1987 August 28 – Jack Kirby interview (partial)

I included the YouTube audio of this interview from Kirby’s 70th birthday in my post on the Kirby Museum home page blog last  year acknowledging his 94th, although somewhat buried at the end of the post. Why buried? Well, listen, and/or read. It’s a partial recording (now with transcript below) of a radio interview on WBAI in New York, on Robert Knight’s Earthwatch, with Warren Reece, Max Schmid, and call-in guest Stan Lee. Thanks to J. J. Barney for adding the audio tape to the Museum’s archives.

Good news! Soon after this partial transcript was posted, Barry Pearl posted a complete transcript over at comicbookcollectorssclub.com. – Rand

REECE: …with the Red Skull on it and they came up on in the middle of Ebbets Field and wrecked it, I know you were a Dodgers fan.

KIRBY: <laughs> Yes, I was! I wasn’t a rabid baseball fan, but I went to the games often with friends. And I loved the Dodgers because, well, they’ll always be a colorful team for me. It’s a personal thing, of course. As for the Red Skull, I was growing up. It was a period and I was growing up and I finally asked myself, “Why am I making this Red Skull so evil? Why is he such a bad guy?” And I felt there was a story behind that… behind the Red Skull. And I began to think of him as a person.

REECE: mm-hmm.

KIRBY: And remember, in my early years, he was merely just a villain.

REECE: He had no origin, at first. You gave him characterization, deeper characterization in the Sixties.

KIRBY: Well, I gave him deeper characterization because, well, I was growing up and questioning myself. Remember, I’m a child of my own times.


KIRBY: I was questioning my own times.

REECE: One of the… just as a footnote, one of the objects, one of the grails, you might say, in Captain America and the Red Skull during the Sixties, was an object called the cosmic cube, and I’m sure you must be aware, hopefully with some pride, that now in the field of artificial intelligence and parallel computer processing, and new approaches to computing, that one of the new computing devices that is based on massive parallel structure, is called the cosmic cube.

KIRBY: Well… I mean, it flatters me for you to make the connection. But, however, I‘m sure it’s a technical term today, whereas yesterday, as far as, you know, where storytelling is concerned, it was, I think, a wonderful keystone for many, many good stories. So, I used the cosmic cube as I would use any other gimmick on which to base five or six stories. Or maybe more. The cosmic cube, to me, was certainly a part of the mystery which we’re still trying to solve. “What is there out in space?” and the many other questions that come with it, “Are we the only form of life? If there is life out there, what kind of life will we find?” and the cosmic cube is that clue. It’s that little clue, maybe, left behind in the human mind. Somewhere in the human mind, that question is important. And it was important to me because, well, I was doing that sort of thing. So it became important to me and, therefore, I created the cosmic cube. Probably, it was material from the same fountainhead from which I was asking questions.

KNIGHT: Speaking of cosmic parallelepipeds, this is Earthwatch on WBAI in New York. My name is Robert Knight, here with Warren Reece, celebrating the 70th birthday of Jack Kirby, live on this air. Also with us in the studio is the producer of The Golden Age of Radio here, Max Schmid.

MAX SCHMID: Hi, Jack. Hello. I’ve been sitting in on this conversation, and one or two questions have occurred to me. We’re discussing now the war years of the Forties, and you’ve been saying that you write, very often, to explore your own feelings and thoughts about things, but what market did you feel you were writing for? We consider today, or the general thought is, that comic books are for children was that the thought at the time did you feel you were writing basically for a children’s audience?

