Thursday, March 10, 2011

Depositions: Stan Lee and John Romita

From Bleeding Cool News, excerpts from depositions that John Romita and Stan Lee gave in

"the Kirby family v Marvel case which involves the Kirby family’s quest to terminate Marvel’s copyrights on 45 characters Kirby helped create. Transcripts of these depositions have recently become public."

More information at the Bleeding Cool Links above.

There was a lot of comics history that came out in these depositions, including the way that Marvel comics were produced, the trouble between Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, working with Jack Kirby, Barry Windsor-Smith, on creator's rights, and on and on.

Via Marvel Masterworks: John Romita's first drawings of Spider-Man - from the pages of Daredevil!

For instance, here are some good descriptions of what was called "the Marvel method:" batting out a comic book story in a couple of paragraphs or sentences, "Or like I foolishly did," adds John Romita, "a verbal plot."

When Stan Lee was behind,

"... when he couldn’t keep up with the artists and he did not want the artists to stay idle, because the deadlines were looming, he would give them a descriptive verbal or written — quickly-written synopsis of what to do. And that’s how the plot first and script second, script third came about, which was called the Marvel method, which I believe made the comic industry what it is today. I believe there would be no comic industry if it weren’t for that."

Romita adds how difficult it was to deal with no script, and also: what a good thing having no script really was:

"I was terrified because I had always worked with a script. This was the first time I was deciding what was going to go on the splash, what was going to go on page 2, what was going to go on page 3. It was very difficult for me, very hard, but it turned out to be the greatest thing for the industry and for me, because the comic — the comic medium had been a script first and visual second and this made it visual first and script second, which was probably the greatest innovation, completely done for expediency sake."

Some fascinating reading and I'm still going through it.

A large tip of the hat to Dirk Deppey.

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