Steve Ditko actually wrote about Spider-man... A LOT
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It makes me sad to think Stan Lee was a bad guy 😟😟 

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Just now, FoggyNelson said:

It makes me sad to think Stan Lee was a bad guy 😟😟 

Yeah, where are the scathing comments from Gene Colan, John Buscema, John Romita, Roy Thomas, Marie Severin etc?

You're getting one side of a story here unfortunately.

No one ever claimed Stan Lee did it all himself, including Lee.

Kirby's boot licks were in his ear so much towards the end they had him convinced he was solely responsible for the creation of the MU, including Spider-Man.

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6 minutes ago, Logan510 said:

Yeah, where are the scathing comments from Gene Colan, John Buscema, John Romita, Roy Thomas, Marie Severin etc?

You're getting one side of a story here unfortunately.

No one ever claimed Stan Lee did it all himself, including Lee.

Kirby's boot licks were in his ear so much towards the end they had him convinced he was solely responsible for the creation of the MU, including Spider-Man.

I guess you missed these. That's ok, I'll repost them here.

John Buscema: I worked in the Timely bullpen in 1948. The thing that annoyed me was Stan Lee would walk into the room with a whip and beat the hell out of us. I just couldn't take that. He'd walk around with a beanie on his head with a propeller. I kid you not. Stan could be a real insufficiently_thoughtful_person at times.

 

John Buscema: Silver Surfer #4. Oh, you heard the story? You want to hear about that? If I tell you it does not leave this room. Now #4 I really enjoyed it. I thought it was one of the best jobs I'd ever done. Well I went into Stan's office and he tore the book apart. I mean it was an absolute disaster as far as he was concerned. He tore page, after page, after page and said, "You shouldn't have done this, " and "You shouldn't have done that," I walked out of the office cross-eyed. I walked into John Romita's office and said, "John how do you do comics." I'm gonna tell you something. A situation like that killed Don Heck's career. He was demoralized because editors were on his back. He'd come to me practically in tears and ask me, "John what can I do to satisfy these guys." And Don was a talented guy, who's so great. It destroyed some people, but it didn't destroy me. I said if I can't work with Stan, I'll go somewhere else. To hell with Stan. A sad story for Don. The poor guy died. Seriously now I don't want to be melodramatic but the man died of a broken heart. If a book didn't sell it was never the writer's fault. It was always the artists fault. The writer is always right; the artist is the one who fell on his face. Am I right?

image.png.5d056a4f9117c9ed4e780901d5c3e217.png

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Romita and Thomas are lifetime employees of Marvel for the last few decades (along with Steranko and his deal) so they sign the waiver that says they're not allowed to speak ill of the company. Roy Thomas' interview in the 1981 Comics Journal is a whole different story though.

Edited by Chuck Gower

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11 minutes ago, Chuck Gower said:

But not fed up with getting paid for it.

And by 1970 there was no writing to be done. He could simply say, "Let's have Loki switch bodies with Thor and attack NYC!" The artist then went and did all the work. And by that time he had multiple assistants who did the dialogue for him.

It's funny to think of Stan TIRED from writing in 1970... Jack was drawing from 1934 until his death in 1994... a creator creates. You don't just get tired and stop for the last 50 years of your life. Geez, even Frank Miller who looks like he's on his death bed is still trying to crank out stuff...

In 1972 Stan became publisher and 'figurehead' for Marvel. Any efficient businessman would surely want to delegate responsibility to maintain success for a Company.

The following year, Marvel relaunched in the UK and became phenomenally successful for the next decade. I read those comics. I know that success was down to Stan's promotional skills. I also know that more than any other comic book I read, I was made aware of the other creator's on each story. Now you can argue infinitum that the money was'nt spread fairly, but you cannot deny Lee's contribution to Marvel's overall success.

I appreciate all your posts Chuck and it is interesting reading, but I just feel some balance and perspective is also required........my 2c

 

 

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9 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

Is this really going to devolve into another 'shoot the messenger' thread?

Chuck is posting articles by people who were there at the time, working with Stan Lee.

They speak for themselves.

It's really simple, if anyone has a problem with what those articles state they should feel free to post their own links and sources as a rebuttal. Not shoot the messenger.

 

Thank you.

That's what I've done - post articles and quotes for information. I've developed opinions from it, which anyone else is free to do the same or reject.

Some people have to make it personal though. I thought that was considered 'against the rules'.

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6 hours ago, Ken Aldred said:
12 hours ago, Turnando said:

Was Ditko on the autism spectrum (not that there is anything wrong with that but reading an autistic writer is painful)? 

Being a bit socially withdrawn, as he was in his later years, doesn't necessarily indicate that.

