Fresh Eyes on ‘Devil Dinosaur’ by Jack Kirby

In celebration of what would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, Corey Blake journeys into The Valley of Flame.

Fresh Eyes is a column reassessing milestone stories in comic book history from a modern perspective. Do they hold up, and how might they resonate with today’s readers?

Devil and Moon Boy take a rare break in Devil Dinosaur #1 by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

In the late 1970s, Jack Kirby made a triumphant return to Marvel Comics. Among his mini-line of new ideas and character, there was Devil Dinosaur, a prehistoric adventure series about a mighty red T-Rex and his best friend, an early human named Moon Boy. In celebration of what would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, I sought out to read the comic series for the first time.

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Creator of ‘Pepe’ book admits plagiarism, must donate profits to civil rights group

Publisher: “It’s unfortunate that an educator who has written a book that uplifts the virtues of truth and honesty has received such scrutiny.”

Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie has stopped the publication of an Islamophobic children’s book based on his cartoon, and as part of the settlement, the author, Eric Hauser, must donate all profits to the Muslim-American civil rights advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Pepe the Frog, lest we forget, was not designed to be a children’s character at all; the anthropomorphized amphibian was a character in Furie’s Boy’s Club comic, a laid-back slacker who smoked a lot of weed and pulled his pants all the way down to pee. The frog became an internet meme and either was picked up by the alt-right as a symbol of hate or was used by pranksters to convince a gullible media that it had been picked up by the alt-right as a symbol of hate—look, it’s a rabbit hole, OK?

Furie tried to reclaim his character by killing Pepe off and then crowdfunding a new Pepe book, but in the meantime, Eric Hauser was hard at work, making Pepe the hero of his self-published children’s book, The Adventures of Pepe and Pede.

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Living with the King: Telling the Jack Kirby story

Jason Mehmel shares what he learned about Jack Kirby during his time directing the play “King Kirby” in Calgary in 2016.

All this week we’re celebrating the life and influence of comics legend Jack Kirby, who would have turned 100 on Aug. 28. Today we present a guest editorial from Jason Mehmel, a professional director and producer of theatre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who had a unique opportunity related to Jack Kirby.

by Jason Mehmel

I’ve known about Jack Kirby for years… his style is as unique as a fingerprint. Crazy designs, often using circles. Crackling energy balls of negative space (later called ‘Kirby Krackles’). It represented the platonic ideal of superheroes, particularly the Marvel characters he created, and the subsequent artists, composing with better anatomy, perspective or even composition, are still ultimately riffing on the energy behind Kirby’s pencil, and the choices it led him to.

Robert Klein as Jack Kirby (Jeff McDonald/Sage Theater)

Two years ago, I came across a theatre script about the life of Kirby and found myself running a theatre company. I decided to jump at it and produce King Kirby: A Play by Crystal Skillman & Fred Van Lente, which walked through the pivotal moments in Kirby’s life:

How he came from poverty, his early love of science fiction and big ideas, and of telling them visually. How he got into comics from that love, and the birth of Captain America, just before his own wartime experience. How Marvel Comics as we know it exploded from his pen, and those of his fellow pencillers, though it would be hard to compete with the sheer volume of characters and stories Kirby developed in those years.

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Comics Lowdown: Jack Kirby special edition

A roundup of some of the Jack Kirby 100th birthday news this week!

Not only is it “Kirby Week” here on Smash Pages, but the entire comic industry has come together to honor and remember one of the industry’s greatest and most influential creators, Jack Kirby, for what would have been his 100th birthday. Here’s a round-up of links related to “The King.”

The first place to check is Marvel.com, which has an entire section dedicated to Jack Kirby. The colorful articles have been posted throughout the month of August, with reading lists, character features and articles by Jim Zub, Carlos Pacheco, Mark Waid and Mike Allred. Plus there are several videos about the life of Jack Kirby.

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Help ‘Midnight Tiger’ rise again via Kickstarter

Ray-Anthony Height, Vito Delsante, Éric Van Elslande and Action Lab Entertainment team up for the teenage superhero’s first ongoing series.

Ray-Anthony Height’s Midnight Tiger is looking to make a comeback at Action Lab Entertainment via an ongoing series, and the creator has recruited Stray writer Vito Delsante and artist Éric Van Elslande to help make it happen — and now they’ve turned to Kickstarter to ensure the young hero fights again.

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Kirby Q&A: Mike Allred

The creator of ‘Madman’ talks about the ‘power’ of Jack Kirby’s work, the difference between Kirby’s Marvel and DC work, and his love for the Silver Surfer

All this week we’re celebrating the life and influence of comics legend Jack Kirby, who would have turned 100 on Aug. 28. Watch for more interviews and posts as the week continues.

Mike Allred is the perfect person to talk to about Jack Kirby for a number of reasons. Right now he’s drawing two books, the ongoing Silver Surfer series at Marvel and the miniseries Bug! The Adventures of Forager at DC. Both characters are Kirby creations, as was Allred’s previous project, Marvel’s FF. Allred remains perhaps best known for his own creations, though, which range from Madman to Red Rocket 7 to The Atomics to iZombie. More than simply being an immensely talented creator, Allred is one of those creators who has long acknowledged his debt to Kirby and his style, and he talked a little about what that has meant to him.

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‘Redneck’ shirt benefits hurricane relief in Houston

Proceeds will benefit the Houston Coalition for the Homeless and their efforts to support their flooded city.

With the Gulf Coast and other parts of Texas facing heavy rain and flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Skybound’s Texan vampires from the comic Redneck want to show their support. Not through blood donations, but via a limited edition shirt you can buy off the Skybound website.

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When Kirby met Kirby

Artist Kate Willaert imagines what might have happened when Nintendo’s Kirby and comics legend Jack Kirby crossed over.

Today would have been the late Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, but August of this year also brought another anniversary for a different “Kirby” entirely — the 25th anniversary of Nintendo’s Kirby character, the pink and round protagonist of the video game series.

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Artists #WakeUpAndDraw for Jack Kirby’s birthday

To celebrate the 100th birthday of the King, artists are drawing his creation to benefit the Hero Initiative.

Today would have been comic book legend Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, and to celebrate artists from all over the world are drawing his creations — everyone from the Inhumans to Captain America to the New Gods.

Many of the drawings are also being auctioned off to benefit the Hero Initiative.

Here are a few of them … you can find more by following the #WakeUpAndDraw hashtag on Twitter and other social media, following Kirby4Heroes, or check out our Tumblr, where I’ll be posting others I see throughout the day.

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