Steve Bissette Calls for Boycott of All Marvel’s Kirby Products

Since the summary judgment against Jack Kirby's heirs getting any payments from Marvel for his vast body of work, many, many, many opinions have been shared by anyone with a keyboard and 4-8 minutes. Making the rounds today is this post, written by Steve Bissette, known to many as an artist from Swamp Thing, but also many other comics over the last few decades. He is currently an instructor at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.

The short of it is that Bissette claims Marvel is outright wrong in profiting from Kirby's creations and making no restitution to his estate. They're not necessarily "legally" wrong, but the whole affair stinks of disrespect to a man who built their company into what it is. As such, he's calling for action, in the form of refusing to buy anything produced by Marvel, or their affiliates featuring a Kirby creation.

Here's what he says:

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



* This is step one, and something everyone who cares can do; but TELL your venue or retailer what you’re doing and why.

TELL THEM what you’re doing, and spend what you would have spent on Kirby-derived Marvel product on other product from other companies in their store.

If you’re rightly concerned with continuing to support your local retailers, which I hope you are, let them know what you are doing and spend the same $$ you spent on Marvel product on other product, in the same store: it will continue to support your retailer, but send a clear message to Marvel in due time. If you are honor bound to follow through the pre-orders you’ve made to date (i.e., paying for/buying Kirby-derivative product incoming for the next three months because you pre-ordered it or have it held for you), proceed honorably and accordingly, but cancel all subsequent orders and spend your money with the same retailer on other product.

Again, you won’t be denying your retailer income you, as a customer, provide.

Your dollars, your decision, will speak loudly.

The store will still earn your dollars, but you make your point.

Get creative.

Grow a spine.

* This goes for more than comic shops. One should also let the venue (comic shop, book shop, movie theater, Best Buy DVD display of superhero movies, etc.) KNOW what you’re doing, and why.

Look, they won’t care, first time they hear it, second time—they’ll think you’re crazy, likely as not—but hearing the same decision expressed again and again will eventually trickle up the chains of command.

Making clear what you are doing will cumulatively attract some attention, and since there’s no sense of shame possible to conjure for a major corporation, hitting back with dollars NOT spent will eventually send a message.

Beyond that, we’re all open for ideas, but above all—TAKE ACTION.

That would be quite a step to take for most comic readers today. Consider that in order to read mainstream comics, almost half the comics sold are from Marvel, and when you start picking out the books that have Kirby creations in them, it starts to get very slim indeed. Those superhero movies? Yeah, those are Kirby. I suppose you could go buy Elektra? I'm pretty sure you'd have to boycott Chris Evans entirely.

But a the same time, he's not wrong. It's not fair what happened to Jack, even if it's legal. Then again, that was a long time ago, and different people were running Marvel. Then again, Marvel spent a lot of cash fighting this lawsuit, and if they'd just given the Kirby clan that money instead of to the lawyers, it would probably help. It's honestly so hairy, I could see why you'd want to shut your eyes and ignore it. Should I avoid reading Jonathan Hickman's excellent FF stories because Marvel bullied Jack into signing a bad contract 50 years ago? Bissette thinks so, and while I really can't follow his call to action, I do get it.

Tom Spurgeon also spoke to the issue at The Comics Reporter. The long time blogger, who also wrote a book about Stan Lee, just doesn't like what he's seeing.

I do know that we live in a world where lottery winners will sometimes give money to the people that did nothing other than print their tickets, where fans will give money to someone if they express a need and do so based on the fact they benefited not to the tune of billions of dollars and enduring wealth for generations of their families but based on a satisfying artistic experience or series of them, where people routinely share their good fortune with others without a court telling them to do so — and all without trafficking in some heroic ideal as their stock in trade. None of this makes sense. It needs to matter more than it does.

I urge you to go read the full pieces by both Bissette and Spurgeon, and while I won't say to do what is being suggested, I would say it would be worth it for all of us to think about it, and figure out what's important to you, and as I've said before, learn from it. The story of Jack Kirby is a fascinating one. The story is one of tremendous inspiration and creativity, but also a pervading sense of sadness at how things went for the guy. He wasn't destitute, but when you think of the revenue juggernaut his works became to this very day, there does seem something wrong about it.


