DC’s THE JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS v2 is out today, collecting most of the published Kirby material from DC from the 1970s and 1980s not already covered by other recent or upcoming collections. The biggest part of that would be the two 1980s SUPER POWERS toy tie-in books, as featured on the cover. The best bits are probably the three FIRST ISSUE SPECIALS included, featuring an update on Manhunter (one of my first exposures to Kirby) and original concepts Atlas and the Dingbats of Danger Street. It’ll be a few weeks before I get a copy, so feel free to outline the contents in the comments if you get one before that. I’m especially curious if they include any of the unpublished Dingbats stuff, the story intended for SANDMAN #7 or a restored version of KOBRA #1, and if they went ahead and included all the non-Kirby 1950s reprint material from BLACK MAGIC as the solicitations indicated they planned to.
The next issue of JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR is coming in a few months. Great cover on that, and I’m really looking forward to the look at Gerber’s scripts for DESTROYER DUCK among other things.
Summer 2013 – 104 page magazine with COLOR
JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #61’s theme is JACK KIRBY: WRITER! Whether creating stories while drawing, or pecking away at a typewriter, Kirby gave his work a unique voice which fans either love or hate. Don’t miss this examination of the quirks of Kirby’s conceptualizing and wordsmithing, from the operatic FOURTH WORLD to melodramatic ROMANCE work, and beyond! There’s a feature-length Kirby interview, MARK EVANIER and our other regular columnists, NORRIS BURROUGHS on Larry Lieber’s scripting for Jack at Marvel Comics in the 1960s, the late RAY ZONE detailing his 3-D collaborations with Kirby, a comparison of STEVE GERBER’s Destroyer Duck scripts to Jack’s pencils, Kirby’s best promotional blurbs, galleries of pencil art including NEW GODS, DESTROYER DUCK, 2001, and more, plus an unseen Kirby cover painting! Edited by John Morrow.
An upcoming hardcover horror anthology from Titan, MONSTER MASSACRE, will feature the story “The Greatest Horror Of Them All” from BLACK MAGIC #29 [v4n5] . More on the book over here. This story will presumably also be in the S&K Library HORROR volume out a few weeks later from the same publisher, so don’t pick up the book just for that, but it’ll be good to get the S&K work in front of some eyes that wouldn’t normally see it.
Completely unrelated to Jack Kirby, but I wanted to make sure people who are interested know about Steve Ditko’s long-time co-publisher Robin Snyder’s current Kickstarter project for a new edition of one of the most unusual and hard-to-find Ditko books, THE DITKO PUBLIC SERVICE PACKAGE from 1991.
And to have something on-topic in this post, I should point out that I recently went back and improved the scans in a lot of the early posts on this weblog done when bandwidth and server space was an issue. Check out some of the posts over here.
The next volume of Titan’s SIMON & KIRBY LIBRARY has shown up on various bookseller sites, scheduled for October 2013. HORROR is set to include stories from BLACK MAGIC and STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS published from 1950 to 1954. At 320 pages, it should be enough to include all of Kirby’s artwork from the two titles, so you know what that means: look out for the “Lone Shark”!
(thanks to John S. for catching the listing over in this comment thread, check it out for some more discussion about S&K reprints)
The digital version of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #60 is available now, the print will follow in the mail and in stores soon enough. Some nice stuff in here, including two long Evanier-moderated convention panels, one with Dick Ayers and Joe Sinnott and the other including Stan Goldberg, a 5-page Jim Bowie story from 1956 (the issue attribution seems to be wrong, it says #55, I think it should be #33), a gallery of pencils from later issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, another one of pencils related to the Black Panther, and quite a bit on the 1978 SILVER SURFER book, with many pages of Kirby’s pencils and his typed notes to the scripter.
DC pretty much dominates the noteworthy Kirby reprints list for 2012, and will soon be almost out of unreprinted Kirby from after the 1940s. Top of the list, featuring lots of never before reprinted stuff, are KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH BY JACK KIRBY VOL. 2, concluding Kirby’s run, and SPIRIT WORLD, which included nice crisp black and white versions of the stories intended for #2 of the magazine and repurposed for the colour comics line. Meanwhile the Fourth World saga concluded another reprint cycle, this time softcover, colour and chronological. Just a guess, but the next iteration will probably involve digital (KAMANDI #1-#20 are already available digitally for $1 an issue, which is a huge bargain, especially if you don’t already have them in three other formats. And no, I’m not ashamed…). Going back to the 1950s, Challengers got a couple of reprints, with the whole Kirby run in the colour hardcover CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN OMNIBUS, while the earliest stories joined the other tales from DC’s classic tryout book in the delightfully named black and white softcover SHOWCASE PRESENTS SHOWCASE VOL. 1. And, to be complete, an excerpt from the origin appears in the colour hardcover DC UNIVERSE SECRET ORIGINS. Also from the 1950s, a handful of Kirby covers and stories appear in the black and white softcover SHOWCASE PRESENTS TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED VOL. 1 (all the Kirby content of that book is available in colour in the 2011 release THE JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS VOL. 1, along with the rest of Kirby’s 1950s work for DC outside of the Challengers, but you do get some nice Mort Meskin, Nick Cardy, Leonard Starr and Ruben Moreira in addition to the Kirby).
