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#601857 - 02/04/13 01:58 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: billybates
Every comic book creator should be getting the TV-proportioned character payment when their "created by" credit appears

Ah. So you have no evidence whatsoever that the Kirby estate receives money from the show.


Now, Allen.

I'm sure the estates of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster get payment for those Superboy appearances in most episodes.

Because if there's one thing we've learned, it's that entertainment conglomerates are quick to cut checks to creators based on when they should.

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#601858 - 02/04/13 03:56 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
billybates Offline
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Jack Kirby made a deal in the mid 80s to get royalties and a "created by" credit on his characters if he designed toys for the Super Powers toy line and finished The New Gods comic. I thought this was common knowledge. It's even on his IMDB page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0456158/bio

If you want to audit Cartoon Network, go right ahead. But I know that Kirby's been paid a royalty for every other appearance, so why would this be different?

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#601859 - 02/04/13 04:01 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: billybates]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: billybates
Jack Kirby made a deal in the mid 80s to get royalties and a "created by" credit on his characters if he designed toys for the Super Powers toy line and finished The New Gods comic. I thought this was common knowledge. It's even on his IMDB page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0456158/bio

If you want to audit Cartoon Network, go right ahead. But I know that Kirby's been paid a royalty for every other appearance, so why would this be different?


The Fourth World toy deal was engineered by DC's president and publisher at the time, Jenette Kahn, who had a conscience and believed that Jack Kirby hadn't gotten a fair shake from his long, productive career in comics.

"Jack was one of those venerated, amazing talents and we just wanted to find a way that we could recognize -- financially -- his enormous contributions, and we used the Kenner (toy) deal to do that," Kahn later said in an interview.

Around the same time, Kahn threw Kirby a few more comics assignments, including a couple of SUPER POWERS mini-series and a graphic novel to conclude his Fourth World storylines from the 1970s.

All credit to Kahn. These were kind and generous acts, and very much the exception to the rule.

However, Kahn has been gone for years. I've no idea why you think it logically follows that Kirby's heirs get anything from this latest animated cartoon. Do we know if they got anything from the Captain America movie that grossed $650 million? From the Avengers movie that grossed $1.5 billion?

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#601860 - 02/05/13 12:29 AM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: Lawson]
billybates Offline
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Joe Simon made a deal for credit for himself and Kirby...I don't know if that means Captain America movie money or not, so I left it off the list of Marvel projects from which Kirby definitely makes no money.

The deals for creator credit don't end with the regime that broker them. Alan Moore still gets (and turns down) royalties for projects developed under Kahn, Neil Gaimman still gets a payment for Sandman statues, the eighty people credited with creating John Constantine got checks from that awful Keanu Reeves movie.

And if the deal ended when Kirby died, why do they still bother giving him the "created by" credit? To tease his heirs? They don't give Bob Kane, or George Perez, or James Robinson that credit to pay homage when they use their characters...they do it because that's the deal they made.

(Plus, that 80s deal with Kirby was as much about embarrassing Marvel as it was about feel-good corporate outreach. At the time, Marvel was withholding Kirby's artwork till he signed a release stating he had no rights in the ownership of the Marvel characters. We know how that ended.)

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#601861 - 02/05/13 09:55 AM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: billybates]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Billy, I don't see evidence that Kirby's estate gets money from the "Young Justice" animated cartoon.

Generally, the Golden Age and Silver Age guys like Kirby got hosed on this sort of thing unless someone felt bad and threw them a bone, as Jenette Kahn did with the 1980s toy line. You typically didn't see any creative rights, such as credit or royalties, until the mid-1970s at the earliest.

That's why Marv Wolfman and George Perez get some money when their Teen Titans characters, like Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and Deathstroke, turn up on television. Wolfman and Perez had the good fortune to be working in the early 1980s.

But Kirby's Marvel creations from the 1940s and 1960s pull down hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on the big screen ... and that money stays with Disney/Marvel.

I'm unaware of DC's 1980s toy deal with Kirby extending to giving his estate royalties on Fourth World-related characters used in other media 30 years later. I'd love to be wrong.