  1. I may just cut back on my Marvel purchases altogether and spend the extra money on DC or independent trades that I’ve been wanting to get to for a while. It seems like a more feasible action for most comic fans while still not giving Marvel the equivalent sales dollars. I just don’t really feel like it’s plausible for me to boycott everything Jack Kirby worked on… I may as well just boycott Marvel altogether. (However, that’s also an option if you’re really hardcore about it.)

  2. The rub would be that if people in deed did boycott Marvel books, they’d interpret that as the fans saying those books suck and they’d get cancelled, thusly screwing with the creators you love and books you are enjoying. Its kinda rare that consumer boycott’s really affect change especially when dealing with a mega corporation isn’t it?

    I do agree with Bissette’s sentiments, but i just don’t know what the fans could do. A massive protest of thousands at SDCC would have been the best way… 

  3. It reminds of me of when people were boycotting BP by not going to their gas station, which only hurt the local-owned little guys.  I’m not going to hurt my LCS by boycotting Marvel…just isn’t going to happen.

  4. Ya im going,to stop buying my favorite comics child please

  5. Yeah, no. I don’t know all the facts of the Kirby lawsuit, but I’m not going to stop buying the books I love because Kirby’s grandchildren aren’t getting money for the work of their grandfather.

  6. I only buy one Marvel book because the comments that Bendis and Brevoort make in regards to DC’s relaunch truly bothered me. That book is FF.
    I wanted to collect FF until the day I die, I am in love with the characters since the Millar run, and have purchased a significant amount of trades.  I love Hickman and what he’s trying to do to make comics better, but I know for a fact that he will find work other places, and actually, I’d kind of him rather work on his indie stuff.
    I was going to get the new Hulk book with Jason Aaron, who I truly love and think he’s the best writer in comics.
    I certainly won’t be picking up the Hulk book now.
    I don’t know if I’ll drop FF since there is so much emotional connection for me, but I’m honestly thinking about it due to Mr. Bissette’s post.

    All this “what can we buy at our store’s if we don’t buy Jack Kirby stuff?” How about the indie books that all aspire to be Kirby-like? Savage Dragon, Invincible, Walking Dead, Scalped, Fables, Hellboy – it may not seem like it, but everyone wishes they could be like Kirby, in their own ways. Every indie book wants to be great, a lot are, I think this is a perfect oppurtunity to support that.

  7. I love Jack Kirby, and I truly respect Steve Bissette, but I don’t think it’s going to help at all. If, that is, I agreed that Kirby’s heirs deserved any monetary compensation. Maybe Jack did, but I think that ship has long sailed.

  8. A broad-based boycott is very difficult to pull off. The impact tends to be spread out, so it isn’t noticed by the party you’re trying to make a point to.

    I have a more focused suggestion– What about getting together and agreeing to buy the next issue of “Kirby Genesis” instead of one specific Marvel title– Lets say, Avengers #18?

    If the movement gets traction, it’s a clear strategy to articulate, and Marvel will see the impact in dollars.

  9. nice, I’m going to walk across the bridge to the CCS right now and read my Avengers, Cap, X-Men, and Iron Man comics on the street in front in hopes that Steve notices. I’m making this joke simply because I’m probably the only one that can physically do that.

    In all seriousness, I feel like there is MUCH more to these characters than Kirby’s initial contribution. I am simply not going to discredit the work of those working on these characters now or in the many years since Kirby’s work.

  10. If we had to boycott all companies that didn’t adequately compensate their employers for their inventions/contributions we would need to live in a cave and hunt for food.

  11. Ooops, I meant employees.

  12. I’m down.

  13. yeah, no thanks.  I’m gonna go head and buy what I like.  I buy comics for my entertainment, not to prove a point

  14. I’m intrigued that Bisette suggests that all of the content is so meaninglessly interchageable that I would actually WANT to spend the same amount on products that I’m currently not buying and would be just as happy! Like my income exists to fund my LCS and not to buy entertainment products that I want. Weird…

  15. So let me get this straight i am supposed to boycott Marvel , for  a contract dispute that happen before i was born, and then turn around and give my money to DC( didn’t they screw over the creators of superman and still have a law suite against them?) Listen artist and writer were treated very poorly back then, some were smart to get better deals some were not,  but i will not punish  current artist and writers for bad busines deals that both major companies had practiced back then.

