Ed Nemo's Reviews > Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution

Tales to Astonish by Ronin Ro
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: biograghy
Read in July, 2011

I just finished reading this book. Now as anyone that has had an even passing conversation with me knows, I am a rabid comics fan. So, I read this book over the last two days and simply marvelled, (pun intended), over how the industry got started and how it treated its creators.

In the end, I feel this book was very fair to both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. But, you just can't help but see how awful big business can be. I feel bad for people like Jim Shooter, who admittedly made Marvel a juggernaut, get the bum rush. Of course, to make Marvel big he had to screw over some people.

Bob Kane (Batman), Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster (Superman) are famous for being screwed out of their rights over their characters. But, they flat out sold their creations. Jack Kirby created Captain America (with Joe Simon), Spider-Man (with Stan Lee and Steve Ditko), The X-men/Thor/Hulk/Iron Man/Black Panther/Silver Surfer...well the list is too long to mention, but all with Stan Lee. Jack had to fight to get anything more than his base salary for these creations. Marvel dealt him a crappy hand and only with the support of a lot of help from 100s of big named creators did he even get some of his original work back (1900 pieces out of 9000 or so).

Now as a guy born in the mid 70s. I loved and still love Stan Lee. His was the voice I heard and words I read in comics and cartoons. Jack was never a wordsmith and stayed in the background. It was only later in life that I even realized how amazing he was. My biggest regret in life to this point is never having met the man.

Jack created the Marvel Universe. Jack created the New Gods. Jack influenced the design and creation of comic books for 70 years, and he will always be the King of Comics.

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Comments (showing 1-1)

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message 1: by Ken (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken I agree, I grew up in the seventies listening to Stan Lee and not appreciating Kirby for the genius that he was.

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