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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #158

This is the one-hundred and fifty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and fifty-seven. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

This week also marks the third anniversary of this feature, so to celebrate, I figured I’d treat you all to something a little special – not just a DOUBLE-sized edition, but double-sized plus ONE! Why lucky seven? Because I thought that a nice way to make this a STAR-STUDDED anniversary would be to have one legend for each of the writers of the top five comic book runs. Since there were two co-writers in the top five, that makes seven!

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Neil Gaiman reworked his Phantom Stranger proposal into Sandman.

STATUS: Basically True

It is fun to think of DC Comics in the late 1980s, where there was this influx of British writers who also brought with them an influx of creativity. This creativity was displayed with great effect as Alan Moore took a popular (but not THAT popular) DC character, Swamp Thing, and turned it into a critical darling.

In the late 1980s, DC wanted to know if similarly talented British creators could do the same, and writer Neil Gaiman’s first shot at doing a new take on an established DC character was 1988’s Black Orchid.

After that was a success, Karen Berger asked him to pick a new ongoing project.

Gaiman’s first answer was the Phantom Stranger.

He was told no, as DC did not think he was enough of a “hero” to sustain an ongoing series (and he had just had a mini-series anyways).

So Gaiman suggested the Demon.

Nope, just used by Matt Wagner.

Okay, how about Green Arrow?

Nope, sorry, Mike Grell is doing a Green Arrow series.

How about the Sandman?

Free and clear!

However, the specific wonder that reader RR Duran sent in to me a year ago was did Gaiman turn his Phantom Stranger idea into the Sandman?

And here, I’m going to give a tentative yes, but perhaps not the way that Duran is asking me. I believe Duran is asking whether Gaiman had a solid storyline all planned for the Phantom Stranger, then when that was rejected, Gaiman just changed the characters to Morpheus, et. al. Duran suggests this because of what he felt to be similarities between Gaiman’s initial Sandman plots and unresolved plots from the Phantom Stranger’s previous ongoing series.

Instead, what I think happened was that Gaiman had a certain amount of fantastical ideas, and where he initially planned on using the Phantom Stranger to achieve his goals of telling these stories, he instead came up with Morpheus. The two are really a lot alike, in the sense that they both mostly facilitate other people’s stories.

In an interview with Universo HQ a few years back, Gaiman goes into this point deeper, by discussing the similarities between Morpheus and the Phantom Stranger (he details a scrapped plot where he had the two talk for awhile before he realized it was just like the same person talking to himself – so decided against the idea), and specifically saying that any ideas he had for the Phantom Stranger series he had used up during his Sandman run.

So while it was not a direct “replace all usages of ‘Phantom Stranger’ with ‘Morpheus'” reworking, I think it is close enough to give it a basic true.

Here is Neil Gaiman himself clarifying the situation:

As I remember both Grant and I pitched our Phantom STranger stories on the same day, and they both involved Cassandra Craft . That time it was turned down because they’d just commissioned the Kupperberg series. I don’t honestly think that anything in the pitch I did was reworked in Sandman. Some months later, when I was asked what I’d like to do as a monthly series, I asked for the Stranger, and was told no, because he wasn’t a Hero. So took enormous pleasure in writing a series about someone much less a hero than the stranger ever was.

Sandman was plotted from the ground up, starting with the character, not reusing anything. I’m sure that if I’d done a Phantom Stranger series it would have covered as much history as Sandman did. But I got most of my desire to write Phantom Stranger characters out of my system in Books of Magic…

I’ve still got the Phantom Stranger / Morpheus scene from Sandman 24 somewhere, and you can see why it didn’t work – they stand there being gnomic at each other, and it really doesn’t make for drama, so after a page or so I gave it up as a bad job and just started the story a few moments later. But it wasn’t a plot, just a scene.

Thanks to RR Duran for the question, and thanks to Universo HQ and especially, Neil Gaiman for the information and clarifications!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Chris Claremont modeled an X-Men character after a translator he once had.

STATUS: True

As noted in a previous installment, Chris Claremont commonly peppers in appearances of his friends in his comics.

However, apparently only a brief encounter with Claremont can lead to you making an appearance in an X-Men comic, as Lourdes Ortiz found out during the 1980s.

In 1985, Lourdes Ortiz worked as Chris Claremont’s translator when he attended the 1985 Barcelona Comic Convention in Barcelona, Spain.

Here she is with Mr. Claremont…

If you can read Spanish, here is a newspaper article account of Claremont’s Spanish tour.

About a year later, in Classic X-Men #7, Claremont delved into the background of one of the Hellfire Club (powerful, secretive business organization – made up of mostly pretty evil folks)’s leaders, Sebastian Shaw.

In the story, we see Sebastian Shaw torn between the head of the Hellfire Club, Ned Buckman, and Shaw’s lover, the mutant teleporter, Lourdes Chantel, a teleporter from…you guessed it!…Barcelona, Spain.

Both Lourdeses even look similar…

Chantel is killed in the story by the evil mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels (which were sent by Buckman to kill Shaw), and her death leads Shaw to take control of the Hellfire Club, making the leaders of the group mutants.

So who knows who might appear in a Chris Claremont comic next? Watch out dry cleaners and accountants, your time may come next!!

Thanks to reader Julio for filling me in on this one!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: John Byrne drew She-Hulk’s nipples in a Marvel Graphic Novel.

STATUS: False

Reader yo go re asked me the following last year:

Did John Byrne draw a, ah… “wardrobe malfunction” in the Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel?

As I read it, the story had a fairly sexual bent, what with the public strip searches, the probing, the tiny bare butt-shot on a tv screen, etc. At one point, She-Hulk gets shot in the chest, and while it tears the clothes she was wearing, it obviously doesn’t do anything to the character. We get a panel showing her from the chest up, crushing the gun the guy shot her with, and it’s possible to Rorschach-test your way into seeing barely-concealed nipples. It doesn’t help that they’re colored differently than the rest of her skin.

I haven’t seen a direct quote, but rumor is that Byrne said the inker did it, not him. Seems possible, but not highly likely – considering the way Byrne liked to tease the audience in his run on the book, it seems more likely that he just tried to see if he could pitch one past the editor, and succeeded.

Here is the scene in question, from 1985’s Marvel Graphic Novel: The Sensation She-Hulk

(Thanks to Dave Campbell for the scan!)

Okay, so the nipples are clearly there.

So, was it Byrne or was it the inker of the comic, Kim DeMulder?