  16. The problem is that for me there aren’t many indie book I buy, not at least until it is collected in a trade format. And even the ones that are out there I am not in the least interested in them.

    Also not buying the books put a hurt on the current writers and artest working on Kirby’s co-creations the could result in cancelations. As much as I think Jack Kirby deserved the rewards for co-creating his characters he already has been long gone.

  17. I’m sure we could all encourage each other to boycott are employers because they don’t fairly compensate us. Life often is not fair, its unfortunate what happened to Kirby, but we should focus more on it not happening to current and future creators.

    Boycotting Marvel and putting good creators out of work doesn’t sound fair either.  

  18. I totally would boycott IF the money was supposed to be going to Kirby himself but Marvel refused. The logic is so faulty because the money is not going to Kirby, but his kids and heirs. Money is going to people who had nothing to do with the creation of something. My dad did some creative type of work for his employer, can I get money on that? Or should I do what he did, which is say that it’s respect that they’re still using your stuff. Kirby had great ideas, buy his stuff to show respect to the man and his legacy. 

  19. I respect the sentiment, but if fans stopped buying Marvel books simply because they hated Marvel’s practices, Marvel would have disappeared long ago. Not to mention, would this not put a lot of artists and writers out of work? Believe me, Kirby deserves all the credit we can give him, I just don’t think his grandchildren should get his money. I really, really wish he was around to fight this fight himself. I would love to see some of his cameos in the movies. But then, would he still be trying to get sole credit for the creation of those books, as well as credit for creating Spider-Man?

  20. Too bad no one will do this. Although making the other creators in Marvel suffer for this sucks too, but sometimes we need to make tough decisions. News like this makes me glad to not read any Marvel books, except for Mystery Men, which is ending soon anyway.

  21. I appear to be inadvertenly doing this buy severely trimming down my Marvel offerings as my only Marvel books come September are going to be X-Factor, Daredevil and Thunderbolts.

  22. you know, @MichaelJamesWheeler brings up a good point. does this boycott include Spider-Man material? because the Kirby heirs would have us believe that he co-created Spider-Man too. how inclusive is this?

  23. oh, but @PraxJarvin, X-Factor is a spin-off of X-Men, a Kirby creation, I think that counts.

  24. yeah, other than Uncanny X-Force, I guess i was already boycotting Marvel and didn’t even know it. I Must have precog abilities. Maybe I’M just a DC fanboy but Marvel really kinda sucks  lately. FF is good though.

  25. This is a big melodramatic overreaction on Bissette’s part.

    This isn’t even about Jack Kirby getting money. It’s about his heirs getting it. Big difference. Especially since Jack actually DID sign a contract which Marvel honored.

    So what’s the logic here? Can I sue my grandfather’s employers since, 50 years later, I think that they should have paid my grandfather more money, even though my grandfather agreed to work for the wage he was offered?

    If so, then everybody in the US should start suing every single employer (including the government!) that any of our ancestors used to work for. We can all say “You paid our ancestors an unfair wage, and even though our ancestors agreed to work for that wage and continued to work for that wage, uh…we’re going to sue you now.”

    The whole thing is madness. Jack Kirby was initially underrated but is now OVERRATED as far as his importance and contributions. Yeah, I said it. He was the most imaginative guy who ever worked in comics, but he can still be overrated, and he IS. This whole mythology about how Jack did EVERYTHING is simply a lie. Like it or not, Stan was there too and was the decisive factor in Marvel finding success in the ’60s. Marvel in the 60s WAS Stan Lee more than it was Jack Kirby. Like it or not, Stan was the face of the company and he organized EVERYTHING, including Jack Kirby’s time. He told Kirby NO on plenty of things, and he rejected Kirby’s design for Spider-Man. So all this bandwagon stuff about how great and underappreciated Jack Kirby was…yeah, there’s definitely something to be said there. Jack got the short-end of the stick. But it’d be just as unjust to give him more credit than he deserves, and it’d be just as ludicrous to give his heirs (who didn’t create ANYTHING) full credit for creations that Jack only CO-created or, in the case of Spider-Man, didn’t actually create at all (even though his heirs want to be paid for Spider-Man).

