Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Happy 101st Anniversary of the Birth of Jack "King" Kirby!

There is a reason so many of us call Jack Kirby "the King of Comics." Here are a dozen covers that make the trumpets blare for Ol' Groove...









Thanks for the glorious memories, Jack!

12 comments:

  1. Jack Kirby, the amazing king of comics. I could go on for several pages about what this man has meant to me over the years. I entered collecting at 1965, when he was at his peak on Fantastic Four and Thor. As I backfilled my collection I oohed and aahed at his contributions to the Marvel age of comics from the very beginning. I consider his post 70s work a comedown for the King. But in a career that ran for almost 50 years it doesn't diminish who he was and what he bequeathed the comics field we all love. I will always be thankful that I was living in NYC in 1991 and got to meet he and Roz in person at the Creation Con. He was on the failing side, healthwise. But the giant of a man that existed in his short frame still burst forth with all the energy he imbued every page with. Happy birthday, Jack. Wish you could have lived into your 90s like Joe Simon and Stan Lee. But every time I read one of your comics I am in awe of how you could lay out a page with a maximum of storytelling in a minimum amount of pages (much like the recently departed Steve Ditko).

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    1. When it first came out, I was dismissive of his later work. But it's still Kirby, still valuable, and conceptually Captain Victory and Silverstar are some of the most bizarre and frightening books he ever did. Outside of the Comics Code or even editorial control, Kirby was still pushing out the edges of what we expected from him; it makes you wish the Fourth World had been published by Last Gasp or Dargaud. And if you haven't taken a look at it in a while, check out the work of an elder prophet still in the grip of strange visions:https://marswillsendnomore.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/jack-kirbys-captain-victory-splash-panel-gallery/#jp-carousel-29142

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    2. What did you think of his single issues of Spirit World and In the Days of the Mob? They were outside the Comics Code.

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    3. I thought they both had a nice edge to them, but this was early in Kirby's return and there was a lot of uncertainty about how much freedom DC would be willing to give him. The production on both was pretty cheap-looking, and Colletta's inks made it seem even more washed out, especially on the Blue and White Spirit World. Royer's work on both titles really popped. I also don't understand the covers, except that they seemed designed to not look like comic books or even DC books. I sorta get that, but Kirby did some wonderfully intense covers with Joe Simon on both Crime and Supernatural books, and just variations on those might've pulled readers in.

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    4. Didn't some of Kirby's unpublished Spirit World #2 material end up in Weird Mystery Tales and/or Dark Mansion?

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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    5. The Kirby stories in the first three issues of Weird Mystery Tales were originally intended for Spirit World, Chris - Toxl the World Killer from #2 in particular is fantastic.

      -sean

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    6. I remember that Toxl double page spread!

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  2. The king is gone but he's not forgotten.
    Some great choices here, Groove; loved the first appearance of the Black Racer, OMAC #2 is one of my single issues of the 70s and don't even get me stared on the brilliance of that Transilvane storyline. Can't say I'm quite so enthusiastic about the last three - after his return to Marvel, Kirby's covers were generally much better on the titles he wrote and drew - but all the same, who doesn't have time for the Stiltman?

    -sean

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  3. No matter what he drew, no matter how outrageous or bizarre the concepts, Kirby was ALWAYS interesting. Top class entertainer & king of comics.

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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  4. A nice tribute to the King. It's got me in the mood to go re-read some old back issues, which I think Jack would agree is a pretty good way to be remembered.

    M.P.

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  5. Love the King! Except, that Invaders cover is not by him. He did do some covers for the Invaders though on his second stint at Marvel.

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    1. I'll admit that Romita inked the daylights out of this cover, it's still Kirby pencils underneath.

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