Here’s Mr. DeMulder on the subject (I know Byrne has already denied it – so I went right to Mr. DeMulder):

Yeah I added them. I understand that Byrne wasn’t too crazy about that.

I had a lot of fun doing this book, but it got under a very tight deadline crunch toward the end of it. Adding to it all, a few of the pages I had already inked were lost in Marvel’s own mail room. So I had to trace copies of the pencils and re-ink them.

This obviously created less time to do much of any production changes in the artwork. In the first part of the book, I can remember that Byrne had whited out some of She-Hulk’s breast “details” that I had added in! ;) Later on he apparently didn’t have the time to do that!

Another by-the-way about this book was that it was originally planned to be a regular comic book miniseries and then changed to a graphic novel after we had already started it. So under the heading of “graphic novel”, I felt a little more inclined to add some details that couldn’t be shown in code-approved comics.

So there ya go! A consensus!

Here is a link to Kim’s neat-o website!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Stan Lee owns a trademark on the word “Excelsior,” keeping Marvel from using the name for a comic book.

STATUS: True

Here’s another great examination of the difference between trademark and copyright, courtesy of the great Stan Lee.

Stan Lee’s current company, Pow! Entertainment, was recently granted a trademark on the service mark “Excelsior!”

Excelsior, besides being Lee’s catch phrase, is also the name of the book he did awhile back…

In the pages of Runaways awhile back, Brian K. Vaughan introduced a team of young superheroes that formed a sort of superhero support group. They called themselves Excelsior.

That was fine, because Marvel was not using the name Excelsior in any advertisements or as the title of the book – basically, there were not using the mark in commerce.

However, in late 2006/early 2007, they announced plans for a mini-series featuring Excelsior.

Here, there would be a problem, because they would have to use the name in the title of the comic, and by doing so, they WOULD be using the mark in commerce, which is where they would come into conflict with Lee’s trademark.

So they renamed the book Loners!

Interestingly enough, Lee’s trademark was only recently granted by the government. I wonder when his company actually filed for the trademark. This might very well have been a case of Marvel backing off before any legal problem actually occurred, perhaps because, well, why mess with Stan Lee if you don’t have to?

If anyone knows of any specifics to the situation, let me know! I know Rich Johnston mentioned it, but that was source-less (which is totally fair, just noting that if anyone had a source, that’d be neat).

Thanks to reader Darkhawk for suggesting this one!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Jack Kirby was involved in faking a movie for the CIA.

STATUS: False, although he was connected in a roundabout way.

In November of 1979, Iranian students took over the American embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.

While almost all of the workers at the embassy were taken hostage, a few did manage to escape. They first tried to escape in groups of five or six. The locals first (the first local group was quickly recaptured) and then married couples. The group of married couples actually managed to escape capture, and eventually were given secret sanctuary in the Canadian embassy.

The Central Intelligence Agency tried to think of a way to get them out of the country. Faking passports and the like were simple enough, even passing them off as Canadians was simple enough – explaining why six Canadians were in Iran during such a tumultuous time? Not simple at all.

Eventually, CIA agent Tony Mendez came up with a plan – pass them off as working on advance scouting for a motion picture!

Only, to make it look real, they needed to basically make a real motion picture, and this is where Jack Kirby is involved.

A fellow named Barry Geller had purchased the rights to Roger Zelazny’s science fiction novel, Lord of Light, and Geller then hired Jack Kirby to do design sketches for the film. Kirby was quite thrilled at the time to be involved in the film.

As part of the production of the film, Geller also planned a theme park, a sort of science fiction amusement park…

Here is one of his sketches Kirby made for the film (Geller has a lot more on his website here):

Well, like a lot of films, the project fell through.

Makeup artist John Chambers (Oscar winner for his work on the Planet of the Apes) was hired by Geller for the film, so he had access to the film’s documents, and the setting of the Lord of the Light fit the terrain of Iran perfectly, so now the project had a film to work with!

They renamed the film Argo, and proceeded with their plan, including an ad for the film in Variety.

The Kirby art was used extensively – the workers carried it around with them, etc.

And eventually, the six embassy workers disguised as film workers (now also all passed off as Canadian citizens, thanks to the super-heroic work of the Canadian government in this time of crisis) went to Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport and flew off to Switzerland.

Pretty amazing, huh?

The six rescued American diplomats were:

Robert Anders, 34 – Consular Officer
Mark J. Lijek, 29 – Consular Officer
Cora A. Lijek, 25 – Consular Assistant
Henry L. Schatz, 31 РAgriculture Attach̩
Joseph D. Stafford, 29 – Consular Officer
Kathleen F. Stafford, 28 – Consular Assistant

Here is a picture of three of the men, along with CIA Agent Tony Mendez (four months after the escape)…

Mark Lijek (1), Tony Mendez (2), Robert Anders (3), Henry Lee Schatz (4)

Thanks to Joshuah Bearman, who wrote this all up in an amazing article for Wired (he supplied the picture, too!).

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Frank Miller was not originally going to leave Daredevil after Born Again.

STATUS: True

Frank Miller became a famous comic book creator while working on Daredevil, and after leaving the book for a couple of years, he returned in the mid-80s for one of the best Daredevil stories ever, Born Again, with artist David Mazzucchelli.

The epic storyline ended with #233, and it seemed as though Miller’s involvement on the title was over again…

However, Miller actually was planning on one last story before leaving (and the next writer coming in).

The story was to be a two-parter from #235-236 with artwork by the great Walt Simonson, and it was going to guest star Doctor Strange!

Only the first part was written, though, because the story was pushed back on the schedule. Once it was pushed back on the schedule, Miller lost interest a bit, and since the deadline was pushed back, he never finished the second issue’s plot and by the time Marvel really wanted the story, Miller had moved on to DC (and later, Dark Horse) and Simonson had begun his run on X-Factor – so it never got made.

How awesome would a Miller/Simonson storyline had been? And featuring Doctor Strange? Poor NeilAlien!!

Thanks to the always amazing Kuljit Mithra for his interview with Walt Simonson on the topic, and thanks to Simonson for the information about the run, and heck, this being the third anniversary of the column, let’s thank Walt Simonson again for inspiring this feature three years ago!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Alan Moore created John Constantine BECAUSE he looked like Sting

STATUS: True

As has been shown on numerous occasions, comic book artists like to base characters on famous people – usually actors.

When they do so, it usually is a matter where they come up with a character then decide to base the character’s visual appearance on a famous celebrity.

