Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby’s birth. If you’ve never heard of him – and many haven’t then, you can head over to the link below to read what is a very good bio of the unknown king of comics.
Jack Kirby, working with Stan Lee, co-created and developed most of the Marvel Comics universe in the 1960s. At a time when Marvel published 8 comics a month, Kirby was usually drawing and plotting at least four of them. That’s about 100 pages a month. Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, the X-Men, Hulk, Fantastic Four were all Kirby co-creations, along with their attendant villains such as Dr Doom, Loki, Magneto and Galactus. Hell, he even created Bingo’s avatar.
And of course he never owned any of them. The bitter irony of his life is that, while working at a incredible pace (he was a Depression era kid), he developed characters that changed the industry, fired the imagination of so many and ended up filling today’s multiplexes. And all the while, he was working under a work for hire contract that assigned ownership of the characters to his publishers.