The 20th Century Danny Boy blog has posted several depositions in the latest Marvel Comics v. Jack Kirby lawsuit.
I had first read about how Jack Kirby was suing Marvel Comics in The Comics Journal back in the 1980’s. He wanted to get his artwork back from the company where he had worked for many years. Marvel had stated that it was a work-for-hire contract and Kirby wasn’t entitled to the work he created for them. Eventually, over 1900 pages of artwork was returned to Kirby before his death in 1994, but that was less than 25% of what he’d produced for them.
At the time, he had stated that he either created or co-created a number of core Marvel Universe characters including Captain America, Silver Surfer, X-Men, Thor, Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and a score of others. He was just looking to get his work back from his former employer.
Recently the Jack Kirby Estate (his family) has brought a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment/Disney, Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures in order to reclaim copyright ownership of the characters created by Jack Kirby. They hired lawyer Marc Toberoff to represent them. Toberoff was recently successful in obtaining the full rights to Superman’s origins for Siegel and Schuster, the creators of Superman.
For those interested in reading the depositions, they offer an insight into how things were done back during the Golden and Silver Ages of comics. Who are we to believe? That’s for the judge to decide.
I wonder why Kirby’s Estate would decide to bring this issue up now. Is it purely for monetary gain? Is it for the recognition of his creativity and fantastic worlds he has created? The fans and industry at large already know the immense contribution he has made to the world of entertainment. There are many questions that can be asked, but few that may ever be honestly answered. Either way, enjoy the following links containing the texts of the depositions.