Monthly Archives: September 2012

Classic Kirby/Sinnott Artwork – FF # 49

Classic mind-blowing image of a mind being blown from Fantastic Four # 49 (Apr 1966).

 

What could I write about this book that hasn’t already been said a thousand times. It’s a classic. Perfect example of a storyteller like Kirby unleashed, trying to top himself issue after issue, and with this epic Galactus Trilogy he’s set a new standard in comics excellence. With Sinnott on inks there is a tremendously high level of craftsmanship to the finished product so the whole package is a home run.

Here are 4 pages from the book. Again, it’s almost embarrassing to choose just 4 pages, the whole book is filled with so many iconic visuals.

Classic Kirby/Sinnott Artwork – FF # 48

Boy, it doesn’t take Jack and Joe too long to produce arguably the most famous story in comics history. Fantastic Four # 48 (Mar 1966). Only their 5th issue together (not counting FF # 5 in 1962) and Kirby/Sinnott have produced a masterpiece.

How in the heck does one pick only 4 pages from this book? Beats me, but here’s a sample of the terrific art in this issue.

Amazing to see Jack go from the wonderfully creative stories with the FF and Inhumans to this remarkable cosmic storyline. And thankfully we had Joe onboard to ink this book — it’s an absolute classic of comics art. A high point in Jack’s career, and he was only going to keep getting better and better.

FF # 5 Original Published Pages

Here’s a recent email conversation. The author gave me permission to post his comments, below that was my reply. I also included the FF scans he was nice enough to send in. Thanks to Odkin for his comments and the great scans.

From: Odkin

Inkers and silver age art are my areas of expertise, and I can tell you that it is utterly pointless to try and showcase work that has been shoddily reprinted, and often “touched up” to the point of being redrawn, as in Marvel Masterworks.

Attached are a couple of good scans of original pages from FF5. Compare the linework to the reprint you use. Notice something missing in the reprint? Like say, 1/2 the details?

I would rather see the dot screens and inconsistent coloring of original comics with clean linework, than see even the best coloring and paper with fuzzy blotchy linework. And as your example shows, even the new coloring is not that good. Yeah the dots are smaller, the colors align better, and little errors get fixed. But the color choices are almost always worse. Baby blue FF uniforms instead of deep blue. Garish cartoon pirates instead of greys and greens.

Anyway, I urge you to use only original comic scans and NOT reprints in any analysis of inkwork. Way too much gets lost, especially with artists who have any degree of subtlety in their work, like Sinnott and Colletta. Not so much an issue with the “hack and slash” guys like Royer.

Thanks
Odkin

PS- Drives me nuts that you have “comments off” all the time. You post some half-baked ideas sometimes, and it just makes it look like you aren’t up to being questioned.

 My reply:

On Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM, Robert Steibel <robsteibel@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi. Can I post this at Kirby Dynamics. You make some great points. If not, I’ll answer your questions privately.

Re: Comments

I don’t have comments on because Rand wants me to censor curse words and offensive comments. I honestly don’t have the time to babysit people who comment on that blog and I hate censorship, but understand Rand wanting the museum site to be rated PG. Feel free to send me any questions or comments to robsteibel@yahoo.com and I’ll post them. I’d love for someone to challenge me. I love that kind of thing. You can also comment on the Mueum Facebook page. People tend to yell at me there.

As for the scans, I use what I have. Unfortunately I don’t have scans of many of the printed books. If you or anyone you know would like to send scans of published books in I’d love to post ‘em.

I agree totally about the wretched quality of the reprints, but I gotta use what I got.

Here are the scans Odkin sent in from the book. They look much better than the reprint pages I used before. Click on the images to zoom in.

Here are a few other fun items from that book, the letters page and an ad for a brand new Kirby book coming out soon…

If anyone else out there has scans of published FF books, please send them in. I’m sure we can work out a trade, I have lots of Kirby scans in my files we could swap.

Alan Moore’s Stan Lee and “Jolly Jack” Comments

Re: Alan Moore’s Stan Lee and “Jolly Jack” comments.

As you might notice I tried to go through some stuff in the mailbag today. One thing I wanted to add in reference to Alan Moore’s comments on Kirby/Lee was this: First, I think Moore is unquestionably a brilliant guy and a remarkable writer. I have tremendous respect for that guy and what I’m about to say isn’t a criticism, because I don’t have any criticisms for him, but I want to make a couple comments.

First, I don’t recall Stan Lee ever saying “I created Captain America.” Lee certainly might have said that (Lee claims he created everything else) and Moore may be making a joke (Lee claiming he created Cap would be completely over-the-top in terms of it’s absurdity), but I just don’t recall seeing that exact quote from Lee — I’ve never seen Lee take his peculiar brand of megalomania and egomania quite that far (although Lee takes credit for everything that happened to the Captain America character after Lee claims it was his idea to bring him back in the 60s, while some comics experts think that was Martin Goodman’s idea or even Kirby’s suggestion). If anyone has a quote of Lee claiming to create Captain America alone, please send it in.

