If one cosplayer can change the way DC Comics operates—which happened recently at San Diego Comic-Con, when Batgirl stood up to demand more female creators and characters—then think what an army of readers can do when it comes to the Jack Kirby copyright situation. At least that's what the co-creator of John Constantine hopes.
As we told you last week, a federal judge recently ruled against Jack Kirby's heirs in their attempts to win back the copyrights to the many characters he created or co-created for Marvel, agreeing with the company's claim that all such superheros were "works for hire." The family will appeal the case, but Stephen R. Bissette doesn't want it to stop there.
Bissette—who had a hand in creating the character of John Constantine for DC Comics and "received a check for $45,000 for just one movie based on the one character I co-created," wonders why Kirby's heirs can't be treated with the same respect.
Remembering how public shaming of DC Comics in the '70s led to better treatment of Superman creators Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster in their old age, Bissette writes:
I suggest, for starters, simply pulling the plug on all individual support for any and all Kirby-derived Marvel ANYTHING (comics, movies, videogames, merchandizing).
Speaking only for myself: I've had it.
I'm done with Marvel and all Marvel Kirby-derived product, period. No movies (I was planning to see Captain America this weekend; that's forever off the table), no more comics from their Kirby legacy, nothing.
Bringing greater public shame/pressure to bear may or may not yield results, but removing further investment in their exploitation of the Kirby legacy—which is, undeniably, 85%+ of Marvel's pantheon—will send a message.
It's not hubris (I know my nickel isn't anything of consequence), and it won't mean a thing if I'm the only one doing it, but I'm doing it.
If more do it, it WILL mean something.
Screw apologies to the Kirby family; Marvel needs to take care of the creator and the heirs of the creator that earns those lawyers their paychecks.
Kirby is dead; he went through the ignoble final years suffering Marvel's abuses and indifference.
Nothing can change that.
But we needn't continue to even passively support that system.
What do you think? Should the fans stop reading Kirby-inspired comics? Would such a move have an effect?
(via The Comics Reporter)