In 2014, it’s quite common to know almost every detail behind the production of a superhero movie before the movie is even released. From the release date to the cast to the director to screenwriters, every detail is examined and disseminated across myriad blogs and social media sites, to the point where, if you’re even mildly interested, you could easily find out the names of those responsible for getting that film to your local cinema.
But how about the people who created the characters in the pages of comic books?
In the early days of comic books, the relationship between creators and publishers was often exploitative. Many of the people responsible for creating the heroes that would make publishers millions were freelancers, working from home, never making a regular salary outside of their normal page rates and often struggling to get back their original artwork, collect royalties, or even get the level of credit due to them. People create pop culture, not corporations.
Of all those people, few have gotten the short shrift like Jacob Kurtzberg, better known as Jack Kirby.