Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Kirby heirs appeal Marvel ruling; Steve Geppi sued over art deal

Jack Kirby

Legal | As he promised he would do last month after a federal judge declared the heirs of artist Jack Kirby had no claim to copyrights on the superheroes he co-created for Marvel Comics, Kirby family lawyer Marc Toberoff filed an appeal Monday with the Second Circuit Court of Appeal.

“Specifically, the estate of comic book superhero legend Kirby — co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor — sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios that have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created, including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures,” Deadline reports. [The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]

Legal | Daniel Best shares details on a lawsuit the estate of Archie artist Bob Montana filed against Steve Geppi, founder of Diamond Comic Distributors, in 2009. Through his Diamond International Galleries company, Geppi agreed to pay $1 million to Montana’s family for his collection of Golden Age Archie artwork, but ended up only paying half of it. “And there was another, more important factor coming into play – at the point of purchase Steve Geppi and Diamond were hemorrhaging money to the point of legal action, not that he told anyone. Geppi was rapidly finding that more money was leaving Diamond than what was coming in from its various sources with the result that his net worth had plummeted to a fraction of its original value. While this didn’t leave him destitute, it did have the effect of leaving Diamond hovering on the brink of bankruptcy. Geppi elected to simply cry poor and not pay the remaining $500,000 owing to the Montana family.” [20th Century Danny Boy]

Retailers | The Jim Hanley’s Universe on Staten Island in New York is now open for business after suffering extensive damage from heavy rainfall over the weekend. [Jim Hanley’s Universe]

Conventions | Heidi MacDonald notes that several scheduled and as-yet-unscheduled conventions have dropped off the Wizard World website, including shows in Miami, Atlanta, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Nashville, in addition to the Winnipeg show we reported on in June. [The Beat]

Orchid

Creators | Geoff Boucher talks to Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello about Orchid, his upcoming comic book from Dark Horse Comics. [Hero Complex]

Creators | NPR’s All Things Considered spotlights Grant Morrison and his recent book Supergods. [NPR]

Comics | Andy Khouri posts a very thorough examination of the “dollars and sense” of the Womanthology project. [ComicsAlliance]

Advertising | Todd Allen takes a closer look at ComicsUnited, a network that will bring paid advertising to comics published by Aspen, Boom! Studios, Dynamite, IDW and Top Cow. [Publishers Weekly]

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Comments

9 Comments

nice to see kirbys estate being like the creators of superman and not giving up the fight to get what is by right jacks over due due. and geipie seems to be turning out to be like some other person in the comic industry who pleaded poor to get out of paying lawsuits.

I would make a comment on the ongoing fight over Kirby character profits. But my opinions on the issue are apparently the moral equivalent of the Anti-Life Equation, if not the ALE itself. If anyone else is skeptical of the merits of these lawsuits, though, I’ll provide a link (http://www.stickybuffalo.com/2011/jack-kirby-intellectual-property-and-ethics) while keeping CBR free of ALE fragments. Peace.

To the Kirby Heirs: you LOST, please give it up and MOVE ON ALREADY!!! Enough is enough already…

Don’t give up, Fighting Kirbys!

There is a big difference between the Siegel/Shuster issue over Superman and the Kirby issue over the various Marvel characters. Superman was created before Siegel & Shuster went to DC and they shopped it around for 6 years before selling it. Kirby was an employee of Marvel doing work for hire and his heirs clearly have no rights to the characters.

Keep fighting Kirbys!

Don’t let the Mavel Zombies sway you. We all know Marvel was built on the back of Jack Kirby and his estate deserves fare compensation!

ALL HAIL KING KIRBY

It was also built on the characterization of Stan Lee and other writers. Kirby was a great artist but not a great writer. There is a big difference. Are his accolades for drawing or writing? Drawing. What defines creation? He was a co-creator but to issue a termination of copyright while Stan Lee is still around is just BS. Personally, I think his so-called credit is overdone. One can draw a character but what about characterization and all the depths of themes that go with that character. Was that all Kirby? NO. Stan Lee had a lot to do with giving characters real life. The who-they-are behind the mask. Personalities. Souls. Stan Lee helped not just created Spider-Man but who Peter Parker was as well as the other characters and who they are. The Kirby estate is selfish and in total disregard of what has passed all these decades. Kirby when he was alive missed his opportunity when Stan was still the head guy before Marvel went all corporate in 1980’s and really lost all real hope. I’m sorry but in this economic state, there is too much at stake for Marvel and Disney now, especially to the work it gives to people and the economies it affects in those cities with its films and potential TV shows.

drew has it spot on. Jack Kirby created some great characters, but without Stan Lee they’d be just like the thousands of other forgotten heroes with good costumes. Nothing that made the Fantastic Four, Thor or the Hulk truly compelling was Kirby’s, he just took Stan’s ideas and brought them to life.

My concern with the Kirby heirs is that they seem to have a poor understanding of copyright law as their own testimony demonstrate. With it they proved to the judge that their father’s work was indeed work for hire. I wish them the best, but this lawyer is hoodwinking them. I hope they’re not paying him any money. The Superman case is totally different: the character wasn’t created at the istance of DC, Siegel and Shuster created the character and then shopped it around.

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