jack kirby collector #62

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All characters TM & © DC Comics. The JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #62 OMAC DEMON KAMANDI NEW GODS ATLAS $10.95 WINTER 2013

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NOW IN FULL-COLOR! JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #62 is a deluxe, 100-page full-color DC ISSUE! Believe it or not, Kirby actually worked longer for DC than Marvel over the years, so here’s a celebration of his best work for the company. (With full-color, you’ll see the Fourth World covered like never before!) There’s a feature-length Kirby interview, MARK EVANIER and our other regular columnists, an updated “X-Numbers” list of Kirby’s DC assignments (revealing some surprises), JERRY BOYD’s insights on Kirby’s work, a look at key 1970s events in Kirby’s life and career, galleries of pencil art including FOREVER PEOPLE, OMAC, THE DEMON, and more, plus a new Orion cover inked by MIKE ROYER! Edited by John Morrow.

TRANSCRIPT

Page 1: Jack Kirby Collector #62

All

char

acte

rs T

M &

© D

C C

omic

s.

The JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #62

OMAC

DEMON

KAMANDI

NEW GODS

ATLAS

$10.95WINTER 2013

Page 2: Jack Kirby Collector #62

THE COLOR

C o l l e c t o rISSUE #62, WINTER 2013

Contents

COPYRIGHTS: Alien Thing, Aquaman, Arin, Atlas, Batman, Big Barda, Big Bear, Black Canary, Black Racer, BoyCommandos, Challengers of the Unknown, Clark Kent, Darkseid, Deadman, Demon, Desaad, Dingbats of DangerStreet, Dr. E. Leopold Maas, Fastbak, Flash, Forager, Forever People, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Green Team,Guardian, Hawkman, Highfather, House of Secrets, In The Days Of The Mob, Infinity Man, Jimmy Olsen, Kalibak,Kamandi, Kobra, Lightray, Lonar, Losers, Manhunter, Manhunter, Metron, Morgan Edge, Mister Miracle, New Gods,Newsboy Legion, OMAC, Orion, Outsiders, Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter, Sandman, Secret Society of SuperVillains, Spirit World, Super Powers, Superman, Teekl, Vigilante, Virmin Vundabar, Witchboy, Wonder Woman TM & ©DC Comics. • Bucky, Captain America, Falcon, Fantastic Four, Inhumans, Loki, Silver Surfer, Thor, What If? TM & ©Marvel Characters, Inc. • The Avenger TM & © Conde Nast • Black Magic, Boy Explorers, Boys' Ranch, FightingAmerican TM & © Joe Simon & Jack Kirby Estates • Soul Love, True Divorce Cases TM & © Jack Kirby Estate •Destroyer Duck TM & © Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby Estates • Conan TM & © Conan Properties.

Kirby AT DC!OPENING SHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

(DC for me!)

RETROSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4(key 1970s DC moments)

KIRBYLOGUING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7(the return of the X-files)

JACK F.A.Q.s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14(Mark Evanier explains why Jackdidn't fit in at DC)

GALLERY 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18(fave Fourth World images)

KIRBY OBSCURA . . . . . . . . . . . . .26(Barry Forshaw knows too much)

KIRBY KINETICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29(Norris Burroughs on super soldierspast and future)

OVERVUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32(Big Brother meets Captain Americain OMAC)

BOBBY BRYANT . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36(Kirby & the Watergate [T]apes)

JACK KIRBY MUSEUM PAGE . . . .38(visit & join www.kirbymuseum.org)

WORKMANSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39(John Workman takes us behindthe scenes at ’70s DC Comics andhis Kirby Kobra Konnections)

INCIDENTAL ICONOGRAPHY . . . . .44(the many beards of Dr. E. LeopoldMaas)

FOUNDATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46(Kirby’s best genres, ’40s vs. ’70s)

KIRBY AS A GENRE . . . . . . . . . . . .56(Allred and Scioli transform Jack)

BOYDISMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60(Jerry Boyd presents Part 2 of Fascism in the Fourth World)

THE SOURCE? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64(Mike Breen compares the FF andChallengers like never before)

GHOST WRITING . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70(why did Jack draw pages differently for some scripters?)

TRIBUTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80(2013 Kirby Panel with Evanier,Gaiman, Isabella, and Levine)

COLLECTOR COMMENTS . . . . . . .91

PARTING SHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

Front & back cover inks: MIKE ROYERFront cover color: TOM ZIUKO

If you’re viewing a DigitalEdition of this publication,PLEASE READ THIS:

This is copyrighted material, NOT intendedfor downloading anywhere except our

website. If you downloaded it from anotherwebsite or torrent, go ahead and read it,

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www.twomorrows.com

Circa 1974 Kirby commission piece, beautifully inked this year by Mike Royer for this issue’s cover. Thanks, Mike!

The Jack Kirby Collector, Vol. 20, No. 62, Winter 2013. Published purt-nearquarterly by and © TwoMorrows Publishing, 10407 Bedfordtown Drive,Raleigh, NC 27614, USA. 919-449-0344. John Morrow, Editor/Publisher.Single issues: $14 postpaid ($18 elsewhere). Four-issue subscriptions: $50US, $65 Canada, $72 elsewhere. Editorial package © TwoMorrowsPublishing, a division of TwoMorrows Inc. All characters are trademarks oftheir respective companies. All artwork is © Jack Kirby Estate unless oth-erwise noted. All editorial matter is © the respective authors. First printing.PRINTED IN CHINA. ISSN 1932-6912

Page 3: Jack Kirby Collector #62

ontinuing our look at key moments in Jack’s lifeand career from TJKC #59 (which covered Marvelin the 1960s), we present this timeline of key

moments that affected Kirby’s tenure at DC Comics inthe 1970s. Of invaluable help were Rand Hoppe, pastresearch by Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman, and ofcourse, the “X” list of Jack’s DC production numbers(an updated version is shown elsewhere in this issue).

This isn’t a complete list of every important date inKirby’s DC 1970s history, but should hit most of themain ones. Please send us additions and corrections.Next issue, I’ll work on pivotal moments in Jack’s returnto Marvel in the 1970s and beyond.

My rule of thumb: Cover dates were generally two-three months later than the date the book appeared onthe stands, and six months ahead of when Kirby wasworking on the stories, so I’ve assembled the timelineaccording to those adjusted dates—not the coverdates—to set it as close as possible to real-time.

1967• Kinney National Company buys DC Comics, and Carmine

Infantino is appointed Art Director. He initiates the era of“artist as editor,” bringing new talent and ideas in. Also,

editor Jack Schiff retires from DC Comics,opening the door for Kirby to possibly return.

1969• January: The Kirby family moves to California,

taking a loan from Martin Goodman.

• Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman becomeacquainted with Kirby through working onMarvelmania projects, and Mike Royer inkshis first Kirby piece.

• Kirby meets with Carmine Infantino at a LosAngeles hotel to discuss the possibility ofjoining DC Comics, and Mort Weisinger retiresfrom DC Comics, removing the last obstaclefor Kirby returning.

1970• January: Kirby receives a “onerous” contract

from Perfect Film to continue working atMarvel Comics, telling him “take it or leave it.”

• February: Carmine Infantino signs Kirby to a DC contract.

• Early March: Kirby turns inFantastic Four #102, his finalstory for Marvel, andresigns. On March 12, Donand Maggie Thompson pub-lish an “Extra” edition oftheir fanzine Newfanglesannouncing Kirby is leavingMarvel. That Spring, MarkEvanier and Steve Shermanbecome Jack’s official assis-tants.

• May-June: “The Great One Is Coming!” ad (left center)appears in various DC comics, trumpeting “The BoomTube,” but does not mention Kirby by name.

• July (September cover date): The “Stan’s Soapbox” (left) inMarvel’s comics tells of Jack’s resignation from Marvel,and Jimmy Olsen #132’s letter column (bottom left)announces Kirby will start in the following issue.

• Summer: “Kirby is coming” blurb appears in various DCcomics. Also, Kirby’s three new core books are mentioned(with bullet art) in the 1970 San Diego Comic-Con programbook.

• August (October cover date): Jimmy Olsen #133 publishedwith Kirby’s first work forDC Comics.

• October (December coverdate): “The Magic ofKirby” house ads appearin DC comics, heraldingthe first issues of ForeverPeople, New Gods, andMister Miracle. (right)

• November (January 1971cover date): Kirby storiesin Amazing Adventures#4 and Tower ofShadows #4 publishedby Marvel, the samemonth as Jimmy Olsen#135 at DC Comics.

• December (February 1971 cover date): Forever People #1and New Gods #1 published at DC Comics.

1971• January (March cover date): Marvel’s Fantastic Four #108

published from Jack’s original rejected FF #102 story, thesame month that DC Comics publishes Mister Miracle #1and Jimmy Olsen #136.

• January 31: Kirby and Infantino are interviewed for Comics& Crypt fanzine in the DC offices, during Jack’s trip back toNew York City. Around this time, Carmine Infantino is pro-moted to publisher of DC Comics.

• May (July cover date): Lois Lane #111 is published, with anon-Kirby story that used his Fourth World concepts. Also,

Retrospective

CKey 1970s DC Moments

4

by John Morrow

(above) Stan says “adios”to Jack in July 1970.(throughout) You can’t sayDC didn’t promote“Kirby,” even if some ofthe ads were vague.

© M

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Inc.

