Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jack Kirby in the Wall Street Journal

Thanks to the interest of journalist Bruce Bennett, Jack Kirby and the Kirby Museum were featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal’s New York Culture section this past Wednesday.

1964 - The Mighty Thor Battles The Incredible Hulk! - page 10 original art

1964 – The Mighty Thor Battles The Incredible Hulk! – page 10 original art

Writer Glen David Gold, writer/designer Steven Brower and I talked with Bruce who pulled together a fine piece regarding Kirby’s place in our culture considering the success of adaptations of his work in recent years, as well as the increase in value of his original art. The Museum’s efforts, especially the Pop-Up project, were mentioned, as well.

Thanks to all!

More Kirby in Academia: From the editors of 1975’s Looking Ahead

I posted in January about Looking Ahead: The Vision of Science Fiction. Soon after I posted, I found co-editor Dick Allen online, listed as Connecticut State Poet Laureate (2010-2015), so I sent him an email. He responded a few days later, with a postscript from spouse and co-editor, Lori:

***

Dear Rand Hoppe,

I pulled out a copy of LOOKING AHEAD a few nights ago and reread the Jack Kirby comic, as well as the other material (which you also posted on the excellent website).

Here, as best as I can recall, is the background of the inclusion:

In 1967 or 1968, as a young professor at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, I’d become fascinated with the changes in science fiction since I’d started reading it early in my high school years. It seemed to me to be an important part of contemporary literature, and yet was scorned by Academics. There was, however, a small group of SF fans who were also English professors, and they had a small panel on SF at an Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago, which I attended.

I was taken aback to see that everyone in the room was in his (no hers) 60s or 70s, and all they could see in SF was its slight historical importance. And I was interested in its political, social, cultural importance, as well as its growing stylistic advances and relevance to the changes coming upon us at the end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s. I thought science fiction studies should be taught in college classrooms. Others scoffed.

Nonetheless, a fine editor (William Pullin) at Harcourt Brace agreed with me, and accepted my proposal for my first college textbook/anthology, SCIENCE FICTION: THE FUTURE. To make it “acceptable” by academics, I included what I considered important SF work or SF-oriented work by such as Nathaniel Hawtorne, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Donald Barthelme, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., E.M. Forster, Kingsley Amis, Arthur Koestler, Susan Sontag, the great contemporary poet Richard Wilbur, and others, placing alongside this work pieces by H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Roger Zelazny, etc.

To our astonishment, the book was a major hit, adopted by schools throughout the nation (and world), taught as a reader in college freshman classrooms and in high school advanced classes, but also used as a book to allow professors to teach SF as an actual genre course (like “Satire” and “Comedy and Tragedy”).

It sold over 100,000 copies and within two years had 28 competing SF college texts.

Its success led my editor to ask for a second anthology along the same line. For this one, however, I didn’t have to be as careful about wining over college professors. With my wife, Lori Allen (then a SF writer; now, a poet writing as L.N. Allen), as co-editor, we were able to take more risks with LOOKING AHEAD.

One of these risks was to include an entire comic book in a college text/anthology.

The background here was that our son, Richard, now a United Methodist Minister in Sayville, Long Island, had become an utterly devoted comic books fan, and especially a fan of Jack Kirby’s work. He convinced my wife to read such comics as “The Forever People” and my wife convinced me to do likewise.

We had become convinced that serious quality literature, the kind beloved by academic journals and stuffy review magazines such as the NY Times Book Review was then, had reached a dead end and needed a good infusion of plot, action, heroism, return to some Romanticism, and the like. We were also convinced that the genre of SF or science fiction was increasingly a MAJOR way of examining the changed consciousness the world was entering (computers just beginning, space travel, modern warfare, youth revolution, sexual revolution, civil rights, gay rights, women’s revolution, and on and on).

The acute change of consciousness of the late 1960s-early 1970s was, we felt, reflected in the changing comics (with both Marvel and DC almost always SF-oriented) and at the time the best representative of these comics was this issue of “The Forever People.” It was particularly notable for its use of irony and humor, its myth-making, and most especially for its humanization of Superman, who realizes he’s actually a minority of one on the planet Earth, longs to return to be with others like him, but decides at the end of the comic that he will sacrifice his own desires for the good of others, for the good of humanity, for the good of the planet. This, of course, was a prevailing new mindset in the late 1960s-early 1970s–one which remains in the “Occupy” and “Green” movements, among many others. Additionally, we loved what looked like an allusion to Robert Heinlein’s very influential novel, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, when Superman realizes that’s what he is!

