Stan, Jack, and Steve - The 1960's (1961) The Castaway Strikes Back
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Wow! We're finally into 1961! This is a big year and there's a LOT to cover, so...

 

Part ONE (1954):

 

Part TWO (1955):

 

Part THREE (1956a): 

 

Part FOUR (1956b): 

 

Part FIVE (1957): 

 

Part SIX (1958): 

 

Part SEVEN (1959): 

Part EIGHT (1960)

 

Edited by Prince Namor
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Going into 1961, Dell Comics and DC Comics are dominated the market. It's not 'quiet' on the comics front, there's a sense of excitement - or is there? Two comic book fans, Jerry Bails and Roy Thomas, through their communication with Editor Julius Schwartz and Writer Gardner Fox would begin communication in the Fall of 1960, and prepare to share there passion for costumed heroes with the world. 

DC had continued to build its superhero universe and that would spill over into 1961.

Marvel meanwhile, had just about shut down once again after the publication numbers came in for the year, and they again were disappointing. Kirby talks Goodman again into hanging on another year, and the publisher demands another Kirby Monster Book to try and boost the line. 

Looking at these numbers again, this is how the year ended for Marvel Comics in sales: 

These are Marvel's Sales Figures for the Year 1960 (***UPDATED INFO ADDED***):

Strange Tales #83 - 169,601 (#73-81)  1,529,409 (total sold)

Journey/Mystery #66 - 167,125 (#56-64)  1,504,125

Tales to Astonish #18 - 163,156 (#8-16) 1,468,404

Millie the Model #102 - 154,972 (#95-101)  1,084,804

Tales of Suspense #16 - 148,929 (#8-14)  1,042,503

Kid Colt Outlaw #98 - 144,746 (#89-96) 1,157,968

Patsy Walker #94 - 143,474 (#87-93 )  1,004,318

Two Gun Kid #59 - 135,256 (#52-58) 946,792

Love Romances #92 - 133, 227 (#85-91) 932,589

 

1960 TOTAL sales (per Marvel Comics AD): 16,100,000 copies sold

10,670,921 (Top 9 above) - 5,429,079 left - (49 others issues) - 110,797 average in below list

 

The rest of the line (the books below) all averaged only 110,797 copies each... Yikes!

Kathy #10???? (#3-9)

Life with Millie #11??? (#3-9)

My Girl Pearl #11??? Cancelled (#7-10)

Patsy & Hedy #75??? (#68-74)

Gunsmoke Western #64??? (#56-62)

Wyatt Earp #27-29

My Own Romance #73-79)

Battle #68 -70)

Rawhide Kid #17-20)

 

Goodman needed those books averaging 200,000 copies each. Kirby's books were the only thing close. The rest of the line was struggling hard.

Stan had seen an opportunity to try and latch onto Jack, the way he'd done with Joe Maneely (Play Editor, take the credit as writer), but Kirby, having been through something like that with Joe Simon, isn't very interested. Something would change that...

The first month or two though... they had to just get things up and running...

Edited by Prince Namor
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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

For January, Marvel would release 11 titles to the newsstand (Wait, not 8???)

Stan Lee would write 7 of the titles for the month. He was already learning Kirby's value - by 'writing' with him on the Western's, Kirby could either take the smallest of an editorial idea by Stan and turn it into a two-three part 19 page story, or completely write the story on his own with no guidance and Stan would still get paid as writer. 

 

My Girl Pearl #11 - Last Issue.

Kathy #10 - with Stan Goldberg art

Life with Millie #10 - with Stan Goldberg art

Rawhide Kid #21 - One 19 page story with Jack Kirby, and one 5 pager with Don Heck

Two Gun Kid #59 - Two stories with Jack Kirby (19 pages) and one 5 pager with Paul Reinman

Patsy Walker #94 - with Al Hartley art 

Patsy & Hedy #75 - with Al Hartley art 

 

The other 4 were:

Tales to Astonish #18 

Tales of Suspense #16 

Journey Into Mystery #67

Strange Tales #83 

Edited by Prince Namor
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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Rawhide Kid #21 - Jack Kirby does the cover, and interior pencils, while D. Ayers inks both. Stan Lee signs his name on the splash, but Kirby is still penciling in his own dialogue in the word balloons. This story is another example of two current Kirby storytelling devices - breaking the tale up into chapters (something he began doing back at Mainline with Bulls Eye) and making reference (or using characters) from a previous story. Marvel was doing neither of these before Jack came back. 