Page 4: Jack Kirby Collector #62

Kirbyloguing

he following is a fully updated list of Kirby’s DC Comicsproduction numbers for his 1970s work. As editor, Jackwas given the prefix “X” since Joe Kubert was already

using the “K” prefix. These codes were used for DC’s inter-nal accounting, and printed on the final books. They makean accurate listing of the order in which Kirby produced his1970s DC material. Reprints in Kirby’s issues also received acode, leaving a fair number already assigned when DCpulled the plug on those 25¢ issues, so those already pre-pared reprints were likely reassigned, usually to E. NelsonBridwell’s “B” codes.

The few listings in PINK are ones that we are unable toconfirm, unless some unpublished artwork surfaces with anumber on it (but we’re reasonably sure they fit where weput them). Items in PURPLE are Kirby work for other edi-tors, and we’ve tried our best to place them chronologically

within the listing. Reprints are GREYED OUT. While our previous version of this list hinted at the possibility that—like Dingbats—unknown Atlas or Manhunter issues might exist, based on thechronology and the patterns that emerge in Jack’s workflow, it seemsunlikely they were produced, even if they were assigned one of themissing “X” numbers.

We’ve added a basic timeline of when he produced each issue(which should be accurate within one month either direction), andsome interesting details emerge:

• The first two issues of New Gods, Forever People, Mister Miracle, and

• Jimmy Olsen, plus In The Days Of The Mob #1and True Divorce Cases #1 were all drawn beforeJimmy Olsen #133 was published.

• Upon hearing the news that the Fourth Worldbooks were being cancelled, Jack quicklyswapped the stories he’d assigned for MisterMiracle #9 and #10, so he could get #9’s“Himon” into print.

• OMAC replaced Mister Miracle on his workschedule, and most issues didn’t see print for 8-10 months after they were drawn; Jack wasfulfilling his contracted page rate by stockpilingissues.

• After drawing OMAC #6, Jack drew 7 issues ofKamandi and Our Fighting Forces before draw-ing OMAC #7. Perhaps he was too far ahead, orperhaps DC was considering cancelling OMACafter #6. DC had him draw Atlas and Manhunter,before resuming work on OMAC #7 ten months later.

• After Jack drew three issues of Dingbats (whichdidn’t see print), DC assigned him Our FightingForces to fill out his contract.

• After drawing OMAC #8 (the last issue), DChad Jack draw Kobra #1 to fill that slot on hisschedule.

• Jack apparently drew Kamandi #38-40 after he’dbegun working for Marvel again, to finish outhis DC contract one month before CaptainAmerica #193 hit stands. !

Original list compiled by Jon B. Cooke, and updated by John Morrow & Rand Hoppe of the Jack Kirby Museum (www.kirbymuseum.org)Return of the X-Files

(below) Jack drew this pencil cover for a “proposed New Godstabloid comic” according tothe 1979 Jack KirbyMasterworks portfolio. Wasit to be for a $1 oversizeDC reprint of Fourth Worldmaterial, or somethingmore elaborate to placatean increasingly restlessKirby in the mid-1970s?No one seems certain:

MARK EVANIER: I am prettysure it was not done rightafter New Gods was can-celled. There’s anotherpiece that was. Jack wastold that the book publisherNew American Library wasgoing to reprint New Godsin paperback—this was ata time when no one didthings like that—and thatif it sold well, the storylinewould continue in that for-mat with new material. Hedrew up an ad but the pro-ject never went forward,and I don’t think Infantinoever told him why.

STEVE SHERMAN: I don’trecall hearing anythingabout a tabloid size comic.I suppose it’s possiblesince DC was publishingthose oversize editions.Jack would’ve been up forit. Stuff got tossed arounda lot that never happened.

We’ll keep digging fordetails!

7

T

(above) Kirby traced the photo at top left to create hislikeness on this intro page for DC’s Golden Age reprints.

(If you lay it on top, it’s an exact match!)

Page 5: Jack Kirby Collector #62

X-100 “In Search of a Dream” 24 The Forever People 1 Mar 1971 March 1970X-101 Cover 1 The Forever People 1 Mar 1971X-102 Cover 1 The New Gods 1 Mar 1971X-103 Cover 1 Mister Miracle 1 April 1971X-104 “The Forever People” pin-up 1 The Forever People 4 Sept 1971X-105 “Beautiful Dreamer vs. Darkseid” pin-up 1 The Forever People 4 Sept 1971X-106 “The Infinity Man” Pin-up 1 The Forever People 4 Sept 1971X-107 “Orion Fights for Earth” 23 The New Gods 1 Mar 1971 April 1970X-108 “Lightray” Pin-up 1 The New Gods 4 Aug 1971X-109 “Kalibak the Cruel” Pin-up 1 The New Gods 4 Aug 1971X-110 “The Newsboy Legion” 22 Jimmy Olsen 133 Oct 1970X-111 Cover (2 versions) 1 Jimmy Olsen 133 Oct 1970X-112 “Jack Kirby, Continued” Text 1 Jimmy Olsen 133 Oct 1970X-113 “Murder Missile Trap” 22 Mister Miracle 1 April 1971X-114 “The Mountain of Judgement” 22 Jimmy Olsen 134 Dec 1970 May 1970X-115 “Super War” 22 The Forever People 2 May 1971X-116 “The Whiz Wagons are Coming” Text 1 Jimmy Olsen 134 Dec 1970X-117 “O Deadly Darkseid” 22 The New Gods 2 May 1971X-118 “X-Pit” 22 Mister Miracle 2 June 1971 June 1970X-119 “A Visit with Jack Kirby” (Marvin Wolfman) Text 1 Forever People/New Gods/Mister Miracle 1 Mar 1971X-120 “Welcome to Hell” 41 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-121 Cover (no #) 1 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-122 “The Breeding Ground” (ME/SS) Text/collage 3 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-123 “Funeral for a Florist” (ME/SS) Text/Illo 2 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-124 Dillinger poster 1 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-125 “Kill Joy Was Here” 1 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-126 Table of contents 1 In The Days Of The Mob 1 Fall 1971X-127 Cover (B-994) 1 Super DC Giant S-25 Aug 1971X-128 “The Kirby That Jack Built” text feature (B-1006) 3 Super DC Giant S-25 Aug 1971X-129 “The Maid” 13 True Divorce Cases n/a n/a July 1970X-130 “The Twin” 7 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-131 “The Model” (reused for Soul Love) 10 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-132 “The Other Woman” 10 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-133 “The Babies” photo feature 3 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-134 “Hollywood Divorce” article by Evanier & Sherman 2 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-135 Table of Contents (collage) 1 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-136 Inside Back Cover 1 In The Days Of The Mob/Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-137 “The Cheater” 3 True Divorce Cases n/a n/aX-138 “Hairies, Super-race or ...?” Text 1 Jimmy Olsen 135 Jan 1971 August 1970X-139 “Evil Factory” 22 Jimmy Olsen 135 Jan 1971X-140 “Life vs. Anti-Life” 22 The Forever People 3 July 1971X-141 “The Teacher” 10 Soul Love n/a n/a September 1970X-142 “Death is the Black Racer” 23 The New Gods 3 July 1971X-143 Cover 1 Mister Miracle 2 June 1971X-144 Cover 1 The New Gods 2 May 1971X-145 Cover 1 The Forever People 2 May 1971X-146 “The Saga of the D.N.Aliens” 22 Jimmy Olsen 136 Mar 1971 October 1970X-147 “The Newsboy Legion Returns” (ME/SS) Text (likely meant for #136) 1 Jimmy Olsen 141 Sept 1971X-148 “Miracle Talk” (ME/SS) Text 1 Mister Miracle 2 June 1971X-149 “Fears of a Go-Go Girl” 10 Soul Love n/a n/aX-150 “Dedicated Nurse” 7 Soul Love n/a n/aX-151 “Paranoid Pill” 22 Mister Miracle 3 Aug 1971X-152 “Buzzing In The Boom Tube” 1 The Forever People 2 May 1971X-153 “To and From the Source” (ME/SS) Text 1 The New Gods 2 May 1971X-154 “The Four-Armed Terror” 22 Jimmy Olsen 137 April 1971 November 1970X-155 “Diary of the Disappointed Doll” 5 Soul Love n/a n/aX-156 “Kingdom of the Damned” 22 The Forever People 4 Sept 1971X-157 “The Big Boom” 23 Jimmy Olsen 138 June 1971 December 1970X-158 Poster (Roberta Flack)• photo and text features 8 Soul Love ? n/aX-159 “Old Fires” 2 Soul Love n/a n/aX-160 Cover 1 Soul Love n/a n/aX-161 Cover 1 Jimmy Olsen 137 April 1971X-162 “O’Ryan Gang and the Deep Six” 22 The New Gods 4 Sept 1971 January 1971X-163 “The Guardian Fights Again” 22 Jimmy Olsen 139 July 1971X-164 “The Closing Jaws of Death” 22 Mister Miracle 4 Oct 1971 February 1971X-165 Cover 1 Mister Miracle 3 Aug 1971X-166 Cover (2 versions) 1 Jimmy Olsen 138 June 1971X-167 Cover 1 The Forever People 3 July 1971X-168 Cover 1 The New Gods 3 July 1971X-169 “The Screaming Woman” 10 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-170 Letter column 1 The Forever People 3 July 1971X-171 “House of Horror” 12 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-172 “Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?” 22 Jimmy Olsen 141 Sept 1971 March 1971X-173 Letter column 1 The New Gods 3 July 1971X-174 “Sonny Sumo” 22 The Forever People 5 Nov 1971X-175 “Amazing Predictions” 10 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-176 Cover (unpublished) 1 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-177 “Cancel His Trip!!! Or the President Must Die!” 10 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-178 Cover 1 Jimmy Olsen 139 July 1971X-179 Cover 1 The New Gods 4 Sept 1971X-180 Cover 1 The Forever People 4 Sept 1971X-181 Cover 1 Mister Miracle 4 Oct 1971X-182 Letter column 1 Mister Miracle 3 Aug 1971X-183 “The Man from Transilvane” 22 Jimmy Olsen 142 Oct 1971 April 1971X-184 Letter column 1 The Forever People 4 Sept 1971X-185 “Children of the Flaming Wheel” Text 3 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-186 “The Spirit of Vengeance!” Text 3 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-187 Table of contents 1 Spirit World 1 Fall 1971X-188 Letter column 1 The New Gods 4 Sept 1971

CODE JOB DESCRIPTION PAGES TITLE ISSUE COVER DATE TIMELINE

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Page 6: Jack Kirby Collector #62

he theme of this issue of The Jack Kirby Collectorseems like the perfect time to deal with this questionfrom Van Woods...

