Stan Lee quotes from SCARP Con 1968
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Stan went on to discuss the period of the 50’s and early 60’s, when DC had the whole super hero field to themselves. He and his staff were, at the time, trying to turn out magazines that just the kids would read - and getting nowhere.

They were? In 1954, Marvel probably had less kids comics than anyone. Millie the Model, My Friend Irma (followed by My Girl Pearl) were NOT for kids. Plenty of sexual innuendo and bullet bras there. Romance books? Nope, that was for an older crowd. The War books? Ever read Combat Casey? NOT for kids. The zany humor Mad ripoffs? Not for kids, plenty of adult in jokes there.... Maybe the Westerns... for every 'Homer the Happy Ghost' or 'Melvin the Monster', Atlas/Marvel had another 10-15 books each that were NOT for kids. 

 

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“In the first two issues of the Fantastic Four we had them in business suits, but the mail came in and said, “Your magazine is terrific. It was different. It was exciting. It’s going to sweep the country, but you’ve got to put them in costume.” After reading a few hundred letters like that, issue #3 had them in costume.”

Well, yes and no, in their origin, they had on their flights suits obviously, ala Challengers of the Unknown, but in issue #2, Mr. Fantastic IS wearing a business suit through half of the issue (he has on some weird flannel shirt with slacks in the first half)! 

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Posted (edited)

Fan: Mr. Lee, why do you hold back information from the fans?

Stan: Well mainly because it spoils the surprise, and also because half the time we don’t know ourselves. The next FF is due at the printers in 3 days, and unless I talk with Jack about it before that, the little block that tells what’s coming will have to read: ‘Next ish: Don’t miss the most spectacular Fantastic Four story ever!”

Hmmm... Once again here's another example of Stan telling us he doesn't know what's coming up until the artist brings him the book. This may only apply to Jack (and previously Steve Ditko), as its where Stan is usually quoted as saying it, but he would of course later backtrack on this. 

Edited by Prince Namor
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Fan: Stan, the trouble with the FF is that there’s too much SF. Why don’t you cut it out?

Stan: Well, Jack is a SF bug. And the SF in the stories is inserted by him. The readers haven’t complained, and I like it, so it’ll stay. (Applause)

Stan admitting that the fantastic SF ideas come from Kirby, as anyone who's read both of their complete histories were already aware of. 

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Posted (edited)

Fan: MR. Lee, it was rumored that Steve Ditko left Marvel because of a personal conflict with you. Would you care to comment on that?

Stan: (Under his breath) Not Really. Actually, that’s another of our ‘famous Marvel Mysteries’. I respect Ditko, as an artist, as a creative talent, and as a guy. But while I liked him, I got the impression he wasn’t exactly enchanted by me. One day he just came in and said he was leaving. I don’t know why. I think I’m pretty lovable, really.

Hoo boy... Stan can't hide the fact that he's delighted Ditko is gone and he now has an artist on the book who he can say 'Let's bring the Scorpion back' as an incomplete sentence synopsis (Romita's own words), and be done with it. 

And then in true narcissist flip the argument manipulation he turns it around that Ditko didn't like HIM. Wow. 

Edited by Prince Namor
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On 6/15/2022 at 3:05 PM, Prince Namor said:

Fan: Stan, the trouble with the FF is that there’s too much SF. Why don’t you cut it out?

Stan: Well, Jack is a SF bug. And the SF in the stories is inserted by him. The readers haven’t complained, and I like it, so it’ll stay. (Applause)

Stan admitting that the fantastic SF ideas come from Kirby, as anyone who's read both of their complete histories were already aware of. 

They are archetypal science heroes. 

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On 6/15/2022 at 9:50 PM, nmtg9 said:

I wonder if he ever laid awake at night thinking about Kirby and Ditko? Or was he so drawn by the fame and adulation that he actually believed his own tales? 

Probably, at least towards the end, yes, you say it long enough, it becomes true (in your mind). And I fully respect Stan, Kirby and Ditko and their contributions to the world of Marvel. 

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Something I've always wondered, which nobody talks about, is one of the differences between the FF and the Challengers that made them iconic. Their personalities match their powers. We all know that.

However, not many people talk about how their powers/personalities correspond to the classical Greek elements of earth, air, fire and water. The FF ARE ELEMENTALS.

Is there any documentation of THIS particular part of their invention? And whose idea was it? I'm pretty sure we can guess pretty accurately.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure if the FF stuff has ever been documented, but in Challengers of the Unknown #3, after Rocky's rocket crashes back to earth he has temporary super powers, including fire, freeze rays, super strength, and invisibility... pretty close to the same powers the FF would later have. So yeah, Kirby most definitely toyed with that idea...

Stan was still doing dumb blonde comics and an occasional Western at the time...

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Edited by Prince Namor
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On 6/21/2022 at 5:48 PM, sfcityduck said:

And the Thing could have come out of any Atlas/Marvel Monster Book

The Ben Grimm-to-Thing transformation scene was recycled from a similar sequence by Kirby in one of those older monster stories.

Can’t recall which one exactly, something I saw in a Masterwork book.

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On 6/21/2022 at 6:14 AM, Doctor Dositheus said:

However, not many people talk about how their powers/personalities correspond to the classical Greek elements of earth, air, fire and water. The FF ARE ELEMENTALS.

