Showing posts with label kirby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kirby. Show all posts

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Century of Jack Kirby


You're going to see the names Jack Kirby and Jacob Kurtzberg a lot today.  Jack Kirby is the pen-name of the greatest comic artist and creator to grace this orb we call planet Earth.

Here, on the centennial of his birth (August 28th, 1917), it's possible to suggest that Jack Kirby may be one of the most important artistic and literary figures of the past 100 years.  The recognition came late, decades after his passing, and, still, his name is hardly a household word.  But the creations he unleashed upon popular culture from the 1940's to the 1990's would either be taken up directly by the public (at long last), becoming part of the parlance, or influence generations who could never produce that same spark of imagination, but built either directly or indirectly upon what he had done before.

There are Kirby bio sketches out there a-plenty (but no definitive monograph that I'm aware of), a magazine dedicated to the study and fan-splosion around his work, and Mark Evanier - who apprenticed under him - has become the living memory of his professional life while his grandchildren have taken up the cause of preserving the memory of the man.  Now there's a virtual museum (which deserves a physical location), and a charity it's worth considering giving to sometime.  And a slew of collections and books celebrating Kirby's influence and work.

Kirby was not first in when comics became a way for kids from the rougher neighborhoods of New York picked up a pencil or ink brush to start bringing in bread, but he was there really early.  He was a workman who put everything he had into the work, comic by comic, year by year, becoming better and better.  As they tell you in art-school, master the rules before you start breaking them - and that's what he did, finding his own unique style, his own way of creating action and drama, and eventually shattering what it meant to create a comics page.

Taking from mythology, from science-fiction, from films, from his colleagues and the bottomless well within, Kirby created whole universes, pockets within those universes, and held the lens to each character, bringing the internal life of gods, men and monsters to life.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New "Mister Miracle" #1 by King and Gerads


It has been a long, long time since I've talked much about Mister Miracle by Jack Kirby, but when I came across a black and white collection back in late 90's, one of that series one of New Gods, the comics hit my psyche like a runaway freight train.

I'll talk more about Kirby's Mister Miracle and New Gods soon (I'll be doing my own salute to King Kirby before his 100th), but today I want to suggest you guys get onboard with the new Mister Miracle series by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, which hit shelves on Wednesday.

I admit, I've not read the duo's other work to date, though I've been meaning to pick up their Vision series for at least a year.   But...

As comics keep relaunching with new #1's, I'd suggest that both publishers and creators take note:  this is how one starts a series.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby! Design Aesthetic

One last shout out for The Kirby4Heroes/ Hero Initative event today in honor of Jack Kirby's legacy.

Nobody did it like The King.  Nobody before and nobody since.




More Happy Birthday to Jack Kirby - Marvelous Marvel

A friendly reminder that in honor of Jack Kirby's birthday, you can donate today to the Heroes Initiative, an organization that helps freelance comics folk with financial support in times of need.

Click here to donate and see what else is going on today thanks to the Kirby4Heroes Campaign.

So, Jack Kirby more or less made up about 90% of the Marvel Universe that anyone cares about.  He didn't do Spider-Man and had limited contributions to Iron Man, but he drew up a whole lot else.

Way back before World War 2 and his own enlistment, Kirby went ahead and made-up a superhero to throw a punch at Hitler as a proxy for the slug Jack would have gladly thrown himself.




Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby! Some Favorites from his time at DC

Today marks Jack "King" Kirby's 98th birthday.

Jack's granddaughter runs to Kirby4Heroes Campaign, which is an annual event focused on raising money for The Hero Initiative.  The Hero Initiative raises money for freelancer comic artists and creators who may need some financial assistance.

Let's honor Jack Kirby by donating today!

And what better way to celebrate the man and artist than with a glimpse of his amazing work.  We're doing more than one post on Kirby, so look for two more today.  But we're starting with DC as I first went from "that's Jack Kirby" to appreciating Jack Kirby, specifically via his Fourth World work and that era of DC output.

Let's start with one of my favorite DC characters, and an original Kirby creation...