Myth, religion, importance of popular culture, all were intertwining with the consciousness revolutions.

With the help of William Pullin, we got a reluctant and somewhat mystified DC Comics to allow us to reprint the comic, without charging us too much for reprint fees. And Harcourt’s book designers and printers found a way to reproduce the comic effectively in LOOKING AHEAD’s pages.

So, in our own way, we were maybe partially responsible for breaking the college barriers for science fiction and comics and popular literature as legitimate areas of study by academics and others (I’d also co-edited another genre volume: DETECTIVE FICTION: CRIME AND COMPROMISE, for Harcourt, which made possible other genre studies courses, and later a revised SCIENCE FICTION: THE FUTURE). All sold pretty well. LOOKING AHEAD, as I recall, sold about 50,000 copies. And after the initial shock of having an actual comic in a college classroom, professors grew accustomed to how our literature has changed.

As indeed it has, as you know and certainly the great Jack Kirby sensed deeply.

And the world of literary fiction has certainly changed, I think for the better, and we now get to see such perception altering movies as AVATAR and the STAR WARS movies, and so many important hero-stressing, archetypal movies, using comics as their basis, I long ago lost count. I felt, since the 1950s, that SF was THE form of literature best able to communicate to readers the nature of the world we were entering. This intuition seems to have been born out, sometimes to the extent to my wife and me feeling almost guilty about encouraging so many “pop literature” studies which students may take instead of Shakespeare and Milton and “The Eighteenth Century in Literature.” πŸ™‚ or :-(.

Hope some of this nostalgia may have amused you.

All best wishes and further congratulations and thanks for your work with the Jack Kirby Museum.

Dick

P.S. Lori’s comment, when she checked over the above:

“This was a great age of comics. Saddens me that now comics are read mainly by young adults, not by children, and that there’s so much more action than text that we’re nearing the world of Fahrenheit 451.”

***

Thanks, Lori & Dick!

Changes to 1960s Marvel covers

Over at his blog, Ferran Delgado’s been posting some comparisons between the cover stats that Marvel Comics sent to the Spanish publisher and the covers Marvel published. Ferran’s generously allowed me to share some of his content here. Thank you, Ferran! – http://ferrandelgado.blogspot.com/

Note the grey-toning of the buildings in the background on the right, additional figures, the shadows of the monster….

1961 - Fantastic Four 1 cover comparison

1961 – Fantastic Four 1 cover comparison

Word balloons, character name bursts, issue number, picture frames.

1962 - Fantastic Four 2 cover comparison

1962 – Fantastic Four 2 cover comparison

Black Panther’s trunks, mask and cape.

1966 - Fantastic Four 52 cover comparison

1966 – Fantastic Four 52 cover comparison

Crackle on the stat, buildings on the cover…

1967 - Fantastic Four 65 cover comparison

1967 – Fantastic Four 65 cover comparison

Crackle on the stat, empty space on the cover

1967 - Fantastic Four 69 cover comparison

1967 – Fantastic Four 69 cover comparison

Shadows, speed lines and crackle on the stat, space on the cover

1968 - Fantastic Four 71 cover comparison

1968 – Fantastic Four 71 cover comparison

Marvel’s Greatest Comics cover in 1975 returned some of the speed lines and crackle

1968 - Another Fantastic Four 71 cover comparison

1968 – Another Fantastic Four 71 cover comparison

Crackle blackened

1968 - Fantastic Four 78 cover comparison

1968 – Fantastic Four 78 cover comparison

1975’s Marvel’s Greatest Comics cover removed the added black, but did not restore the crackle. Also adjustments to Ben Grimm’s face.

1968 - Another Fantastic Four 78 cover comparison

1968 – Another Fantastic Four 78 cover comparison

Architectural element & shadows on the stat, outline around story title; not on the cover.Β Note the shape of the shadow to the left of the Thing’s foot

1968 - Fantastic Four 79 cover comparison

1968 – Fantastic Four 79 cover comparison

1976’s Marvel’s Greatest Comics edition returned the architectural element around the background figures, and the shape of the shadow by the Thing’s foot!