Therefore, it is well known that John Constantine’s visual look is based on the appearance of the musician Sting (then of the band The Police).

However, in the case of John Constantine, it was actually a MUCH stranger situation where Constantine was developed AFTER the idea to use Sting’s appearance was determined.

In a 1993 interview with Wizard, Moore explained the strange genesis of Constantine:

Basically, when I take over something as a writer, I always try to work as closely as I can with the artists on the book, so I immediately did my best to strike up a friendship with Steve Bissette and John Totleben. I asked them what they would like to do in Swamp Thing . They both sent me reams of material. Things that they had always wanted to do in Swamp Thing, but never thought they would get away with. I incorporated this into my scheme of things, and tried to pin it all together.

One of those early notes was they both wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. I think DC is terrified that Sting will sue them, although Sting has seen the character and commented in Rolling Stone that he thought it was great. He was very flattered to have a comic character who looked like him, but DC gets nervous about these things. They started to eradicate all traces of references in the introduction of the early Swamp Thing books to John Constantine’s resemblance to Sting . But I can state categorically that the character only existed because Steve and John wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. Having been given that challenge, how could I fit Sting into Swamp Thing ? I have an idea that most of the mystics in comics are generally older people, very austere, very proper, very middle class in a lot of ways. They are not at all functional on the street. It struck me that it might be interesting for once to do an almost blue-collar warlock. Somebody who was streetwise, working class, and from a different background than the standard run of comic book mystics. Constantine started to grow out of that.

Bissette and Totleben had already worked Sting into a previous issue (Saga of the Swamp Thing 25)….

But it was Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 that Constantine made his first real appearance, looking just like Sting (amusingly enough, for a character created just because Bissette and Totleben wanted to draw him, his first appearance was in an issue guest-penciled by Rick Veitch!)

Sting apparently knows about it, and is fine enough with it, especially as he is one of those “that’s not me – that’s the persona I put on for the public” people, so you’d imagine he especially would be okay with it.

Thanks to William A. Christensen and Mark Seifert, authors of the Wizard article in question. Also thanks to two of the most outstanding comic resources out there:

A. Greg Plantamura’s Annotations for Swamp Thing (which is where I got the pictures from)

and

B. John Goodrich’s The Ultimate Hellblazer Index (which is where I got the article quote from).

And hell, since the topic is Swamp Thing, how about a link to Mike Sterling? He’s great and he loves him his Swamp Thing! So here’s his awesome website, Progressive Ruin.

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s covers!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

See you next week – for a nice, normal-sized edition!

84 Comments

I was aware of the Sting-as-John-Constantine thing, but I’m sorry — it’s just … so lame (the reality of the situation, that is, not your posting it). Totleben & Bissette should be, & I hope are, ashamed.

What next? A character based on Sting’s comedic equivalent, Pauly Shore?

Sting blows NOW, but the Police were probably an exciting band back in the day.

Depends on your defintion of “back in the day,” I guess. I saw ‘em in January of ’82 & wasn’t exactly blown away. (Little-known openers the Go-Go’s were pretty darned decent, though.)

Miller/Simonson on Daredevil. That would have been something.

Nice theme to celebrate the three year mark… keep up the good work of illuminating the twists&turns of comiic book history!

Annoyed Grunt

June 6, 2008 at 8:53 am

I had no idea Matt Wagner did a Demon miniseries. Anyone know if it’s worth tracking down?

D. Eric Carpenter

June 6, 2008 at 9:08 am

Quick annoying legal lesson:

Trademarks don’t have to be registered to be valid, nor do they ever have to be registered. All that’s required is you actually use the trademark. So, the moment Stan’s Excelsior came out, he had a trademark on it…

All registration does (and, admittedly, it’s a big all) is reverse the burden of proof in court. If I sue you for violating my trademark and I haven’t registered it, I have to prove you did wrong. If I HAVE registered it, YOU have to prove you didn’t do wrong,.

Hey, remember waaaay back when there were house ads for Frank Miller to take over the Doctor Strange book? What happened there?

Sting was never cooler than he was at ‘Urrgh: a Musical War’

and I had no idea Jack Kirby was a legit super hero himself. How much of his work do you think was autobiographical? :)

So, why was the Miller/Simonson DD pushed back in the first place? Was it Frank, Walt, Marvel?

WHO’S TO BLAME!????

Sting was not only NOT lame back then, but he was considered a bit of a style icon.

I seem to recall several discussions with customers in my shop that Sting would’ve been great for the Constantine movie if he was younger. We had no clue that the character was based on him!

And yea, I would’ve liked to have seen the DD/Dr. Strange story, Born Again was such a great story!

I just went to the Spy Museum in Washington D.C. There were a lot of the original documents and photos about the CIA efforts with the fake movie production, but it didn’t explain the story. So thanks for giving the items a context. Reportedly Regan was so grateful to the Canadian government after, that he gave them prime Washington DC real estate for their new embassy.

Quick annoying legal lesson:

Trademarks don’t have to be registered to be valid, nor do they ever have to be registered. All that’s required is you actually use the trademark. So, the moment Stan’s Excelsior came out, he had a trademark on it…

All registration does (and, admittedly, it’s a big all) is reverse the burden of proof in court. If I sue you for violating my trademark and I haven’t registered it, I have to prove you did wrong. If I HAVE registered it, YOU have to prove you didn’t do wrong,.

Oh, totally – trademarks exist before registration, but I dunno – using a word as the title of your autobiography and taking that word as a trademark for all comic books? That seems pretty sweeping for a non-registered trademark, doesn’t it? And the sort of thing I would think companies would be willing to challenge, which is why I was wondering if this perhaps was a case of “why mess with Stan Lee if we don’t have to? Even if we win, we might not win (PR-wise).”

That’s why I’m real curious if anyone has the specifics.

So, why was the Miller/Simonson DD pushed back in the first place? Was it Frank, Walt, Marvel?

WHO’S TO BLAME!????

Marvel pushed the story back awhile, and when they pushed the deadline back, Miller did not finish the second issue, and by the time Marvel decided they were ready for them, both guys had moved on.

So if you had to “blame” anyone, I guess you could say that Marvel could have placed a higher priority on having a brand-new Frank Miller story.

“So, why was the Miller/Simonson DD pushed back in the first place? Was it Frank, Walt, Marvel?”

In that interview link, Simonson says that the new ongoing writer on ‘Daredevil’ wanted his story to come out at the beginning of summer, because it was a big month for sales, so Marvel deferred to his wishes and pushed back their story.

