Friday, August 28, 2020

Happy Birthday to the King of Comics!

Today is the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Jacob Kurtzberg, better known to us all as Jack Kirby, the absolute King of Comics. I've been absorbing Jack's DC work through my very pores this year, thanks to these collections...

Yeah, I already had tons of the original comics, but re-reading them in tpb form is both handy and a new way to experience old favorites. All that's left are Kamandi (my omnibus, which I ordered for MY birthday, last Wednesday, the 26th)  should be here soon!) and Forever People (which I'll get for Christmas, if not sooner). 

Now I just need this to go back into print...

And for a miracle to happen so these can be collected in their own volumes...

Happy birthday, Jack Kirby! Your legacy still entertains, enthralls, and amazes me! Thank you so very, very much!


  1. God what awesome covers! I haven't picked up a Kamandi in 45 years, I think I need to check out that Omnibus, thanks & a belated Happy Birthday, Groove!

    1. Thanks, ApacheDug! I can't wait for that Kamandi collection to get here, but, as you can see, I have plenty to keep me busy until it does. :D

  2. Kirby will always be king. As I reread his amazing output, especially FF and Thor, I fall in love with this uber-talented individual all over again. A shame he only made it to 77, while his 2 famous co-creators lived until 98 (Simon) and 95 (Lee). But his prolific artistry is still here with us to enjoy over and over again

  3. I never thought that Jack's DC work was as consistently entertaining as what he did at Marvel with Stan Lee, but I loved his 15 issue run on Jimmy Olsen. Best thing he did at the Distinguished Competition in my opinion.

    1. I could have done without Goody Rickles.

    2. D'oh!Now you've got Don flustered, keythd23! He's in the corner saying, "Goody could'a done without you, ya hockey puck!" lol!! No, seriously (kinda)--I sometimes wonder if Jack introduced Don into comics with the idea of maybe doing a Don Rickles comicbook. I mean, Jerry Lewis' book had been on the racks not long before Jack came to DC (and Bob Hope had one that was cancelled a little earlier than Jerry's). Maybe he was showing the Powers That Were that how he'd handle a comedian comicbook. And hey, it could have been worse! Jack could very well have had Tiny Tim guest-star instead of Rickles...

  4. Hey Groove, happy belated birthday! Speaking about Kirby, I won't even try to go over his Marvel stuff, other than to say that the medium has never topped his Fantastic Four and Thor stories for sheer originality. The DC books were kind of all over the place, but's that's the glory of it. How can one compare books like New Gods, Kamandi, and The Demon? How about the stark tone of The Losers to the pure fantasy of books like Atlas? Of all of those, Kamandi still rings true for me, as I have mentioned here several times. Just the map of the "after disaster" Earth could be used as a road map for any future creators who wanted to pick up where he left off (I'm not counting the post-Kirby issues-they disappointed me too much at the time and I've never gotten over it).
    Just for fun, here are five DC stories from his time there that I still go back to when I need a "Kirby Blast-Off":

    Kamandi 1 (Just beautiful as a first issue introduction-the whole concept is on full display, from Kamandi's tough-guy attitude,to the Planet of the Apes opening, to the incredible shot of wild humans running in fright from one who speaks, just special storytelling)

    Mister Miracle 2-3 (Scott Free having to make his way out of a high rise building full of psychotic lunatics being sent mad by Apokoliptican forces-copied many times since, but never done better)

    The Demon 1-2 (Merlin, Morgan Le Fay, the fall of Camelot, the weirdest supporting cast introduced, and it all takes place in Gotham! Would he have brought Batman in eventually? )

    Omac 1 (Hapless office worker Buddy Blank becomes Omac, Lila in a box, World Peace Organization, Brother Eye, so much to do, and so little time given. Sigh.)

    Manhunter (First Issue Special was great as an intro to some great ideas, unfortunately only the Warlord made it to the next level. Who can forget the cave full of heads in the first couple of pages?)

    One of the great regrets of my life was never having a chance to meet him. He was supposed to appear in a comic store in Berkeley when I went to school there, and I took a day off from work to meet him and even had my precious copy of New Gods 7 for him to autograph. He took ill and cancelled at the last minute, apparently. I couldn't get the next week off when he appeared, and he passed away before another chance came around. Thanks for reminding me of the great man's impact on my life.




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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!