I was intrigued by a comment you made in an articleonce that Jack never fit in at DC Comics in the Seventies.I’ve always felt that too but never knew quite why I felt that.Could you elaborate?

Sure. Jack was never an ideal fit for DC for a numberof reasons, not the least of which was that before hisarrival, most folks up there had spent a lot of time hatingon Marvel. A prevailing sentiment in the offices wasthat DC’s books were great, Marvel’s sucked and therewas some cosmic injustice occurring when a Marveloutsold a DC.

Editorial DirectorIrwin Donenfeld, frustratedby this, came up with thetheory that the readerswere obviously confused:They were accidentally buying Marvels when theymeant to buy DCs. To rectify this horrible situation, hehad them slap those “go-go checks” on all DC covers,the premise being that they’d make DC books moreidentifiable as DC books. Didn’t help. All those kidswho were stupidly buying Fantastic Four when they really wanted Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane keptright on buying the wrong comics by mistake.

Now, in fairness, Team Spirit is not uncommon incomics. Just as if you live in San Francisco, you probablythink the Giants are better than the Dodgers, there’s astrong rooting interest if you work for Company X to

think your employer kicks all butts in the comicshops. But there does come apoint when folks carry it so far they lose connection withreality... and it can be jarringwhen things change. I knowfolks who practically experiencedwhiplash when they changedcompanies and had to startspinning wildly in the oppositedirection.

So when Jack “King” Kirbywas suddenly a DC asset, a lot ofpeople there had trouble shiftinggears. It was hard to segue frombeing glad you didn’t have thatprimitive art style in your booksto embracing it as a key part ofyour future. It was also a difficulttime there. When CarmineInfantino ascended to power atDC, he did something that hadn’t

happened in a long time at that company: He started firing people.

Previously, it was a very secure place to work.Once you were in, you usually stayed in. It wassomething the company could offer its people in

lieu of good money... and to a staff andtalent pool of former kidswho’d grown up in the GreatDepression, important.Stability—not having to worryabout not having a paycheck atall—mattered a lot to thosepeople. If you’d been writing,drawing or editing for DCComics in 1965, you probablythought you had a job for aslong as there were DC Comics...which at the time seemed likeforever.

Jack F.A.Q.s(this page) DC put little effort into integrat-ing Kirby’s Fourth Worldconcepts across theirline, relegating non-Kirby appearances toseveral Lois Laneissues from #111-119,for which NelsonBridwell was editoriallyinvolved. The “MorganEdge Clone” subplotwas a nice adjunct tothe saga, but onceKirby was off JimmyOlsen, the tie-insended...

...culminating with aquick Newsboy Legionback-up in JimmyOlsen #150, and ahasty wrap-up of theEdge clone saga in#152 (next page, top).

14

A column of Frequently Asked Questions about Kirby

T

Mark Evanier

Page 7: Jack Kirby Collector #62

Then things took a downturn and Infantino became EditorialDirector, displacing Donenfeld who’d thought he had a job for life.Being the son of the guy who founded and once owned thecompany hadn’t saved Irwin... and a lot of other folks wentwith him. Carmine was charged with shaking up the company,trying to reinvent it and turn things around.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think Infantino did avery good job as Editorial Director and later as Publisher. Ialso don’t think he had an easy job. The conglomerate thatwould later be known as Time Warner had recentlyacquired DC and there were those in that company whothought the wisest thing they could do with its comic bookdivision was scale it way back. There was at least one execthere—and maybe more—who felt they’d gotten whatthey wanted because they now owned the nation’s leadingmagazine distributor, Independent News. About DC, therewas this suggestion: Get rid of most of the staff, scalethings back and just publish a dozen or so comics permonth—primarily reprints—to keep Superman, Batman,Wonder Woman and other licensable characters in print.Other ideas for drastic downsizing were floated.

DC’s distribution was then crumbling and the folks at Independent News had little confidence in anything.New books were being started left and right, and a highpercentage of them expired after five or six issues... meaning the decision to abort was made based on the salesfigures of one or two issues. Joe Simon’s Brother Power, theGeek outdid most of them: It got cancelled before they hadany sales figures on #1.

So this was the environment Jack walked into: A company full of nervous people who were acutely con-scious that their once-guaranteed employment was now onprobation and that whatever they were working on mightget the ax or be handed over to others at any time. It was,as they say, a brand-new ball game: A lot of longtime DCstaffers (including Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff, who’dnot-so-long-before been their two most powerful editors)were gone. So were other longtime freelancers like GeorgePapp, Jim Mooney, George Klein and Wayne Boring.

And the Marvel/Kirby look, which was once the lookDC was proud wasn’t theirs, was now the look of theirmost important new publications. Some there were horrified. I’m sure I mentioned this before but on our firstvisit to the DC offices in 1970, Steve Sherman and I were

welcomed as Jack’s assistants. Then Sol Harrison, who ran the production department, sat us down and asked us if maybe we could urge Jack to draw more like Curt Swan. In later years when Iencountered Mr. Harrison, I seemed to always find him debating hiscontention that DC’s output inarguably made all others look sick.

Everyone else who wasn’t in the production department andwasn’t Robert Kanigher respected Jack’s contribution to the field,but a lot of them didn’t like that kind of art. And they really didn’tlike that their company’s new superstar was not them or some otherlongtime DC person. It was an outsider. It was like Jack was beingrewarded for past service to the enemy.

Jack gave it his all. Jack always gave it his all. That was one of

15

Kirby’s short back-ups had astounding potential. Pencils from Jimmy Olsen #143.

Page 8: Jack Kirby Collector #62

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(next page) Kirby introduced Forager, “The Bug” inNew Gods #9-10, in a story that seemed to be the

pilot episode for some kind of spin-off series,based on the amount of play he got. It was a fine

read, but after epics like “The Glory Boat” and“Death Wish of Terrible Turpin”, it left us wishing

Jack had concentrated more on Orion and Lightrayin those two issues—something he’d probablyhave done if he’d known sooner that New Gods

was nearing cancellation.

Gallery 1

The Fourth World had nearly limitless potential, but DC underutilized it. Any one of these characters could’vebeen spun off into their own Kirby series. Instead, Jack only gave us brief glimpses of the tip of his creativeideas through maddeningly short back-up (many only two pages) in his Fourth World books.Lonar and Fastbak at least got two short back-ups each, while poor Infinity Man got forgotten about till thefinal Forever People issue—but he came back with a vengeance! Arin the Armored Man is somewhere out inthe cosmos with Superman’s DNA, while Kirby’s rendition of Deadman is still seeking his killer, whose hookturned out to be on the other hand.

A few of the editor’s favoriteFourth World images

Page 9: Jack Kirby Collector #62

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Many people recall Forever People as the Fourth World component with the least slam-bang action, due tothe main characters’ passive nature. But while they spent their share of time running away (as shown onthese pencils from #7 and #8), Jack gave us shocking sequences like the “Happy Land” torture park and

the brutal killing of “Billion Dollar Bates”— and Beautiful Dreamer in several cheesecake scenes.

Page 10: Jack Kirby Collector #62

REDRESSING THE BALANCE

It’s sometimes hard to discern who did exactly what in

certain artistic partnerships. Whenthat artistic partnership bears just a

single name (as in the case of Batman’s‘Bob Kane’—in inverted commas, as the

latter was a portmanteau exercise almostfrom the beginning), it’s not surprising that the

unheralded lesser-known silent partner in suchjob-sharing wants their achievement recognized,

however belatedly. In the case of Batman’s joint cre-ators, we now know just how important Jerry Robinson

was—in fact, he told us (and we believed him, as we weresceptical of Kane himself), as Robinson was always one ofthe most articulate historians of the comics genre as well asbeing one of its most talented practitioners (and it’s thanksto people like Robinson that we are also aware of the under-valued contribution of the legendary comics writer Bill Finger).

So how does this compare to the famous partnership ofJoe Simon and Jack Kirby? Now that the dust has settled(and now that both men are scribbling away on the greatdrawing board in the sky), it’s clear to see—if there wereany doubt—that Simon was the businessman as well asbeing an efficient (though journeyman) Illustrator, while Kirbywas undoubtedly the stellar talent (something Simon waswell aware of, though Kirby was by no means as articulateas his partner—Joe was the chronicler of the partnership,not least in his illuminating writing). And proof of the strikinggap between their achievements may be found in a particu-

larly delightful book from March 1958,Harvey’s Alarming Tales #4. The cover is veryobviously a workaday Joe Simon effort, witha man reaching into a chest containing ragdolls and looking alarmed as seven otherdolls come to ambulatory life and approachhim. Okay—it’s a perfectly serviceable coverthat does the job (just), but as Jack Kirby ispresent in this book, it’s impossible not tospeculate on how he might have drawn thecover differently, and how much more effec-tive it would have been. Admittedly, withinthe constraints of the relatively youngComics Code (Alarming Tales is, of course, apost-Code book) the dolls could not begrotesque (it was no longer acceptable tofrighten the kiddies), but Kirby certainlywould have made them stranger and moredisturbing—and the composition would havebeen more striking, perhaps with the dolls

foregrounded—they look singularlyharmless here, pushed over to the leftof the frame.

