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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jack and the bullshit artist

Despite having been threatened by an unlikely beating at the hands of his corpse and being more than a little dubious about his war stories, I find that I rather like the aspects of Jack Kirby that are revealed by this extensive interview. I particularly liked the way he took on Jimmy Olsen, the worst-performing comic in the DC catalog, rather than the Superman comic that was offered to him, simply because he knew that doing so would be a better way of proving himself.

And frankly, it strikes me as more than a little fitting that Stan Lee will exit this Earth under a cloud of disgrace, given the fact that he appears to have pulled off one of the great con jobs of the 20th century:
GROTH: At the risk of sounding partisan, let me ask you this: every time I read something by Stan or see Stan speak publicly, I’m struck by how obvious a bullshit artist he is. Was he always that way?

ROZ KIRBY: Yeah.

KIRBY: Yes. Yes, I knew Stan when he was a young boy.

ROZ KIRBY: He was Mr. Personality. That’s what he was.

KIRBY: If you ever get to talk with Joe Simon, Simon will tell you exactly what the hell Stan Lee was. He was just a little wise guy, and he came from a family that was upper-middle class, and he could do whatever he liked. He could say whatever he liked. I’ll be frank with you. We considered him a pain in the ass. He grew up to be exactly what we considered him.
Let's face it, America can't say that Jack Kirby didn't warn them.

"Stan Lee was a pest." You don't say.

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39 Comments:

Anonymous Crew (not the one who makes stupid claims) January 13, 2018 11:16 AM  

While I genuinely like much of the stuff that Vox and Castalia produces (and I really liked Quantum Mortis), I also consider it an act of resistance to purchase the stuff that Castalia and the other imprints provide.

Just today I saw this comment over at the Unz Review to the article reviewing the book The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews:

http://www.unz.com/article/review-the-jesuit-order-as-a-synagogue-of-jews/

There used to be big crosses on public and private land all over the country. But Jewish attorneys succeeded in getting rid of them
Jews even succeeded in getting a judicial ruling ordering that Microscopic cross that could hardly be seen removed from the Los Angeles seal.
Jews have forced catholic hospitals to remove crosses and religious pictures on the grounds that the hospitals accept Medicare and government employee health insurance and that iscacviolation if the first amendment.

All those Easter celebrations featuring sunrise services with a cross have been banned in public land.

Jews don’t run from the cross. They destroy them as violations of the first amendment


Perhaps the biggest act of resistance would be to wear a cross in public, small enough to hang around your neck but large enough to be visible and to convince others to do so as well.

Defend Christendom because it is the West!

Blogger VD January 13, 2018 11:29 AM  

Crew, I'll leave this, but you might want to read my comments on the post below....

Blogger HalibetLector January 13, 2018 11:37 AM  

Someone did ask Joe Simon what he thought about Stan Lee. This is what he had to say:

Kirby hated Stan, and I never understood it, really. Stan did very well for himself, and he did it by being very smart, and making a lot of smart moves. We have a great relationship these days, I’m pleased to say.

From this interview: http://www.mtv.com/news/2622246/interview-joe-simon-the-man-who-created-captain-america-talks-his-life-in-comics/

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 13, 2018 11:40 AM  

Ah, the Comics Journal. One of most leftist comics journalism rags of the 1990s, though eclipsed by Bleeding Cool and its like in Current Year.

Jeet Heer and TCJs leftists had little love for Kirby except as a scourge for those who didn't tow the SJW line.

Jack Kirby: Hand of Fire Roundtable (Part 1) by Jeet Heer
Jack Kirby: Hand of Fire Roundtable (Part 2) by Jeet Heer
Kirby and Goliath: The Fight for Jack Kirby’s Marvel Artwork

"Kirby would have totally killed himself by now."
If Kirby Was Still Alive, He Would Totally Have Killed Himself By Now

Anonymous Crew (not the one who makes stupid claims) January 13, 2018 11:41 AM  

@VD: Ahhh, found it. Should have changed certain words to other terms ...

Anonymous Looking Glass January 13, 2018 11:46 AM  

Gangsters weren’t the stereotypes you see in the movies. I knew the real ones, and the real ones were out for big money. The average politician was crooked. That was my ambition, to be a crooked politician. I’d see them in these restaurants, and they’d all hold these conferences. I’d see politicians who were supposed to be on opposite sides of issues all together at one table.

