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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The artistic creator behind ‘Gødland’ and ‘The Transformers vs G.I. Joe’ discusses the influence Jack Kirby had on his art and career.
All this week we’ll celebrate 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.
Tom Scioli has established a reputation as an artist who is working in what many have described as the Kirby tradition. In work like The Myth of 8-Opus, American Barbarian, Gødland and The Transformers vs G.I. Joe, Scioli has demonstrated the clear influence of Jack Kirby on his work, but Scioli isn’t an imitator. Kirby’s sensibility and style is one of Scioli’s biggest influences, but he’s carving his own path and crafting a style that is recognizably his own from that. This month he’s been posting comics and drawings about Kirby on his Twitter feed to mark the centennial, and he spent a few minutes to talk about Kirby’s work.
Also: Who is the writer of Death Note? Victoria Jamieson, drawing and depression, big list o’ cons this weekend and more!
Diversity in All Things, Including Diversity: Lion Forge senior editor Joe Illidge talks about Catalyst Prime, his company’s new superhero universe that emphasizes diversity in its characters and creators:
“We don’t always want to do straight lines, because in a weird way that segregates talent,” Illidge said. “That only says, well if you’re black, you can only write black characters or if you’re a woman you can only write a female character. We want to show that we can expand beyond that.”
Delisle talks about the 15-year long process of making the book and its storytelling challenges.
Guy Delisle has a reputation for crafting a series of travelogue books that detail his travels and the long periods of time he’s spent in places like Myanmar (Burma Chronicles) and Israel (Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City), the latter of which received the Prize for Best Album at the 2012 Angouleme International Comics Festival. He’s also the cartoonist behind the series A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting.
Delisle’s book Hostage is a different book for him. It tells the true story of Christophe Andre, an administrator with Médecins Sans Frontiéres (Doctors Without Borders) who was kidnapped in Chechnya in 1997 and held hostage for 111 days. Delisle takes this story and makes the situation of a single man in a room both dramatic and visually engaging, working in a different style and color palate that readers of his earlier books might have expected. Delisle spoke about the 15-year long process of making the book and its storytelling challenges.