Monday, April 04, 2011

Marvel Worldwide, Inc. et al v. Kirby et al - Jack Kirby's Missing Art

1915. That’s how many Jack Kirby pages went missing from Marvel between the time Irene Vartanoff did her famous inventory and Kirby got his art back in 1987.

Yet another great document that has been brought back into the light via the the Marvel vs Jack Kirby's estate court case is an art return form and inventory. Now we can finally see just what art was returned to Jack Kirby after he signed his amended art return form in early August, 1987 and compare it against the inventory list that had been published in The Comic Journal in Fenruary 1986. That inventory was done by Marvel staff member Irene Vartanoff and was current up to February 1980 and the inventory counted 3973 individual pages of Kirby art, however Kirby received 2058 pages in 1987. After that Vartanoff was relieved of her duties and art had started to be returned, for example, Joe Sinnott was handed the art to Fantastic Four #91 in its entirety. Kirby was handed nothing. Some of the missing art can be put down to the standard 1/3 cut of original art to the inker, but the fact remains that it is now clear that Kirby did not see the bulk of his Fantastic Four art, including anything from the Galactus Trilogy, along with the first two issues. He also didn’t receive any artwork from his X-Men run, other than the cover art to issue #31. The original art to issue #1 surfaced not that long ago and sold for many thousands of dollars. Same with early issues of The Hulk, the Avengers and many more Kirby jobs done, including key issues such as the first appearance of Thor.

So where is this art now? Entire issues were stolen from Marvel back in the early ‘80s, and soon they were being dealt on the collectors market. It must have caused Kirby a considerable amount of pain to see art which he’d been denied both by the bullishness of Marvel and by criminals, being openly sold and traded at conventions, and, clearly, there are still those out there who know exactly who stole what and who bought it. Such a shame that the Kirby family can’t go after those people, and a larger shame that those original thieves have gotten away with it, and they would have made a pretty penny then, as they still do now.

Have a look at this list, and you tell me, outside of the 1/3 share to Kirby’s inkers, are people comfortable owning art that was clearly stolen, as it wasn’t returned to Jack Kirby back in the day…