Good(?) to see nothing much has changed in that regard.

As for Stan Lee, the interesting question is if he helped or hurt comics. Somewhere the "Sell Comic Books, Make Money" business model broke, and that time frame seems to be right around the point that Lee took over as Publisher. (1972) This brings up an interesting question: did Lee help transition comic books to something else or is he actually responsible for the constant decline for 4 decades?

Blogger Anno Ruse January 13, 2018 11:49 AM  

One of the interesting things about comics is how many times a struggling title has been revitalized by someone who turns out to be a talented writer. The common thread seems to be that the writer is given near-total autonomy since, after all, the book isn't selling anyway.

That doesn't happen at the Big Two anymore. The talented writers go to Image without even stopping by Marvel or DC. Now they'll go to Arkhaven. What's the draw in writing for Marvel or DC anymore? There's no prestige. The prestige is in the movies and you can't make those, you just get to watch 'em.

Read an anecdote a few years ago about Jack Kirby. Somebody was visiting his house and was SHOCKED to see that Kirby was drawing new stuff on the back of his Marvel boards. Kirby's attitude? Fuck 'em, they treated me like dirt.

I didn't get it at the time. Now I do.

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2018 11:50 AM  

I remember reading a Stan Lee comic in which space travelers were walking around in the vacuum without helmets or suits, as if there were an atmosphere. Lee later apologized for that, as I recall.

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 13, 2018 11:52 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:
As for Stan Lee, the interesting question is if he helped or hurt comics. Somewhere the "Sell Comic Books, Make Money" business model broke, and that time frame seems to be right around the point that Lee took over as Publisher. (1972) This brings up an interesting question: did Lee help transition comic books to something else or is he actually responsible for the constant decline for 4 decades?


"Every comic fan knows what happened in the 1990s: Marvel was sold to Ron Perelman, and all he wanted was short term profit. So prices went up, Marvel was told to sell more comics, and after a brief investment bubble sales collapsed and Marvel went bankrupt. Almost the same thing happened in 1968, when Marvel was sold to Martin S. Ackerman ..."

Anonymous Looking Glass January 13, 2018 11:56 AM  

@9 Man of the Atom

It's a lot more complicated than just that, but lots of really short-sighted businessmen. Hilariously, Marvel would survive under the ownership of Ike Perlmutter, who is best known for being an utter tightwad.

Anonymous Crew (not the one who makes stupid claims) January 13, 2018 12:01 PM  

I was particularly pleased that the "Tell, don't show" joke was retained in the comic.

I will be purchasing the subsequent editions and the Alt*Hero stuff.

Blogger Matt January 13, 2018 12:07 PM  

Jack Kirby wasn't called "King" for nothing!

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 13, 2018 12:07 PM  

Looking Glass wrote:@9
Man of the Atom

It's a lot more complicated than just that, but lots of really short-sighted businessmen. Hilariously, Marvel would survive under the ownership of Ike Perlmutter, who is best known for being an utter tightwad.


Agreed, but this is where Stan Lee lost the editorial vision that drove Marvel from 1960 to 1969/70. Marvel started its decline here.

Roy Thomas was an extremely competent editor and writer, but he introduced the cancer of the over-arching, multi-title storyline (The Kree-Skrull War). This was probably to aid in pumping out books -- easier to write a 50-issue span of a single story than 50 tight 24-pagers.

Blogger pdwalker January 13, 2018 12:09 PM  

I think you’re right.

Blogger tuberman January 13, 2018 12:13 PM  

Stan Lee was outside of my consciousness circle. As I reached the ripe age of nine, still read comics from time to time, but not very important, books had taken their place.

Now, surprise, Alt*Hero has me interested at a high level, and standing to Attention. Read Quantum Mortis, and will review after another read. I will reviews for the story mainly, as just picking up on the art aspect...learning curve, and all that.

Anonymous TOG January 13, 2018 12:22 PM  

(((Comic books))) were rotten from the beginning, a front for the Merchants of Filth to subvert American and Christian values and replace with cultural Marxism, pornography, homosexuality, transsexualism and other degeneracy:

https://merchants-of-sin.com/2017/03/01/part-ii-the-great-comic-book-scare/

There is a direct lineage from comics to legalized pornography, as expressed in the link above.