  26. I already don’t buy much Marvel stuff sooo….

  27. Dear Steve Bissette,

    I’m sure Jonathan Hickman, Dustin Weaver, Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Spencer, Sara Pichelli, Clayton Crain, Jason Aaron, Renato Guedes, Jeff Parker, Declan Shalvey, Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Elena Casagrande, Christos Gage, Sean Chen, Peter David, Emanuela Lupacchino, Fred Van Lente, Neil Edwards, Marjorie Liu, Phil Noto, Kano, Seth Peck, Roland Boschi, Paul Jenkins, and Mark Texeira all appreciate your generosity.

    What’s Your Latest Work and How Many Copies Would You Like Me To Buy?

    PS: And that’s just this week. 

  28. 1) The Kirby estate sued Marvel, not DC, but I don’t see DC offering them any proceeds off of Fourth World or Demon sales. Doesn’t that make DC just as big of bastards as Marvel? 2) Marvel has to prevent setting a precedent in this scenario or they risk losing a lot of money and property. Would people who like Marvel stories and characters want to see the House come down to prove a point? It’s crap the way things were done back then, but when the results of said methods have supported the company for almost 5 decades, proposing to undo them would be catastrophic.

  29. Let it go old man, let it go.

  30. ok i understand where you are coming from to a point, but you totatlly lost my support with this single line ……. “grow a spine” ….who do you think you are telling us to grow a spine what if we grow one and boycott all of your stuff Mr. Bissette let’s see if you like it …t i seriously doubt that you calling for us to grow a spine is going to help your cause … you should grow a spine and mind your own damn buisness instead of trying to put your two cents in and also you should have shown a little more class instead of being an ….well i think you can figure it out

  31. @BC1  Kirby did make royalties on the 4th World. That was one of the reasons he worked there. All those Super Powers toys in the 80’s helped him greatly.

  32. Kirby’s family can go and make their own money, Jack Kirby deserved more, but he signed contracts and made deals that gave away rights. 

    Boycotting Marvel though, there are a lot of artists and writers who would be fired and may have their reputations ruined for having sales tank, a comic book writer is only as good as their sales. Hell a boycott just might make them reboot the 616 and no one wants that.

  33. Never imagined it possible that such a great artist like Bissette was an opinionated country bumpkin with ridiculous views like this.
    Next I’ll discover that Bill Sienkiewicz is a psychopathic mercenary

  34. @BC1 Kirby jumped ship from Marvel on the basis that DC was offering him – at the time – better pay, better royalties and his own corner of the Universe to do with as he would (except for draw Superman.). He was a DC exclusive very late in his career, and might never had worked there if Marvel offered him the same deal.

    @Abirdseyeview True, true. I meant more in the vein that no one on the team is a Kirby Creation. I don’t really condone the protest as it seems like a good idea in spirit but it mostly punishes the wrong people in practice. I was pointing out that “Heh, I appear to be doing this anyway.”

  35. Yeah, like I’m going to miss Hickman’s FF.  I am a fan of Kirby’s work, but face facts: he was WORK FOR HIRE.  He knew he was work for hire. 

  36. I dropped alot of Marvel books because I dont like to pay 3.99 for the shit they been putting out lately.

  37. Kirby’s my favorite comic book creator of all time. It’s tragic that his estate isn’t making money off these properties, but it’s not illegal by any means. I’ve wrote and edited articles for many companies, but I do not own them. Work for hire is for hire. Kirby is hardly the only creator to have gone through this. It’s sad and maybe even unfair, but them’s the breaks.

  38. Like everyone else here, I too agree that what happened to Kirby sucks. But I’m not going to punish the current creators, in a niche industry that is already struggling, over a bad business deal made 50 years ago.

  39. So to be clear, im not meant to read some of my favorite comics because the man who partialy created them was mistreated by his employers years before i was born and his grand kids can’t make a buck off him now. Realy? I think im going to keep reading them, thanks tho.

  40. @PraxJarvin  I hear ya, man. It’s cool. I was just underscoring that Bissette said all “Kirby-derived” material. I think his proposal only leaves Namor stories. And only if they feature Namor fighting Nazis or some other faceless enemy. None of those recent stories with him fighting alongside an X-character even. Plenty of eligible Daredevil stories too. We have so many options to stick it to Marvel. Okay, that MIGHT be enough sarcasm from me tonight.