BOOK ISSUE TOTAL VARTANOFF KIRBY PAGES (approx) MARVEL 1985 PAGES DISCREPANCY
AMAZING ADVENTURES Vol I 1 18 11 7
AMAZING ADVENTURES Vol I 5 18 8 10
AMAZING ADVENTURES Vol I 6 13 8 5
AMAZING ADVENTURES Vol II 1 10 6 4
AMAZING ADVENTURES Vol II 3 10 9 1
AMAZING ADVENTURES Vol II 4 10 6 4
ASTONISHING TALES 1 10 5 5
ASTONISHING TALES 2 10 6 4
AVENGERS 1 22 14 8
AVENGERS 2 23 15 8
AVENGERS 3 25 13 12
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 8 6
6
AVENGERS 5 23 15 8
AVENGERS 6 23 13 10
AVENGERS 7 22 9 13
AVENGERS 8 21 13 8
AVENGERS 10 1 1 0
AVENGERS 16 20 11 9
CAPTAIN AMERICA 102 18 12 6
CAPTAIN AMERICA 104 20 12 8
CAPTAIN AMERICA 105 16 10 6
CAPTAIN AMERICA 108 20 12 8
CAPTAIN AMERICA 109 18 18 0
CHAMBER OF DARKNESS 4 7 4 3
CHAMBER OF DARKNESS 5 6 5 1
CRAZY 2 8 5 3
FANTASTIC FOUR 3 23 16 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 5 23 20 3
FANTASTIC FOUR 7 24 15 9
FANTASTIC FOUR 8 23 15 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 9 23 15 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 10 23 16 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 11 22 15 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 12 23 15 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 13 22 14 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 14 22 15 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 15 20 14 6
FANTASTIC FOUR 16 22 15 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 17 22 14 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 18 17
17
FANTASTIC FOUR 20 22 14 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 21 22 14 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 23 22
22
FANTASTIC FOUR 24 23
23
FANTASTIC FOUR 25 21
21
FANTASTIC FOUR 26 21
21
FANTASTIC FOUR 27 23 15 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 29 22
22
FANTASTIC FOUR 30 22 14 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 32 21 13 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 33 20
20
FANTASTIC FOUR 34 20
20
FANTASTIC FOUR 36 21 13 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 38 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 39 20 12 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 41 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 49 20
20
FANTASTIC FOUR 50 20
20
FANTASTIC FOUR 51 20 12 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 63 20 12 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 64 20
20
FANTASTIC FOUR 65 19 12 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 66 16
16
FANTASTIC FOUR 68 18
18
FANTASTIC FOUR 71 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 77 3
3
FANTASTIC FOUR 89 3
3
FANTASTIC FOUR 90 20 12 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 92 19 12 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 93 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 94 20 12 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 95 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 96 17 11 6
FANTASTIC FOUR 97 16 10 6
FANTASTIC FOUR 98 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 99 20 13 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 100 19 12 7
FANTASTIC FOUR 101 19 11 8
FANTASTIC FOUR 102 15 10 5
FANTASTIC FOUR 108 19 8 11
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 1 16 14 2
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 2 48 35 13
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 3 22 14 8
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 4 19 13 6
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 63 5 4 1
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 64 5 3 2
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 66 5 4 1
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 67 5 4 1
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 70 5 4 1
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 71 5 4 1
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 73 5 4 1
GUNSMOKE WESTERN 77 5 3 2
HULK 3 24
24
HULK 4 19
19
HULK 5 24 15 9
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 52 5 4 1
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 55 4 2 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 58 11 9 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 59 7 3 4
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 60 12 4 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 61 7 4 3
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 63 12 3 9
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 66 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 67 13 5 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 71 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 72 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 73 13 10 3
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 74 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 75 13 9 4
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 76 13 7 6
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 78 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 80 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 81 13
13
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 82 7 7 0
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 85 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 86 13
13
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 87 10
10
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 89 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 93 13 8 5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 97 13 9 4
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 98 5 3 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 99 5 3 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 100 5
5
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 101 18 11 7
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 102 18 11 7
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 103 18 11 7
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 104 18 11 7
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 105 10 8 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 106 23 21 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 109 23 16 7
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 110 22 11 11
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 111 21 12 9
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 113 21 19 2
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 114 21 13 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 115 21 13 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 116 21 13 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 117 21 13 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 118 20 13 7
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 119 21
21
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 120 21 13 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 121 20 12 8
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 122 21 13 8
THOR 126 20 8 12
THOR 127 20 8 12
THOR 128 21
21
THOR 129 21
21
THOR 131 21 8 13
THOR 132 13 8 5
THOR 137 1 1 0
THOR 169 17
17
THOR 140 14 9 5
THOR 141 16 10 6
THOR 142 1 1 0
THOR 143 9 6 3
THOR 144 12 8 4
THOR 146 1 1 0
THOR 147 15 10 5
THOR 148 15 10 5
THOR 149 21 13 8
THOR 150 21 13 8
THOR 152 21 8 13
THOR 153 20 8 12
THOR 158 4 1 3
THOR 160 20 8 12
THOR 161 10 4 6
THOR 172 19 8 11
THOR 173 19 8 11
THOR 174 20 8 12
THOR 175 20 8 12
THOR 176 20 8 12
THOR 179 15 8 7
KID COLT 93 5 3 2
KID COLT 95 5 5 0
KID COLT 119 23 3 20
RAWHIDE KID 18 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 20 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 21 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 22 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 25 18
18
RAWHIDE KID 26 18 18 0
RAWHIDE KID 27 18 18 0
RAWHIDE KID 28 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 30 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 31 18 13 5
RAWHIDE KID 32 18 12 6
RAWHIDE KID 34 18 2 16
RAWHIDE KID 43 18 4 14
SGT FURY 1 21
21
SGT FURY 2 22 10 12
SGT FURY 3 22 15 7
SGT FURY 13 23 10 13
STRANGE TALES 72 1 3 -2
STRANGE TALES 75 7 4 3
STRANGE TALES 76 7 4 3
STRANGE TALES 77 7 6 1
STRANGE TALES 83 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 84 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 85 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 89 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 90 7 4 3
STRANGE TALES 91 7 4 3
STRANGE TALES 92 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 93 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 94 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 95 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 96 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 98 7 8 -1
STRANGE TALES 99 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 100 13 9 4
STRANGE TALES 101 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 102 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 103 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 105 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 108 13 8 5
STRANGE TALES 135 12 6 6
STRANGE TALES 142 12 1 11
STRANGE TALES 143 12 8 4
STRANGE TALES ANNUAL 2 18 12 6
TALES OF SUSPENSE 72 10 4 6
TALES OF SUSPENSE 78 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 79 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 80 10 5 5
TALES OF SUSPENSE 81 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 82 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 83 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 84 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 85 10 6 4
TALES OF SUSPENSE 86 10 4 6
TALES TO ASTONISH 14 13 8 5
TALES TO ASTONISH 83 22 12 10
TWO GUN KID 55 12 3 9
TWO GUN KID 58 12 12 0
TWO GUN KID 59 12 11 1
TWO GUN KID 60 12 11 1
TWO GUN KID 61 12 12 0
TWO GUN KID 62 14 14 0
X-MEN 1 23
23
X-MEN 2 22
22
X-MEN 3 24
24
X-MEN 4 22
22
X-MEN 5 24
24
X-MEN 6 22
22
X-MEN 7 22
22
X-MEN 8 20
20
X-MEN 9 20
20
X-MEN 10 20
20
X-MEN 11 20
20
X-MEN 12 19
19
X-MEN 13 20
20
X-MEN 16 20
20


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its great that you have compiled this list, but it would be better still if you could include all the issues that Kirby was not supplied at all, so that we have a more accurate listing of what exactly did not make its way back to Kirby

Daniel Best said...

It's all there, by proxy. Basically if it's not listed in the MARVEL 1985 PAGES column then Kirby didn't get any art from it. That includes FF #1, all of his X-Men work and many, many more pages. As you can see, Kirby didn't a lot of his FF art back - entire issues and runs went missing, and key issues at that, such as the Galactus trilogy.

Anonymous said...

Since the question of who legally owned Jack's art prior to 1987 is clear, it's really a misnomer to say it was being stolen from Jack himself. This was property of the Marvel company until they chose to release it. I agree that Kirby was badly mistreated as creative talents often were in those days, but don't fall into that familiar trap of applying present-day sentimentality to past events.