Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jack Kirby!!!

Jack Kirby would have been 90 years old today. Kirby died February 6, 1994. I remember first reading about his death in USA Today. I was sad and in shock because I thought if anyone would have lived until at least 100 years old, it would have been Jack Kirby. It's hard to imagine what the American comic landscape would look like if Kirby hadn't made such a huge imprint on this medium. This photo shows two covers of The Jack Kirby Collector, a magazine devoted to the art of Jack Kirby and these two images are great examples of the power and dynamism of Kirby's art.

Head over to www.povonline.com, Mark Evainer's website, click on "News From Me" and scroll down until you get to Mark's Tuesday (August 28th) post titled "Jack Kirby". Mark Evainer was a long time friend and collaborator of Jack Kirby and is the foremost authority on everything Kirby related. Evainer has two Kirby biographies coming out, with the first one called Kirby: King Of Comics arriving in stores in October.

This page of original art is from Jack Kirby's Black Panther from about 1977. The year that I was looking to buy an original Jack Kirby art page at the San Diego convention (I think that was 1997 or 1998) I was looking for something from his DC Fourth World titles (such as Mr. Miracle, New Gods, Forever People, etc.), but I wasn't having any luck with that search. I was happy though to find this Black Panther page though because it captured what I was looking for. Basically I was looking for a dynamic page from a title that Kirby both wrote and drew and that was inked by Mike Royer. While I enjoy the many styles and inking that Jack Kirby's art encompassed, my favorite Kirby era was his 1970's period when his art was really blocky and primarily inked by Mike Royer. Every panel exudes so much power even when the characters are just standing around talking. I think that one of the main reasons that Kirby was so prolific (besides the fact that even top artists of his day didn't get great page rates or royalties) was because his imagination was just screaming to be unleashed!

I'm going to call September (since August is almost over) at my store (Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas, of course) Jack Kirby month and for everyone who reads this, comes to my store, and mentions Ich Liebe Comics and Jack Kirby, for the month of September they'll get 25% off any book that Kirby wrote and or drew (including the Marvel Essential volumes, Jack Kirby Collector, Silver Star, and the Fourth World Omnibus).

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