  41. As I understand it, according to international treaty, trademarks last the life of the artist plus seventy years.  That’s too long.  I can see an artist owning a trademark for life, but soon after his death, his work should lapse into the public domain and become part of the wider culture.  An artist’s children and grandchildren will enjoy the money their progenitor amassed, they don’t need to milk his intellectual property, as well.

  42. If Jack Kirby was still alive, I would actually consider this. I probably wouldn’t do it, but i would at least consider it. jack Kirby is no longer with us and he would not benefit at all from this. 

    If I stopped buying any comics Marvel put out that are Kirby derived, i would HURT the creators who currently produce those comics and are relying on the sales of those comics to survive FAR MORE than i would help the Kirby estate.

    I love comics. I have loved comics since i was 3 years old. A lot of the comics I love were either done by jack kirby, or based on Kirby creations. My respect for kirby is immense. But sadly, the man is dead. I’m not going to hurt the creators making comics today to make a stand for a man who is no longer with us, no matter how much i admire his work.

  43. I find this sort of idealistic, idiotic psuedo-symbolic hogwash inexpressibly irritating coming from grown people. You don’t want to give any money to acompany because it’s doing things you find objectionable? I have some bad news about everything you watch, eat, drink, and wear. Your favorite show is produced by a defense contractor, and half of the food in your cupboard was sold to you by a tobacco company. Is it great? It is not. But feel free to join the rest of us on planet Earth any time now, you bearded child.

  44. Jack got paid for his work. Money, not gum. So his grandkids want a cut of the pie, everybody does.
    Cant biycott my favorites, it will hurt the guys on those books now.

  45. @MichaelJamesWheeler @ABirdseysView i think general consensus would have us believe that spiderman was stan and ditko so he would still be in the game.

  46. @thebarron  No, see we all know that. But since Kirby’s heirs are trying to claim Spider-Man was one of Jack’s creations, based on the thrown out designs he did before Ditko. So, I’m just wondering if Spider-Man falls under this boycott umbrella which is meant to encourage a platform which includes these falsities. If I were to describe “Kirby-derived material”, I would not include Spider-Man. But Bissette is talking crazy-talk, so who knows what he intends for his hypothetical boycotters to do.

  47. And one other point; why did the Kirby’s lose this case? Because they were right and Marvel was wrong but the whole justice system conspired to screw them? Or maybe they lost because, as a simple matter of law, they were seeking something to which they simply aren’t entitled? In which case, the suggested boycott would also be unfair to Marvel, as a matter of fact.

  48. @jimski Whilie I disagree with the idea of this boycott, i disagree more with your petty namecalling of an industry veteran like Steve Bisette. You say his views are idiotic, and he’s nothing more than a bearded manchild? Really? Grow up. Or better yet, the next time you decide to chastise a community member or make fun of them for posting an overly negative comment (which you seem to do a lot), look in the mirror.

    at least Steve Bisette’s actions, though misguided, are based on actual meangful topics like creators rights and restitutions. What was your last champioining cause? Making sure everyone knew that Fear Itself wasn’t that bad, ya’ll. Bisette could only hope to such aspirations.

  49. @Jimski: Well put. Thank you. Couldn’t’ve said it better meself.

  50. Man maybe I’m just a cynical, black hearted libertarian, but I don’t get the whole “I’ll follow what my contract says… unless I become sucessful. Then I think I should be except to what I signed.” Marvel might’ve handled it a little differently just from a good will perspective, but that law was on their side.

    But aside from what I think about how he was treated himself, I particularly don’t buy much into legacy rights. Our country is squeezed so tightly by copyright, trademarks and patents… give the rights to creators, sure. But if all was right with the world it would end there.  (*grumble, grumble disney, grumble, grumble*)

  51. @jerome  I didn’t say he was nothing more than a bearded manchild. He could be way, way more than that. You guys keep at it; you’ll show that windmill yet!

  52. I’m not going to partake, I’m a coward.

  53. idiotic heirs do NOTHING for the characters that their father/grandfather created before they were born expect a big check? kirby’s kids and sigel’s kids need to calm the hell down before their greed messes with comics in an irrepairable way.