Wagner’s depiction of the Demon is the definitive one, as far as I’m concerned. Not only is the characterization great, but I particularly like the way his Demon is drawn to be lithe and slender… more a wily snake than the over-muscled gorilla he appears to be elsewhere.

Great feature as always.

Though I was a bit too young to appreciate John Constantine back in the 1980’s, I knew that he was Sting (the musician, not the wrestler).
Imagine how disconcerting it was to see him portrayed by everyone’s favorite wooden actor on film, who did not even bare a passing resemblance to ol’ Hellblazer.

I make no claims to having any more of an informed opinion than any of the esteemed contributors here, but am I the only one who thought that James Marsters (especially considering his turn as Spike in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer) would have been perfect as John Constantine?

Just putting that out there.

Thank you and good afternoon.

Brian, Happy Thirdaversary! This is a great feature and I appreciate all the work you put into it.

@ Annoyed Grunt: I really enjoyed the Wagner Demon series and definitely think it’s worth a pick-up. The art alone is worthwhile enough for that, but the story is compelling and interesting, too.

>>Sting was never cooler than he was at ‘Urrgh: a Musical War’

The band is decent in that flick, but I thought they were totally overshadowed by any number of other bands filmed — Wall of Voodoo, Au Pairs, Magazine & The Cramps come immediately to mind.

I did remember while reading Born Again that Miller and Simonson were going to do a two-part story! Thanks for clearing that one up.

I was working in a comic shop at the time, and there were lots of rumors about Frank Miller’s Born Again storyline and whether or not Jim Shooter liked it. One rumor said that Shooter told his editors that Born Again was complete crap. Somehow I can’t believe that as Shooter was one of Miller’s biggest supporters during his first Daredevil run.

Maybe a better way to understand Moore’s inspiration for Constantine is to consider QUADROPHENIA.

The Who’s rock opera about early 60’s Mod culture in Britain became a film in 1979. The late 70’s was all about the working class youth in rebellion against conservatism and repression; the film resonated immediately with Punks, PostPunks, and a new Mod Revival wave. The unknown Sting played ultra-mod Ace Face in the film. His combo of mod trenchcoat and suit and tie with spikey platinum hair and acerbic attitude brought a punk cred to the film. Style and scruff. (Do a Google search of ‘Quadrophenia Sting’ Images and compare to Veitch’s panels.) Moore seemed particularly inspired by that character in his street punk inversion of ‘the middle-class mystic’.

So Constantine has more to do with Ace Face, than with The Police.

Alan continued that punk rebellion aesthetic through V FOR VENDETTA, WATCHMEN, and BROUGHT TO LIGHT.

With the way things go nowadays, a film brands a comic character into the public conciousness, and that gives it a chance for a ‘requel’ to reboot later. CONSTANTINE was like a good Elseworlds or Earth-2 version of John for me, despite my deep reservations. But it’d be great if someone remade the film straight on; trenchcoat punk John, spikey blonde, wet night England. A cross between LOCK, STOCK, & TWO SMOKING BARRELS and THE EXORCIST.

Wagner’s Demon is indeed excellent, and the fact that it’s not collected in TPB is a real shame.

“Maybe a better way to understand Moore’s inspiration for Constantine is to consider QUADROPHENIA. ”

Anyone who can’t imagine Sting being the inpiration for John Constantine should immediately seek out a copy of Brimstone and Treacle. Save for his cameo in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels many years later, it’s the best work Mr. Sumner ever did on celluloid. Watch that, and it’ll make his Feyd Rautha in Dune all that much worse.

I got the same exact answer from Moore when I interviewed him for the Watchmen TPB release. I started my question, “There’s a lot of clever theories as to who John Constantine ‘really’ is…” and he just moaned “Oh, Jesus Christ…” and I of course answered, “Yes, that’s one of them!”

Constantine looks nothing like Steve Borden! Oh wait, you mean Gordon Sumner. Never mind. :)

Strangely enough, when I heard that the Constantine movie was in development, who did I think was the perfect guy for the job? Sting. Strange, huh?

As for Miller and Simonson, that would have been a great run; much better than Nocenti. I guess it was never meant to be (just like the Bob Layton/Barry Windsor-Smith Spider-Man graphic novel and Layton’s version of “Armor Wars II”).

Also relevant to the Gaiman-Stranger story is the curious case of the conclusion to Action Comics Weekly.

Gaiman was tasked with writing the one-issue roundup to the (financially failed) Action Comics Weekly anthology before it became just plain Action Comics and returned to the Superman fold, tying up as many things as possible from the various features that had been running through ACW.

One of those features had been a Kupperberg Phantom Stranger bit, building on the (stupid) status quo established at the (stupid) end of the (stupid) Kupperberg-Mignola miniseries mentioned above. The ACW stories themselves were mostly fine– much better than the mini had been, but they still made use of the silly situation Kupperberg had left the Stranger in.

Gaiman’s Action Comics story wrapped it up. The Stranger walked into the New York apartment he’d been living in for no good reason, spoke to the Lords of Order who’d been bossing him around for no good reason, told them this little episode in his life was now over and he didn’t belong to their little club and he was off to return to his work as per normal. In 2-3 pages it just disposed of Kupperberg’s mess. It was terrific and effective and in-character (just like when Gaiman wrote the Stranger in Books of Magic).

It also didn’t see print at the time– Gaiman’s story depended on Hal Jordan and Clark Kent knowing each other’s secret IDs, which wasn’t the case in post-Crisis continuity at that point, and so the script got junked, replaced with something much inferior, and lost for 15+ years until it was published as the out-of-continuity special “Superman/ Green Lantern: Legends of the Green Flame.”

But Gaiman had his Stranger fix plotted out and written, and I’d guess that any Stranger book he was hoping to write would *not* have directly followed on the Kupperberg stuff, since he’d already tried to dispose of it as efficiently as possible. Maybe those 2-3 unpublished pages would have been the beginning of issue 1, and then the whole sorry episode would have been revisited later a la the treatment of Brute and Glob in Sandman.

Really enjoyed the column today, Brian. It was like opening up my longboxes!! As a teenager in the 80s I bought that issue of Swamp Thing (and a couple others around that one). Steve Bissette lives up here now, even stops into my LCS, I’m told, but I haven’t met him yet. I thought he drew that issue, until I busted it out when “Constantine” was coming out and saw it was Veitch.