KIRBY CURTAIN-RAISERBut turn to the first story in the comic, “Forbidden

Journey”, and we are in an artistic world some considerabledistance from Joe Simon’s likeable but by-the-numbersefforts. It’s classic Kirby. A boy in a futuristic suit holds hishands up in alarm at the sight of a truly surrealistic crea-ture—a thing with six legs, a strange fin-like growth on itsneck and three separate sections of leopard-like coveringson its otherwise green, striated back. It’s the kind ofabsolutely outlandish and unique monster that only JackKirby could create, so fecund was his imagination. What’smore, any long-term Kirby aficionado will be well aware thatwhen this creature reappears in the story, it will be shown ina very different fashion—not just because Kirby was careful

not to repeat himself (and would always choose a differentangle and approach), but simply because he couldn’t helphimself. His visual imagination was like a firework, splutter-ing out bright and startling sparks by the second. There areother elements in this splash panel which are pleasing—forinstance, the flying vehicle (a sort of air-sled with a controlconsole) which has brought the boy into the strange land inwhich the grotesque creature lives; and (I’m sure like mostof the writers in this magazine), I find myself marvelling atthe simplicity and imagination in even minor details such asthe vehicles Kirby was able to create. Take, for instance, thetime cube in the classic tale inked by Wally Wood, “TheWizard of Time” for Challengers of the Unknown—absolutely

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ObscuraA regular column focusing on Kirby’s leastknown work, by Barry Forshaw

Barry Forshaw

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Next up in Titan’s S&KLibrary series is“Horror” in March 2014,which will include sto-ries from Black Magicand Strange World ofYour Dreams publishedfrom 1950 to 1954—320 pages, with moregreat art reconstructionby Harry Mendryk.

“Forbidden Journey”had never beenreprinted until Titan’srecent S&K ScienceFiction volume. “TheCats Who Knew TooMuch” was reprintedin Unexpected #127in 1971.

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Super Soldiers: Captain America to OMAC

ack Kirby, almost from the start of his career, wasfascinated with the idea of a super-soldier, engi-neered by a high governmental authority to counter

the enemies that besieged it from within and without.What changed over the years were not only Kirby’s perceptions of heroism and authority, but obviously theperceptions that society had of these subjects as well.

It would be difficult to imagine a time when theworld would be more in need of a Super-Soldier thanthe cataclysm of World War II. Created by the team of

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, CaptainAmerica exploded on the scene inearly 1941, nearly a year beforeAmerica declared war on the Axispowers of Germany, Italy and Japan.Clean limbed and wholesome, a pristine and forthright demi-god, the star-spangled hero representedeverything that was good about theideals of American democracy. Transformed from thescrawny but earnest Steve Rogers into a steel-muscledathlete, Captain America was not a heartless killingmachine, but an example of what an American shouldbe in a time when righteousness and moral fiber wereas crucial to overcoming evil as was military might.

In issue #5 of his magazine, the Captain faced theNazi threat of the German American Bund, where thatorganization was engaging in seditious activities onAmerican soil. At the beginning of the 1941 story“Killers of the Bund,” members of the nefarious organi-zation savagely beat a German-American, HeinrichSchmidt, when he refused to join them. The good Captain,standing up for patriotic Americans of all races andcreeds, lays waste to the Bund minions in this spectacularpage. Sadly, apart from the splash pages beginning thestories, there is very little quality Kirby to be found inthe run of Golden Age Captain America #1-10, but thispage is a notable exception. The figures here are litheand muscular, moving in a way that exemplified the sinuous best of early Kirby art. From the three-quarterback twist of Cap’s position in panel one, the eye movesto panel two and then down to the middle wide-angleshot of the hero slamming his adversaries with his armsfully extended. What is also impressive here is the sheerprofusion of intricately entwined figures thrown in alldirections. For me, the most wonderful figure is Cap’s inpanel four. It is an artistic revelation of contrapuntalmotion, as our hero, his right leg extended out of thepanel and towards us, whips a roundhouse right thattorques his body so extremely that much of his torso isobscured. One senses the force of the blow by theprominent cocked left elbow and the fist that emergesbelow the head.

As noted, Kirby abandoned the book after tenissues, and the end of World War II more or less endedCaptain America’s reason to exist, with his magazinefolding in 1949. Timely’s successor, Atlas Comics, triedbriefly to bring Cap back in 1953 as a Commie-smasher,but the idea was ill-conceived and failed quickly. (Laterit was determined that this was not the actual CaptainAmerica, who had been frozen in suspended animationshortly after the war ended.)

In 1954, Kirby, again with Simon, created another

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An ongoing examination of Kirby’s art and compositional skills

(below) Classic Simon& Kirby from Timely’sCaptain AmericaComics #5 (August1941).

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Overvue

twisted inverse of Kirby’s own archetypal hero Captain America created back in 1941, OMAC is a super-soldier living in a dystopian future. His real identity is named Buddy Blank, an employee of a multinational corporationcalled Pseudo-People, Inc. Blank is chosen by the Global Peace Agency to undergo an experiment that will trans-

form him into a superhuman One ManArmy Corps, OMAC. A scientist named Dr.Myron Forest performs “electronic surgery...!...a computer hormone operation...” on Mr.Blank, which connects him, body and soul,with a sentient orbiting satellite known asBrother Eye. The intimidating symbol onOMAC’s chest is the all-seeing eye, symbol-izing the fact that a target, once chosen,cannot easily escape OMAC’s field of vision.

For eight issues OMAC flies around theworld at the behest of the Global PeaceAgency, attempting to combat “man’s owncapacity for self-destruction.” The classicmodels for futuristic dystopias are, ofcourse, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World(1932) and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Such works, and all their illegitimate children, usually feature a maincharacter who’s fully aware he’s trapped in adystopia and heroically does everything hecan to burst free of it.

OMAC reverses this cliché completely.OMAC is, without a doubt, trapped in adystopian world; the signs are all aroundhim. And yet despite the fact that his mindis linked to the most sophisticated artificialintelligence program ever created, heappears not to be aware of his situation atall.

This is no oversight on Kirby’s part.This is the point of the whole series.

If you were living in a dystopia, a subtledystopia that dispenses with the “boot-in-your-face” treatment of Nineteen Eighty-Four,would you really be aware of it, or wouldyou be so used to your total lack of freedomthat you would simply accept it as a normalway of life? You might, in fact, walk aroundeveryday being very proud of your privilege,despairing the lack of freedom in otherparts of the world, as Winston Smith’sneighbor does.

OMAC is literally a slave to a fascistpolice agency that appears to have lockeddown the entire world except for a feweccentric terrorists hell-bent on creatingdestruction for destruction’s sake. OMAC’scontrollers, those who feed him his mis-sions, never reveal their identities to him.

Jack Kirby’s OMAC, published in 1974 and 1975, is an overlooked landmark in the evolution of science-fiction. Though the series lasted only eight issues over the course of a year-and-a-half, it packs far moreinformation into its 176 pages than many comic books that drag on for over a hundred issues. With itsfull-fledged explorations of man’s total merging with the electric environment, it points the way to thecyberpunk movement a decade later.

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ACaptain America meets Big Brother

Jack Kirby’s OMAC examined, by Robert Guffey

(below) OMAC getsparents in issue #3.

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ll the people who worked in the DC Comics (or,early on, the National Periodical Publications)Production Department when I was on-staff there

in the 1970s were multi-talented individuals who weremore than capable of making a piece of comic book artbetter by way of a tweak of the penciling, the inking, thewriting, the lettering, the coloring, or any combinationof those things.

Sol Harrison and Jack Adler who, in tandem, headedup that part of DC, aside from being master colorists,were also more than capable as inkers and letterers, andtheir knowledge of printing techniques went beyondthe limited range of letterpress and pulp paper.

Joe Letterese and Morris Waldinger, both a part ofthe company for nearly a quarter of a century, wereeach adept at lettering and art corrections. While Joewas always most proud that it was his sound effects thatwere such an important part of the hugely successful1960s Batman TV series, Morris could point to thegroup of one-page “public-service” features that he haddrawn for DC. He’d also received special dispensationthat made it possible for him to draw entire stories forRichard Hughes at the American Comics Group, anostensibly competitor company that had some legal ties

with DC thathad nothingto do with thefact that DC(through itsIndependentNews sub-sidiary) wasthe distribu-tor for theACG books.

AnthonyTollin and Todd Klein were both completely at homewith art and writing. Both of them made solid inroadsinto writing, respectively, historical prose related topulp magazines and comics and actual comics material.Of course, Tony also made a name for himself as a col-orist and, later, a publisher. Todd became, quite possibly,the greatest letterer in the history of comics.

Bob LeRose, then new to DC, was of the same agegroup as Joe Letterese and Morris Waldinger. I rememberthat he had such trouble with lettering. He never didmaster that art, but his knowledge of design and colormade him invaluable to the company. Bob also had the

Kirby was literally outthe door at DC whenKobra #1 hit thestands. DC editorialstaffers at the timefelt Jack’s final newconcept for the com-pany needed a lot ofhelp, and dramaticallyaltered the artwork forpublication. Here,John Workman givesus a peek inside DC’s1970s productiondepartment, andshown below is thepublished splashpage, compared toJack’s version.