1968 - Another Fantastic Four 79 cover comparison

1968 – Another Fantastic Four 79 cover comparison

Added black background, removed black on Tomazooma’s torso

1968 - Fantastic Four 80 cover comparison

1968 – Fantastic Four 80 cover comparison

1976’s Marvel’s Greatest Comics cover returned the shadow on Tomazooma’s torso

1968 - Another Fantastic Four 80 cover comparison

1968 – Another Fantastic Four 80 cover comparison

Story title different

1969 - Fantastic Four 93 cover comparison

1969 – Fantastic Four 93 cover comparison

Buildings added, word balloons removed, web increased to full cover

1963 - Strange Tales Annual 2 cover comparison

1963 – Strange Tales Annual 2 cover comparison

 

Kirby in Academia – 1975 publication of Forever People #1’s “In Search Of A Dream!”

Thanks to a Christmas party conversation I had with Kenichi Sugihara, of the band Stars Bars and Mars, the Kirby Museum now has a copy of what appears to be the first US reprint of Jack Kirby’s story “In Search Of A Dream!” (which was first published in National Periodical Publications’ (DC Comics) February 1971 Forever People 1).

The publication?

1975 - Looking Ahead cover

1975 – Looking Ahead cover

Looking Ahead: The Vision of Science Fiction. Edited by Dick Allen and Lori Allen. Published by Harbourt Brace Jovanovich in 1975. ISBN 0-15-551184-X.

Here’s a link to buy the book via Amazon, with a small percentage going to the Kirby Museum.

Described in its preface as “a multipurpose sourcebook/anthology designed for use in college Freshman English courses, Science Fiction courses, and courses in Studies of the Future,” Looking Ahead is organized into five sections: “About Now,” “Earth Bound,” “Breaking Outward,” “Aftermath,” and “Theories, with “”The Forever People” in the “Earth Bound” section between C.M. Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons” and Robert Frost’s “The Star-Splitter.”

The Forever People’s introduction, on page 139:

“Science fiction is a form of popular literature and as such links up with other media of pop culture, such as comic books, film, and television. Frequently these more visual media borrow their story lines and characterizations from the more verbal medium and in the process bring about a transformation. For example, there are comics in which previously published SF stories such as Frederic Brown’s “Area,” are illustrated and given surprising new dimensions. There are also comics in which as single character or set of characters based on an original work of fiction undergo a series adventures more or less in keeping with the original author’s work. The award-winning comic Conan is a prime example. Finally, and perhaps most interesting, are those comics in which their creators invent their own SF heroes. Superman was a first. The Forever People are in comic book limbo, publication having been indefinitely suspended, but they are an indication of the creative imaginations available in the second golden age of comics. Jack Kirby is an almost legendary figure of the comic book industry.”

1975 - Looking Ahead pages 140-141

1975 – Looking Ahead pages 140-141

Page 165 contains study questions:

  1. Do you think the symbolism of “boom tube” and “mother box” would be lost on young readers?
  2. Are the Forever people outdated? Do they still function as credible saviors in the context of the 1970s?
  3. What does Darkseid symbolize?
  4. What does the Infinity Man symbolize?
  5. Is Superman a tragic figure? Why?
  6. Use this comic as a starting point for discussion the relationships between science fiction and mass culture.
  7. Are the comic book pictures in “The Forever People” similar to ones you create in your mind as you read as unillustrated science fiction story? In what ways are they similar, if indeed they are? If not, how are they dissimilar?

Looking Ahead has a section at the end called “Topics for Shorter and Longer Papers.” One topic involves “In Search Of A Dream!”:

21. Comic books such as Forever People qualify as pop literature. Reread the selection and state the storyline in one or two sentences. Do the same with one of the SF stories in the book. Are there similarities in simplicity or complexity of plot, characterization, theme? Do you have any difficulty in telling which are the “good guys” and which are the “bad guys?” What about plot development? Do you feel any uncertainty about where the story is “going?” Is the point of the story unclear at any time? Compare the SF story and the comic to Hawthorne’s “The Artist of the Beautiful” in terms of plot, characterization, and theme. Is the structure of Hawthorne’s tale similar to or different from the other two works? In your paper take the Hawthorne story as an example of elite literature and the comic book as its polar opposite and discuss the validity of this distinction in relation to science fiction.

If any more information comes my way about this publication, I’ll be certain to share it. Thanks, Kenichi!