I was also buying Daredevil back then. So was my brother, and he gave me his books a few years back, so I’ve actually got a couple copies of the “Born Again” run, not really in a collectible condition, just preserved to keep them cool to read, you know? Wish we could’ve seen that Miller/Simonson story happen…

And I recently pulled out Wagner’s Demon mini series to reread, after a run through the Mage trades (don’t open those suckers up too wide, btw… nice binding, Image… grrr). Wagner’s Demon series is awesome!

Yes, if you (like me) read and collected comics in the 80s, this was a nice stroll down Memory Lane. All that and She-Hulk’s nipples, too. What a Friday!

woo! One of my suggestions laid to rest! And hooray for nipples!

I’m not saying I’d sell my soul to see a BBC-produced Hellblazer series with John Simm in the lead… but I’d seriously consider it.

I notice there’s a story about Jack Kirby and the CIA and everyone’s talking about Sting and the Police and the Iranian Hostages.

Weird.

I saw some old Disney film on television once about a comic book artist who becomes a hero working to get a defector agent out of the soviet union and low and behold the art one of the pages was clearly Jack Kirby’s.

Let’s see Sting do that! Hey, I’m kidding. I love the Police… before they went synth.

“Lord of Light” is a great book!

But I dunno, Roger Zelazny and Jack Kirby both were fascinate by gods and mythology, but their styles were so utterly different (Zelazny’s, sardonic, witty, deconstructionist; as compared to Kirby’s more straightforward, respectful, properly epic).

So I have a hard time picturing Zelazny characters wearing baroque Kirby costumes.

Gaiman & Grant Morrison both put a Phantom Stranger pitch (both completely different, Morrison’s is a lot weirder if I remember right) into DC at more or less the same time (86/87) but the Kupperberg/Mignola series had been long commissioned so neither could use the character. Both were given a free range of DC’s characters & Gaiman picked Black Orchid & Grant picked Animal Man in order to prove they could write superheroes; Zenith had still to be published in 2000AD when Grant was comissioned to write a 4-issue Animal Man mini series on the back of his Phantom Stranger proposal.

I seem to remember tales of a particularly messy UKCAC in 85 or 86 (it might well be the first year Bisley turned up & got a job on 2000AD) where both Gaiman & Morrison sealed their respective deals for their first American superhero work.

It’s very, very sad to think that the Kupperberg series pre-empted *either* a Gaiman or a Morrison take on the Stranger.

I wish they’d gotten Sting to play Constantine in the movie. It doesn’t matter that Sting is older now; so’s Constantine. See issue #120 of Hellblazer; he’s a middle-aged man now, who remembers being young in the early 1980s.

That’s awesome that Kirby helped get those hostages out. And yay for Canada! :-)

As I remember both Grant and I pitched our Phantom STranger stories on the same day, and they both involved Cassandra Craft . That time it was turned down because they’d just commissioned the Kupperberg series. I don’t honestly think that anything in the pitch I did was reworked in Sandman. Some months later, when I was asked what I’d like to do as a monthly series, I asked for the Stranger, and was told no, because he wasn’t a Hero. So took enormous pleasure in writing a series about someone much less a hero than the stranger ever was.

Sandman was plotted from the ground up, starting with the character, not reusing anything. I’m sure that if I’d done a Phantom Stranger series it would have covered as much history as Sandman did. But I got most of my desire to write Phantom Stranger characters out of my system in Books of Magic…

I’ve still got the Phantom Stranger / Morpheus scene from Sandman 24 somewhere, and you can see why it didn’t work — they stand there being gnomic at each other, and it really doesn’t make for drama, so after a page or so I gave it up as a bad job and just started the story a few moments later. But it wasn’t a plot, just a scene.

The Mad Monkey

June 6, 2008 at 10:42 pm

My girlfriend is a Buffy fanatic. She’s a virtual fountain of knowledge concerning Buffy-lore…a living, breathing, walking, talking Buffy encyclopaedia.
I had asked her one day why Spike bore a resemblance to Sting.
It goes something like this…

In the Buffy-verse, Sting took inspiration for his look from Spike. It’s even been hinted, in some corners (but not by my girlfriend), that Spike may actually be Sting…but, nothing conclusive on that. So, it seems that our Buddhist-embracing former teacher is a vampire lover.
Well…at least in that world, you could say that…lol.
In our reality, obviously, Joss Whedon based Spike’s look off of Mr. Sumner’s musical identity and created a mirthful backstory.

I have to put a caveat in there…
This was quite a while ago when I asked her about it and my memory fails me quite often. So, my recollection of the Spike/Sting resemblance may be a bit off. But, I’m fairly confident that I’m pretty much on target. If I’m not, feel free to correct me or if I find out otherwise, I will correct myself.

Thank you for your time and (in the words of Steven Tyler) “remember…the light at the end of the tunnel may be you…g’nite”.

The Mad Monkey

June 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Okay…I just completely geeked out for a minute.
Out of all the people in the world to be on the same time as me and post just minutes before I did…Mr. Neil Gaiman.
Wow…I’m actually flushed…lol.

Sorry to be off-topic there…I just couldn’t help myself.

I saw some old Disney film on television once about a comic book artist who becomes a hero working to get a defector agent out of the soviet union and low and behold the art one of the pages was clearly Jack Kirby’s.

Oh my god. Someone else remembers Condor Man. Starring Michael “The Phantom of the Opera” Crawford in a considerably sillier role.

As a kid Kirby’s Demon was onf my favourites, I can’t hel[ but measure every other intepretation against it. re the Spike being based on Sting, my own memory may be faulty here but i seem to remember episodes where he says his look was nicked by Billy Idol. Asan interesting aside in Les Daniels DC Comics : A Celebration of the World’s favourite Comic Book Heroes Alan Moore after talking about wanting to make Constantine a street level mage claims that after writing him as a character, he bumped into him in a sandwich bar and that Jamie Delano had a similar experience after writing Hellblazer. And a Neil Gaiman take on Green Arrow that I’d have loved to have seen.

The Mad Monkey

June 7, 2008 at 12:17 am

See?
You’re absolutely right, Shane. It’s my memory that’s at fault. It was Billy Idol.
*sigh*
Well…there goes my whole post…lol.

Mad Monkey its one of the perils of age to which we’re all prone, but for what its worth I think James Marsters would make a great John Constantine

The Mad Monkey – I don’t know if it was yours or your girlfriend’s mistake, but Spike was based on Billy Idol (and just like you said, it was implied that Idol based his look on Spike).