KIRBY: Oh, that was not true at all. I was writing for everybody. I was exploring everybody. I wanted to know about everybody. And I’m still doing that today. I, as I said before, people were always important to me. I wanted to know more about them And creating those stories, I was exploring people. And I was exploring the questions that people ask. I was exploring my own self in own reality. And I’m still doing that today

REECE: Got some follow ups on that in a minute, specifically about your years doing the science fiction stories about the aliens. But I just had a couple more quickies about your work on Cap. When you did the covers of Captain America #7 and Young Allies #1, I have line art from house ads that show that they were re-done. The changes that were made on the cover of the Young Allies made sense; the Allies characters were made larger and Joe Stalin was omitted from the cover presumably because the non-aggression pact with Hitler fell through, and he became one of the Allies. But on the cover of Captain America #7, which prominently featured the Red Skull on the inside, the figure of the Red Skull cutting a spiked ball down over Betty Ross was changed on the cover to look like an ordinary Nazi. That’s always been a mystery to me and I was wondering if you can clarify anything about that, Jack.

KIRBY: Well, I can’t recall, you know, that particular issue. I can’t recall it well, today. I’d have to take more time than you give me to define it. However, I can tell you that whatever I drew there made sense to me at the time, and they reflected the times. I can’t recall the particular story. However, if I drew Betsy Ross doing that, it was an essential part of the story and something to keep the reader interested. And it never meant anything more than that.

REECE: And let’s just flip up through… I noticed the early Caps from 1941 and 1942 smacked of your influences of film. The characters and the stories seem to be involved often with movie-making or using projection techniques. but I also noted that some of the costuming, for example, in one story that you did with Ivan the Terrible, very authentically Russian. Were you influenced by any of Sergei Eisenstein’s films, like Alexander Nevsky? Just the overall use of film type characters in Captain America; the Phantom Hound of Cardiff Moor, which was like the Hound of the Baskervilles, the Hunchback of Hollywood, all these things.

KIRBY: Well, I can tell you that you’ve said it all for me. I‘m a movie… I always was and I always will be a movie goer. Essentially, what I’ve always done was a kind of a still movie. It was the reason I dropped editorial cartoons to do comic strips, because comic strips gave me more room to do a movie. And when the comic strips became limited, I did comic books because they gave me more room to do a movie. And I suppose, I‘m probably the type that will probably work on an endless movie, which I’ll never finish, I suppose. But essentially, that’s what I’ve always tried to do. I’ve tried to, from my very early years, I’ve been an inveterate movie goer, and still am, and I love the medium. So, when I draw, and what I’m still doing, it’s part of that particular orientation.

REECE: Uh huh. Also, in that time, in Captain America #7, you had a villain who was called the Toad in the story, wore a bat like costume. But I caught something on the contents page, Jack, and he was called the Bat there. Was anybody worrying about troubles with the Batman people at the time?

KIRBY: Oh, everybody was always worrying about something, I can tell you! <laughs> I never tried to get too close to anybody’s costume. However, I tried to do the kind of character that was being done at the time. Remember, at that time, everybody was thinking alike. Superheroes resembled each other in one way or another. However, we did our best to make them as different as possible.

REECE: Up to the foundations of the Sixties, around 1959 you started doing a lot of these wonderful stories about monsters, which I found coincided with the release of a lot of the classics on Channel 9 here in New York; King Kong, Son of Kong, Godzilla. And then you got into these won… some of my favorite things were about these aliens, for example, the electronic giant, the Blip, who was really a benevolent alien enraged by human savagery. Please comment, Jack, on your use of the monster. Of course, the monster is either the benevolent being or else the misunderstood monster, which is the foundation of the Hulk and the Thing and characters with which the public is all the more familiar today.

KIRBY: Well I don’t think that monsters are ever mysterious. Monsters in human or inhuman form are living things with problems which vex them sorely in some way. And therefore, they’re inevitably involved in some sort of conflict, in which anybody can get hurt. I don’t think monsters zero in on anyone in particular, and I think that’s why they’re generally pitied more than feared. And I felt the same way about them. I felt that monsters in some way had problems.

