Inktober spotlight: Victor Santos honors Jack Kirby

The ‘Violent Love’ artist dedicates Inktober to the King of Comics.

In addition to being the spookiest month, October is also Inktober, an art challenge where artists from all over the world create a different ink drawing every day of the month. While the official Inktober site provides a list of “prompts” to help inspire artists, many of them choose their own themes.

With many comic artists are participating this year — you can find a lot of them on Twitter or Tumblr using the #inktober hashtag, and we’ve been posting a bunch on our own Tumblr — we thought we’d spotlight a few of the “can’t miss” ones we’ve seen so far.

Victor Santos is the creator of Polar and the recently launched Guts webcomic, as well as the artist for the recent Violent Love miniseries. For Inktober, Santos chose to honor Jack Kirby, who would have been 100 this year.

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Wear Kirby’s ‘Lord of Light’ artwork on your torso

Wrap your body in the King’s artwork, courtesy of Heavy Metal magazine and T-shirt site Threadless.

If you’ve seen the movie Argo you know about the role comics legend Jack Kirby’s artwork played in the rescue of Americans from Tehran during the U.S./Iran hostage crisis in 1980. The artwork was originally created for a movie adaptation of Roger Zelazney’s Lord of Light, which never saw production but ended up becoming a part of history.

Heavy Metal magazine and the T-shirt site Threadless have teamed up to take those pieces of history and turn them into something you can wear, as you can see right here on Threadless’ Heavy Metal subsite. They have 13 different shirts featuring the King’s artwork, colored by Mark Englert in 2015. Take a look at some of them below.

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Kirby Q&A: Ed Piskor

The ‘X-Men: Grand Design’ and ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ creator reflects on the work of comics legend Jack Kirby.

All this week we’re celebrating the life and influence of comics legend Jack Kirby, who would have turned 100 on Aug. 28. You can find other Kirby-related articles here.

Ed Piskor was already well known for comics like Wizzywig, Macedonia and other work, but it was Hip Hop Family Tree that really brought his work to a new audience and won him an Eisner Award. Right now Piskor is working on X-Men: Grand Design, a series from Marvel that he’s writing, drawing, coloring and lettering that launches at the end of the year. Piskor has talked about his love for Kirby in the past and we reached out to talk about his thoughts about the man and his work.

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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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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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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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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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