Sorrry, Mad Monkey you’re girlfriend or you has got your story mixed up.

Spike says Billy Idol stole his look, not Sting. I mean just look at him and you will see it is true.

As I remember both Grant and I pitched our Phantom STranger stories on the same day, and they both involved Cassandra Craft . That time it was turned down because they’d just commissioned the Kupperberg series. I don’t honestly think that anything in the pitch I did was reworked in Sandman. Some months later, when I was asked what I’d like to do as a monthly series, I asked for the Stranger, and was told no, because he wasn’t a Hero. So took enormous pleasure in writing a series about someone much less a hero than the stranger ever was.

Sandman was plotted from the ground up, starting with the character, not reusing anything. I’m sure that if I’d done a Phantom Stranger series it would have covered as much history as Sandman did. But I got most of my desire to write Phantom Stranger characters out of my system in Books of Magic…

I’ve still got the Phantom Stranger / Morpheus scene from Sandman 24 somewhere, and you can see why it didn’t work — they stand there being gnomic at each other, and it really doesn’t make for drama, so after a page or so I gave it up as a bad job and just started the story a few moments later. But it wasn’t a plot, just a scene.

Thanks for the clarifications, Neil!

I guess Sting was big back in the early 80s. He also appeared at Donna Troy’s wedding to Terry Long (a wonderful issue, despite Terry being one of the most annoying characters ever).

I liked the Nocenti DD run, so not having the 2 Miller/Simonsen issues doesn’t leave a bitter taste in my mouth…

Jeffrey D. Smith

June 7, 2008 at 10:42 am

DC editor Karen Berger told a great story about talking with Neil Gaiman about which character he wanted to work on, and not understanding his accent when he said “Black Orchid.” “Blackhawk Kid?” she thought. “Who the hell is that?”

Stephen Morelock

June 7, 2008 at 11:32 am

Brian, over the past week and a half or so I’ve read through the entire archive and learned not only lots of new things, but have had many things I was confused about clarified. You do a great job.

That being said, any truth to the rumors that one day, obnoxious people will stop replying to your well-research articles saying something to the effect of “I already knew that, so it’s not really an urban legend”? Just curious.

Oh, my God, I can’t believe it! You made an UL with my scan!!! I feel so honored, Brian. When you answered my comment saying: “Is good material for an upcoming Urban Legend”, I thought : “He’s just trying to be nice”, but now I see you were talking seriously. Happy anniversary and keep on working!

Yeah, this column is awesome.

Some of the legends I’ve heard about before, some are completely new to me, but all of them are fascinating to read.

Great post and happy anniversary! Have you ever shopped these columns around as a book proposal? I think you’d have to drop the “urban legends” aspect (too insider-y for a wider audience) and title it something like “101 Secrets, Scandals, and Untold Stories Behind Your Favorite Comic Books”. Don’t laugh! There’s money to be made here.

The guy who originally made “Excelsior!” a catch-phrase back in the late 50s-early 60s was NY radio personality Jean Shepherd. One of his sponsors, a book store, even offered buttons reading “Excelsior, You Fathead!”, which is now the title of a Shepherd biography. Considering Shepherd’s rabid following in New York at the time, it seems almost impossible to consider that Stan Lee’s of the slogan didn’t originate from the radio show.

Holy crap. That Kirby fake film Iran hostage crisis thing sounds amazing. I want a film, or a non-fiction comic book, based on it yesterday. Plus, looking at the comments, I’m amazing someone else remembers Condor Man too. Though I remember seeing that as a kid before I really knew Kirby by name. Though I knew who Darkside and some of his characters were.

Actually, all of this entry’s stories were interesting. Awesome post.

Hey Brian–
Howzabout the lowdown on that ol’ Longshot monthly series Arthur Adams & Ann Nocenti were supposed to do after Longshot ditched the Outback Era X-Men? Someone managed to dig up some scans on that ol’ Rachel-Phoenix limited series, so why not figure out just how much of the Longshot monthly actually exists (if it ever existed, that is)?

Are Jack Keller and Will Elder the same person?

oooh, where can we see those Rachel-Phoenix limited series scans?

unlimited lou

June 8, 2008 at 6:46 am

I’ll just my vote for the Wagner Demon mini ‘ brilliant, creepy take on the character
miles better than anything since – a lot closer to the Swamp Thing story than the Kirby stuff.

Mad Monkey, it was Billy Idol, not Sting, who swiped Spike’s look.

Yes, Michael Crawford did have a silly part in Condorman before becoming a Phantom/heartthrob to middle-aged women, but if you want a real “what were they thinking” moment, try to find Crawford in the cast album of the “Flowers For Algernon” musical adaption. Also, I was kind of surprised that with all the back-and-forth over Sting/Constantine only one person mentioned “Brimstone And Treacle”. I had always assumed that Bissette and Totleben had just come back from a second run theater showing it when they suggested the character to Moore. The movie came out in 1982 and wasn’t very successful. Back then there were a lot more movie theaters kicking around, enough to serve different audiences. Some would rent for cheap the movies that outlived their usefullness in the chains, hoping to catch people who missed them the first time around. ( Just a little exposition for those born in the cable/home-video age.)
Sting’s character in “Brimstone…” was a con artist who convinced a small town that he was a street-level mage much like Constantine turned out to be in the comics. The soundtrack is still out there on CD and worth keeping an eye out. As for why his music went so MOR, sometime after his second studio album, “Nothing Like the Sun”, he got a chance to work with jazz legend Bill Evans. Sting had worked swing bands before the Police and probably was among those who thought Evans was wasted scoring the movie “Absolute Beginners”. They did one album together and Evans died shortly after that. Most of what Sting has recorded since then has had one foot in jazz/pop standards and the other in rhythm but not committing to either. In fact, the last time I saw him play with any real conviction was the concert film “Bring On The Night”. I’m guessing he had made further plans to work with Evans and had stuff he needed to do for creative reasons before he could go back to rock. Now he can’t. I might be way out of line here, but what else could explain a near 20-year drought? He doesn’t strike me as the substance abuse type.
Constantine, on the other hand…

It may be hard to see the merit of Sting and the Police now, but those guys were part of a huge shift in rock music back in the ’70’s. Sting brought several things to the table: a unique singing voice (try to sing that stuff at full voice, not falsetto, see how far you get); a pretty remarkable sense of phrasing on bass (by the way, after you try singing like Sting, now try to play his bass lines and sing at the same time), not to mention his tone, which always sounded great; a gift for writing catchy, memorable tunes that somehow managed to be memorable and crafty (music-wise) AND have lyrical substance. With the Police they somehow managed to bridge elements of punk, jazz, reggae and spearhead the New Wave movement, and make the whole thing look ridiculously easy.