I never saw Lee say that, but I do think Moore’s point about Lee just adding the “Thees and Thous” was spot-on: clearly if you examine Jack’s original art, Jack wrote the stories with images and margin notes, then Lee added captions (and we have several quotes where Lee admits this), it’s just that Moore using Thor as an example of a character Lee claims he created alone (as opposed to Cap) would have been a better choice.

Also, Moore’s comment about Lee saying, “In my opinion, Ditko created Spider-man,” is a little off. The problem Ditko had with Stan Lee was the fact that Lee said “I have always considered Steve Ditko to be Spider-Man’s co-creator…” Here’s a link to an article where I discuss that.

http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/dynamics/2012/05/05/avengers-weekend-part-3-ditko-and-creation/

So I think Moore’s wording might be wrong, but his overall point is again spot-on. Lee was unwilling to simply say “Steve Ditko created Spider-man.” Lee always has to add a caveat, something that muddies the waters like “I consider.” Lee acts like giving Ditko and Kirby what he calls a “co-creator credit” was some sort of charity on his behalf. Many experts suggest Lee does this based on this advice from his lawyers: never admit Kirby and Ditko created major characters, instead simply say, since Ditko is such a sweet guy, you are personally willing to consider him a creator since that might make him happy, but in reality Ditko and Kirby are not legally and historically the creators, you (Smilin’ Stan Lee) are the sole-creator of all the major Marvel characters (excelsior!).

So although I think Alan Moore may have got a few of the minor historical details wrong (which happens frequently, people send me emails pointing out errors I make here all the time), he still makes a lot of great points. It’s great to see a creator/writer of his caliber and stature taking the time to comment on the Kirby/Lee creator/authorship debate. High profile creators like Alan Moore who aren’t afraid to criticize Marvel and Stan Lee are few and far between in the comics biz because obviously if they step on the wrong toes that can make it harder for them to get work for a company like Marvel-Disney. Alan Moore is a true maverick and as a Kirby fan I’m proud to know Moore is also a guy who isn’t afraid to stand up and tell the truth about the Kirby/Lee partnership in the 60s. He may have got a few of the details a little wrong (and I may have my facts wrong) but his heart was in the right place and on behalf of Kirby Dynamics I certainly thank Alan Moore for all the great things he’s said about Jack Kirby over the years.

Kirby Art Links From Kandow Erik

Here are some links sent in from Kandou Erik:

This blog put up some images from Jack’s TV work, Thundarr the Barbarian. There’s a lot of cool details in the pictures – showing that Kirby’s imagination hadn’t waned. There was a little New Gods and Kamandi — but things like the cracked moon in the sky, or an org making a firey bridge look pretty amazing!

The blog Cap ‘n’ Comics has a lot more Kirby images – some I’ve never seen before.

P.A.C.K.

Sketch to Roz, of Cap and Bucky taking down the Red Skull

A horse in space

Moon Knight cover!!

House of Mystery

A Thing sketch, though I’m unsure about it. Unless it was done near the end of his life, it could be a fake. It just looks sort of sub-par.

Kirby/Sinnott – FF # 6, Page 2 (Bottom Half)

Great email from the Kirby Museum FaceBook page:

Doug Pratt See page 2 of FF #6. Joe Sinnott always inks from the bottom of a page and works his way up. As you can see, Joe started working on issue #6 with page 2. He stopped in the middle of the page because Treasure Chest Comics had called and offered him a contract. Stan, in a professional and friendly way, told Joe to do what was best for himself and his family, but to let him know as soon as he was available again, and as we all know that happened with issue #44.

Sorry about the poor quality of the scan, this is the best one in my K-files. Thanks a lot to Doug for sharing that anecdote. Hardcore Kirby and comics fans probably heard that story before, but I’m sure that piece of Kirby/Sinnott trivia is new to many non-experts.

Argo

Here’s an email from Kenn Thomas discussing the Argo topic:

Kenn Thomas:

Of course, my zine Steamshovel Press had an article on Argo on 2003, years before Wired, co-written by Kirby-l-er James Romberger and his partner Marguerite Van Cook. The issue had one of the Lords of Light illoes as a cover. Next week I’m going to make available a small stack of the back issue for its original cover price, $7, and also DVD copies of a lecture I did out in the Mojaveon Kirby conspiracies. I’ll have all this up at Steamshovelpresss.com probably this weekend.

Rand Hoppe put together a list of other articles on the subject here: Lord Of Light, Science Fiction Land and Argo

This is the article Kenn Thomas mentioned: “Kirby, the CIA and the Lord of Light and Eyewash: About Argo” by James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook – published in Comic Art Forum, Winter 2003. I highly encourage you all to download the PDF file and read this. It’s a great article that gives you a nice glimpse into how Hollywood likes to play it fast and loose with the facts if it helps them save money and make more money.

FF # 47 Cover – Better Scan

Here’s a better scan of the FF # 47 cover. Click to zoom in and you can see how carefully Sinnottt inked the buildings in the background which are a very important part of the composition, giving the viewer that bird’s-eye view perspective that emphasizes the danger. Probably would have been even more visually dynamic if all the buildings had individual colors, but this way the characters stand out more and pop off the page.