Friday, November 13, 2009
I wasn't going to do this blog yet. I found a great link though!
Check this out
Now I have a weird history with Kirby(similar to Bruce Timm's incidentally)
I think I was 5 or 6 when I first saw it and it was powerful. I loved super hero cartoons and comic books but I was really into Batman at the time.
Later on when I got really bit by the Comic Book bug when I was 12 I had to stay at my Godmothers house one day.
She had an older son who collected comics when he was a kid.
She had a whole box of comics! Mostly mid 60's Marvel and DC comics!
It was there that the Kirby hit me like a freight train! The X-Men as I had never seen them! Thor's battles with Mangog! The trials and tribulations of 4 heroes transformed from cosmic rays! I had been reading X-Men mainly at that time and Image was just coming around.
So I really enjoyed the power of it but I was really into the modern style trappings of the early 90's look. I did get to meet The King in 1993 not too long before he passed away. It is a monumental day in my life and I think of it often. He was the nicest guy and said nothing to discourage a young comic fan who wanted to break in the biz.
I would continue to admire him for what he had done but it hadn't set in yet.
That same year was when I really got into the Batman Animated Series and discovered Bruce Timm. That had me re-thinking what I liked about Comic art. It was simple but elegant and powerful. They put out a book called BATMAN A-N-I-M-A-T-E-D and in there I saw it. Bruce Timm design sheets that had a ton of Kirby influence! I started to get more into the classical comic form with smooth inked figurework.
The final Kirby Addiction happened when I stumbled upon a used copy of The Jack Kirby Collector!
I was floored. Tons of great Kirby art in pencil form. Stories from artists that were influenced by him. Tales of his career. Also around the same time the Superman Animated Series had its New Gods episodes and I lost it. That was it. Foaming at the mouth for Kirby.
That was the point where it clicked! The storytelling. The drama and power of his figurework. The guy is a genius.(don't ask me just ask Mark Chiarello!) He took mythology to new levels. Sci Fi would not be the same without the ideas Kirby used. Actually I doubt anything in the visual medium would be had it not been for the giant of a talent! At his peak no one comes close to Kirby for me.
I have been collecting everything he has done since then! Sometimes I get lucky and find something cool like his Heroes and Villians sketchbook for dirt cheap! Now is a great time to be a fan of Jack Kirby. You won't get the opportunity that I did meeting him but you can get his best stuff in nice Hardcover reprints to cherish for years to come.
Thank you Jack Kirby for making my life a better just by talking to you for a few minutes back in 1993.
Check out The Jack Kirby Museum!