This week I’m discussing a page from Fantastic Four # 63 (1967) on the HiLobrow site. Here is another great action page from that story. This entire FF # 63 book is terrific. I’d love to show you more of it — especially pages from the original 1967 printing, and the original art, since most of you probably have a reprint of this book made from an inferior stat with that garish coloring Marvel uses on the reprints. Maybe one day after the Disney-Marvel vs. Kirby lawsuit is over, Marvel might give us permission here at the Kirby Museum site to look at entire Marvel stories, or at least a significant chunk of a story. I tend to only look at 3 pages max of a 20 page story because that seems like the best way to look at the work under fair use laws in order to avoid violating Marvel’s copyright of the material. Ironic, because there are numerous websites and weblogs that frequently show entire Kirby stories, and they make money on advertising on their sidebars, but on a not-for-profit site like this one where we want to be respectful of Marvel’s copyright of the material, that means I have to be careful not to show too much of Jack’s art or risk incurring the wrath of the Marvel lawyers.
Then again, maybe Marvel wouldn’t mind if we ran whole stories here. I should email them and ask. My guess is they might not be in the most “Kirby-friendly” mood right now because of the lawsuit. My hope is that Disney-Marvel and the Kirbys reach some kind of fair settlement. It would be great to put this mess behind all of us and focus less on arguing about whether Jack was work-for-hire and spend more time celebrating his life and work.
I think Jack would have liked to see his children and grandchildren receive some of the mind-boggling profits Jack’s 60s Marvel creations are generating, and I simply like to see a happy ending, so I hope Disney-Marvel can figure out some way to work this thing out. It would be a sad day indeed to see Disney-Marvel a company that is such a huge, huge, positive part of so many million of lives, and so beloved by so many, squash Jack’s family like an ant and grind them into dust. I’d hate to see that kind of tragic ending to this chapter to the Jack Kirby story. But I’m optimistic. If anybody in the creative field ever deserved a fair-shake from a company like Disney-Marvel for the billions of dollars of intellectual properties he co-created and designed, and for the entertainment and inspiration he has brought to so many millions — it’s Kirby.