Jillian’s idea is that on her grandfather’s 95th birthday, which is on August 28th, comic shops in California, as well as Midtown Comics in NYC, will donate a portion of sales to the Hero Initiative. The Hero Initiative is a wonderful non-profit organization that creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.
It’s hard to believe it’s taken me this long to post the San Diego recap, but believe it, I must. The calendar does not lie.
The Kirby Museum had a wonderful time, with Lisa Rigoux-Hoppe in full time booth-volunteer mode, Charles Hatfield setting down daily for signings of his Eisner Award winning Hand Of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby (published by University Press of Mississippi), Rand Hoppe (your correspondent) alternating between scanning Kirby original art for the OADA and general kibitzing, and Arlen Schumer in seemingly non-stop salesmanship of his “The Auteur Theory of Comics” 16 page, full-color booklet (published by the Kirby Museum)!
Speaking of Arlen, a limited number of signed, first editions of “The Auteur Theory of Comics” are still available for $25 US ($30 International), with funds designated to our Brick & Mortar Campaign.
Many thanks to Arlen for his generosity and hard work on behalf of Jack Kirby’s legacy and the Kirby Museum.
There were Kirby panels hosted by the Institute for Comics Studies, the first being “The Auteur Theory of Comic Books” by Arlen Schumer, who offered a visual extrava-fantastic presentation followed by comments from John Morrow, Charles Hatfield, Craig Fischer and this writer. While the Museum recorded the event with help of Tom Kraft, the Comics Journal captured it as well. The second Kirby panel was “Jack Kirby, Modernism, and Abstraction” with Dr. Andrei Molotiu and Mark Badger offering their individual presentations. Fascinating, engrossing Kirby material the like of which the Kirby Museum will continue to support and encourage. Thanks to all involved, especially Peter Coogan and the ICS for making it happen.
Our booth location improved somewhat this year, being diagonally across the aisle from the booth of John Morrow’s TwoMorrows Publishing. Some guy was walking around holding a delicious treat that, when John Morrow pointed it out, I found hard to resist.
We also had the pleasure of visits from Mark Evanier and Tracy Kirby with her kididdles.
Trustees also confabbed.
And last, but certainly not least, was the very well attended Annual Jack Kirby Tribute panel hosted by Mark Evanier, with guests Stan Goldberg, Charles Hatfield, Paul Dini and Paul Levine.
That’s it for now. Thanks to everyone for all your support.
This year, we’re proud to offer “The Auteur Theory of Comics”, a special 8.5″ by 11″ 16 page visual extravaganza by pop historian and graphic artist Arlen Schumer, in return for a donation to the Museum of $10 or more. “The Auteur Theory…” is a print version of the presentation and lecture that Arlen will offer on Friday, July 13th in Room 26AB from 1:30-2:30, and a discussion afterwards with John Morrrow (see above!), Charles Hatfield (author of “Hand Of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby”! More about Charles below!), auteur film theorist Craig Fischer (Appalachian State), and Rand Hoppe (writing this blurb!). Be sure to stay put, because after the Auteur panel, Andrei Molotiu, Mark Badger and some special guests will be on a panel titled “Jack Kirby, Modernism, and Abstraction.” Special thanks to the Comic Arts Conference for supporting these great Kirby panels.
We’re also thrilled to be hosting signing sessions for Charles Hatfield at our booth. We’ll have copies of “Hand Of Fire” available for your donation of $25 or more. The schedule currently stands at: Thursday from 5-6pm, Friday 4-5pm, Saturday 3-4pm, and Sunday Noon-1 (right after The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel).
The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute panel will be hosted, as ever, by Mark Evanier. Mark’s guests this year include Herb Trimpe, Stan Goldberg, Paul Dini, and as mentioned above, Charles Hatfield. That’s on Sunday at 10 am in Room 5AB.
In addition to all the personal blogs the Kirby Museum hosts, I’ve just fired up “The Kirby Effect“, which I’ve designated “The Journal of The Jack Kirby Museum”. I hope the The Kirby Effect will be become a rich offering of papers, articles and media presentations. Consider this post the requisite Call For Papers. I have a few things in the works for the Effect already, but they won’t last, so I look forward to hearing from you.
Writer Glen David Gold, writer/designer Steven Brower and I talked with Bruce who pulled together a fine piece regarding Kirby’s place in our culture considering the success of adaptations of his work in recent years, as well as the increase in value of his original art. The Museum’s efforts, especially the Pop-Up project, were mentioned, as well.
We are not only humbled, but downright impressed with the amount of support we’ve seen surrounding the Avengers opening. Our plan to open a gallery celebrating the life and work of Jack Kirby in New York City has met with some astounding results. Thanks to good folks reblogging us on tumblr, retweeting us on Twitter, and just generally getting the word out, we’ve generated an additional thirteen hundred dollars in donations in the last week! Now, this may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the 700 million bucks that Avengers has generated worldwide (so far), but this is a big step. And here’s why: Since we officially kicked off our fundraising campaign in September, we’ve raised almost 30% of our goal. It took us over six months to get to the eight thousand dollar mark, and we’ve added $1300 in just a week. However, we need to have thirty thousand in our coffers just to get the doors open (it is expensive in NYC, after all), and the more funds we raise, the more we can do with the space we’ll have, and the longer we may be able to stay open.
And it hasn’t just been the money that’s been coming in, either! We’ve experienced a storm of new followers on tumblr and Twitter, new likes on Facebook, a significant increase of daily hits on the Museum’s homepage, and more mentions of Jack’s name in the mainstream media than we’ve ever seen! What’s more, we’re thrilled to see that other comics-related non-profits like The Hero Initiative are also reporting a groundswell of support. So, please, keep getting the word out for us. Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest, all of it. Make sure people know that the characters in this movie they’re enjoying were created by human beings, and aren’t just corporate trademarks. If you can’t donate (hey, times are tough!), just help us get the word out. While Avengers is well on its way to becoming a billion-dollar franchise, it’s also generating all kinds of discussion and interest about creators’ rights in places where there had been none before. That’s a good thing, and we’re honored that so many of you have chosen our cause to donate your hard-earned cash to. Thanks for reading, and thanks again for your help and support!