the credits of Marvel movies, but we could see more “created by” credits. Kirby could be inducted into the “Disney Legends” hall of fame type deal. Disney doesn’t do a ton to promote its actual creative people, but I’d expect to see Kirby enshrined as much as possible.

And now, here is my Torsten-like fantasy to end this. Maybe someday at Disneyland, as the Marvel character rides and characters and churros swirl, there could be a statue of Stan and Jack as they create the Marvel Universe as we first knew it. I’m not sure Jack would have really liked that, but the victors write history, and I’m pretty sure that Jack Kirby is a victor now.

seven things at disneyland that make d23s studio tour even more cool feat 1.1 Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we dont

9 Comments on Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we don’t, last added: 10/4/2014
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