From: Mike Gartland

Thanks to Kirby historian Mike Gartland for sending in this email on the Kirby/Lee authorship debate:

Mike Gartland:

Hi Rob, If it helps any, I have an old fanzine called “Excelsior” by a fellow named Sal Caputo and someone called Kizer, circa 1968. In it these guys interview Lee & Kirby; seperately it appears. The following is quoted from the Lee interview:

Q: “Who conceived the FF? You or Jack?”

Lee: “Both — ‘Twas mainly my idea, but Jack created characters visually.”

A question for Kirby goes as follows:

Q: “Do you plot the Fantastic Four stories by drawing the basic story and then having Stan write the dialogue?”

Kirby: “This is Stanley’s editiorial policy. As a Marvel artist, I carry it out.”

Q: “Who created The Inhumans, you or Stan?”

Kirby: ” I did.”

On that chapters thing: might bring up the fact that AF 15 is done in chapters too; even though Jack didn’t draw it, it could be argued that this is a clue to him being in the plotting stage as the story is laid out in his style of storytelling, you’ll notice that, although there were stories by others in Marvel running from 7 to 13 to 18 pages or more, only Kirby broke his down into chapters or “parts”.

Jack finally ended this around the time of FF 14, the story starts w/part 1 but there are no other parts in the story.

I asked Mike if he would mind making scans of the fanzine and sending in in so we could all read it. He was nice enough to do that for all of us and I’ll post it tonight.

Mike Gartland wrote a great series of articles called “A Failure to Communicate” for The Jack Kirby Collector comparing Jack’s directions to Stan Lee in the margins to the text Lee added to Jack’s art. I don’t think the first two parts are online, but TwoMorrows has Parts 3 – 5 at their website. I encourage all of you to read these articles. Even if you read them in the past, they are still a terrific example of solid comics scholarship and worth reading again.

A Failure To Communicate: Part Three

A Failure To Communicate: Part Four

A Failure To Communicate: Part 5