Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum Page of 4 Next >>
Topic: Kirby’s Spider-Man concepts. (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Michael Connell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 January 2006
Posts: 4027
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 7:52am | IP Logged | 1  

I know we've most likley all heard the story of how Stan Lee came up with the Spider-Man concept a million times, he saw a fly climbing on a wall thought that would be a great power for a Super-Hero, ran down the list of insect names until he came to "Spider-Man". He took the idea to Jack Kirby who did several sketches that Stan thought were too powerfully built, so he went to Steve Ditko and history was made.

But.....does anyone know if Jack's original Spider-Man concept sketches survived? And if so were they ever published in any format? I've often wondered what Kirby's "Spider-Man" looked like, if Ditko designed the costume of the Spider-Man we know, what did Kirby's Spider-Man look like? (Makes you wonder if a Lee/Kirby Spider-Man would have become the runaway hit the Lee/Ditko Spider-Man became.)

Back to Top profile | search
 
Mark Spiridakis
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 176
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 2  

Didn't Kirby draw the cover for Amazing Fantasy #15?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Connell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 January 2006
Posts: 4027
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 8:56am | IP Logged | 3  

Looks like it, but that's Ditko's Spider-Man design. I was wondering what Kirby's original costume designs looked like.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Jesus Garcia
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 2213
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 4  

I don't have a reference handy but Ditko responded to the "Who created Spider-Man" question by mentioning that Kirby had a first crack at it. Apparently Kirby drew 3-4 pages of stoty establishing that Peter lived with an elderly couple.

In the article, Ditko re-drew Kirby's Spider-Man costume as he remembered it. It looked to me like a standard Kirby trunks-on-the-outside job with a holster to carry a web-gun and a half-face mask.

 

Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Connell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 January 2006
Posts: 4027
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:19am | IP Logged | 5  

Sounds like one of the "Spider-Man" costumes seen in this issue of What If?

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 6  

Kirby's version of Spider-Man began as a Simon & Kirby character called the Silver Spider. That never saw print, evolving instead into the Fly. From what I understand, Kirby's Spider-Man was a very literal reinterpretation of that character, including the "magic ring" motif.

That Ditko drawing of Kirby's version of the costume has been posted to this Forum before. Anybody know where to find it?

Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Connell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 January 2006
Posts: 4027
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 7  

While looking on the net for Kirby's Spider-Man I found this article about Kirby & Spider-Man

http://rodrigobaeza.blog-city.com/jack_will_probably_claim_h e_does_that_too.htm

Back to Top profile | search
 
Knut Robert Knutsen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 September 2006
Posts: 7374
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 8  

It's a bit different from how Kirby described it, which was (I think- I don't have the books to hand) that he had an idea about a spider-named or -themed hero which was a bit like Captain Marvel in that he was a kid who transformed into the Hero only using a magic ring. This was something left over from his collaboration with Joe Simon many years previously.

So Jack Kirby pitched a "spider-man" or "spider-something" to Stan Lee which was rejected, and a while later Lee approached  Ditko with a different "spider" idea that they developed together.

This might include a scenario where Lee came to Kirby first in order to develop the new idea, but the gist of it is that the characteristics that make Spider-man stand out were part of Lee and Ditko's development process.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 9  

In ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS Lee reported his having approached Kirby to develop the "Spider-Man" concept which he, Lee, had come up with. Kirby then turned in a version that wasn't what Lee was looking for, so he went to Ditko, who was a much more "street level" talent than Kirby. There was no mention of Kirby having pitched the character and been rejected. If that was the case, I wonder why it took Kirby so long to dispute Stan's version?
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 10  

There is an odd mirror image of the creation of Batman in these stories of Spider-Man's beginnings. In Batman's case, the guy who really did most of the work, Bill Finger, didn't get the credit he deserved, while in Spider-Man's case the guy who had almost nothing to do with the creation of the character, Jack Kirby, tried to claim credit he did not deserve.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Connell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 January 2006
Posts: 4027
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 11  

In the article it says
 QUOTE:
STAN: Well, I think that Jack has taken leave of his senses.

I wonder if in his later years Jack truly believed he had created most of Marvel's characters himself or if it was just a ploy to garner attention for himself?

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 12  

I think there were a lot of people dripping their
poisons in Kirby's ear.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Nathan Greno
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 8231
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 13  


Lee rejected Kirby's Spider-Man design -- and turned to Ditko... and then later, Lee rejected Ditko's cover and turned to Kirby!

http://www.samruby.com/AmazingFantasy/Large/AmazingFantasy15Alt.jpg
Back to Top profile | search
 
Paulo Pereira
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 April 2006
Posts: 15542
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 9:53am | IP Logged | 14  

Hmm, I think I like the rejected cover better.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11710
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 15  

Very interesting section from the page Michael linked to above:

(From Comics Interview #5, dated July 1983, an interview conducted by David Anthony Kraft, Jim Salicrup, and Dan Hagen)

JIM: Speaking of SPIDER-MAN, Jack Kirby has given several interviews lately, in which he's claimed credit for creating SPIDER-MAN...