  54. @Jimski  I hope you realize that writing an article that tried to look at Fear Itself and Secret Invasion in a reasonable, rationale way devoid of hyperbole is a sin that will never be lived down and the internet community will throw it in your face for the rest of your life. 

  55. I have no interest in giving up things I love so that Marvel will be forced to pay people money for something they had nothing to do with.

  56. @Jimski said everything perfectly in his first comment.

  57. This is getting ridiculous.  Kirby’s grandkids don’t deserve anything more than physical propety that hasn’t already been sold by the estate.  It seems more disrespectful to Jack’s memory to cast off the characters and worlds he spent decades of his life creating and exploring by not buying the books than to support his heirs.  Bottom line:  If they didn’t directly work on it, they’ve earned nothing and should be thankful for what they get already. Jack grew up during the depression and was forced to learn the meaning of a dollar, the meaning of a days work, I don’t know how these people support themselves, but in my mind, Jack would be a little less than proud to see them piggybacking off the sweat from his brow, the long hours he spent at the drawing board and the heart and soul he put into his creations.  If Jack was still around, I absolutely believe that he should get his fair share, just like Stan does but now that he’s gone, all we’ve got left of him are a lifetime of great work and a monumentous number of pop culture icons that will not soon be forgotton.  

    Support Jack by enjoying the heroes and stories he cultivated, not by paying off his grandkids. 

  58. At the risk of alienation, I’d like to point out that people are fairly quick to throw Kirby’s family under the bus. From my reading on it, and I’ve read quite a lot, it was really important to Jack that he get the respect and appropriate compensation for his hard work, so that he could support his family, even after his passing. It’s what Jack wanted, and maybe, part of what they’re doing is honoring that just a little bit.

  59. How about all the creators who have ever written, drawn, inked, colored, edited, acted in, directed, produced, or manufactured a Marvel-based Kirby creation start a trust for the Kirby family?

    Creators have benefited more from Kirby’s creations than we ever have.

  60. Boy there is a lot of snark being tossed around and some downright mean spirited things being said about/towards Mr. Bissette, The Kirby’s and some of our fellow forum members.  I don’t understand all of the venom.

    Money sure does crazy things to people.

  61. I know this is a little off topic, but Steve Bissette is totally wearing a sweet Buster Keaton shirt in that picture.  It rules. 

  62. There are many innaccuracies in both the facts and the logic of many of the posters here, but they have made up their minds, i only hope anyone interested actually reads Bissettes post, and more importantly reads about the Kirby case and youll see a few things that

    This isnt about getting out of a contract, or getting damages for past wrong. the law says creators of a work made prior to 1976 are entitled to have the rights revert back to them. Thats the law. And its also morally right, as it means creators CAN enjoy the fuits of their efforts in the long run, after Someone else has made plenty of money from it. The case is about whether jack is legally considered the creator for the purposes of the copyright. There is no evidence of who did what, only what Stan says and what Jack says. Stan testified his side, Jack couldnt, so Mark Evanier told Jack’s side. the judge threw out Evanier’s testimony because he wasnt privy to the conversation in person, and considered it heresay. Not because what he said wasnt true, but because it didnt meet the criteria for evidence in a court of law. Another judge could just as easily allow it on appeal. Or may find Stan’s testimony less credible, as he has told a great many stoies over the years which werent quite true.

    When someone dies, their family gets their property, unless otherwise specified. This is the law and also one of the oldest of human traditions. Intellectual property is no different. Jack wanted his children to benefit from his hard work. Thats being a good parent. Jack gets to decide who gets his stuff, not you, me or anyone else. And certainly his family should be more entitled to benefit than the people at Marvel. No one there had anything to do the creation of these characters. This isnt even the same company. the company that jack did business with was sold to Cadence Industries, then to New World Entertainment, then to MacAndrews & Forbes Holding which took it public (and gutted it, borrowed money against it, cashed out the stock and ran before it went bankrupt) and then Disney bought controlling stock. The people who own the intellectual property now are far more removed from the creation than the Kirbys.