Part ONE:

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Two Gun Kid #21 - Jack Kirby does the cover, and interior pencils for a two part, 13 page lead story and a 5 page final story, with D. Ayers inking all of it. Both are Two Gun Kid stories. Stan Lee signs his name on the splash, but Kirby is still penciling in his own dialogue in the word balloons. 

Part ONE:

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Journey Into Mystery #67 - One area where Stan didn't butt in with Jack was the Monster books, where Kirby was free to do them how he chose to. Here he does the cover (inked by Steve Ditko) and a 2 part, 13 page lead story (inked by D. Ayers). It's interesting here to see Kirby tell a story that mirrors his own situation with Marvel, as the main character is writer and his boss threatens his job if he doesn't come up with an exciting story out of nothing!

Part ONE:

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Journey Into Mystery #67 - It's also interesting to see the position the alien is in here... for those who think all of the these monster stories were exactly the same (and, of course, most were), we still see Jack able to be creative and come up with something like this, three years into it!

Part TWO:

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On 11/17/2022 at 7:59 AM, Prince Namor said:

Stan Lee signs his name on the splash, but Kirby is still penciling in his own dialogue in the word balloons.

 

Any insight into how similar Kirby's penciled dialogue was to the version actually published?

Seems that's the crux of the argument: when Stan Lee is re-writing Jack's words, is Lee "writing" or is he "editing"  ?  hm

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On 11/17/2022 at 8:45 AM, Zonker said:

Any insight into how similar Kirby's penciled dialogue was to the version actually published?

Seems that's the crux of the argument: when Stan Lee is re-writing Jack's words, is Lee "writing" or is he "editing"  ?  hm

Until Lee stopped Kirby from writing dialogue into the story, it pretty much looks as if it's the actual dialogue used as best as can be seen. 

The new method, which begins around the time of FF #1*, probably agreed to as the contingency on Jack getting a chance to do superheroes, is the brief story conference, Jack then doing whatever he wants with the story, then bringing it in and explaining it to Lee as he takes his own notes.

Within a couple of years, by 1965 completely, Jack simply does the stories on his own, and writes the story guidelines in the margin for Stan to dialogue from.

 

 

*Stan had been using a variation of this style for quite sometime, it's how editors help their talent. Most editors though, give the germ of an idea to a writer, and then the writer, writes the story and gets paid for the story. The Editor gets paid to being the Editor. Stan would give the germ of an idea to an artist, the artist would flesh it out and Stan become the 'writer'. 

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Strange Tales #83 - Another cover and 2 part, 13 page lead story, written and penciled by Jack Kirby with D. Ayers inks. 

Really there's not much difference in Grogg than anything else Kirby was doing at the time, but at the end of the story, it says: "Want to see more of Grogg? Write to Stan Lee, Strange Tales, 655 Madison Ave, N.Y.C. 21, N.Y."

Part TWO:

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Strange Tales #83 - Statement of Publication numbers for Strange Tales, showing it to be the #1 seller in Marvel's line of comics. With those numbers being published in this issue - suddenly the everyone in the business could see in print, that Jack Kirby's monster books were outselling anything that Stan Lee was doing... and suddenly there's a blurb at the end by Stan "Want to see more of Grogg? Write Stan Lee..."

Is this a sneaky way of trying to work his way into credit for the success?

Stan would do a lot more than just this in 1961 to get credit, or change perception of credit...

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Tales of Suspense #16 - Another cover and 2 part, 13 page lead story, written and penciled by Jack Kirby with D. Ayers inks. As is Marvel's Editorial way, if its working, just keep repeating the process....

The interesting thing here is, THIS is the Marvel we love... this character could've gone either way, villain or hero. He could've been Iron man before there was an Iron man, or just become a supervillain called Metallo. Kirby would do this same type of character creation and story for the rest of the decade at Marvel...

Part ONE:

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Edited by Prince Namor
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