A few good writers such as Kirby, Ditco, Miller and a few others have tried to redeem the medium. Vox Day is adding to this positive tradition. But it’s an uphill battle to reform an industry pozzed from the start.

Blogger Anno Ruse January 13, 2018 12:23 PM  

"As for Stan Lee, the interesting question is if he helped or hurt comics. Somewhere the "Sell Comic Books, Make Money" business model broke, and that time frame seems to be right around the point that Lee took over as Publisher. (1972)"

Well, Stan Lee did invent the modern superhero with all his neuroses. I'd argue that this sustained the industry when even the kids stopped buying because there existed an audience of maladjusted adults who saw themselves in the misunderstood Spider-Man or X-Men or Hulk.

I'd put the blame on television and rock'n'roll. Bright colors and fantastic powers can't compete with the movement - the sound! - of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. They could twice entertain you in the course of a single evening, then you could purchase their long-playing record and listen to it again and again. What cheaply-printed pamphlet could possibly compete with something so "cool"?

Blogger S1AL January 13, 2018 12:35 PM  

Stan Lee's biggest contribution was pushing concepts that weren't supposed to work - Iron Man being the foremost example.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 13, 2018 12:37 PM  

Stan Lee was a carnival barker. A great carnival barker obviously. I think he watched too many episodes of Hugh Hefner's tv show and he certainly took credit where it was due to others.

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 13, 2018 2:05 PM  

Rease wrote:
>>> OFF-TOPIC Blovation. <<<

Hey, Rease, why not check out this post from earlier today.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky January 13, 2018 2:18 PM  

I knew of Stan Lee, who hadn't?, but very little about him when his TV show came out. Stan Lee's Superhumans. I never made it through one episode before I decided I couldn't stand the guy.

Blogger tublecane January 13, 2018 3:21 PM  

I don't know anything about Stan Lee except that he's a publicity whore. He appears on t.v. and in movies constantly, always playing himself. I don't care if he's the Shakespeare of comic books, no actual accomplishments justify that much pointless self-exposure.

If he wants to be the Charlie the Tuna for Marvel, that's one thing. But then he'd appear in commercials, and I could avoid more easily because I avoid all commercials.

Blogger tublecane January 13, 2018 3:38 PM  

@16-That site references a book called Bookleggers and Smuthounds. I just wanted to repeat that title.

How many silly portmanteaus has making pornography licit deprived us of?

Anonymous Icicle January 13, 2018 3:38 PM  

I did enjoy his cameo in Mall Rats. But that was back in the 90s when his bowels still worked.

Blogger herfsi January 13, 2018 4:17 PM  

jack kirby = Jacob Kurtzberg
he was spinning tales too, bro.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales January 13, 2018 4:34 PM  

@13

That's not necessarily a cancer, it's just that it's been abused so much that it so often is.

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 13, 2018 5:04 PM  

Emmanuel Mateo-Morales wrote:@13

That's not necessarily a cancer, it's just that it's been abused so much that it so often is.


Cancer. As soon as someone does a "Kree-Skrull War" or "Infinity Gauntlet" or "Crisis on Infinite Earths", some half-wit comes along and says 'I can do that better -- hold my triple-soi, half-caf, decaf pumpkin latte swirl!" Then it's retcon, resurrection, and regret. You get the Dung Age of Comics. Oh, look! Here we are!

Cancer.

Blogger Dire Badger January 13, 2018 5:56 PM  

Still, "So you want to be a superhero?" had incredible potential. It's a shame it died so quickly, I loved it.

Anonymous Laz January 13, 2018 7:00 PM  

"
Cancer. As soon as someone does a "Kree-Skrull War" or "Infinity Gauntlet" or "Crisis on Infinite Earths", some half-wit comes along and says 'I can do that better -- hold my triple-soi, half-caf, decaf pumpkin latte swirl!" Then it's retcon, resurrection, and regret. You get the Dung Age of Comics. Oh, look! Here we are!

Cancer."

I know that feeling. The Inferno cross-over was it for me.