    Bissette saw what he thought was an injustice and asked people to do something about it even though he knew it wouldnt happen, and probably knew that it would only bother people. But he did anyway, because it was the right thing to do. This makes him the bad guy? Apparently some people didnt read their superhero comics close enough as they seem to have missed the whole part about right and wrong. Bissette basically asked people to do the right thing, and apparently doing the right thing is less important to most than being entertained. Rather than cop to willfully being in the wrong, people lash out defensively. If you choose to do something for yourself over others you are selfish. if you cant admit that, you are selfish and dishonest.

    If you dont want to boycott, fine don’t. But to attack Bisette and the Kirbys like this is petty and ignorant.

    Now go ahead and attack me

  63. @josh  I know exactly what you’re saying. The whole reason Kirby gave away a lot of his long-term rights was because he needed money right then and there to support his family, who he was very devoted to. It’s one of the reasons to admire the man outside of his artistic creativity. It’s a slippery slope: Kirby was bullied into giving his family’s long-term security to pay for the roof over their heads and the food on their table in the present time. It’s a horrible situation for Kirby to be put in. Who knows what any of us would do in the same situation at that time.

  64. @abstractgeek  I know you said to attack you, but I just cant, because you wrote such a great, intelligent, post. Nicely done. Very well said.

  65. I submit that if you agree with bisette, maybe it would be better to send money to Kirbys family instead of trying to hurt disney/marvel. They are a huge corporate entity that has already shown where they stand. They know any boycott will eventually lose steam. Instead of focusing on punishment, focus your energy on helping out those who appear to be the victims

  66. @abstractgeek I’m sure that I don’t see this as a matter of moral right and wrong as you put it, where, in your view, Steve Bisette is defending “right”and therefore by extension anyone with a contrary view is taking the side of “wrong.” As a simple matter of fact, the courts found that as a matter of law the Kirby family’s claims were legally unsupportable and therefore legally speaking “wrong.” Evanier’s testimony is necessarily heresay as he can’t be sufficiently cross examined or probed since he’s only repeating what he told versus telling what he knows to be true. That’s not my wrong opinion, it’s just the fact of the matter. And to say that the people at marvel today didn’t create the characters is true, but the current value of the characters commercially has more to do with recent business activities than it does with Jack Kirby. And certainly his heirs have done nothing to increase the commercial value of these properties. Without Marvel’s investments, Kirby’s ideas would still be just that; ideas. To suggest that Marvel hasn’t established their equity in these ideas is very simplistic.

  67. Another boycott. Goody. 
    I don’t like them and won’t participate in them. Unless it’s boycotting heirs and estates who suddenly want to benefit from the work of people that have been dead for years. Sorry, (not really) I know it isn’t popular to oppose the heirs but enough is enough.
    Back in those days being a comics creator was not something you were proud of. Chances are the families weren’t proud of the work being done.
    Also, and this really applies to the Seigel and Shuster leeches…I mean ‘heirs’…the publishers took a HUGE gamble on these characters. There was never any guarantee that the Fantastic Four or Superman or Silver Surfer or any of these characters would be popular. The publishers could have just as easily lost their hats publishing them.
    Were the creators mistreated? Probably. It was a different industry then. We need to learn from the past, not dwell on it every time the heirs run out of money and demand some reward for something they had no hand in creating.
    I’m just vastly tired of these stories and these people. Why and how anyone thinks they should benefit, in any way, from what was essentially a huge gamble that paid off is beyond me. 

  68. I hope one day realize
    I have posted my distaste for IP inheritence on this website before, but the fact is, people inherit all sorts of property in this world and it is only fair in the context of this system. The real problem is that the court has decried that Jack Kirby’s estate doesn’t have any right to these characters because he did not create these characters, based on Stan Lee’s testimony.

    I’ll quote @AbstractGeek: “If you dont want to boycott, fine don’t. But to attack Bisette and the Kirbys like this is petty and ignorant.”