By the way, I’m not a huge fan of the Police, but I am a musician, and I’m just giving props where they’re due. Did I mention that Sting’s not a bad actor, by the way?

American Hawkman

June 9, 2008 at 8:33 am

Marvel REALLY mishandled Daredevil around the time after Born Again. After Miller’s two-parter was canned, Steve Englehart was supposed to take over the book regularly. He intended to send Daredevil out back to San Francisco, where he’d end up on Englehart’s West Coast Avengers alongside the Black Widow again (which was set up in WCA Annual #1 and previewed in a Marvel Age Annual), but, after his first issue (#237), Englehart got booted by the editor because she wanted to be the new regular writer. Sigh.

(Source: Steve Englehart’s website!)

Um, you’d rather have seen DD join Englehart’s West Coast Avengers than have the Nocenti run? Really? Really really?

I’ll agree there was a very awkward gap before Nocenti came on. If I remember correctly, there was a full year of fill ins. As a matter of fact, around the time Shooter was fired, it seemed like several titles went through almost a year of fill-ins, including Amazing Spider-Man. Ugh.

American Hawkman and Matt, you’ll have to forgive me – I was carefully choosing my words to avoid stepping on the toes of future installments, and that was exactly the route I was going. ;)

Brian, over the past week and a half or so I’ve read through the entire archive and learned not only lots of new things, but have had many things I was confused about clarified. You do a great job.

That being said, any truth to the rumors that one day, obnoxious people will stop replying to your well-research articles saying something to the effect of “I already knew that, so it’s not really an urban legend”? Just curious.

Thanks for the kind words, Stephen (and all the other folks who said nice stuff!!).

That stuff is fine – critiques like that or a standard “I did not like this week’s column” are to be expected if you’re doing a column. The only stuff I ever chafe at is the belligerent stuff, which is thankfully quite rare!

Just so’s I get it, Brian, it seems you deleted comments by myself and “American Hawkman” (wouldn’t that be awesome if that were his legal name as well?) because we mentioned an aborted storyline that you plan to write about in an upcoming column? If so, that’s cool with me! I look forward to reading the column!

Basically – except not so much “deleted” as much as “put away until after the column goes up, then they’ll be back!”

You guys both mentioned something that I figured WOULD be brought up if I mentioned one of the stories above, which is actually why I have held that story back until now, but it just fit this week’s theme far too well not to use! :)

taylor shawver

June 10, 2008 at 5:25 am

these comic books are very exciting and can tell you alot about the past and how people changed there wrighting froms…

the best part about the Matt Wagner Demon being reprinted in a trade paperback would be to finally see that art printed decently. The original is so dark and muddy that it’s often very difficult to make out. IIRC, some of the fonts were ornate and printed poorly as well.

C’mon DC — it’s Matt Wagner. surely the sales on his Mage and Grendel books (not to mention Trinity for DC itself) would give you some sense that this TPB would do well?

Glad to see that question of mine clarified. Maybe I was reading too much into the similarity of the plots: Broderick Rune, Roderick Burgess; stolen heart, stolen power items; magic circles, magic societies; storytellers, Prince of Stories; Rose Walker, Wild Rose; wearing black, shining shadowed eyes, appearances changing according to the times, etc.

But, hey, wouldn’t it have been also great if it had the Phantom Stranger all along?

If you want to delve deeper into the into the Canadian Caper to free the hostages, check out Escape from Iran from 1981. I never knew about the Kirby connection though…COOL!

I fondly remember Sting as Feyd-Rautha in DUNE. (And the Police were great when I was in high school!)

I too wish to add my kudos to this site. Great stuff.

Daredevil by Miller & Simonson ! WHY does stuff like this happen ?

I hadn’t known about that Kirby Lord of Light thing until the last year. How wild !

Thanks, Comic Urban for a level-headed approach on the story of Jack Kirby’s involvement — in fact Jack never knew of it (neither did any of us) until about 8 years ago when the Mendez book came out and I gave the OK to a documentary TV show in Boston who was interviewing Mendez — who blatantly stated he stole the drawings and script from the my film. Pretty amazing — he thought no one would ever think twice, or even knew who Jack Kirby was! As you said, the full story of the background — including about John Chambers who gave my script and production drawings to the CIA, is found on the Lord of Light website http://www.lordoflight.com.

Designing the pix with Jack was one of the great experiences I have had. On the website there are also stories about how each painting came into existence — should anyone on this forum be interested.

Barry Ira Geller

Oh, lord. RR Duran mentions Wild Rose and I’m filled with regret that Gaimen didn’t get to do the Phantom Stranger. I can’t even imagine what might have happened to Mister Square. And Dr. Thirteen might have finally gotten his comeuppance!

What might have been…

The CIA’s in house journal, Studies in Intelligence, put together an unclassified article on the Canadian facilitated escape from Iran back in late 1999.

it doesn’t mention Jack Kirby, but it has some other details you might find interesting.

<> I’ll try not to be hurt that my site didn’t get mentioned as a Swamp Thing resource. <>

:)

Rich Handley
Roots of the Swamp Thing
ttp://www.swampthingroots.com

Thanks Marty, for you CIA link above. The story — as it related to Kirby and Lord of Light — is completely erroneous. In fact, a complete “deception.” After he admitted to ripping off my script and Jack’s art on public TV, he has since toned down all references. It was in fact, John Chambers who gave him the idea of doing a film company, as there was sudden turmoil with the LOL project and, rather than pull it (my script) off a pile of manuscripts, John expressly gave him my script as perfect as it was already being shot next door to Iran. Credit to Mendez for pulling it off, but the entire Film idea was John Chambers’ — who then later realized the project wasnt “dead” at all — and this was probably the reason for the break in our friendship at the time.

I wonder, perhaps armed with the Errol Gardner Interview video and the Wired Article, I can give Jack the last shit-eating grin, where ever he is — by getting the CIA to place his artwork done for the Lord of Light Project, into the CIA Museum? Whatcha think? I like it.