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#601862 - 02/05/13 12:36 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: billybates]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Originally Posted By: billybates
And if the deal ended when Kirby died, why do they still bother giving him the "created by" credit?

For the same reason H.P. Lovecraft and William Shakespeare keep getting screen credits: because the people behind the movie/TV show/video game think they're somehow honoring the memory of those people by putting their names on the screen, when it actually carries about as much honor as those "Support the Troops" bumper magnets.

Here's an example. Dan DeCarlo did get a mention in the closing credits of the Josie & the Pussycats movie. You know what he got when he asked about getting paid for having created that property? Fired. He even had to pay for the tickets to take his and Josie's granddaughter to see it.

A screen credit doesn't automatically confer monetary compensation.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601863 - 02/05/13 01:03 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Of course, Jack and Roz Kirby are long since dead. Their children and grandchildren are still with us. That's the Kirby estate.

In some quarters, there are debates about what a creator's estate is entitled to after he dies. Kirby, Jerry Siegel, those sorts of guys. Why can't the entertainment conglomerates breathe easy once the creators (and perhaps their wives) are in the ground? Screw the subsequent generations, they didn't create Captain America or Superman, the old man did!

Morally, anyway, I don't find that a compelling argument. Superman, Captain America, etc., etc., have made corporations almost uncountable fortunes -- millions of dollars upon billions of dollars -- with very little of that money trickling down to the creators, the men whose imaginations made it all possible.

In a just world, Siegel, Kirby and the others would have enjoyed comfortable lives as millionaires, retired at leisure and passed on to their heirs a reasonable sum as their legacies ... just as the executives atop these entertainment conglomerates do. They did not, to put it lightly.

The Kirby children and grandchildren are due something from Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and so on, in my opinion, just as they would be due something if Kirby had owned a particularly valuable company or mansion when he died.

Instead, other people's children are getting the fortune.

Again, I'm speaking from a moral perspective.

Legally, I realize, yes, yes, people signed contracts, it's all legal 'n shit, fuck them and their progeny for all eternity, haw haw, make mine Marvel.

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#601864 - 02/05/13 02:29 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: Lawson]
billybates Offline
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Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 389
Loc: ON, CAN
Kirby's deal retroactively covered his 70s work...It was not just a hand-out for designing Super Powers toys.

Here is an excerpt from a Chuck Dixon interview (available here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=39918 ) -- It talks about how these deals are legal, not moral.

"Of course, in an era where creator's rights particularly in regards to media adaptations is a hot topic in the comics community, Dixon and his collaborators enjoy what he classifies as solid, fair contracts for their contributions. "Graham and I both signed participation agreements, which are good in perpetuity. So it's not up to them whether they take care of us. We're taken care of. We've seen money from Bane all along the Lego games and the little Bane-shaped piece in the Spaghettios. We always get a piece of what Bane makes. We'll see money from this movie. They have graphs and charts to figure out how much based on how many lines of dialogue he has and how much he's in the movie and how much impact he has on the story. We were part of it the last time when Bane was in the last [Joel] Schumacher film really briefly. We participated in that.""

"In perpetuity" works both ways...Heirs can't sue for rights, DC keeps the payments flowing. If this was terminated when Kirby died, or even ten years later, where was the outrage?

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#601865 - 02/05/13 03:03 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: billybates]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: billybates
Kirby's deal retroactively covered his 70s work...It was not just a hand-out for designing Super Powers toys.


Are you sure? I'd like to think you're correct, but what evidence do you have?

My understanding -- and I certainly could be wrong -- is that Jenette Kahn allowed Jack Kirby to make a few minor modifications to the design of his Fourth World characters in 1982. Kahn used that to retroactively grant Kirby a share of ownership in those characters for the purposes of the Super Powers toy line and animated cartoon then airing on television.

I've never heard of Kirby's estate getting money beyond that Super Powers deal -- for example, for the use of Darkseid and related characters on the "Smallville" television show a few years back.

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#601866 - 02/05/13 03:27 PM Re: Whine and Complain to Get What You Want... [Re: billybates]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Originally Posted By: billybates
Dixon and his collaborators enjoy what he classifies as solid, fair contracts for their contributions.

Last I checked, Chuck Dixon is not Jack Kirby.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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