I’m probably the only one who’s amused to no end by the fact that the news of the Kirbys’ challenge to Disney/Marvel breaks on Steve Gerber’s birthday.
For the uninitiated, Gerber and Kirby were friends and supported each other in their respective legal fights with Marvel—by collaborating, for instance, on a fundraising comic-book series called Destroyer Duck.
Oh, and there’s also the matter of Howard the Duck’s appearance, of course, which once caused Disney to threaten legal action unless Marvel agreed to accept a redesign of the character dictated by Disney.
Unfathomably, Marvel accepted, which—because the Disney design was, of course, made to look as crummy as possible—led to a rather startling re-interpretation of Howard once Gerber returned to the character in 2001:
Linkage: More on Jack Kirby’s legal history with Marvel can be found at The Comics Journal, Gerber and others chime in in this transcript of a radio show, and Gerber elaborates on the shared history between Disney and Marvel regarding Howard the Duck in an interview available at his Web site.
Suffice it to say, if you’re familiar with Gerber’s history, it’s been a very strange couple of weeks.