Kirby Is King by Norris Burroughs

Norris Burroughs wrote, performed, and recorded “Kirby Is King” to support the Kirby Enthusiasm Art Show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. Norris also provided most of the comic book scans that Gus Lambert used to make the video. Gus also used images from the Kirby Museum’s archives.

Burroughs and Lambert both have pieces in Kirby Enthusiasm art show. Norris also writes the Kirby Kinetics blog for the Museum.

A long overdue welcome to The Someday Funnies

Allow me to share my adventure regarding a unique piece of Jack Kirby work from the early 1970s.

A while ago, I was digging through a number of 11″ by 17″ photocopies that Greg Theakston had gifted to the Museum for its archives. One photocopy of a pencil art panel page was just plain odd. It had no word balloons or sound effects, only rhyming captions along the top of each panel. All in Kirby’s hand, the lunar imagery evoked both cartoony fantasy and the Apollo moon landings.

I had no idea what this work was. Maybe Kirby was adapting something, so I Googled some of the key words, but got no hits. Asked some Kirby friends and scholars. Nothing.

Around the same time, James Romberger pointed out an anecdote by Alan Kupperberg about some Kirby space pages he saw Wallace Wood inking in the DC offices in the early 1970s. (Look in the bottom half of the article.) There, Alan mentioned the pages were for Michel Choquette’s 1960s project.

So I searched the web and found an email address for Michel, who didn’t respond to my query. No worries, who knows whether the address I found was active. I don’t know the timing of this next aspect of this story, but I did eventually find the first page of the story in a loose leaf binder of 8.5″ by 11″ photocopies the Museum also received from Greg. Later I learned through James again, I believe, that the Comics Journal was promoting an article by Bob Levin about Michel Choquette’s Someday Funnies project. I reached out to Bob, who put me in touch with Michel. A preview of the Kirby piece illustrated the Comics Journal 299 article.

Nevertheless, this was a moment when the stars aligned, as it were, something John Morrow has said happened to him many times producing the Jack Kirby Collector. Two unknown pieces – what is this mysterious photocopy? and what is that Choquette space piece that Alan Kupperberg saw Wally Wood ink? – the two mysteries merge to become one, but there’s one important difference. Michel, a man with meticulous records of his project, tells me that he paid Joe Sinnott to ink the pages.

So, I reached out to Alan and sent him details from one of the photocopies – he was sure he saw Wood ink those very pages. Maybe some photocopies or vellum were involved and there indeed was a Wood inked version, too.

Well, The Someday Funnies has just been published by the fine folk at Abrams Comicarts (who brought us Mark Evanier’s wonderful Kirby: King of Comics), and editor Charles Kochman generously gifted a copy to the Museum at NYCC. Charles mentioned that the Kirby originals exist. It would be interesting to see them (and scan them for our OADA, of course).

So what is this two page piece? Briefly, in 1965, Beardsley Bullfeather escapes earthly troubles and heads to the moon, where, alone, he dances across the moonscape, reads novels and drinks martinis. The later Apollo mission finds no evidence of him.

In the last panel of the first page, Kirby writes that Bullfeather expresses “emotions inspired by Ayn Rand!” as he exclaims, “Get yours!” in one of only three word balloons in the piece.

Could Kirby’s poetic comic book vignette be a comment on Ditko having left Martin Goodman and Stan Lee’s Marvel five years before Kirby? Ditko’s last Spider-man comic was cover dated July 1966. My understanding is that this would mean the comic was on the stands in May, with Ditko’s work taking place in March or so. It makes sense to me that 1965 would have been a serious breaking point between Ditko and Goodman and Lee. I’m concerned that this is an insular comic book take on the piece, but, nevertheless, with Funky Flashman as my witness, I offer it for your consideration.

After having compared the pencil work with the published work, I discovered significant changes to the captions (see the scans illustrating this piece). Kirby isn’t known as someone who revised his work once it left his board. Also, the book’s endpaper collage includes an apologetic note from Kirby. More mysteries afoot.

A Biographical Sketch of Howard Ferguson by Alex Jay

(Most of the following information is based on documents at Ancestry.com.)

There are two documents which place Howard Ferguson at specific locations and dates, and reveal where he was employed.