STAN: I really don't know what to say about that. I honestly don't understand it. Years ago, when I wanted to do SPIDER-MAN, I called Jack and told him: "I want to do a character called SPIDER-MAN who sticks to the walls, who does this and who does that." And I told him I wanted him to draw it, how I wanted it done, and I told him I didn't want it done in his usual style. I didn't want the character to look too heroic or too monster-like. I wanted him to look like an average guy. Jack did a few pages. I saw them and said, "No, it is all wrong. Let's forget it, Jack. It is just not your style." I took it away from him and gave it to Steve Ditko. I don't know whether this is the case or not, but maybe when Ditko did the story, he used the costume that Jack created. I don't remember. I guess Ditko and Jack are the only two guys who know that. If Ditko is still around, I'd appreciate it if you would ask him and let me know the answer. And if, indeed, the costume is the one that Jack originally drew, that may be what Jack means when he says that he created SPIDER-MAN. But in no way, shape, manner or means did Jack Kirby create SPIDER-MAN. I don't even know how he can dare to say that. It is the one strip that we did that he had virtually nothing to do with at all, except for a few pages that we never used.

JIM: I think it was in an interview in Will Eisner's SPIRIT magazine that he said he and Joe Simon had come up with a character called the Silver Spider. Jack went on to say that he was pushing you to do superheroes at Marvel, and you were his vehicle to get it to Martin Goodman and start the Marvel Age of Comics.

STAN: Well, I think that Jack has taken leave of his senses. I have never heard of the Silver Spider. Jack never pushed me to do superheroes. What happened was, one day, Martin Goodman called me into the office -- this is when Jack and I were doing all those monster stories -- and Martin, who was publisher at the time, said: "You know, Stan, I've just seen some sales figures for this DC magazine" -- it may have been the JUSTICE LEAGUE, but I no longer remember -- "it is doing pretty well. Maybe we ought to do some superheroes." And I said, "Fine." And he said, "Let's do a team like the JUSTICE LEAGUE." And I said, "Fine." I went home and wrote an outline, a synopsis for the FANTASTIC FOUR. And I called Jack, handed him the outline, and said: "Read this. This is something I want to do. And you should draw a team." Jack, of course, contributed many, many ideas to it. And I would venture to say that Jack and I co-created THE FANTASTIC FOUR, in a way -- although the name was mine, the characters were mine, the concept was mine, originally. But he never pushed me to do superheroes. Jack was at home drawing these monster stories, until the day I called him and said: "Let's do the FANTASTIC FOUR." I think Jack is really -- I don't know what to say, I don't want to say anything against him. I think he is beginning to imagine things.

DAK: I know he did some work on the recent FANTASTIC FOUR cartoon series for Marvel Productions. I'm wondering if you ever saw him or worked with him?

STAN: I haven't seen Jack in a couple of years. Considering all the stuff I hear he is running around saying, it is probably just as well that I don't see him.

JIM: Getting back to SPIDER-MAN, you're still working on the syndicated strip, right?

STAN: Yeah, well, Jack will probably claim he does that, too

Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Nathan Greno
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 8231
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:01am | IP Logged | 16  


OT: I can't help but think of the awesome version of the cover I own! :)




Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11710
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:02am | IP Logged | 17  

One thing about Spider-Man's outfit: Jack Kirby could never get it right, so I doubt it was his design. Steve Ditko also had said something before about how a good design for an outfit is one where you can tell who the character is if you just saw a leg or an arm. Spider-Man passes that test.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:09am | IP Logged | 18  

One thing about Spider-Man's outfit: Jack Kirby could never get it right, so I doubt it was his design.

***

I have come across a disturbing number of people who use that to "prove" that the design was Kirby's, and that it was Ditko who got it wrong!

(This is a cousin to the same level of fan-insanty -- infanity? -- that had some people saying I did CHAPTER ONE so I could claim I created Spider-Man. No, really!)

Back to Top profile | search
 
Bob Simko
Byrne Robotics Security
Avatar
Negative Mod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5259
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:10am | IP Logged | 19  

If it doesn't pop up, I'll post the image JB mentioned when I get back home later this weekend.
Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:17am | IP Logged | 20  

Lee rejected Kirby's Spider-Man design -- and turned to Ditko... and then later, Lee rejected Ditko's cover and turned to Kirby!

***

Kirby also penciled the cover to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11710
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:19am | IP Logged | 21  

I know that the cover to "Amazing Spider-Man" #1 was inked by Steve Ditko, but I can't remember... was the cover to "Amazing Fantasy" #15 also inked by Ditko?
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 94697
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 22  

... was the cover to "Amazing Fantasy" #15 also inked
by Ditko?

***

Yes.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Lars Johansson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 June 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6115
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:33am | IP Logged | 23  

Kirby left when (?) he was asked to run the place with Stan according to Stan. Kirby did not want to do that. (The Kevin Smith interview). For some reason comic book artists/writers don't want to be CEO's or EIC, it's my conclusion. I don't know whether I'm right. A Swedish writer, very talented was EIC for about eight months and he hated it.

Kirby moves to DC, whatever just to avoid the position he has ben offered. (If this interpretation by me is wrong this is in fact what Stan actually stated in the KS interview.)

Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
Eric White
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 October 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 710
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 24  

Sounds like the exact opposite of what I heard over the years.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Kurt Anderson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 November 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2035
Posted: 02 June 2007 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 25  

Mark Evanier has a great page that gives background and art on the comic in question and other Marvel covers that were rejected for one reason or another.

 

http://www.povonline.com/Alternatecovers.htm

 

 

Back to Top profile | search
 

Page of 4 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login