If you read his self-published work, there's a lot of very, very literal black / white interpretations of social situations, both in his writing and his art, and he seems to be incapable of accepting the existence of intermediate, composite, 'grey' interpretations of those same social situations.  Instead of someone hiding confidently inside overblown Objectivist philosophy, this viewpoint could also much more simply indicate very narrow thinking and a 'lack of theory of mind', which can be present in autism spectrum disorders, but also in other non-autistic and quite distinct conditions.

Ditko seems to be an extremely black and white personality (and there is nothing wrong with that). There is no 'grey' in his world. I know zillions of people like that. My ex was like that (and still is).

The challenge is on communicating between personality types on any sort of collaboration, whether it's a relationship or a job and I'd venture to say that when comics were considered worthless, throw away newsprint people didn't think who created what mattered as much but past forward into today's world and there are teams of lawyers whose job is only thing - to surgically separate creator's rights.

I suspect that in the beginning the creators were all struggling to survive and didn't expect to be one day considered as one of the pillars of American pop culture.

We can to one degree or another say we ALL suffer from some sort of sensory deficiency and today it falls under the blanket of 'mental health'. It's what makes us individuals. We just tend to label the extreme ends of the spectrum as 'special needs' but we're all special needs in some way.

And those that say they aren't and are complete are usually the ones who are the most special. lol

I suspect that in the beginning nobody cared about credits all that much but Stan Lee (enfant terrible - lol ) caught on pretty quickly to the popularity and milked it for all it's worth.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, mrc said:

In 1972 Stan became publisher and 'figurehead' for Marvel. Any efficient businessman would surely want to delegate responsibility to maintain success for a Company.

The following year, Marvel relaunched in the UK and became phenomenally successful for the next decade. I read those comics. I know that success was down to Stan's promotional skills. I also know that more than any other comic book I read, I was made aware of the other creator's on each story. Now you can argue infinitum that the money was'nt spread fairly, but you cannot deny Lee's contribution to Marvel's overall success.

I appreciate all your posts Chuck and it is interesting reading, but I just feel some balance and perspective is also required........my 2c

Everytime I discuss this I say (and I've already done it once here): The Marvel Universe would never have been as great as it was without Stan Lee. No question.

But it would never have existed without Jack and Steve.

Stan's ability to take their work and promote it - and the line of Marvel Comics as a whole - made them... what they are today?

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12 hours ago, Larryw7 said:

It wasn't just Ditko. Kirby, Wally Wood, Gil Kane (and many others) all said the same thing. 

For sure.  Lee was a thief.  I just thought it was odd that Ditko would think Lee was confessing to stealing credit when Lee was obviously being sarcastic.  Not being able to detect sarcasm is a red flag for a supposed writer. I'm not interested in reading someone who is that disconnected from humanity.

I'm not a fan of either Ditko or Lee... I have read plenty of comic history.  I like flawed characters (Wallace Wood!) but Ditko and Lee were flawed in ways that I cannot abide.

Edited by Turnando
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Context is important.

John Buscema saying he had a story torn apart by Lee is not the same thing as Ditko and Kirby claiming he's a thief.

Did anyone think that seeing "Stan Lee Presents" meant he directly worked on a title? I didn't, not even a little bit.

It's important to not just look at one side of the story, which is what's being portrayed here unfortunately.

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 10:17 AM, Chuck Gower said:

It's a common misconception that Ditko didn't really talk about his Marvel days much after leaving the company in the mid-60's and not at all in his later days. In truth he wrote about it quite a bit, and I think these essays are pretty fascinating. 

His writing style is a bit clinical, but his ability to read intentions is very clear. He might've made a good lawyer. Here's an interesting one from 2007.

Ditko001.jpeg

I could only get through a little bit of that.

Steve was there, and we weren't, but I have a hard time seeing it his way.    Few before Stan gave the artists published credits in the comics (EC did as Terry once rightly pointed out).    I don't know that someone disinterested in giving credit goes out of his way to.... publish credits.

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1 hour ago, Logan510 said:

Yeah, where are the scathing comments from Gene Colan, John Buscema, John Romita, Roy Thomas, Marie Severin etc?

You're getting one side of a story here unfortunately.

No one ever claimed Stan Lee did it all himself, including Lee.

Kirby's boot licks were in his ear so much towards the end they had him convinced he was solely responsible for the creation of the MU, including Spider-Man.

It boils down to money.     Once a creation becomes this popular there is no crafting an agreement that everyone's going to think is fair.    Everybody wants more, more, more.    If Marvel had given Jack more (or Stan more, or anyone else more), guess what they would have wanted next?    More than that.    More more more.

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