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)
I don't know that one. I'll be interested to hear what it was.
An interesting thing about Kamandi is it was obviously prompted by the Planet of the Apes series, but drew on work Kirby had done before the movie came out: his unsold Kamandi of the Caves strip, and "The Last Enemy!" The Eternals was similar: certainly prompted by Erich von Däniken, but also a return to ideas Kirby had explored in the 1960s in relation to the Inhumans: alien involvement in ancient history; an isolated city inhabited by super-beings; SF versions of characters from mythology. He revisited the ancient aliens theme again in Devil Dinosaur.
I think Kamandi was inspired by the popularity of Planet of the Apes, but according to Mark Evanier Kirby had not seen the movie prior to creating the Kamandi comic book series.
I think I can relate the gist of Gibbons’ story I mentioned above off the top of my head. Gibbons ejoyed art class when he was a little boy (as one might expect), but he and his fellow pupils usually had a specific assignment they were to draw. One day, however, the teacher allowed them to draw anything they wanted. While his classmates busied themselves drawing pictures of bunnies and race cars and the like, Gibbons was inspired by the Jack Kirby drawing he had seen.
His teacher observed, “That’s very interesting, David. What is it?”
“It’s an astronaut.”
“What’s the astronaut doing?”
“He’s not doing anything. His crew left him chained to an asteroid because he betrayed them.”
Thren Gibbons went on to thank Jack Kirby and apologize to his art teacher.