REECE: Yes. Let’s get right into the Marvel days now, and the Fantastic Four. The powers of the Fantastic Four, with which everyone is already familiar, seem to be reflections of the personalities of each of them. Would this be some manifestation, had the mind that held them together during a cosmic accident that should have disintegrated them, subconsciously guided the instability of their selves, their molecules, to produce this monster that was the gruff Ben Grimm, this totally flexible man who had the totally flexible mind, this hot-headed teenager who literally becomes a hot head, and, in the pre-Women’s Lib days, the defensive female who had the invisibility to hide, and then later the invisible barrier. Were these manifestations of the personalities, Jack?

KIRBY: Well, I think they were manifestations of my own. And they were manifestations of the times. Remember, these were… we were absorbed with the possible and catastrophic results of radiation. Remember, we didn’t know how radiation would affect anybody. Being involved in the sale of comics, I used it in that manner. To sell comic books. I used it in as entertaining way as possible. Psychologically, whatever characters emerged were possibly the way I personally would imagine them.

REECE: Yeah, for example Dr. Doom would seem to show how evil, and indeed even nobility, could come out of the mistreatment of a human being. Or the Hulk, who was the misunderstood monster. Maybe you could talk with us just for a couple of minutes about the genesis of the Hulk, of Dr. Doom, of a few of your, gee everything by you seems a major creation, to me. But you know what I mean, just talk about…

KIRBY: There are Dr. Dooms and Hulks in all of us. If you read every one of your news stories, if you read any dramatic news story, you’ll find there were human beings involved. And you know as well as anybody else, that there have been some pretty weird news stories in our times. And yet, human beings are involved in them. And when you dissect the stories themselves, you’ll find that they’re not really dramatic at all. That the most dramatic part about them was, that inside the human being, there is some sort of problem that we’re constantly trying to solve. And I felt that my villains, as well as my heroes, were human beings, and therefore, could have very bad problems. I had a villain called Dr. Doom and Dr. Doom had a severe problem. He was a perfectionist. And perfectionists never solve their problems. It’s a belief of my own, that none of us can be perfect. And if you’re a perfectionist, you’ve got an inner conflict that can never be solved.

KNIGHT: This is Earthwatch on WBAI, I’m Robert Knight, here in the studio with Warren Reece, and with Jack Kirby live on the phone, celebrating his 70th birthday. And now comes a question about one of my favorite Marvel comics, Spider-man, who was not exactly neurotic but had enough problems to have justifiably been so. How in the world did Spider-man come into being?

KIRBY: Well, if you had been a Spider-man… <laughs> Spider-man was also a creature of radiation. Another version of that type of situation creating a hero instead of a villain. And so Spider-man became a hero. He dealt with his own conflict in a very heroic manner, and he still does today. I think Spider-man is a lesson for all of us. That no matter what our problem is, it’s our problem. And if we make a heroic effort, we could possibly… we possibly may not solve it, but we can live with it. And Spider-man lives with his problem.

REECE: (A quick follow up on that) Jack, you were involved, I know, creatively at the genesis of Spider-man…


…and then legend has it, that you, of course, making everything so much bigger, better and more wonderful than life, Stan wanted him to look like the guy in the street. and therefore Steve Ditko did the interiors, but I know they used some of your covers. Maybe you could clarify for us, though I know how modest you are, try to solve for us without hurting anybody, some of the mystery of your involvement at that time in the genesis of Spider-man in Amazing Fantasy 15. Then, of course, it departed and went another way, but you were there at the beginning. Please tell us about it Jack.

KIRBY: Well, I can tell you that I was deeply involved with creating Spider-man. I can’t go any further than that, really, because there’d been so many variations and different things done with Spider-man, but I can tell you at the beginning, I was deeply involved with him.

KNIGHT: Well, let’s turn then, to the environment, which may be equally as important, the environment out of which Spider-man was created. Of course, you were involved in the historic partnership with Stan Lee at Marvel. So, what was the working environment like there? How was it different from the other companies? What was the Merry Marvel Marching Society like?

