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Stan Lee, the myth and the man

May 10, 2012

Here’s a link to a very interesting article about Stan Lee, the co-creator of most of the Marvel Comics superheroes that you’ve hear of, including most of the Avengers in the current film. The subtitle of the article is “On the (surprisingly complicated) legacy of Stan Lee,” and it is a complicated history. Stan’s the writer of most of the early Marvel stories, but he worked with a number of co-creating artists who really did quite a bit of the plotting of the stories as well.

But in the end, you might have heard of Stan Lee (who was also management at Marvel), while Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko (amongst others) are lesser-knowns who have, in most recent court cases to establish ownership of those characters, been pushed aside. I don’t know exactly where I stand on this stuff – they were working under work-for-hire contracts, but they also created incredibly long-lasting characters, and just as good business (to keep other artists working with your company) you’d think Kirby and others (or their heirs, now-a-days) would get some sort of recognition/payout.

I could write about this all day with details, but it’s late, and I doubt anybody’s really interested… but if you want to know more, a good story is the Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster creation of Superman. Look up either of them on Wikipedia for a pretty interesting story of how they fought for some recognition in creating Superman. Then compare that to Bob Kane, the “creator” of Batman, and then dig into Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. If you’re into it, it’s some interesting reading.


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