Friday, March 1, 2013

Your Questions Answered: Original Comic Art Page

On February 27th, we challenged readers to send in any question they liked and promised to respond to all queries. We're giving it a go.

Stuart asked via Twitter, so before we lose the tweet...

Stuart asks:   If you could get any one original comic art page signed, which would it be and why?


Wow.  That's a really, really tough question.

There's so much to consider.  What characters?  Which artists were involved?  The design of the page itself. What's the context of the page, and who wrote it?  Was the story memorable?

For perfection on ALL of these counts, I guess I'd say: Any single page from any issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen.  But that's a shortcut of an answer.

So what would I want?

I think I'd want superhero art, for the most part.  I'd make an exception for Carl Barks or Don Rosa work, and would love to have stuff by either of them.  Nothing in particular comes to mind as per specific pages, though.  The same with Curt Swan, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, George Perez, and many more.  They're all amazing artists, but this is a singular page we're talking here, a single page from a comic that so stuck with us...

There's a few ways to answer this.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kirby Day - Let's Talk Too Much about Mister Miracle


I guess today is the 19th Anniversary of Jack Kirby's passing.

I've attached an image of a cover to an issue of Mister Miracle, a comic I've alluded to over the years, and which I hold close to my heart.  If you've never read the Kirby Fourth World material, I can only tell you: man, you are missing out on one wild ride.

Of course, mostly, we talk about the Man of Steel around here, but as a concept, ideal and character, the themes of Superman's mythology differ greatly from those of anything else in the Fourth World books, and especially Mister Miracle, an interesting conundrum when Kirby originated so much of the Fourth World while including Superman and using metropolis as a backdrop.  If the underlying theme of Superman, as a character and mythology, exemplifies using the gifts bestowed upon you for the betterment of the world, Mister Miracle is the hope for escape from the seemingly inescapable and an avatar for the promise of freedom - especially by one's own hand.  Whether it's the X-Pit or a runaway rocketsled, Scott Free always, always lands on his feet with the manacles unlocked and the trap in splinters.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to Jack "King" Kirby

Today would have been the 95th Birthday of Jack Kirby, the greatest comics creator of the 20th Century.


Kirby's family is supporting The Hero Initiative, a non-profit that helps support veteran comics creators facing tough financial times (there isn't much of a retirement or healthcare plan for freelancers).

We recommend checking out The Hero Initiative website and maybe donating a bit to the fund.  Make Jack proud.




Monday, April 30, 2012

Avengers Assemble! Saluting Jack Kirby and dealing with the complications as a fan

Your Pal, Jack "King" Kirby!

It's hard to underestimate the cultural impact of comics creator Jack Kirby.  He may not carry the cultural cache of a JD Salinger, but he's probably as widely read, and inspired an army of imitators and worshippers.  And, hey, you can't find action figures nor bedsheets of Holden Caulfield.

still a little peeved the movie will have neither Giant Man nor Wasp (nor Subby)

Kirby didn't create Superman or Batman, but he was part of the creation of (an incomplete list to be sure):
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Captain America
  • The Mighty Thor
  • The Avengers
  • The X-Men
  • The Fantastic Four
  • The Silver Surfer
  • Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos
  • The Black Panther
  • Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy
  • Mr. Miracle & Big Barda andthe pantheon of The New Gods
  • The Newsboy Legion
  • Kamandi
  • The Demon
  • OMAC
  • Challengers of the Unknown
  • Silver Star
  • Captain Victory
and there are some versions of Kirby's bio that suggest he was the guy who originally pitched a "Spider-Man" to Marvel and didn't do the series as he was too busy (not hard to believe).

No matter what you think, you are not ready for this comic
He also did books that he didn't create (Jimmy Olsen, his mind-bending 2001 work), created romance comics, westerns, and a hundred other things that are somewhat forgotten.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Post Thursday: Hail to the King


This is from a Jimmy Olsen comic book from Kirby's run circa 1971.  Jimmy.  Olsen.

Take your "edgy" comics and stick 'em in your ear.