KIRBY: Well, it wasn’t… it wasn’t… well, I didn’t consider it merry. I considered it very… well, in those days, it was a professional type thing. You turned in your ideas and you got your wages and you took them home. It was a very, very simple affair. It’s nothing that could be dramatized or glorified or glamorized in any way. It was a very, very simple affair. I created the situation and I analyzed them. I did them panel by panel. I did everything but put the words in the balloons. But all of it was mine, except the words in the balloons.

REECE: But Jack, what about these legendary story conferences of you and Stan, or Stan and whomever, acting the stories out, in the office, jumping up on the desks and so forth, making things considerably more lively than when it was just an office consisting of Stan and Fabulous Flo Steinberg, having people stick their faces in the door, from Magazine Management, going, “Hurry up, little elves, Santa will be coming soon!”

KIRBY: Uh, I’d have to disagree with that. It wasn’t like that at all. It may have been like that after I shut the door and went home.

KNIGHT: <laughs> Well, listen! We’re going to open a door, a very special surprise door, Jack. And let me mention, this is Earthwatch on WBAI in New York. I’m Robert Knight, here with Warren Reece, also with Max Schmid in the studio, and we’re speaking with Jack Kirby, live. And now, we could announce the special surprise guest that we have for tonight’s program. Your colleague in arms, Stan Lee! Good morning, Stan!

LEE: Hi, how are you doing?


LEE: I just… I want to wish Jack a happy birthday. This is a hell of a coincidence. I’m in New York, and I was tuning in the radio, and there I hear him, talking about Marvel, and I figured I might as well call and not let this occasion go by without saying, “Many happy returns, Jack.”

KIRBY: Well, Stanley, I want to thank you for calling. I hope you’re in good health and I hope you stay in good health.

LEE: I’m doin’ my best! and the same to you! You know, you were talking earlier about your drawing and people sometimes criticized your figures, and so forth. I always felt that the most important thing about your drawing was, I remember when I was a kid and I first saw Captain America, it wasn’t the correctness of the anatomy, but it was the emotion that you put in. To me, nobody could convey emotion and drama the way you could. I didn’t care if the drawing was all out of whack, because that wasn’t important. You got your point across and nobody could ever draw a hero like way you could. And I just want to say, without getting too saccharine, that one of the marks, I think, of a really true, great artist, is he has his own style. And you certainly had, and still have, your own style. And it’s a style that nobody has even been able to come close to and I think that’s something you can be very proud of. And I’m proud of you for it.

KIRBY: I have to thank you for helping me to keep that style, Stanley. And helping me to evolve all that. And I’m certain that whatever we did together, we got sales for Marvel. And I…

LEE: I think it was more than that, Jack. We certainly got the sales. But whatever we did together, and no matter who did what, and I guess that’s something that’ll be argued forever, but I think that the product that was produced was really, even more than a sum of its parts. I think that there was some slight magic that came into effect when we worked together. And I am very happy that we’ve had that experience.

KIRBY: Well, I was never sorry for it, Stanley. It was a great experience for me and certainly, if the product was good, that was my satisfaction. I’ve always felt like that. I think it’s the feeling of every good professional. It’s one of the reasons that I respect you, is the fact that you’re certainly a good professional and you’re certainly fond of a good product. And I feel that’s the mark of all of us.

LEE: You notice I never interrupt you when you’re saying something nice about me.

KNIGHT: Let me say something nice about Stan Lee, the editorial piston behind the motor of Marvel Comics. And of course, Stan Lee has been active in so many other areas. Stan, what are some of the things that you are the proudest of and what are you involved in now?

LEE: Well, actually, I guess I’m proud of just about e… I’m the kind of guy I’m proud of everything that has succeeded and I’ve totally forgotten anything that might’ve failed. Right now, I’m… New World Pictures has bought Marvel Comics and they’re really a great outfit, they’re… obviously they do motion pictures. In fact, they’ve changed their name recently to New World Entertainment. They do television series, video cassettes, and I’ve gotten involved in all of those aspects of the business, as well as their animation studio, so I’m only really peripherally involved in the comics. And I’ve never been happier because, I guess I like being busy and I’ve never been busier.