Blogger cmbaileytstc January 13, 2018 7:23 PM  

What’s keeping some of these wealthy/powerful men from getting their sex from the willing or pros?

Blogger marco moltisanti January 13, 2018 7:30 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger marco moltisanti January 13, 2018 7:30 PM  

@30 I've been wondering the same thing. Why couldn't Weinstein with his 200 million $$$ just have cheated on his wife like a normal person?

Blogger SteelPalm January 13, 2018 8:07 PM  

There has been a lot of speculation about who really came up with the characters, Jack Kirby or Stan Lee, and it's fair to question Lee's reputation in that regard. He is/was definitely a huge self-promoter and famewhore, too. (Actually reminds me of Richard Spencer in that regard)

However, I don't see what connection that has to his behavior as a senile, drooling 95 year-old who needs live-in nurses to take a shower or basic care of himself.

A lot of once-brilliant, impressive people are reduced to even worse by the scourge of time, from complete insanity and biting and scratching their caretakers, to flinging their feces at them.

Blogger Matthew McDaniel January 13, 2018 9:45 PM  

Stan Lee stole a lot of credit, but neither Kirby or Ditko achieved the same level of success apart from him. Sometimes working with someone with a big ego is helpful rather than slugging it out alone.

Blogger Matthew McDaniel January 13, 2018 9:47 PM  

He's the face of a company & Stan is a 'company man.'

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 13, 2018 10:54 PM  

cmbaileytstc wrote:What’s keeping some of these wealthy/powerful men from getting their sex from the willing or pros?
It's not about sex. Someone with Weinstein money, or even Stan Lee money, has no trouble getting laid.
More often than not, it's about degrading the women of a competing tribe.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 14, 2018 7:30 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:
As for Stan Lee, the interesting question is if he helped or hurt comics. Somewhere the "Sell Comic Books, Make Money" business model broke, and that time frame seems to be right around the point that Lee took over as Publisher. (1972) This brings up an interesting question: did Lee help transition comic books to something else or is he actually responsible for the constant decline for 4 decades?


Comics got a one two punch right about then that Stan Lee would have been powerless to stop. First and foremost the traditional distribution channels died. Newsstands were being replaced with vending machines because morning and evening editions had died out. Five and Dimes also died out about then. Leaving only the corner grocery turnstyle rack as the distribution point. Bored kids didn't wander into those as often as they did the other two.

The bigger problem was that Generation X (if you start at 1962) became the primary market Boomers were getting, "too old to read comics." So it was mostly Gen-X that had to pick up the slack and we didn't.

Worse still we killed the primary income stream for comics.

Point of sale money was barely enough to cover printing and distribution. The real money for comics was in the Garbage Ads that were pretty much exclusive to comics. Apparently the Boomer kids would keep buying that shit. Gen-Xers might get burned once and that would be it. The Garbage Ads didn't die out immediately but the ad rates dropped through the basement.

So no. Not Stan Lee.

If you want to know who really killed comics it was Dennis O'Neil over at DC Comics. He was first of the Gamma Male SJWs who brought "Social Relevance" to comics. This was the asshole that turned Green Arrow's sidekick into an addict that was hooked on horse. He depowered Wonder Woman and turned her into a karate pixie-ninja with her own mod squad. And then there was the horrors he inflicted on Batman.

If you want someone to blame it's Dennis O'Neil. He's the one that did it.

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 14, 2018 8:29 AM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:
Comics got a one two punch right about then that Stan Lee would have been powerless to stop. First and foremost the traditional distribution channels died. Newsstands were being replaced with vending machines because morning and evening editions had died out. Five and Dimes also died out about then.
. . .

Point of sale money was barely enough to cover printing and distribution. ... The Garbage Ads didn't die out immediately but the ad rates dropped through the basement.

If you want someone to blame it's Dennis O'Neil. He's the one that did it.


There were a number of issues that comics faced in 1968-1972 from economic forces and from SJW incursions. But this is the period when it all started to go south, and never really recovered.

Marvel and DC took mortal wounds. Both companies took a long time to die and become the zomibified creatures they are today.

Blogger tublecane January 14, 2018 2:06 PM  

@30-What makes you think they aren't getting it from willing participants AND professionals AND molesting on the side, all at once? They want it all, baby!

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