It’s no secret that for the greater part of his later years, Jack Kirby was greatly concerned with leaving a financial legacy for his family. His whole life he’d worked night and day creating entire universes…and although his creations had gone on to become multimedia sensations, because of the way the comics industry was set up, he was in no position to benefit from it.
The news is filled with way too many stories of comics creators dying in poverty—although this situation is a common one among creative types, what IS unusual is that the comics industry is uniquely set up in such a way that early creators rarely profit from their creations. Because of the pulp origins of the comics industry, creator ownership was rare or an afterthought. It’s not like the rock stars or authors who drank or snorted away their millions—at least they had some millions to begin with.
Thus on Jack Kirby Day, the above message from his granddaughter Jillian is uniquely appropriate: why not remember the King with a donation to the Hero Initiative? This non-profit has done marvelous work helping creators in need and there is sure to be more calls for their aid in the years to come.
Do a good deed for the industry by helping the Hero Initiative. The King would have liked it that way. More at Hero Complex.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.