Howard Grant Ferguson was born in Washburn, Wisconsin on July 4, 1895, according to his World War I draft card, which was signed on June 5, 1917. He lived in Detroit, Michigan at 148 Chene, and was employed at the Dae Health Laboratory, a manufacturer of drugs. He listed his wife and baby, who was nine months old, as his nearest relatives. Their names and the gender of the baby are not known. How long he served in the military is not known.

Ferguson’s World War II draft card was signed on April 27, 1942. The card has the same date and place of birth as his World War I card. At the time, he lived in Hollis, Long Island, New York at 110-33 207 Street; today this neighborhood is in New York City’s borough of Queens. On the line for employer it said, “Simon-Kirby Productions”; the employer’s address was, “Tudor City, New York City”. The length of his military service is not known.

In the book, “Joe Simon, My Life in Comics”, Simon said,
…Howard was from Detroit. His wife had left him, and he came to New York with his daughter Elsie, who was his pride and joy. She was maybe eight or nine years old at the time….

The name of Ferguson’s wife is not known. Simon said Ferguson’s daughter was named Elsie and eight to nine years old. Based on the information on the World War I draft card, his baby was nine months old, so the birth was around September 1916. By 1939 that baby’s age would be about 23. There are several possibilities to consider. If Simon’s recollection was correct, then Elsie would have been born between 1929 and 1931. Elsie may have been a second child; her older sibling was old enough to have left the family. The older sibling may nave passed away. Maybe Elsie was the child from a second marriage. I say this because of the name on Ferguson’s World War II draft card.

On the 1942 draft card, the name of his nearest relative was Ms. Edith Ferguson, who lived at the same address. Who was Edith? Was she a second wife; was the name a “mistake” or something else? The back of the card was signed by the registrar, Mabel A. Keating, and, I believe, she filled out the front of the card; the “M’ and “K” in her signature match the first letters of “Ms” and “Kirby”. Did she misunderstand Ferguson? Did she hear “Edith” instead of “Elsie”? Or was Elsie the nickname or middle name of Edith? The name, Elsie, may be a clue in finding Ferguson in the U.S. federal and state censuses.

Looking at the census records, there are many listings for “Howard Ferguson”. Information from Ferguson’s draft cards helped eliminate most of them. My search focused on the 1895 Wisconsin State Census, which listed a “Grant Ferguson” who was born in Washburn, Bayfield County, Wisconsin. His age was not recorded.

I believe he was recorded in the 1910 federal census. Here is the listing for a household in Duluth, Minnesota at 131 West 3rd Street:

Name, Age [Description; birthplace]
Arbal Hawley, 35 [Head; born in Minnesota]
Marian Hawley, 35 [Wife, second marriage; born in Michigan]
Howard Ferguson, 14 [Stepson; born in Wisconsin]
Arbal C. Hawley, 03 [Son; born in Wisconsin]
Elsie M. Rettie, 60 [Mother-in-law; born in Scotland]

The census records provide a wealth of information such as residence, age, marital status, birth state or country, occupation, etc. Ferguson’s name is on line 56 of the enumeration page; he was 14, single, English-speaking, and was not in a trade or profession. His mother had remarried around 1906. As I mentioned earlier, the name, Elsie, may be a link to his past. His maternal grandmother was named Elsie. Of course, this could be a coincidence, so I can’t say, with a hundred percent certainty, that I’ve found Ferguson the letterer. I looked for him in the 1900 census and did not find him. So, I turned my attention to Elsie.

She was found in the 1905 Wisconsin State Census on line 40; here is the listing:

Name, Age [Description]
Elsie Rettie, 59 [Head]
Marion Rettie, 30 [Daughter]
Howard Rettie, 09 [Son]
Tena Norman, 17 [Domestic]

Elsie was the head of the household; Marion and Howard were identified as her daughter and son, so they had the same surname, Rettie; Tena was a servant. The surname for his mother and him are wrong, Rettie instead of Ferguson. And he should have been identified as grandson, based on his relationship with the head of the household. The status and whereabouts of his father is not known, but the census recorded Scotland as his father’s birthplace. Looking farther back at the 1870 census, Elsie was married to William, and their daughter, “Marian” was nine months old; they lived in Fort Gratriot, Michigan. In the 1880 census, the family of three remained there; Marion’s nickname was Minnie. At the very least, this information is snapshot of Ferguson’s heritage.

I’ve searched for him in the 1920 and 1930 federal censuses, but he’s not found in either one. His mother and grandmother were recorded in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, at the same Detroit, Michigan households.

