A BUCK FOR JACK

For about half a century, Jack Kirby created and co-created amazing characters that fueled the world's imagination, and which are now seeing great success on the world's movie screens, grossing literally billions of dollars. Unfortunately, his most popular characters were created under an arrangement where none of this success is going to support his family or his legacy, and recent legal rulings indicate that this is not going to change any time soon.

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, I'm doing so by joining the goals of the Kirby4Heroes campaign, an effort by Jack's granddaughter to help fund the good work of the Hero Initiative, who help out comics creators who have fallen on hard times.

A buck? What's a buck? When I go to see a movie, between the film, the popcorn, the drink, I'm probably spending $15... much more if I'm paying for a babysitter. A buck is nothing, but it buys me comfort.

So let's see - I've seen the two Hulk movies, the first Fantastic Four film, two of the X-Men movies, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, two Iron Man movies. That's $9 I'm paying, and that's for entertainment over a number of years. And now when I go see what Joss Whedon does with The Avengers, it'll be just another buck to throw in. (Note: this paragraph was written in 2012. Since then, I saw The Avengers, kicked in a buck. Another for X-Men: First Class, and for Iron Man, and for the second Thor film and even for Wolverine - no, Wolvie himself was not one of Jack's creations, but there were characters Jack brought to life among the supporting cast. Another when I bought Thor on Blu-ray. As I type this, I'm looking forward to that second Captain America movie, and I'll be kicking in a buck for watching Agents of SHIELD... a buck for the season sounds abour right.)

So why don't you join me in doing this? If we could get just 1% of the people who see a Kirby-inspired movie to throw in that buck - and yes, 1%, as small as that sounds, would be a huge and unlikely success, I admit - that would be hundreds of thousands of dollars per movie going to the Kirby legacy.

This isn't a campaign against Marvel, who has published decades of entertaining comics, nor against their corporate parent Disney, who have brought out some of the finest films in history, nor against any of Jack's collaborators who shared in bringing these creations to life, nor against the copyright laws, nor against anything. This is a campaign for Jack, and for rewarding those who create great things.

To send in your bucks, click the button below, and simply enter the number of Kirby-based films you've seen in the "Donation Amount". Then finish logging into your Paypal account, or enter your credit card information. When it asks for special instructions, enter "A Buck For Jack", so they know why you're donating.

About this site

ABuckForJack.com is not owned by the Kirby Estate, the Kirby family, the Kirby heirs, the Kirby Museum, or any such grouping. While we have responded to suggestions by insiders, the site was launched without their knowledge, is not under their direct control. It is owned by me, Nat Gertler; I briefly met Jack Kirby and his wife Roz once on a convention bus, and Lisa Kirby at a party, and that's about it. As the publisher of About Comics, I did hold the reprint rights to the Steve Gerber/Jack Kirby series Destroyer Duck for a while, but those were negotiated with Gerber, and when a larger publisher wanted to reprint the series, I passed the rights on to them. So no, I'm not a Kirby insider, and do not benefit myself from this site. The costs of running this site are minimal, and I'm not seeking contributions toward this cost.

Helping this campaign

The best thing you can do is to spread the word - blog about it, like it on Facebook, it on Twitter. If you have your own web page, how about using one of our banners on your page. Take the code from here; the banner will be served from this website, which means we can update the image whenever there's a new Kirby-derived project in the theaters.

If you want to provide other help - well, obviously I could use someone good at CSS to improve this page (I'm less worried about prettiness than at being sure it works on cell phones and ipoodles and whatever else people are web-viewing these days), and to provide better banners or a logo. Email me if you'd like to help in that manner.