Three weeks from today, on the 28th of August, Jack Kirby would have been 100 years old.
I feel terribly presumptuous being so new here, but there does not as yet seem to be a thread acknowledging this rather momentous occasion. So...

Nearly 80 years ago...

...and our world was never again the same.

MY world was certainly a better place.
There's The King of Rock, The King of Pop, The King of this, that, and thyne other. But, for me, there's only one "The King"
Jack "King" Kirby rocked my world and gave it a dynamic that i didn't know was missing. There were a few artists whose work drove me to become an artist myself - Jack was the first and the last of them. Along the way artists like Kelly Freas, Will Eisner, Al Capp, and Frank Frazetta all inspired an inner flame that drove me down the path of artist. Later many others from around the globe added fuel to the fire that drove me, but it was Jack's comics that first woke that urge, and every step along the way he would reveal new secrets to me. Even now, no matter how well i might have thought i knew his work, he still constantly surprises me and surpasses my concept of what he was in my mind. This month in my celebration of the Kirby centennial, i've been digging and re-reading everything of his that i have or can get my hands on. (And i got my hands on a lot) I'm only a week in and have already lost count of new discoveries and new ways to be impressed.
I won't try to define or impart the impact of Kirby's works beyond their personal touch to me.
If you're here, you know how massive Jack Kirby's contributions and influences are. I can only say that he influenced my world view as much as any philosopher or writer whose work i studied. He helped shape the better parts of me. My world was very much a better place for his having been in it.

How about yours?

Let's use this thread to share thoughts, memories, tributes, art, etc.,. Anything about or by Jack that you feel like sharing to celebrate the Kirby Centennial.

To help kick it off:

(Original Kirby art from Blue Bolt #5, Strange Tales #184, Kirby Self Portrait in New Gods #5-y'know, if you was interested)

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Since Big Bang Theory (which I love) is a Warner Bros show, you will never see anything but DC books, statues, etc.

This is a story from Black Cat #30 (Harvey, 1951). The GCD doesn't record Kirby has having contributed to it, but I think he must've. His style is particularly apparent on the last two pages.

The catch is the story reminds me of Kirby's work of the late 1950s, and his art changed significantly in the course of the decade, taking on a much cleaner look. My guess Kirby outlined the forms and didn't do finished pencils, and the story was finished by an inker/embellisher.

The GCD ascribes the pencils to Vic Donahue and doesn't have a listing for the inker. Perhaps he was the inker/embellisher, but I'm not familiar with his work so I don't know his style.

Scans from Comic Book Plus.

Spoiler Warning. The dialogue p.2 panel 3 implies the walls are written all-over with mathematical notation, but the art hasn't put this in. On p.5 the cutter panel 4 is a pair of scissors and the spiked thing panels 5-6 is a hairbrush or comb. (Lowry says a hairbrush, but it looks more like a comb.) So the flash flood is a pre-haircut wash.


Here are three items from Win a Prize Comics #1 and #2 (Charlton, 1955). I've put the story from #2 first because it's a better introduction to Uncle Giveaway. I've made the thumbnails small to hide the other story's twist ending. The full-page contest image is from #1. Scans from Comic Book Plus.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a page of original Kirby art, “Artist’s Editions” are the next best thing, and IDW has released two Jack Kirby ones featuring the Fantastic Four this year. The first one came out in January and included issues #71, #82-84 and Annual #6, plus 21 other assorted pages. The second one came out a week or two ago and included issues #33, #45, #47 and #60, plus two posters, 22 covers and dozens of other pages, pin-ups and special features. Sometime in the mid-sixties, Marvel switched from the large original art board used in the Golden Age to the smaller size used today. Kirby reportedly had a difficult time adapting. I had always perceived a difference in his work toward the end of his FF run, but I thought it was just his style evolving. The first volume I described above is modern-size, but the second is Golden Age-size.

IDW also has released Artist Editions of Kirby’s New Gods, Forever People, Mister Miracle, Kamandi (two) and Thor.

I knew that they changed to a smaller sized art board but I never thought about how that affected the artists.

Generally speaking, Kirby went to fewer panels per page and used a lot more close-ups.

This next story is one of Kirby's most visually imaginative, from Alarming Tales #1 (Harvey, 1957).

I remember Jack turning up something a bit like that at Marvel, in the days before the FF turned up.

They talk about the Marvel super-heroes quite a bit, but pretty much all of the comics in the comic shop are DC (I've seen some Dark Horse stuff in there as well).

Richard Willis said:

Since Big Bang Theory (which I love) is a Warner Bros show, you will never see anything but DC books, statues, etc.

You're right. I guess they can't interfere with the scripts. The comic store and the apartments always have DC, Vertigo, and other DC imprints in view. I'm pretty sure no other companies are shown on camera. 

Thanks, Ronald. I don't know what that story might be.

This story is from Alarming Tales #1 (Harvey, 1957) also. Scans in this and the previous post from Comic Book Plus.

The DC Timeline says Kirby created "the DNA Project, Mobius Chair, and Kamandi's World" doing the issue. That's an overstatement, but it has a number of parallels to his later work. "The Cadmus Seed!" shares imagery with Jimmy Olsen #135, and the seed-powder recalls the powder the Humanoids grow from in Tales to Astonish #68. "Donnegan's Daffy Chair" involves a travelling chair. (Perhaps this was a sci-fi version of Enid Blyton's Wishing-Chair? But reading can be viewed as travelling in a chair.) The cube time machine from "The Last Enemy!" was reused in "The Wizard of Time" in Challengers of the Unknown #4.

It's worth comparing "The Last Enemy!" to "The World of Giant Rats" from Captain Marvel Adventures #145 (Fawcett, 1953), reprinted by DC in Shazam! #21. The GCD says this was William Woolfolk, C. C. Beck, and Pete Costanza.

"Is a Snerl Human?" from Adventure Comics #431 (DC, 1974) depicts a future in which animals have won independence from humanity and humanity has a new beast of burden, the Snerl. "The Gorilla Conquest of Earth!" from Strange Adventures #69 (DC, 1956) reportedly depicts a future ruled by gorillas where human beings are slaves. Strange Adventures #23 (DC, 1952) had a story "Meet Your Masters-- the Ants!" which is synopsised at the GCD.

In related types of stories human beings travel to other worlds or other universes ruled by animals and/or are treated like animals by animals. Examples include the Tommy Tomorrow story "The Human Circus!" from Action Comics #200 (DC, 1955), described here, and the cover stories of Strange Adventures #30 (DC, 1953), #33 (1953), #45 (1954), #52 (1955), #108 (1959), My Greatest Adventure #14 (DC, 1957), and Justice League of America #131-#132 (DC, 1976).

Do mention any further stories like these you know of.

There is a story reprinted in the Simon & Kirby Library volume dedicated to science fiction stories which features an image of an astronaut chained to an asteroid, an image Kirby would later reuse in Fantastic Four (Blastaar) and New Gods (the Promethian Giants). In his introduction to that volume, Dave Gibbons also relates a funny story about that comic from his school days. I can look it up tonight and report back here tomorrow.

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