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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 123892
Posted: 25 February 2021 at 5:53pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Marvel did what they could to create work for Kirby, with the likes of MACHINE MAN and DEVIL DINOSAUR. But the shops and the fans weren’t there for him. All the work you saw was what they gave him.
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Jason Czeskleba
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Joined: 30 April 2004
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Posted: 25 February 2021 at 7:40pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Roy Thomas said (in an interview in Alter Ego #70) that he tried to get Kirby to come back and draw Fantastic Four, circa 1976.  Thomas offered a deal in which Kirby would plot and draw, receiving top billing in the credits (and pay for his writing), while Thomas would co-plot and write the dialogue.  Kirby countered that he would do it if Thomas would be sole plotter, and provide him detailed plots which broke the story down panel-by-panel.  Kirby was not willing to co-plot... if he wasn't the writer, he wanted to just be the art robot.  Roy Thomas was unwilling to do this so it didn't happen. 

Kirby felt that co-plotting (and working Marvel-style in general) invariably led to him doing too much of the work for too little of the credit/pay.  To the best of my knowledge, after leaving Marvel in 1970 he never worked Marvel-style again, with the one exception of the Silver Surfer graphic novel.

[edited to correct some details and cite the source of the anecdote from Thomas]




Edited by Jason Czeskleba on 26 February 2021 at 2:06am
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 2:14am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

All I know is that Stan's run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with John Romita Sr. is possibly the best comic series ever and I didn't really care for Kirby that much until I read his writer/artist 70's stint on CAPTAIN AMERICA which I thought then (as a 9-11 year-old kid) and still do is one of comic-dom's best.


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Jason K Fulton
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Joined: 23 September 2016
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 6:23am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I ended up picking this up, and I'm making my way through it. My feelings mirror Robert's feelings on the book - its not necessarily painting a flattering picture of Stan.

I'll note, the book did make mention of something I hadn't seen before - Ditko's dad was a cartoonist, so Ditko was the first "fan turned pro".
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 6:39am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I'll note once again something Peter Sanderson said, years ago. If Stan had left and Jack had stayed, who now would be deemed "Good Marvel Daddy", and who "Bad Marvel Daddy"?
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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 6:53am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

When I was a kid in the '70s, I liked Kirby art form the
'60s, but his art in the '70s had this really weird
shadow effect - it had been there in the '60s, but was
now turned up to 11.

The BLACK PANTHER image on the previous page illustrates
this perfectly. As an under 10 year old, I could not get
on with it. I appreciated it in my teens but that's
because I had matured.

Do I think Jack was mistreated by Marvel? Probably.
Do I think Jack was responsible for FF, Thor etc? In
part. Because clearly Stan Lee was also responsible in
his scripts.
likewise with other Marvel characters.

Does Stan Lee get too much credit? Probably

Does this make Stan Lee a bad man? I don't know, but I
certainly don't put him in the Bob Kane league.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 7:02am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Does Stan Lee get too much credit? Probably

••

Define "too much".

A reminder: Stan always gave credit to Jack and Steve. In fact, to cite but a single example, we all found out that I was Kirby who created the Silver Surfer when Lee described how it happened in ORGINS OF MARVEL COMICS.

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 7:21am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Very good point.

It seems to be that while the perception beforehand may
have been that Stan created everything, Stan changed that
perception there.

So it's become haul him over the coals regardless of the
fact that he put the record straight, and question his
motives for doing so.

Because in a partnership, someone always has to be the
villain it seems
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Even today, there are many fans who do not understand how the "Marvel Method"--plot, pencils, script--works, and so assume the writer is pretty much in charge of everything.*

In something bordering on irony, tho, those who do understand the "method" tend sometimes to attribute too much to the artist.

-----------------

* Which, I guess, is more or less the case these days.

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 8:37am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I still tend to think that the term 'Writer' when used
with Marvel Method was confusing.

Growing up, for me, writer meant the person who wrote the
thing and artist meant the person who drew the thing.

The terms Co-plotters, and separating out plot and script
elements make things so much clearer.

But Marvel method really did allow people to play to
their strengths. Why a writer should tell the visual
person how to break down the visuals is beyond me, but
that is clearly where we are now.
In some cases I can understand, when the writer sees
themselves as a director, but even then, they appear to
think in terms of moving images rather than static images
and visual page composition.

Even an art robot should be allowed to be the designer
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Michael Penn
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Joined: 12 April 2006
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

[quote]All I know is that Stan's run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with John Romita Sr. is possibly the best comic series ever...[quote]

This is all just matters of opinion and taste, of course, but I don't much like most of the issues where Ditko was listed as the plotter -- the art is amazing, but the stories never hit the right note for me. But when Romita teamed up with Stan Lee, I feel like this was a kind of return to form, not as great as the first two dozen ASM issues, but just excellent Spider-Man stories.

I realize some say that Ditko was the plotter from the beginning, but I don't know if that's true. Even if so, my own personal response to his last dozen issues is unchanged. But if it's not true, then Stan Lee deserves full co-equal credit for all those great issues, some of the best that have ever been made. 
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 26 February 2021 at 1:15pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I found Kirby's Eternals and 2001/Machine Man books in the late nineties... god dang, I love those books. They're as good as anything else he's ever done. So weird and BIG.
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