Thanks to Mark Evanier for his posting on the Captain Victory piece with the “Jack Kirby ’82 & Roz Kirby ’97” signature on it.
“Inked by Roz Kirby” By Mark Evanier
I thank Mark for once again shedding the light on another piece of Kirby history, in addition to all of his other hard work as a Kirby historian over the years. His first-hand knowledge of the subject and comprehensive knowledge of comics history have been invaluable over the years, and like many people I’m sure we can’t wait to see his unabridged Kirby biography.
Here’s the image I posted earlier in the week, again. You can click on it to zoom in and look at the details.
I’m glad Mark corrected me on this. I should have taken a moment to add that just because the piece is signed by both Jack and his wife, that does not necessarily mean that represented an accurate reflection of a 50/50 penciler/inker division of labor, so my thanks to Mark for taking the time to set the record straight on that.
When I posted that image, I thought about raising questions as to whether or not Roz Kirby inked 100% of that image as well. When I initially looked at this artwork I found myself thinking: maybe Jack had an assistant do this? Years later, maybe Roz found it, then spotted a few blacks and maybe she filled in some details somewhere to flesh out the piece? But I didn’t want to get into the “did Jack use an assistant” debate again so I didn’t comment on the art.
Plus I also wondered if maybe this piece was inked by Jack himself because I did feel like I saw some “Jack Kirby” in the inking — it is a very well-crafted piece — I just didn’t know why Jack would trace his own work and I didn’t know enough about his inking during this period to know for sure if that was his ink-work. Plus I wondered what this was for. If it was a commission, why would Roz still have it in 1997? Or maybe this was a commission piece from 1982 and a fan had Roz sign and date it at a convention or in person in 1997?
Ultimately I think this piece will probably still be a bit of a mystery unless an assistant, or an associate who was around when this piece was put together, or someone who commissioned this piece steps forward and fills us in on what happened. But what Mark Evanier says makes a lot of sense to me, especially if we do know for sure that Jack did these types of commissions, and Mark is almost always right on this stuff, so my guess is we are probably looking at a piece where Jack and Roz collaborated on inking the piece. Jack started it in the 80s, Roz finished it in the 90s.
It’s definitely one of the most unique Kirby pieces I’ve ever seen, and because of the love Jack and his wife shared for each other, this signed piece of Jack Kirby/Roz Kirby artwork is pretty special. Roz Kirby was obviously Jack’s greatest collaborator.
Again my thanks to Mark Evanier for taking a moment to give us all a glimpse into the history behind that piece of art. His insights and observations are always interesting and enlightening.