KNIGHT: And out of the fairness doctrine, what, Jack, are you currently doing?

KIRBY: I’m probably involved in the same sort of thing.

KNIGHT: Oh my god! That means that the two of you, who indelibly changed the history of comics when you were both in that field, have a shot of changing the course of animation, perhaps.

KIRBY: Oh, I feel that productive people are always doing something productive. And speaking for myself, I’ve never stopped.

KNIGHT: Well, let me now de-saccharin-ize the conversation and let’s get down to both of your assessments of the state of comics today. I mean, enough can never been said about what you have done in the history of comics, but I’d like for some specific comments, naming of names, in regard to the changes that have taken place in comics. Such as with the new approach to Batman, for instance, the current Spider-man series, the introduction of ambiguity, conflict and contradiction in issues and ethics today. Do you have any views on that?

LEE: Who do you want first?

KNIGHT: You, since you spoke first.

LEE: Okay, well actually, I think that we had plenty of conflict when we were starting our early strips. Certainly there was conflict in the Fantastic Four and in Spider-man and all of them. And we had, I think really, Marvel sort of pioneered playing up the characterization more and playing up the personal problems of the heroes. Making the heroes more believable because they were more realistic and more human. However, today, what has happened and it’s a natural evolution, today, they’ve gone many steps beyond what we started doing in those days, I think the stories,  primarily, are much more complex, they’re more adult, they tackle subjects that we couldn’t dream of tackling in the early days and I think we were, it’s strange, when Marvel started, our stories were very much like the motion pictures of those days. Today, the comics, especially, I think Marvel Comics, are very much like the motion pictures of today. Well, the motion pictures of today are so much different than they were then, and the same change, the same evolvement has really taken place in comic books.

KIRBY: Well, I think Stanley is correct on that. Of course, the standards have changed. And the standards have changed in all the fields. I’ll agree with what Stanley says of all the facets of entertainment because he understands it, and he understands it as well as I do. Whatever is evolving, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it’s certainly different from the black and white type of thing that we did in what you refer to as the Golden Age.

KNIGHT: Are there things that you look at with interest these days?

LEE: Oh, sure. Now there is a DC series called The Watchmen, which I think was absolutely superb. There’s the work that John Byrne has been doing. The work that Frank Miller has been doing. There are so many new artists coming up that are… they’re very sophisticated and they’re very dramatic and they’re very cinematic. A lot of them write and draw. They have their own styles. My big regret, really, is I don’t have the time to read the books the way I used to and…

KIRBY: But the younger people have absorbed a lot more than we did, Stan.

LEE: They have what?

KIRBY: I think that, that’s what its all about today.

LEE: I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that, Jack.

KIRBY: ..standing of life. They’re a lot more understanding of themselves. And what they produce, what they produce is on a very realistic scale. And I don’t think there’s anything visually around us that the younger people haven’t noticed. That’s why I respect the younger people.

LEE: You know, it’s much more a visual era that we live in now, than it was when we were starting. Because with television today, I mean… you know, as a matter of fact, I don’t know if anybody has brought this up, but comics are like the last bastion, the last defense against creeping illiteracy. If not for comics, I don’t know how many young people there would be who just wouldn’t ever read, because they’re just hooked on television, which is understandable. But luckily, they do get hooked on comics and they do learn to equate reading with pleasure. And after a while, when they get the reading habit, they go on to reading other books, as kids are wont to do, but I think, that, which most people don’t think of, but I that’s a very important function that  comics are serving today.

KNIGHT: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, here on Earthwatch. My name is Robert Knight. Also with me is Warren Reece, who has some words for you, but I can’t resist, just some very quick word associations or I guess I should say title associations. First: Dark Knight.