Barry Ira Geller

This CIA STUFF is upsetting. I was taken hostage by DR. CAMERON type doctors and subjected to various
interrogations about my creative deviency. Not funny stuff. Life messed up for a time but I rebounded out of such. Barry Geller is upset about this mischievous stuff and crap from this other scammer Canadian businessman Howard Halpenny who conveniently fired all his staff and replaced them by computers. Talk about science fiction!

We may be planning a conference on the idea of theme parks and the behind the scenes events at next year’s WORLDCON. We’ll mention some other Americans who tried a similiar thing in 1901 in Montreal and created Dominion Park. What happened to that and its connections with politics, the police, and the Trudeau
administration is also significant.

I’ve always thought that the Sting thing on John Constatine was a pum over the fact that Mr. Summer was engaged on Ecological Debates through the 80’s, always visiting the Rain Forest and taking a Brazilian Indian to travel all over he world.

For me, John was a distorted Sting taking care of Exoteric Ecological issues with Mr. Alec Holland.

Maybe I missed it, but I’m not sure how we got this far and no one has said that Galactus saved the hostages. Because if it had been real, Marvel never would have let THAT design be used in a movie. ;-)

[…] fact an interesting element was revealed: the cover story used for the smuggled hostages was that they were advance scouts for a motion picture that included designs done by Jack Kirby based on Roger Zelaney’s novel “Lord Of Light”, renamed “Argo”. I […]

My Press Release on the film Argo and the truth about Kirby’s and Chambers’ (and mine) contributions to the REAL story. The updated websites below have the very latest info. Please pass this around to everyone you know :-)
========================================
ARGO, by Ben Affleck: Just another Deception, not a true story.
The actual story which the film does not reveal.
By Barry Ira Geller, 9/18/2012

The new film Argo is, at best an incomplete and flawed history lesson I am afraid. The true story is completely abrogated and the main characters ignored and removed. I wish to invite journalists from around the world to visit the website http://www.lordoflight.com, to get the real story, or call me for further elaboration.

The new Warner Bros. film ARGO tells the life tale of CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck), who in January 1980 posed as a movie producer scouting locations in the Middle East in order to rescue a group of Americans hiding in Iran during the time of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. To lend credibility to his ruse, Mendez appropriated materials from an independently-financed science fiction film called LORD OF LIGHT, with its Disney-styled theme park based upon the film’s sets called SCIENCEFICTIONLAND — a film which 33 years later writer/producer Barry Ira Geller is still trying to get made.

LORD OF LIGHT is an adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s Hugo-award-winning 1967 novel of the same name. Geller began developing the project in the late seventies. He acquired the rights to the book, wrote the script, and assembled a creative team that included comic book legend Jack Kirby, Oscar-winning makeup
artist John Chambers and his partner Maurice Stein. He also recruited a group of scientists and artists that included Buckminster Fuller, Ray Bradbury, and legendary architect Paolo Soleri, to serve as creative consultants. Geller’s vision included a massive theme park and the international financing of a Free
Technology Foundation of top scientists and artists from around the world. It was to be called Science Fiction Land, and built in Aurora, Colorado. Unfortunately, the project fell apart in 1979-80 due to illegal appropriations by the Project’s Supervising Producer Jerry Schafer, and never recovered its operations.

It was almost the same time that Chambers — a longtime consultant for the CIA – – collaborated with Mendez on the rescue operation depicted in ARGO using Geller’s script and Kirby’s artwork. However, those who go see ARGO will not get the whole truth of the matter. While the film may include fictionalized versions of John Chambers and Jack Kirby (even though Kirby himself was never directly involved in the Mendez/Chambers plan), Warner Bros. opted not to purchase the right to use Geller’s script or Kirby’s film artwork (whose rights are controlled by Geller) — although the studio did ask Geller to surrender all those rights for free. A view of the film at Telluride indicates both Jack Kirby’s and Geller’s role were cut from the film and gives false credit to the Mendez character played by Affleck.

According to early reviews, the film ARGO is an engaging and artfully crafted entertainment. But that is all that it is. As a history lesson, the film can’t possibly be anything but deeply flawed. Geller — who continues to pursue his dream of seeing LORD OF LIGHT on the big screen — asks that journalists writing about
ARGO would seek out and consider reporting the true facts of the real-life John Chambers’ and real-life Jack Kirby’s significant contributions to Mendez’s daring scheme. He also hopes that journalists would consider acknowledging the role played by himself via the design and collaborative work with Jack Kirby and John Chambers which was produced for LORD OF LIGHT—without which the entire ARGO scenario could not have happened at all.

For more information about Chambers, Kirby, Geller and the long history of LORD OF LIGHT and Sciencefictionland, please visit the website at http://www.lordoflight.com.

Journalists seeking further comment from Geller can contact him at biz@lordoflight.com

Please go to http://www.lordoflight.com/cia.html to find out the twists and turns of the rest of story, including Argo/Affleck’s surreptitious attempt to get its hands on Kirby’s drawings for free. Read the Wired Magazine article. See the rare TV clip of Tony Mendez in his first starring role admit to stealing Geller’s Lord of Light script & production designs, and Jack Kirby’s drawings, to make the real caper possible. A new full-length documentary, being produced by Tribeca Film Festival winner Judd Ehrlich, http://scifilandmovie.com/, tells the whole story. Entertainment Weekly Magazine recently completed an interview for its issue in late September. Interviews from two Italian magazines, Ciak, and Panarama, will also be out this month as well.

Also The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap recently completed interviews

Barry Ira Geller
Biz@lordoflight.com
P.O. Box 111, Sunland, CA 91041

[…] And Jack Kirby, co-creator of most of the known Marvel universe, is a minor character as well (see here for more on his actual role).  So truly, there’s a lot to enjoy here – a lot of fun […]

“And Jack Kirby, co-creator of most of the known Marvel universe”

This always strikes me as odd. Most of the Marvel line has been X-books for a long time, and the creator of all THAT was Chris Claremont. Mutants have long since pushed the other folks to the side.

The two dominant parts of Marveldom have long been the mutants and Spider-Man. And Jack Kirby, great as he was, had very little to do with either.

He was co-creator of the X-Men. No matter how much the idea has deviated and to what extent you believe their subsequent success is due to that deviation is another matter. Without Kirby, Claremont wouldn’t have had that property or those characters to develop.
I’ll grant Spider-Man (though Kirby was tangentially involved even there), but about every other property belonging to Marvel currently prominent in the public consciousness is a Kirby co-creation. Avengers was a bigger movie even than Spidey or X-Men.

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