TwoMorrows got out two issues of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR in the year, shifting out of the tabloid format, with a, well, let’s call it “controversial” one issue departure into a book-length essay about the Fantastic Four in #58 and then back into the more standard magazine format with #59.
The only other thing really worth mentioning is Charles Hatfield’s book from the University Press of Mississippi about Kirby’s work, HAND OF FIRE – THE COMICS ART OF JACK KIRBY, available in hardcover, softcover and digital. And which I’ll get around to reading any day now.
There were a handful of other books from other publishers, as usual all listed here. 2013 already has some good stuff on the schedule. DC has a hardcover of IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB, including material from the unpublished second issue, and another JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS book, picking up most of the remaining not already reprinted 1970s and 1980s work that Kirby did for the company. TwoMorrows continues the KIRBY COLLECTOR, with another issue out in a few weeks. Most interestingly, we’ll finally see another volume in Titan’s Simon&Kirby Library series, this time SCIENCE FICTION, including some very nice stuff from RACE FOR THE MOON and their early collaboration on BLUE BOLT. That’s currently scheduled for March, and last I heard the following volume will be HORROR, featuring stories from BLACK MAGIC and STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS.
Out now from DC, a reprint of the balance of Kirby’s 1970s KAMANDI series. Some great stuff here. Here are some posts on specific issues:
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! #23 
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! #25 
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! #26 
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! #29 
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! #32 
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! #40 
Coming next summer from DC, IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB hardcover, Jack Kirby’s 1971 magazine for “Hampshire Distributors” Speak-Out Series.
Release Date: August 13, 2013
After leaving Marvel Comics at the end of the 1960s, Jack Kirby came to DC, where he soon created the series of super-hero comics known collectively as “The Fourth World.” One of his first projects for DC was the black and white magazine IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB, which featured on stories of organized crime in the 1930s in the style of the TV series “The Untouchables” and “The Godfather” movies.
Hardcover: 80 pages[*]
Note despite what you might think from that description, the comic book predated the release of the film THE GODFATHER, but does come after the Mario Puzo novel. And as Harry Mendryk demonstrated, Kirby’s work on such stories pre-dated both that novel and the UNTOUCHABLES TV show. Pick up THE SIMON & KIRBY LIBRARY: CRIME to read during the long wait for this reprint.
Presumably it’s in the same format as the SPIRIT WORLD book from earlier this year. The page count seems a bit light, compared to the 108 pages in the SPIRIT WORLD book, so I guess some of the intended contents for the unpublished second issue might be lost or never completed. I’d have to double check, but I think even the known contents for #2 should push it over 80 pages, especially when you allow for the usual introductory, biographical and indicia pages. Still, that’ll be the last major piece of published DC work by Kirby after the golden age to get a reprint. Now all we need is a book for the remaining unpublished stuff, TRUE DIVORCE CASES, SOUL LOVE, DINGBATS OF DANGER STREET and whatever else I’m forgetting.
[*] See the comments, the Amazon listing has been revised up to 108 pages, which should be enough for all the comic book content of the unpublished #2. So get ready for “The Ride”, “Ladies Of The Gang” and “A Room For Kid Twist”. And as usual, Amazon links kickback a percentage that goes to the Kirby Museum, so if you’re buying from there anyway, go there from here.
Oh, looks like we’re getting OMAC in softcover, too.
Harry Mendryk has a nice detailed look at Kirby’s double-page splash to BOYS’ RANCH #6, “Remember The Alamo”.
He also drops the news that a lot of material from Joe Simon’s collection will be available for auction from Heritage Auctions starting next month, including that page, other BOYS’ RANCH pages, STUNTMAN, THE FLY and more. The first few pages listed are over here. This will almost certainly be the best selection of pre-1960 Kirby artwork ever made public, and even if it’s outside your price range Heritage also always includes nice large scans to look at.