KIRBY: Dark Knight, I understand, is Batman.

KNIGHT: <laughs>

LEE: Well, that’s bringing Batman into the 20th Century. I guess. <laughs> An attempt to do so. And it was revolutionary and it was very successful.

KIRBY: It’s still Batman.. It’s Batman of today.

LEE: I always used to wish, I don’t think I ever told this to Jack. Years ago, I always used to wish that he and I could do Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. I always thought that we could inject new life into those characters.

KIRBY: They would be highly individualistic and very entertaining.

LEE: I think so.

KNIGHT: Current Spider-man

LEE: The current Spider-man?

KNIGHT: mm hmm

KIRBY: The current Spider-man would be very current. It would be understandably to the people today. It would have the same essence as any other character figure produced in these times. It would have to be timely. You can’t produce superheroes in the old fashion. You have to produce it so it can be understood in the surroundings that we have about us today.

KNIGHT: The ‘Nam

LEE: Great book. Great idea. I never would have thought that it would be okay that anybody would say, “Let’s do a comic book about it.” I think Marvel deserves a lot of credit for going ahead with it. I think it’s absolutely brilliant.

KNIGHT: I am producer of a series here called ContraGate which is an investigative report into the Iran-Contra Affair, which prompts

LEE: Series on radio or television or what?

KNIGHT: It’s on radio. Every day. 8 o’clock am on WBAI in New York and soon to be heard nationally. Now the… that prompts the next association, in which… in a title in which, the plot involves CIA involvement in facilitating the importation of drugs for money for arms for the Contras, explicitly. That occurs in Mike Grell’s current Green Arrow series. Any reaction to that?

LEE: Well, I guess Grell is like everybody else, he stays up with the news. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the series. But you know, today, just as Jack and I did years ago, you try to keep your stories contemporary, and if something is happening that you’re involved in, or you think the public is involved in, it’s very hard to keep a smattering of that out of what you’re writing.

KNIGHT: All right. Warren Reece is also here with us.

REECE: Thank you, Robert. First of all, to both of you gents, I have regards from Fabulous Flo Steinberg who is too shy to be in the studio today. She lives about ten blocks from here but sends happy birthday wishes to you, Jack, and love to both of you.

LEE: That’s terrific, and the same to her. Fabulous Flo thought it was merry when we were working there. <laughs>

REECE: Yes, she did. Now, both of you before were talking a bit about, I think, the responsibility of creators as they create. There is much controversy going on these days over company imposed ratings systems which do not say that people can not have explicit sex and violence, but simply have to have a warning on the cover. And these people seem to be very alarmed, as though nobody in history ever produced a good story without having that type of material in there. And I submit that they need only look back to what you wonderful gentlemen did together, to what Bill Everett did on the Sub-mariner, or indeed, what some other people of contemporary times were doing. I would like your comments on that. I would also like to put to you gentlemen, that what made your work so tremen… you know I, really, when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter whether or not, you know, who exactly did what, although it would be interesting to know whether or not Galactus’ exit speech in FF # 50 was an example of Jack’s dialog or Stan’s. But you j…

LEE: Well, I’ll say this: every word of dialog in those scripts was mine.

REECE: <laughs> I don’t want to..

LEE: Every story.

REECE: I don’t want to get into controversy about that. What I want to stress to you, and to anyone who would be hearing this, is that you two gents together, when you said the whole equals more than the sum of its parts, it is very true. I think that was success behind the Beatles, behind the Byrds, behind many of the rock groups, there seems to be…

KIRBY: I can tell you that I wrote a few lines myself above every panel that I…

REECE: Yes! I’ve seen those…

LEE: They weren’t printed in the book!

