Gerry Giovinco‘s blog is always worth reading, but here’s a telling piece setting the two titans’ accounts of the origins of Marvel side by side and coming to a conclusion:
The reality is that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee simply represent two different types of men. Jack Kirby was an amiable, creative genius who’s imagination knew no boundaries. He created for two primary reasons, to comfortably support his family and to express his ideas. Any reward beyond that was secondary to his nature, by the time he realized his loss it was too late.
Stan Lee had his eye on the prize his whole career. He continues to live for the fame and the fortune. He believed in the Marvel product and aggressively sold it with a huckster’s gleam in his eye that exists to this very day.”
STAN LEE BONUS LINK: You might think from all the forgoing that Stan Lee is everywhere, but not so. From a profile of Hollywood Reporter editor Janice Min in the Times:
But somewhere in the middle of the meeting, a proposed picture for the back page, a strong, iconic image drawn from the trade magazine’s 80-year history, is slid down the table for inspection. After being handed a picture of a back-in-the-day Stan Lee, the comics genius, posing with some badly dressed superheroes, Ms. Min cocked her head to the side as she took a skeptical look. Bill Higgins, a reporter who was hired away from Variety, said, “I know that look, I’ll keep looking.”