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Workmanship

Aby John Workman © John Workman

Kirby & Kobra

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...To Bushy!

Close-cropped

An ongoing analysis of Kirby’s visual shorthand, and how he inadvertently used it to develop his characters,

by Sean Kleefeld

IncidentalIconography

ast year, any number of readers got their first look at Jack’s SpiritWorld stories via the hardcover collection released by DC. Theoriginal series those tales were intended for was aborted after the

first issue which only got spotty distribution—as noted by fellowcolumnist Mark Evanier in the reprint edition—and the subsequentstories that Jack had already worked up got thrown in to othermagazines more or less as filler. Consequently, very few people sawthere was any real connection between these stories until recently.

But while there isn’t anyunderlying theme oroverarching story, there is onething that holds the piecestogether: the host Doctor E.Leopold Maas. Especiallygiven his sporadic publishinghistory, it’s not surprisingthat he’s often overlooked.He’s not named in“Horoscope Phenomenon”and the art was changed a bitto make Destiny the host, andthe host convention isdropped almost entirely for“The PsychicBloodhound.”Nevertheless, Maas is stillpresent throughout the series.

Maas introduces himself early in Spirit World #1 as aparapsychologist. He appears fairly professorial, seated behind adesk decorated with old books and pens, and sporting a nondescriptsuit and glasses. Visually, the most distinctive thing about him isthat he wears a closecropped beard and parts his hair on the right.Although it frequently appears to be a full beard, some particularangles denote that it is in fact just an extended goatee, sometimescalled a Hollywoodian. It is such a full goatee, though, that thisdistinction is really only seen in a handful of panels.

In terms of development or changes throughout the character’sadmittedly short existence, there’s not much to speak of other thannoting his glasses changing style pretty regularly, sometimes on thesame page. So why would we want to take a look at Maas within thecontext of this column?

The original Spirit World comic came out in 1971, pretty much inconcert with the Fourth World saga. This is noteworthy because it’s inthis context that we find, only a few months later, the introductionof a very similarly designed character in Mister Miracle #6.

Funky Flashman, while very notably based on Stan Lee, bears apretty striking similarity to Maas. The hair is parted on the oppositeside, and the beard is a little fuller, but most of the differences are intheir style of speech. We’ve looked at Funky before in the context of

Jack drawing his onetime partner, and the majority of Funky’s design comes from there. (Although it is worth noting, I think, thatLee had stopped wearing a full beard a year or two before Funky’sfirst appearance. Having just left Marvel, it’s likely Jack would notbother to keep up with Lee’s hairstyle, but just used what heremembered from the last two or three years he was working withhim. And it happened that was only those couple years that Leesported a full beard!)

There are those out there who look at various characters andcite them as prototypes for others. Jack’s “The Monster in the IronMask” as the prototype for Dr. Doom, for example!Mike Gartlanddebunked many of these way back in TJKC #13. Now I’m not aboutto suggest that Maas was a prototype for Funky, by any means.Clearly, Lee himself was the inspiration there. But putting Lee downas a character, two years after Jack left Marvel—even longer since hehad likely seen Lee in person, having moved to California beforethat—seems a curious delay. I’m sure Jack’s anger and frustrationwith Lee hadn’t subsided, but why choose then to mock him?

Here’s my guess. Jack was more than happy churning out newideas for DC. He’d been holding on to his Fourth World stuff for atleast a few years, so he was just cranking along on all these great new ideas DC was letting him try. He started on Spirit World,decided he needed a host character like the old EC books, anddesigned up Maas as a character that conveyed some sense ofauthority and gravitas—the look of a learned man, perhaps anacademic: Suit, glasses, beard. Then he, or someone who saw his art, realized that Maas looked a little like Lee. Perhaps in “TheCalder House” where he grabs a pipe for a few panels, or later loseshis glasses. It’s not a spitting image of Lee, but close enough thatJack realized it would be easy to write Lee in as a caricature of theman he still held a grudge against.

My evidence, admittedly, is quite slim here. But the timing fitspretty well to start, and the number of bearded characters Jack drewis pretty minimal! to see two of them with similar styles in a periodof a few months seems more than just a coincidence.

I can’t get into Jack’s head, of course, and I actually doubt thathe made a conscious connection to Lee after he designed and drewMaas. But since his mind was going a million miles an hour, itwouldn’t surprise me that he subconsciously realized the designsimilarity between Maas and Lee, andthat started churning ideas for Funky.So while Funky himself would havecome very deliberately from Lee’s ownvisage, the notion of creating Funky inthe first place may well have beenincidental to a littleseen book manyfans had never even heard of untilrecently. !

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The foundation formuch of Kirby’s1970s DC output waswork he did with JoeSimon in the 1940sand ’50s. So here’s alook at the “old” Jackmagic, compared tohis newer takes onfamiliar genres.

Simon & Kirby’s crime comics weren’t market leadersin the 1940s, but they held their own, despite being toneddown compared to others of the time. So when Jackdeveloped In The Days Of The Mob for DC, he hearkenedback to the gangsters he grew up with and knew about,such as Ma Barker, who was featured in a 1947 issue ofReal Clue Crime Stories. DC’s recent hardcover of Mobincludes the full unpub-lished second issue.

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Foundations CRIME &

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Joe Simon & Jack Kirby pioneered the entireromance genre in comics, so it made sense to tryto rekindle it at DC in 1970. Never one to repeathimself, Jack chose an “anti-romance” concept inTrue Life Divorce, but it barely got beyond thepencil stage. One story, “The Model” (below) wasthe springboard for a second proposed title, SoulLove, which got as far as the inking stage beforebeing likewise abandoned. One of those stories,“Old Fires,” is presented on the following pages,with inks by Vince Colletta and color by Tom Ziuko.

Romance...

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Kirby’s Black Magic had been a strong seller in the Golden Age, and Spirit World #1 hoped tomatch that success. But poor distribution for it and In The Days Of The Mob #1 resulted in stacksof unsold copies, and the material prepared for issue #2being divvied up among DC own mystery comics, thenfinally reassembled in DC’s recent hardcover collection(left). However, Jack’s own past war experience (incomics and on the battlefield) served him much bettercommercially in Our Fighting Forces, which reachedmonthly frequency during his run. !

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Mystery...

(left) Spirit World #2 pencil art.

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Event HorizonTwo of Jack Kirby’s most prominent future selves—Tom Scioli of GØDLAND fame and Madman’s MichaelAllred—have major statements of Kirby style orrevivals of Kirby’s stable coming in 2014: an epicTransformers/G.I. Joe maxiseries for IDW from Sciolistarting in summer (with co-writer John Barber) and anew Silver Surfer ongoing from Allred for Marvel inMarch (with scripter Dan Slott). TJKC sat down withboth Tom and Mike to envision things soon to come.

A STEEL AMERICAN HEROTHE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR: Kirby’s style hit theideal midpoint between anatomy and geometry—heperceived the monumental eternity of living things and

saw the blend that was underway between humanityand technology. Handling the

Transformersmay bring youcloser to thisborder thanever in a careervery inspired byKirby, evenwhile your owndistinct style isemerging morethan ever too.How are youapplying that philosophy?TOM SCIOLI:You’re right, Kirbydoes fuse man andmachine all the timein his work, fromSilver Surfer onward,maybe even goingback to his ’50s hardscifi comics. Hedescribes his humanforms and his aliengod machines with anoverlapping visualvocabulary.

Kirby’s work prefig-ures the day whenorganic and cyberneticare indistinguishable

from each other, the day which is coming soon, if it’snot here already. There will come a day when aTransformer and a G.I. Joe will be indistinguishable

from each other. That’s one of the principle story puzzlesI’m trying to work out. It’s natural that there’d be char-acters who fear and resist the machining of man, andthose that resist the fleshening of machine. Therewould be those in favor of it, see it as a good thing, anatural next step in our development, a chance atimmortality and perfection. The resulting philosophieswould naturally find themselves conflict. Whether ornot that makes its way into the final story remains tobe seen. If it doesn’t organically find its way into thenarrative, I don’t want to shoehorn it in. I’m letting thisstory grow into whatever it needs to be, but there arecertain things I’m trying to make work.

TJKC: The hard-edged look you’re using in theadvance cover image brings out more of the G.I. Joecharacters’ nature as mechanical life-forms too—thatsegmented, jointed-toy look. Will this book to someextent depart from the focus of most G.I. Joe comicson the reality imagined around the toys, to give thatsense of actual toy-play in some ways?SCIOLI: My goal is still the same as previous series, tocreate a reality for these characters that is separatefrom their real world origins as toys. The G.I. Joe toysas we know them, the ’80s incarnation, just barelypredate the comic and a lot of the characters, themesand sensibilities were created by Larry Hama and hiscollaborators from just about day one. I see the Hama-era comics and the Sunbow cartoon as the primarydocuments that inform my approach to the Joes. Inthose works they make only passing references andsly winking jokes about the characters’ toy alter egos.

I’ve never read a toy-based comic that didn’t atleast make some references to the toy aspects of theproperty: Micronauts, Joe, TF, even in Alan Moore’s“Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” herefers to the then-current Super Powers line of toys.I’m sure that will be the case with my story, too. It’s atradition.

Working on this does feel like I’ve come full circle.There’s a direct line from playing with toys to growingup to work in the narrative arts, be it comic creator ormovie director. My earliest storytelling attempts werein that form, whether it was Star Wars, He-Man, G.I.Joe, or Transformers. There is definitely that part of me that relates to characters on some level as actionfigures. Both properties have a really nice range ofdesigns that appeal to my aesthetic sensibilities. Theblocky machine men of the Transformers alwaysappealed to me. Making these things collide and inter-act with each other will be a lot of fun.

