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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Comics Lowdown: Analyzing gender representation of 34,476 comic characters

Plus: Calexit sells out, climate change comics, Adam West as the Dark Knight, Becky Cloonan, Gerald Way, Jay Baruchel’s thoughts on Canadian superheroes and more!

A fascinating study takes a look at the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters. Journalist Amanda Shendruk asks, “Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?”

Wonder Woman gif by Nicole Dirksen

She examined 34,476 different characters. The study results were published with a plentiful helping of graphs, graphs, and more graphs looking at everything from the types of powers a character has, to the gender make-up of their superhero team, to the naming scheme and frequency of character’s aliases. Some of the findings include:

  • The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets.
  • 30% of all teams have no women, and only 12% have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12%, however, are exclusively female teams.
  • A full 30% of male characters with gendered names get ‘man’ in their name. That number is only 6% for ‘woman’. However, ‘girl’ is the third-most common gendered name for a female character (13%). ‘Boy’ only shows up sixth for males (5%).

The study was then topped with very cute pixel art by Vancouver’s Nicole Derksen.

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Comics Lowdown: Rest in peace Sam Glanzman, George Romero

Plus: teen romance, and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and others become Disney Legends

Sam Glanzman (1924-2017): Navy veteran and and Eisner Award-nominated comic artist Sam Glanzman, 92, passed away July 12. Over the span of his 75-year career in comics, Glanzman worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Charlton, Harvey and Dell, among others, on titles like G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock, Hercules, Jonah Hex, Fightin’ Army, Savage Tales, Semper Fi, Zorro and Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle. Marvel published his A Sailor’s Story graphic novel in 1987, a personal account of his time on the U.S.S. Stevens during World War II. A sequel followed. New stories about his time on the U.S.S. Stevens appeared in DC’s Joe Kubert Presents six-issue anthology limited series, and those stories, along with the two volumes of A Sailor’s Story, were collected in U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories, which is nominated for the Eisner Award this year. A successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Red Range, a story drawn by Glanzman and written by Joe R. Lansdale, recently wrapped up.

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King, Gerads team up on ‘Jack Kirby’s Jesus’ — Mister Miracle

New 12-issue series launches in August.

Paste Magazine shares the news that Tom King and Mitch Gerads, the team behind Vertigo’s popular The Sheriff of Babylon series, are teaming up on a Mister Miracle series at DC Comics. The 12-issue miniseries (Maxiseries? Is that still a thing?) launches in August. Doom Patrol artist Nick Derington will provide the covers.

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