REECE: All right, look! Both of you… hey, kids! Both of you guys…

LEE: Jack isn’t wrong, by his own rights, because Jack, answer me truthfully…

KIRBY: I wasn’t allowed to write…

LEE: Did you ever read one of the stories after it was finished? I don’t think you did! I don’t think you ever read one of my stories. I think you were always busy drawing the next one. You never read the book when it was finished.

KIRBY: …dialogue, Stanley

LEE: Huh?

KNIGHT: Let me get in there with them.

KIRBY: … in my own dialogue. And I think that’s the way people are. So, whatever was written in them, was insig.. well, it, you know, it was the action I was interested in

LEE: I know, and I really think, and look, Jack, nobody has more respect for you, than I do, and you know that, but I don’t think you ever felt that the dialogue was that important. And I think you felt well, it doesn’t matter, anybody can put the dialogue in, it’s what I’m drawing that matters. And maybe you’re right! I don’t agree with it, but maybe you’re right

KIRBY: No I, I’m only trying to say is that I, you know, I think that the human being is very important. If one man is writing and drawing and doing a strip, it should come from an individual. I believe that you should have the opportunity to do the entire thing yourself.

REECE: Gentlemen, what we’re seeing here…

KIRBY: …make your own story.

REECE: …is part of the inner dynamics. The bit of conflict from which, obviously, you complimented one another, held one another in check, and a great product emerged. I submit not only on behalf of you, but to creators of today, that the success of Marvel, and the success of Bill Everett’s Sub-mariner, and the success of almost anything that was really great, had to do with the attention to science, to characterization, to detail, to verisimilitude, to keeping a greater attention to the characters, than to the egos of the people creating them and, you know, signing autographs at conventions, and that that pretense, trying to make the thing seem as real as possible, having characters grow, having characters die, having Reed and Sue get married and have a child, whom, by the way, should be an adult by now and dating one of the X-Women, would not only, is not only showing the attention to the detail of the characters, but is an insurance that readers will not outgrow the comics, and will stay with them, because it is not an immutable fact of life that you outgrow comics at thirteen.

LEE: You know, when you mention, when you mention an ego problem, the funny thing is, I’m afraid those problems are only cropping up now. I think when Jack and I did the strips, there was no ego problem, we were just doing the best we could at the time.

KNIGHT: Well, ego is the fuel of creativity, and I’m very proud to have been able to have both Jack Kirby and Stan Lee live on Earthwatch on WBAI New York. My name is Robert Knight joined by Warren Reece and Max Schmid. And as we close this program, I would like each of you to make a concluding statement, and first you, Stan, and then you, Jack, because it’s your birthday.

LEE: Okay, well, since it is Jack’s birthday. I want to make, I wish I had had time to prepare something, I didn’t, but I just want to say that Jack, I think, has made a tremendous mark on American culture, if not on world culture, and I think he should be incredibly proud and pleased with himself and I want to wish him all the best, him and his wife Roz, and his family, and I hope that ten years from now, I’ll be in some town somewhere listening to a tribute to his 80th birthday and I hope I’ll have an opportunity to call at that time and wish him well then, too. Jack, I love ya.

KIRBY: Well, same here, Stan, but, uh… yeah. Thank you very much, Stan. But, uh… Warren? Are you there?

REECE: Yes, I am, Jack.

KIRBY: Yeah. Listen. You can understand now, how things really were. And of course, I want to thank you for inviting me on your show. And…

REECE: You can thank Robert and Max for that.

KIRBY: …thank everybody for their courtesy, and it was very pleasant to talk to you.

KNIGHT: Well, I must inject this one point of disagreement with you, Jack Kirby. And that is, it is we, who have you to thank. You and Stan!.

REECE: Amen for that. Happy birthday, Jack! And thank you, Stan!

KIRBY: Thank you, guys, you’re really great, and if I said any more, it would be, uh…

KNIGHT: You’d be looking at left field, and the surpri.. uh, the right field, excuse me, and the surprises come from left field.

KIRBY: Oh, listen, you guys are wonderful.

KNIGHT: All right.


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