I’ve now read enough comics, watched enoughmovies and cartoons of Transformers and G.I. Joe that

TKnow of some Kirby-inspired workthat should be covered here? Send to:

Adam McGovernPO Box 257

Mt. Tabor, NJ 07878As A GenreA regular feature examining Kirby-inspired work, by Adam McGovern

Adam McGovern

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(below) More than pops theeye: Scioli’s spectacularpromo image for the newcrossover series.

(next page, top) Belly of theBeast (Hunter): A tensescene for Scioli’sTransformers/G.I. Joe.

(next page, bottom) Kirby’s own sense of scaleand grand vision (as inJack’s NFL Pro piece) carrythrough in Scioli’sTransformers.

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t was said about Adolph Hitler in his days as a homeless, unkempt Vienna street tramp, that despite all the failureshe suffered in his youth, his eyes would blaze and his rhetoric would cower any dissenters when politics became thediscussion. He had become a voracious reader, concentrating on the Europe of centuries past, with it Caesars, kings,

prime ministers, and absolute rulers. It was with the latter that he felt a strange kinship.Absolute authority in the hands of the Nietzschean superman or “ubermensch” found a permanent place in the

littered mind of the failed young architect, and shortly after WWI and the chaotic Germany to come, this principlewould be part of a tragic doctrine to justify the end for millions of gypsies, Jews, Russians, Slavs, and Poles.

If the superman wishes to amuse himself, then the niceties of polite society vanish, according to FriedrichNietzsche. The rights of the superior man to pursue, exercise, and administer power come first and were even inherent.In this 19th century philosopher’s book, The Will to Power, Nietzsche proclaimed that “A daring and ruler race is building itself up... The aim should be to prepare a transvaluation of values for a particularly strong kind of man, most

highly gifted in intellect and will. This man and the elite around him willbecome the ‘lords of the earth’.”

As the Fuehrer’s elite—the S.S.—fanned out over the Nazi-occupiedlands, so too did Darkseid’s elite explode through Boom Tubes on Earthin order to become its “lords.” As recounted in TJKC #22, there weremore than a few likenesses between National Socialist Germany and theshadow planet, Apokolips. Interestingly, there are more.

Dictator Gods...“Whoever wants to understand National Socialist Germany must

know (Richard) Wagner,” Hitler used to say. The Fuehrer adoredWagner’s towering operas, with its heroic myths of German antiquity.The barbaric, pagan Nibelungs and their mystic, heroic world beset bydemons, violence, treachery, and blood continued to hold a fascination

for the German people even up to theearly part of the 20th Century.

The twilight of the gods,‘Goetterdaemmerung’, was anotherpart of the primitive Germanic mythos(and likewise put to music by Wagner)and in it, Valhalla is set on fire by thewarrior-god Wotan, in an orgy of self-willed destruction.

Jack Kirby’s Hunger Dogs, whileclearly not the last word on the “twi-light of the New Gods,” ended up in ascenario resembling Hitler (as Wotan).The incredible destruction Darkseidhas visited upon New Genesis (withMicro-Mark) and even at home withhis own subjects (the lowlies) isrebounded upon him, his devices, andloyal subjects. Like Hitler in the war’sfinal days, Darkseid is seen in his head-quarters safely positioned below theground (akin to the Fuehrerbunker).For the first time, Kirby has him referto himself as an “old” man. Esak callshim an “aging, quaking Darkseid.”

Hitler, by this time, was quicklydeteriorating. The lack of fresh air (in thebunker), bouts of giddiness (broughton by the bomb attempt on his life in1944), and the shock of defeats hadgreatly undermined his health. Moreand more, reason had given way to

(top) Doom and destruc-tion are the legacies ofdictators. Apokolips layin ruins at the end ofKirby’s Hunger Dogs(pencils shown below),and this is the wreckedhall of Hitler’sChancellory in 1945.

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IFascism in the Fourth WorldBoydismsMore comparisons between Naziism and Kirby’s godwar, by Jerry Boyd (A continuation of themes from TJKC #22)

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uncontrollable rage hammered with theharsher reality that his dreams of worldconquest had eluded him.

Kirby keeps Darkseid lucid in theHunger Dogs. He remains just canny andelusive enough to further frustrate his

enemies. (I liked this touch. After all, Jack never allowed Dr. Doom,Magneto, or the Red Skull to ever be completely beaten or captured.It seemed only appropriate that his “ultimate menace” escape to plotand menace anew.) Still, it’s plain that, like Hitler, the master of theholocaust has failed in his attempts to conquer “all.” He doesn’t havethe Anti-Life Equation, he’s failed to subdue the warriors ofHighfather, and his enemies—Himon, Lightray, and especiallyOrion—are in his own backyard, taking the war... to him.

In Forever People #6, Darkseid slyly praisedthe New Agers of Supertown, explaining to hischief lieutenant, “The pups have angered me,Desaad! Put me on the defensive! A great feat!”With Orion the fierce decimating his eliteguard and destroying his war machinery, hedoesn’t even have the time (in the HungerDogs) to make that type of brief assessment.There is only time... to run.

With his kingdom crumbling aroundhim (and Lightray and Orion making likethe invading Russian Army), the lord of thedark planet moves quickly to pay off an olddebt... to Himon. His slaying of the greatvisionary is a final, futile act in a swirling series of eventsthat have gotten out of hand. The larger goals of the war hav-ing been denied him, Darkseid seeks a small victory in hisfinal reckoning with Scott Free’s old mentor.

In Hitler’s final days, he rarely left the bomb-proofFuehrerbunker. Fearful of being captured alive by theRussians, wracked with worry and fatigue, and a broken fig-ure to all, the supreme warlord continued to wage war onthose he could. The victorious allies were beyond his reach,but after learning that Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler hadbetrayed him (by assuming all military control of Germanforces in the west and attempting to negotiate their surren-der to Eisenhower), the mad dictator had Himmler’s top S.S.liaison man, Hermann Fegelein, stripped of his rank andshot. (Fegelein was the brother-in-law of Eva Braun, Hitler’smistress, but that fact didn’t save him.) The deepseated need

to inflict painand destructionupon others isstill paramountin the minds ofthe two dicta-tors up to theend.

...andMonsters

During theGolden Age ofcomics, Timely(more than anyother publisher)took greatdelight in

portraying the Axis militarists in as gruesome a fashion as possible.Covers/stories by Kirby, Al Avison, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett,and others often depicted the enemy as drooling, wild-eyed, sharp-fanged caricatures of humanity. Sometimes they were giants or misshapen dwarves. Some reeked with so much evil that they werecolored a bloody red (Captain America Comics #5) or even a pale blue(USA Comics #1). Unknowingly, art imitated life. The torture devicesand destructive “wonder weapons” dreamed up by the artistsweren’t far from the real horrors going on overseas.

For Jack’s “new-age gods,”the King (either consciously orunconsciously) reached back intohis Forties’ repertoire and someof the denizens of Apokolipswould look suspiciously like the

baddies of yore. Desaad,Granny Goodness,Kalibak, Dr. Bedlam, and(especially) VirmanVundabar could’ve fit ineasily on Simon and Kirby’sold Timely covers. (Jack’scover for Amazing Heroes#47 incorporates the sametype of pulp torture elementsas his USA Comics #1.)

Look at the Mister Miracle #7 pencils on page 24 of this issue, then view this Hunger Dogs pageright after. Though drawn ten years later, this is the logical next step of Darkseid’s oppression.

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robably the single most important area of debatesurrounding Jack Kirby’s entire 40-year plus careeris the extent to which he created and/or authored

the characters that formed the Marvel Universe (and,incidentally, several current series of blockbuster films).The law has weighed in to support the official company

line—Stan Lee created and wrote these stories, withJack Kirby relegated to the role of nothing more thanhired artist. The phrase ‘The law is a ass’ springsinstantly to mind, and a significant percentage ofTJKC’s audience remain unconvinced. Most peoplewould agree that the debate really starts where theMarvel Universe is recognized as starting—with theFantastic Four.

Who created the FF? A much-touted apocryphalstory relates how Publisher Martin Goodman returnedfrom a golf game with a rival ‘high-up’ (damn thoseKirby quote-phrases!) from National Periodicals, andtasked Editor Lee with the job of creating something torival the success of the JLA’s premier appearance in TheBrave & The Bold #28. I find this tale dubious in theextreme, given that the two series have very little incommon. The only similarity, really, is in the covers tothose first issues—the fledgling JLA arrayed aroundStarro the Conqueror, and the FF similarly surroundingone of the Mole Man’s gargantuan creatures. There theresemblance ends, and maybe it’s true that the coveridea for FF #1 came from just such a notion, but I verymuch doubt that anything else in that issue did.

Stan Lee, with typical self-effacing modesty and acopy of the script for FF #1 (which, even if genuine,might have been written at any stage of the creativeprocess and not necessarily at the beginning), tells howhe spent long hours carefully crafting the characterswho would become Marvel’s first family. Umm... thatwould be all well and good, Stan, but perhaps youmight also explain how these characters (and the storiesthat formed the first couple of years of their history),bear such a marked and oft-noted resemblance toNational’s previously-published Challengers of theUnknown, a series which Jack Kirby had worked on onlya few years before? Jack Kirby, who is accepted as prin-cipal author of the Challengers, and who was never shyabout recycling his existing ideas into new and [ahem]challenging forms?

