Earlier today we noted Stan Lee’s penchant for pacting. Sadly, his partner in the Marvel Age, Jack Kirby, did not live to see the era where his creations and influence dominate pop culture. In fact, his family is right now engaged in a bitter dispute with Marvel Comics over the rights to the characters he created.
Some have called, passionately, for a boycott of Marvel over this. and they would have the high ground. But if a boycott isn’t your style. Nat Gertler has started his own way to remember The King, a program called A Buck for Jack, which suggests you donate a dollar every time you go see a movie based on Kirby’s creations.
Now, I don’t want to miss these films – they’ve got filmmakers like Kenneth Brannaugh, Jon Favreau, and Joss Whedon, stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Natalie Portman, and a pretty good track record of quality. But I feel uncomfortable going to these movies knowing that they are not benefiting the goals of the man who brought so much creative energy to the work. So here’s what I’m doing: for every film I go to see that features Kirby-crafted concepts but made without financial tribute to Kirby, I’m giving a buck to Kirby’s legacy. For now, it will be by giving that money to the Jack Kirby Museum; if I ever find a way to give it to the Jack Kirby heirs instead, I will start directing the money there.
The campaign is completely unaligned with the proposed Kirby Museum, the Kirby heirs, or any other official entity. But it sounds like a good way to watch a Marvel movie and at least make some kind of concrete contribution to keeping Jack Kirby’s memory alive.