Generals and Soldiers

Well hello again! It's another week here at TCJ East, where we marshall our vast forces of comics knowledge and deep level integrity to bring you the finest in comics journal-ish material. Today this means you can start of the week by reading yesterday's Frank Santoro post. I always love when Frank is on the road, and as usual he turns in an ace report from St. Louis. Ol' man Santoro is headed to New York within a month or so which, for me, means free babysitting. And for you it means.... "Lock up your long boxes, nerds!"

Fresh on the site we give unto you part one of an epic roundtable devoted to Charles Hatfield's excellent new book, Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby. Jeet Heer assembled, moderated and then edited a murderer's row of critics to discuss Hatfield's ideas and Kirby in general: Jonathan Lethem (novelist and comic book writer), Glen Gold (novelist and comic art collector), Sarah Boxer (cartoonist and critic), Doug Harvey (art critic), Robert Fiore (comics critic) and, ahem, yours truly. The conversation covered a lot of territory so we're running it in three parts today, Wednesday and Friday. Here's a little piece of one of Glen Gold's posts:

Which is too bad, since Jack Kirby is the only major cartoonist to have killed Nazis. And he didn’t do it from a distance — he killed Nazis using the same hands that later drew Thor, the Aryan God of Thunder, hammering Mangog (old testament villain name, more or less) in the snout. Kirby shot and stabbed Nazis for about six months in 1943 and 1944, and I would argue that experience didn’t just change his life but shaped his work from that moment forward, in that an underlying PTSD worldview took him places he wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

Also on deck today is  Brandon Soderberg's review of My Friend Dahmer by Derf, which I've heard praised by a lot of different kinds of readers.

And elsewhere on the internet, Daniel Best has the latest brief filed in the ongoing Kirby-related litigation. I imagine there'll be an avalanche of MoCCA and Stumptown reports soon enough, so stay tuned...



One Response to Generals and Soldiers

  1. patrick ford says:

    It would be really helpful if people interested in the lawsuit Disney filed against the Kirby heirs take the time to read Toberoff’s reply to Disney. I keep hearing even scholarly types telling me they haven’t been reading the documents, never read any of the testimony, haven’t read the much of anything except the news articles. The reason I’m told is because “It’s do depressing.” What that means I assume is it punctures the myth of the little “Happyland” supposed to be Marvel 1958-1970. Well Kirby showed us the true face of Happyland in the Forever People.
    As Kirby put it when asked about how exciting the years at Marvel must have been, “There was no excitement. It was a horrible morbid atmosphere. If there was any excitement, it was the excitement of fear.”
    The key to Toberoff’s argument has been the same all through and is recapped in brief on page 10-11 of the reply brief. Marvel had no agreement of any kind with the freelance creators who sold work to them. The artists bore the risk of creation because Goodman purchased only material he intended to publish. Even Disney witnesses Larry Lieber and John Romita said Marvel paid only for material they intended to publish. Only one person disputed the testimony of the Kirby children (who were teenagers during the Silver Age), Ayers, Sinnott, Colan, Adams, Steranko, Romita, and Lieber. At the very end of the discovery process (Dec 2010) James Quinn had Lee give further testimony after Toberoff had finished his long deposition of Lee.
    (3/28) letter to the judge by Toberoff.

    Toberoff: “I cross-examined Stan Lee at a deposition on December 8, 2010. After I
    indicated that I had no further questions, Mr. Lee’s attorney, Arthur Lieberman, requested
    a break even though the parties had just recently already taken a break. At this break, on
    my way to the restroom, I noticed Disney/Marvel’s lead counsel, James Quinn, intently
    speaking to Mr. Lee in a corner separate and apart from the other Marvel attorneys. Upon
    resumption of the deposition, Mr. Quinn asked Mr. Lee very specific questions to which
    Lee immediately responded without any hesitation or reflection.”
    MR. QUINN: You recall that Mr. Toberoff asked you some questions in connection with Spider-Man, and there was some testimony that you gave regarding the fact that you — the original pages that Kirby had drawn -Mr. Kirby had drawn with regard to Spider-Man, that you had rejected them?
    STAN LEE: Right.
    Q. Did Mr. Kirby get paid for those rejected pages?
    STAN LEE: Sure.
    Q. And did you have a practice at that time with regard to paying artists even when the pages were rejected by you or required large changes?
    STAN LEE: Any artists that drew anything that I had asked him or her to draw at my behest, I paid them for it. If it wasn’t good, we wouldn’t use it. But I asked them to draw it, so I did pay them.”

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