Even if Stan Lee created and ‘wrote’ the FF, howmuch of it was plagiarised from the Challengers? JackKirby left National because of the now well-documentedrift between himself and editor Jack Schiff, and his workon the Challengers was the main casualty. How possibleis it that he might recreate those characters and their

Challenging The Unknown(below) Before Lee &Kirby shrunk theFantastic Four down tosize in FF #16 (July1963), Kirby reduced theChalls to miniscularity inChallengers of theUnknown #7 (April1959).

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The Source?

P

Challengers of the Unknown (Showcase #6, February 1957)Four men survive a jet crash and, deciding they are living on borrowed time, band together to face any challenge,

however risky, in service to mankind. In short order they find themselves confronting mad scientists, monsters, aliens and criminals, and are faced with time-travel, shrinking and various other physical changes. They adopt

single-colour jumpsuits to function as a recognisable unit.

Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four #1, November 1961)Three men and one woman survive a rocket crash and, using the powers granted them by the accident, band together

to face any challenge, however risky, in service to mankind. In short order they find themselves confronting mad scientists, monsters, aliens and criminals, and are faced with time-travel, shrinking and various other physical changes. They adopt

single-colour jumpsuits to function as a recognisable unit.

And yes, I did cut-and-paste the same paragraph twice with very minor amendments. The summary of these two groups, at least for the FF’s first couple of years, is that similar.

by Mike Breen

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While we’re talking about the characters, I know that much hasbeen made of how obviously the FF can be described in terms of thefour elements: Reed’s water-like ductility, Ben’s rock-like exterior,and Johnny = fire and Sue = air. What about the Challengers? Maybethe comparison is not as simple as with the FF, but how about these:

FIRE: Ace, the jet/rocket pilot, willing to lead bombing raids onalien incursions (as in Showcase #11) EARTH: Rocky, of courseAIR: Red, the acrobat (or mountaineer, take your pick), who defiesgravity either wayWATER: Who else? Prof, the skin diver/oceanographer

What, you thought I’d have to go for Ace as Air and Red as thepersonification of fire? Maybe, but apart from his name and haircolor, Red doesn’t really fit. Like I said, he’s not conspicuously hot-tempered and has no link to fire in his profession (whichever one he

has on any given day, unless his circus daredevil act was being firedout of a cannon). Could it be a case where the obvious comparisonbetween him and Johnny Storm has been made so often that no-onehas really thought it through? I don’t really mind—if you switch Redand Ace as the avatars of air and fire, you still have the same four ele-ments which are exemplified by the FF. That was, at the time, a fairlyunique theme around which to create a group of characters, even ifit’s been over-used now. Another coincidence?

Much has also been made of the fact that the FF are not typicalsuper-heroes. They do not patrol the city by night like Spider-Manor Batman, proactively seeking crimes to thwart and criminals toconfront, although even back in the Lee/Kirby days they respondedto police alarms when required and faced criminals and super-villains. They are presented more as explorers or problem-solvers.What other group has such an atypical modus operandi? Time, Ithink, to review the Challengers’ adventures and see what themesget re-used... elsewhere.

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Showcase #6, “The Secrets of the Sorcerer’s Box!”—Morelian, descendant ofMerlin and self-professed sorcerer, hires the Challengers as guinea pigs to open anancient box, which contains awesome dangers and a diamond ring which grants greatpower. Morelian operates from his ancient castle, shipped from Europe “...stone bystone, and rebuilt!” Fantastic Four #5 “Prisoners of Doctor Doom!”— Dr. Doom, a scientist obsessedwith sorcery and black magic, coerces the FF into retrieving an ancient box,Blackbeard’s treasure chest, which contains gems once owned by Merlin3, and whichgrant great power. Doom operates from his ancient castle, which kind of gets lost onceDoom’s Latverian connections are invented. Later stories and writers suggest it islocated in America, so it too was presumably shipped from Europe, stone by stone,and rebuilt.

Showcase #6, “The Secrets of the Sorcerer’s Box!”—One of the awesome dangersmentioned above is essentially a giant, animated statue which turns out to be a crea-ture of pure thought.Fantastic Four #3, “The Menace of the Miracle Man”—The FF spend most of thisissue fighting a giant, animated statue movie exhibit, which turns out to be a hypnoticillusion—in other words, a creature of pure thought.

Showcase #11, “The Day the Earth Blew Up!”—Alien invaders, the Tyrans, plan todestabilise Earth’s atmosphere from their base far underground as a prelude to inva-sion4. Once their plan is thwarted, Ace leads a bombing raid to blow up their base.Fantastic Four #1, “Meet the Mole Man!”—The Mole Man and his legions of mon-sters plan to destabilise Earth’s atomic powers from their base far underground as aprelude to invasion. Once their plan is thwarted, the Mole Man decides to... blow uphis own base. Actually, only the dialogue says it was the Mole Man’s idea—judgingjust by the artwork and his expression of grim satisfaction in the last panel, it couldeasily have been intended that Reed Richards was responsible. An early “failure tocommunicate”? Either that, or the Mole Man’s memory is especially faulty, becausewhen he returns in FF #22 he blames the FF for destroying his island, and trying todestroy him with it.Fantastic Four #2, “Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space!”—Alien invaders, which isabout the only part of Showcase #11 that got left out of FF #1.

Showcase #12, “The Menace of the Ancient Vials!”—International criminalKarnak(?!), and his gang obtain ancient vials containing potions of sorcerous power,which can affect ‘air and water...and even men’ (I would suspect the word ‘alchemy’was prohibited by the nascent Comics Code, but it shows up in Challengers #8). Oh,and the familiarly-named Karnak wears Batroc the Leaper’s moustache, so by ‘interna-tional’ I think they mean ‘European’. The potions’ power “... wears off after a while...”according to one of Karnak’s henchmen, and a final potion reverses the effect of theprevious one.Fantastic Four #30, “The Dreaded Diablo!”—International, ancient criminalDiablo, vials of sorcerous power / alchemy, blah, blah, blah... European location andmoustache, Diablo is defeated by Ben Grimm when one of his potions “...wore off toosoon!” Diablo has a castle too, but apparently he hasn’t been revived long enough tohave had it shipped anywhere.

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Writingby John Morrow, with assistance from Norris Burroughs, Denny O’Neil, Mike Royer, and Larry Lieber

Bonus GALLERY

f a tree falls in the woods and no one letters a soundeffect, who cut it down? That tortured metaphormakes about as much sense as my efforts to explain

something about how Kirby worked from other writers’scripts.

The usual M.O. on books where Kirby is credited aswriter, is Jack would indicate word balloons on the pen-cil art, hand-write the dialogue in pencil, then hand itoff to an inker and letterer. It’s the same process heused throughout his career, dating back to the 1940s,and it’s particularly easy to spot Jack’s handwrittenlower-case “E”, which had a hooking lower bar. Prettystraightforward, right?

But what about those issues where someone else iscredited as writer, and Kirby is listed only as artist? Forevidence, let’s look at copies of Jack’s pencils from his1974-75 DC stuff (Justice Inc., Richard Dragon Kung-FuFighter, the last three Kamandi issues, and Sandman)where other people wrote

the scripts—Denny O’Neil, Gerry Conway, and MichaelFleisher. On some of those stories, Jack wrote the dia-logue on the pencil art (as if he had scripted them), andon others, he didn’t. On the ones where he did, it seemsto generally be what ended up as the final dialogue,other than a few minor edits—Jack even underlined thewords that needed to be emphasized (ie. bolded). Buton Justice Inc. #4’s pencils (mislabeled #5 on the copies),and Jack’s last couple of Kamandi issues (which GerryConway scripted), there’s no lettering indicated; justblank areas for dialogue, as you’d expect if he werehanded a script to draw from.

So if you didn’t know better, you’d think Jack didthe scripting on Richard Dragon #3, Justice Inc. #2 and #3,and all his Sandman issues (since the dialogue is writtenby Jack on the pencil art), and was working from a fullscript on Justice Inc. #4 and the last three Kamandiissues (since those pencils have no lettering on them).

Stylistically though, I’m not convinced Jack hadmuch, if any, input into the writing of those stories. Somy conundrum is to understand why Jack would’vepenciled the pages differently (ie. including the wordson some, and not on others), if he was working from afull script on all of them.

This quandary dates back to Jack’s 1960s Marvelissues which list Larry Lieber as writer. A close exami-nation of original art pages shows Kirby’s hand-writtenlettering in the balloons under the inks. Lieber feelsthat Kirby illustrated his full scripts faithfully, rarelydeviating from what Larry had written. When askedabout Kirby’s lettering in the balloons, he assumed thatwas Jack’s way to know how much space to leave for thelettering. In other words, Kirby’s handwriting was merelyJack jotting in Lieber’s script verbatim. (Unfortunately,Larry did not have any scripts to compare the finalresults with.)

The problem is, this isn’t consistent with Kirby’scontemporaneous 1960s work with Stan Lee. In theearly days before Jack started adding heavy marginnotes for Stan, Lee was presumably providing scripts toJack, and Kirby would leave blank areas for Stan’s dia-logue. Even after starting to include margin notes forStan (when Jack definitely wasn’t working from ascript), Jack still left the area for dialogue blank—Stanwould scribble numbers in those areas, which corre-sponded to his numbered dialogue script for the letterer(a common practice among comics writers).

If we take a long view of Jack’s working methods,we see he was still leaving blank areas for dialogue onhis 1980s full script Destroyer Duck work with SteveGerber, so it doesn’t make sense that he was trying todetermine how much space to leave for the letterer inthose earlier stories. That seems like a lot of extrawork—copying the scripter’s dialogue onto his pen-cil pages—unless he was having some input into it.

