I certainly hope people don’t think I’m attacking the Kirby Museum. Quite the opposite, I’d like to see it grow and become bigger and better over the years. And looking at the Museum’s Facebook page, it ain’t like 1000 people are agreeing with me so I suspect the interest in collecting scans of Kirby’s art is pretty much infinitesimal. It’s just a suggestion. I’ve posted over 1300 posts here so you’d hope I cold be forgiven for making a suggestion. Here’s a comment from Facebook:
Patrick Ford: My thought is the Kirby Museum should devote most of it’s resources towards making available the wealth of material they already have. This includes thousands of scans of the stats and photocopies which reproduce Kirby’s pencils before they were inked, as well as nine boxes of papers donated to the Kirby Museum. Any outside contributions are trivial compared to making those photocopies available to all.
I agree 100% with that. I suppose maybe there are copyright issues where showing a whole book could create problems? I also gather there is a plan in place where eventually the Museum will start showing more of their scans? Obviously having all of Jack’s pencil scans up and indexed would be a great resource for fans and students. My only guess is that once they are up and everybody who wants them can upload them, then they won’t have as much potential value. In other words, if the Museum puts all the pencil scans up then less people might buy TJKC, or less people might buy a special book on the pencil scans. etc. I’d love to see all those scans too, and it’s kind of a shame because many people have wanted to look at them for decades, but my guess is the people who made those scans own the scans so they probably want to be careful before simply dumping them all on the internet. That does make some sense to me, but ideally I think the scans all should be available to Kirby students and fans.
I also wish somebody could track down Ray Wyman and work out a way to get him to release all of his audio interview footage with Jack. I think he has like 40 hours or something? Maybe more? I know the publishing industry is tanking right now but I wish TwoMorrows or someone could give him some kind of deal where Wyman can make some money for his work and we could listen to those interviews. There’s got to be tons of interesting stuff in them and what a shame it is that it’s 2013 and that material still hasn’t seen the light of day; and it may be decades before it does and by that time nobody may care.
I also wish someone would release Theakston’s video interview of Kirby. I remain baffled why someone hasn’t packaged that as a DVD or just dumped it onto YouTube. What’s taking so long? I watched it like 10 years ago. It’s been around for decades. Watching that video was one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had since I started studying Jack. Probably the most positive. You really get to “meet” the guy. Granted, it’s not the greatest interview — Greg does an okay job but he doesn’t follow up on a lot of interesting threads, and kind of prevents Jack from following his own stream of consciousness, and the video quality is pretty poor — but it’s a remarkable video document. You get to hang out with Jack while the sun goes down, he bounces around from subject to subject, he talks about the beginning of his career, he shares a lot of great anecdotes and touches on all sorts of topics, his war stories are great. It totally humanizes Jack. It shows he’s just a regular guy and he has lots of interesting opinions on everything under the sun. Theakston told me there is another entire 2 hours somewhere on Jack’s time at Marvel but one of his associates has that. You’d hope Greg and comics fandom could track that down and share it. And where is Evanier’s book anyway? I love Evanier so I hate to say this, but if the book came out tomorrow, I don’t know if I’ll ever have time to read it. I just wish somehow everyone involved could have gotten that project out there while interest in Jack was at a high point. You can always do a second edition. Tons of authors are doing that, constantly updating their books over time. That’s the wave of publishing’s future.
I love certain aspects of Kirby fandom, but it really is a shame that so many people are dragging their heels in terms of sharing audio, video, and research they’ve gathered. Over the last few years when Jack’s family was fighting Marvel was the time to put this information out there and help put forth the idea that Jack was more than Stan Lee’s drone. I fear as the euphoria of these overrated movies wears off and more and more people who collected comics in the 50s and 60s pass away, interest in Jack Kirby may begin to fade, and if you release the material mentioned above now, it may simply get buried in the already massive pile of digital garbage.