In “Joe Simon: My Life In Comics”, Simon recalled:
In 1939…we brought in a letterer, too. The letterer’s name was Howard Ferguson, and he was the best ever in the business….Howard’s mother was an “America Firster,” one of the people who pressured the government not to get involved with World War II. The group had been organized by a Yale student. Its ranks included future President Gerald Ford and Sargent Shriver, the man who founded the Peace Corps. Howard didn’t agree with the Firsters, so he had a lot of heated arguments with his mother, and held a lifelong grudge against her.

In the book, “Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur”, Jim Amash interviewed Infantino; an excerpt about Ferguson.
JA: Tell me about Howard Ferguson.
CI: Yes! He was a crusty, old bastard. [chuckles] He was one hell of a letterer. He was a fat, older, German guyβ€”very tough. Jack [Kirby] used to say, “Don’t pay attention to him. He’s all right.”

Based on the collected information, here is a sketchy timeline for Ferguson:

1895: born in Washburn, Wisconsin on July 4

1900: no census information

1905: resident of Superior, Wisconsin

1906: his mother remarries

1910: resident of Duluth, Minnesota

19??: move to Detroit, Michigan

1916: resident of Detroit; married

1917: resident of Detroit; married with one child

1920: no census information

1930: no census information

19??: move to New York City

1939: employed by Simon and Kirby; divorced with one child

1942: employed by Simon and Kirby; shared residence with Edith

1950s: lettering credits through the late 1950s (Grand Comics Database)

1960s: lettering credits through the late 1960s (Who’s Who of American Comic Books)

19??: death

Ferguson’s work is discussed at:

Ferguson’s credits can be viewed at:

And from 2006, an unsubstantiated description of Ferguson as being African American.
SharkForum, www.sharkforum.org/2006/01/cover-painting-all-words-are-l.html

(Many thanks to Alex Jay for allowing his research to be posted here! – Rand)

1968’s “When Wakes the Sleeper!”

Below are some Captain America scans (for Independence Day, of course!) Photocopies of the pencil art pages that Kirby submitted to Marvel are followed by scans of the original art. These scans contain Stan Lee’s script and production notes, the lettering by Artie Simek, and the ink art by Syd Shores.

Also included are scans from the story’s first publication in May 1968’s Captain America 101. The artist who provided color guides was either Marie Severin, George Roussos or Stan Goldberg. (I admit I’m not sure of the current thoughts on the coloring at Marvel once it expanded the number of titles it published around this time. If you have any pointers, citations, or anecdotes, please let me know in the comments below.)

NYT’s Brent Staples re: Kirby and Disney/Marvel

Brent Staples, who wrote a wonderful piece in the New York Times in 2007 titled “Jack Kirby, Comic Book Genius, Is Finally Remembered,” has written “Marvel Superheroes and the Fathers of Invention.”

I posted to the Museum’s Discussion group on June 8th:

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Obviously, I am not a lawyer or a copyright expert, but it seems that the case hinges on the legal state of what appeared on the page via a pencil in Kirby’s hand during those years.

It looks to me like the Marvel/Disney argument is a work-for-hire argument – that the rights to whatever Kirby put on paper were owned, at the moment he created it, by Martin Goodman who transferred to Perfect Film, which renamed to Cadence Industries, then… bla bla bla Disney.

And that the Kirby argument is that the rights to whatever Jack Kirby put to paper were owned, at the moment he created it, by Kirby, who then assigned his rights to Goodman… Disney.

This is, as I understand it, the scope of the laws that have been put in place by our US legislators, which allows creators, or their estates, to terminate the assignment of those rights a determined number of years after the works’ creation.

Look again at the back of Dick Ayers’ check from 1974. A scan is attached, hope you can see it. The text that the company stamped on the back is about the signer assigning rights to the work to Magazine Management. That means the creator/signer had rights to the work when they created it. This is important!!!!

Work-for-hire means the creator/signer is an employee who has no rights to the work when they created it. Marvel’s text on the back of the checks after 1976 (Ayers’ 1986 is also attached) does not mention any assignment of rights.

Was Jack was an employee of Goodman’s in the early 1960s? This is why there is all the talk of health insurance, vacation time, supplies, pay for rejected work, in the filings…

I re-recommend “Who owns Light Man?” an informative podcast by real, serious, hardcore US copyright experts/lawyers: http://goo.gl/k11LA

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