I was very, very slow with that, I’ll admit. Only when I read Bill Willingham’s Elementals comic in the 80s did I realise that it applied retroactively to the Fantastic Four.  Duh.

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Jack Kirby with Joe Simon created Captain America, a comic book that sold in the Millions. A Huge Hit.

Jack Kirby with Joe Simon created the Boy Commandos for DC Comics, another comic book that sold in the Millions. A Huge Hit.

Jack Kirby with Joe Simon created the Newsboy Legion for DC Comics, another comic book that sold in the Millions. A Huge Hit.

Jack Kirby with Joe Simon created Young Romance, bringing the romance genre to comics. Along with its companion Young Love, those comics sold in the Millions for EIGHT YEARS. A huge Hit. 

During this time, Stan Lee had no hits.

Once Joe Simon stopped working with Jack, he never again had a hit.

Jack Kirby with Stan Lee had huge success during the Silver Age of Comics. 

Once Jack left Marvel, Stan never again achieved the type of success he did during the Silver Age. 

(Unless you count, strong-arming Marvel for a million dollar a year salary to be the 'face' of the company and not actual create anything.)

Jack Kirby without Joe Simon or Stan Lee, created a whole Universe of new characters. His Fourth World stories have been reprinted as a collection at the same pace as any of his Silver Age work. It gets reprinted again, and again, and again...

 in  Jack Kirby's New Gods (DC, 1998 series) ([February] 1998) [new colored background on cover], ([February] 1998) [gray tone only]

 in  Millennium Edition: New Gods 1 (DC, 2000 series) (June 2000)

 in  Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus (DC, 2007 series) #1 ([August] 2007)

 in  Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus (DC, 2011 series) #1 ([November] 2011)

 in  DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection (Eaglemoss Publications, 2015 series) #84 - New Gods 1 ([September 2016]), #84 - New Gods 1([September 2016])

 in  The Fourth World Omnibus by Jack Kirby (DC, 2017 series) (2017 [February 2018])

 in  New Gods by Jack Kirby (DC, 2018 series) ([October] 2018)

 in Absolute Fourth World by Jack Kirby Vol. 1 Hardcover – June 30, 2020

 in Fourth World by Jack Kirby Omnibus (New Printing) Hardcover – September 14, 2021

At a time when very few series' for DC OR Marvel made it past just a few issues, Kirby's New Gods went 19, Mister Miracle 25, and Kamandi for 58. 

His Fourth World characters were absorbed into the DC Universe, leading to movie appearances, TV appearances and animation projects. 

He has been successful wherever he worked in comics. 

Brother Power, the Geek, not so much. 

 

Stan Lee had snappy dialogue. Jack Kirby had Fantastic Worlds of Creative Ideas. With everyone he ever worked with. 

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On 6/21/2022 at 3:12 PM, Prince Namor said:

Jack Kirby with Joe Simon created Captain America

You lost me with your first sentence.  Jack Kirby was the junior partner in Simon & Kirby, both financially and, in the case of Captain America, creatively. Having said that, CA was a classic example of Timely’s trend following as CA was a blatant rip-off of the Shield, so much so the character was redesigned in issue two. The legend of Kirby is way overblown when it comes to the  GA.  He did not hit his artistic peak as a pencilled until the 60s.  And his DC creations were far from the company’s most successful.  

Also hard to take your evaluation of Lee’s efforts seriously.  He was responsible for many Marvel titles in the 40s and 50s and Marvel survived and thrived when many publishers did not, including S&K’s Mainline which lasted only two or so years and Prize. 
 

Give them both their due.


 

 

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On 6/22/2022 at 2:27 AM, sfcityduck said:

You lost me with your first sentence.  Jack Kirby was the junior partner in Simon & Kirby, both financially and, in the case of Captain America, creatively. Having said that, CA was a classic example of Timely’s trend following as CA was a blatant rip-off of the Shield, so much so the character was redesigned in issue two. The legend of Kirby is way overblown when it comes to the  GA.  He did not hit his artistic peak as a pencilled until the 60s.  And his DC creations were far from the company’s most successful.  

They were two of the biggest selling creators of the entire Golden Age. They were the first two to be listed on the front cover of a comic to promote it. To say Kirby's 'legend' in the GA is overblown shows that you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about. 

On 6/22/2022 at 2:27 AM, sfcityduck said:

Also hard to take your evaluation of Lee’s efforts seriously.  He was responsible for many Marvel titles in the 40s and 50s and Marvel survived and thrived when many publishers did not, including S&K’s Mainline which lasted only two or so years and Prize. 

Stan Lee never had a hit in the Golden Age. It's as simple as that. 

Jack Kirby had multiple million copy selling books in the Golden Age, including titles that sold that way for years. 

If comic books had ended in 1960, Jack Kirby would be in the Comic Book Hall of Fame. Stan Lee wouldn't. 

He wasn't much of anyone until Kirby and Ditko changed his fortunes. 

On 6/22/2022 at 2:27 AM, sfcityduck said:

Give them both their due.

I do. Stan wrote snappy dialogue and was a great promoter. 

The greatest character Stan ever created was himself. 

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