  69. No Jimski what you said was he was an idiotic child.

    I know that Marvel is legally within their rights, and that Kirby made some bad decisions with contracts.
    But withought Lee and Kirby there simply wouldn’t be this company to generate billions.
    Anyone going to work today would be offered profit sharing or stock options, Lee and Kirby were victims of tat time.
    So legally Marvel is covered – is it right?
    NO- no it isn’t.
    I find it kind of sickening the almost Fox news attitude so many have taken on this and commenting on Bissette- is what he is proposing really feasible?  Probably not- but atleast he is trying to do what he thinks is right- and ridiculing the man for taking a stand is just assuaging your own guilt for not doing it yourself because it’s too inconvenient or unattractive for You to do so in all the myriad of compomises we make every day as consumers.  We sell out every day and this is one thing that one man believes in perosnally- I don’t really think that is something we should take such delight in making fun of.

    Marvel is legally right- but should anyone feel Good about this?

  70. @ericmci  Here’s the thing that got me; he’s a guy who follows comic book news and writes for a comic book site and yet he couldn’t be arsed to read up on the issue. That’s the internet right there, Why be informed and intelligeble when you can be snarky and ignorant?

  71. @JohnVFerrigno dammit i was hopin for a fight and you have go and be nice and complimentary, dammit! well played sir 🙂

    @rwpos  no one is questioning the legal logic of the decision. Evanier testimony is heresay, and it cant be cross examined, but that doesnt make it inaccurate, only inadmissable. Theres are rules of evidence i get that, and while it does mean the guilty go free from time to time, it also means many innocent dont go to jail too. its not a perfect system and no one including bissette is calling for a protest of the ruling. The Kirbys took it to court and failed. they didnt have the evidence. maybe it changes on appeal. maybe not, thats why there is an appeals process.

    The wrong in question is Marvels treatment of Kirby over the years and their failure to compensate Jack for his work. As bisette points out in his post (seriously did anyone read hs post) that he was paid more for his involvment in the creation of constantine when the contantine movie was made, than jack got for any of the marvel movies. denny oneil, and neal adams and others have been compensated by DC even though DC legally didnt have to. They did it because it was the right thing to do. Marvel has done wrong but they did so within the law (and please dont tell me you think what is legal is automatically what is right, i hate to break out the cliche but slavery was legal too) so the legal recourse didnt work. But pressure from consumers has created change. Bisettes sites the example of the batgirl fan who convinced got a lot of attention directed to dc and they seem to have caved, we will see.

    Also my comments about Marvel were in response to the idea that the kirby estate didnt create the characters so why should they benefit. I asked that this logic be applied to marvel. The marvel that exists today is not the marvel that took a chance on those characters. They arent the marvel that did some rather daring things and changed comics. they are a company that bought stock, from the ashed of a company that damn near destroyed the comics industry, The connection between kirby and his heirs is closer than the connection between goodmans marvel and disneys marvel. And i have to disagree with the assertion that the value of the characters has more to do with the current than with jack. Jack’s contribution to the marvel universe was fro 1961 to 1969. More of Marvels key characters were created in that time than in the 40+ years since. If the success is about Marvels business decisions then why have they been unable to make anyone other than Wolverine a consistently successful character. And while many have contributed to those characters, many doinig what i consider superior runs on those characters, all of them did so standing on jacks shoulders, and few of them have done stronger work on things they created.

  72. @Zarathos81  Jack WAS proud of geing a comic artist, as was his family. The art community may have looked down on it, as did the public, but jack always believed in this medium. Even when hollywood came a callin and paid much more. he went back to comics, because its what he loved to do.

    and the publishers did not take a huge gamble on the characters. Marvel at the time was in the business of imitating what was successful. and thatw hat the ff was to them. The flash sold, green lantern sold, then justice league sold even better so Marvel took the HUGE gamble by saying. hey thats selling for them it will probably sell for us. Even then they played it safe and the first FF is all about Giant monsters and a scientist and his girlfriend. not very far removed from the monster books they were publishing. marvel published 8 books, that was the plan, that was their limit. They would publish 8 books, if it wasnt the FF it would have been another monster book. Marvel didnt take risks until after they saw there was a market for it. again not very risky.

    as far as superman goes, there was no risk at all. DC had passed on superman as did everyone whjo saw it. They were going to print on Action and they needed content asap to fill the 64 pages. Superman came off the reject pile. There was no vision, no risk, they didnt beleieve in the property, they just needed to fill pages. they got lucky. And got a ton of money out of it. Hardly a HUGE risk.

    This is the history of this medium folks. It benefits all of us to learn it.