So I’m left questioning just why Jack’s 1970swork is the way it is. I asked inker Mike Royer,when Kirby wrote his own stories, how the pages

(below) 1950s Kirbyunused pencil splash forBlack Magic. Jack usedheavy illustration boardback when this wasproduced. His hand-writing is identifiable bythe way he wrote theletter “E” with the loop-ing lower bar.(next page, top) StanLee would add num-bered balloons that corresponded to hisnumbered script.(next page, bottom)Journey Into Mystery#88 was scripted byLarry Lieber, but youcan still make outJack’s handwriting thatwasn’t fully erased onthe original art pages.

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(above) Richard Dragon was created by Dennis O’Neil and Jim Berry in the 1974 novel Dragon’s Fists, using the pseudonym “Jim Dennis.” Kirby worked with O’Neil on only one issue of the comic book series, and included the title “The Armageddon Beam!” inthe next issue blurb at the end of Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #3. The published version ends it with “A Time To Be A Whirlwind!”

Was the first title by Denny, or did Jack take it upon himself to create one?

(left) In Justice Inc.#3, the character“Allan Ash” is a pseudonym for AllanAsherman, DennyO’Neil’s assistant editor in the 1970s—so it’s likely Dennywould’ve chosen thatin-joke. But Jackeven bothered tounderline the wordsthat needed boldingin #3 and #2 (above),which DC’s lettererfollowed. (For somereason, DC lettered#3, while Royer inkedboth issues, and lettered #2.)

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2013 Kirby Tribute PanelTRIBUTE

MARK EVANIER: If you never believe anything I tellyou, believe the following: I’m on my way here, Iam limping from knee surgery I had threeweeks ago, the crowds out there are terrible, Igot detained by the Westboro BaptistChurch Klingons outside. (laughter) I get tothis door, there’s one line of people tryingto get in—it’s about an hour line to get in.I go to a door that’s closed, it’s exit only,and the man says, “You can’t come inhere.” I said, “I’m a Guest of Honor ofthe convention.” He says, “You can’t comein here.” I said, “I’ve had knee surgery, I’m limping,I can’t wait.” He says, “You can’t come in here.”

I said, “I’m hosting a panel that starts in ten minutes.”He says, “You can’t come in here.” I said, “Please,I’ve got a whole room full of Jack Kirby fans upthere waiting to hear this panel,” and he says,“Jack Kirby? Come on in!” (laughter) There areoccasional perks to being around Jack. (laughter)

I am Mark Evanier, obviously. Who else would berunning a Jack Kirby Tribute Panel at this convention? The gentleman to my right, your left, is the Kirby family attorney—full disclosure, he is also my attorney—this is Mr. Paul S. Levine. (applause) For legal reasons, Neil [Gaiman] has everymoment of his life videotaped, and I have my attorney constantly at my side. (laughter) Over on the other side there is oneof my best friends, one of the top writers in the comic book business; will you welcome Mr. Tony Isabella. (applause) To myleft is my friend of lesser years, but still valuable ones. A New York Times best-selling author, Mr. Neil Gaiman. (applause)

Let me introduce a few people in the audience; you are all subscribers and dutiful readers of The Jack Kirby Collector,published by Mr. John Morrow. (applause) Mypartner at the time I worked for Jack Kirby... SteveSherman, ladies and gentlemen! (applause) Thoseof you who’ve read of Steve’s problems onFacebook recently will be very pleased to see thathe’s here, he looks as healthy as he’s ever looked,even better! You look terrific. (applause)

VOICE IN CROWD: Live long and prosper to Steve.

MARK: Live long and prosper to Steve. Yes. Mayyou last longer than Star Trek. (laughter) I wantSteve to stay healthy for two reasons: one is he’s ahell of a great guy, one of my best friends, and sec-ondly, I need a witness when I tell people some ofthe things Jack said. They look at me like, “He didn’tsay that,” and I have Steve to corroborate most ofthem, because he was present. Steve was present,I believe, the time that Jack attended the secondor third San Diego Comic-Con, and as huge as itwas—I think there were a thousand people there—Jack said, “Some day, that convention’s going totake over the city of San Diego.” And, he said—Iswear to you, this is almost a direct quote—he said,“It’s going to be the place where Hollywood comesevery year to sell what they made last year, and findout what they’re going to make next year.” (laughter)Remember that, Steve? And Steve remembers thistoo; we gave him a look like, “Yeah, sure, Jack. Isthis anything like the Black Racer, a black paraplegicguy on skis?” He was serious about it, and once

(this page, top) The BlackRacer’s first appearancefrom the cover of NewGods #3, and (below)Jack’s reimagined versionfor DC’s Super Powers toyline in the 1980s.(next page) Kirby pitchedart for a Big Barda & HerFemale Furies series priorto Barda’s first publishedappearance in MisterMiracle #4. Having basedher image on a Playboyfeature on actress/singerLainie Kazan (shownhere), Jack may’ve origi-nally had some mildlyracy themes in mind forher (Lashina and Gilotinacould certainly be consid-ered a little kinky). Thecharacter “The Head”, theshirtless “Apollo”, even“Beauty Rock” headquar-ters (which doesn’t in anyway fit how Jack eventu-ally used the concept)don’t seem to be exactlymainstream comics fod-der. And who knowswhere “The Lump” camefrom, but his visual (col-ored fleshy pink) could beconstrued as somethingmore fitting in GalaxyGreen than MisterMiracle. Whatever theoriginal idea was beforebeing abandoned, othercharacters from the con-cept drawings were alsoworked into Jack’s stripslater (“The Lump” inMister Miracle #7, “TheHead” in Mister Miracle#10, and “Apollo” inOMAC #7).

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Held at Comic-Con International: San Diego at 10:00am on July 21st, 2013. Moderated by Mark Evanier, with guests Paul S. Levine,Neil Gaiman, and Tony Isabella. Transcribed by Jon Knutson, and edited by Mark Evanier and John Morrow • Photos by Chris Ng

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again, we find ourselves shaking our heads, and going, “We should’velistened more to the guy.”

Is Tracy Kirby here? Tracy is supposed to be on her way here.Who else should I introduce in the audience? Is Rand here? What isyour title in the Museum?

RANDOLPH HOPPE: I am the director/curatorof the Jack Kirby Museum.

MARK: This is Rand Hoppe. (applause) Twomust-stops in the convention hall are theTwoMorrows table and the Jack KirbyMuseum table, which are right near eachother. What’s your booth number?

JOHN MORROW: 1301.

MARK: 1301, and from there, they can direct you to Rand. If youhave any Jack Kirby original art in your possession, even if you don’thave it here, talk to Rand if it’s never been scanned for posterity.He’s doing a wonderful job of it. He’s so good at this. He puts ongloves like he’s doing surgery. He’s got this scanner and he takessuch good care of the artwork. He takes better care of the art thananybody at Marvel Comics ever did. (laughter)

The thing I want to talk about, just very briefly this year, is this.There’s a lot of arguing going on over the Internet; there’s a lot ofpeople furious, there’s a lot of flame wars going on. There’s a certainamount of people who start belittling Jack, I think partlybecause it’s an attention-getting device, and partly becausethey don’t like being told what’s wonderful, and you know,“You have to love this man,” and it’s true. And I want to justimpart to you all one thing that I learned from Jack. He wasa very selfless man in that regard. If you came up to Jack, as Ionce saw someone do, and say, “Mr. Kirby, I think you’re thesecond-best artist in the business. My favorite is Gil Kane,”Jack was not bothered by that at all. He’d go, “Yeah, Gil isgreat.” He did not feel he was competitive with other artists,for two reasons. One is, other artists in comics didn’t doexactly the same thing Jack Kirby did. Not to belittle them,but when John Buscema sat down to draw his issues ofFantastic Four, he was concerned with drawing a good issueof Fantastic Four, so Stan Lee would say, “Fine, here’s thenext one.” John had great pride in his work, he was a lovelyman, he was a brilliant and fantastic artist, but that was his

job description in his head,and he did it very well.Jack’s job description whenhe was doing Fantastic Fourwas, “How do I turn this intoa new dynasty? How do Ireinvent comics? How do Itake Marvel Comics to a new era?” And he approached it that way.He didn’t think of himself as competitive with the Don Hecks, theGene Colans and so on. He loved those people. He never spoke ill ofany of them. Steve, did you ever hear Jack speak ill of another artist?

STEVE SHERMAN: Uh... as long as they weren’t a Nazi, no. (laughter)

MARK: Okay, that lets out five. (laughter) Let’s take our cue from that.Don’t get angry when someone says that they didn’t like Jack Kirby’swork. Nobody’s work is loved by everyone. Don’t get incensed... yes,there are some very, grandiose, fact-free claims made by some people.There are stupid stories that come to me. Sometimes they’re attributedto me. I’ve Googled myself as we all secretly do on the Internet, and Ifind someone saying, “Mark Evanier said that Jack Kirby would onlyeat radishes on a Tuesday,” or something like that. Where did thatcome from? But there are these twisted, unpleasant stories, peopletrying to make their case against Jack. Take a look at how other peopleapproach politics on the Internet, how they will make up just aboutanything to support their cause. Well, people who want to support

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(left to right) Paul Levine, Mark Evanier, Tony Isabella, and Neil Gaiman at Comic-Con.

KIRBY COLLECTOR #62KIRBY AT DC! Kirby interview, MARK EVANIER and our otherregular columnists, updated “X-Numbers” list of Kirby’s DC as-signments (revealing some surprises), JERRY BOYD’s insights onKirby’s DC work, a look at KEY 1970s EVENTS IN JACK’S LIFEAND CAREER, Challengers vs. the FF, pencil art galleries fromFOREVER PEOPLE, OMAC, and THE DEMON, Kirby coverinked by MIKE ROYER, and more!

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