Doesn’t look like any more Kirby publications are coming out in 2005, so here’s an overview of what we got, at least 49 separate print items (some quite trivial, of course, but others up to 800 pages of Kirby), up from 17 in 2004 and 8 in 2003, plus 2 major digital publications. Good year, overall, lots of fun stuff. Book of the year, not including the KIRBY COLLECTOR, is probably ESSENTIAL FF v4, but maybe KAMANDI ARCHIVES when I get around to picking it up (and, ahem, at least it pays royalties). Unfortunately we didn’t get the scheduled COMPLETE KIRBY v5, which would have been a contender. Anyone heard an update on that?
And of course 2005 saw the announcement of the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, now accepting PayPal donations for future projects and exhibitions, and already hosting a great Kirby checklist, a few stories and a short video.
The most important and essential of the Kirby publications was this trio of issues from TwoMorrows. All the usual great stuff, amazing art finds, pencilled pages, columns and the like, plus they started reprinting some well restored full stories from the S&K days, including some romance, horror and crime in these issues. Look for more of the same in 2006, plus their publication of SILVER STAR from the pencils.
DC only had one Kirby publication this year, but it was major, the first ten issues of KAMANDI in one hardcover volume.
AC included a few Kirby short stories in their various reprint anthologies, one or two in each of these issue.
AMERICA’S GREATEST COMICS #11
AMERICA’S GREATEST COMICS #12
AMERICA’S GREATEST COMICS #13
BEST OF THE WEST #52
Craig Yoe included a 1950s Kirby story, “The Fourth Dimension is a Many Splattered Thing”, reprinted from the original artwork, in this collection from Fantagraphics.
Marvel of course went to the Kirby reprint well most often in 2005, most importantly for me with some long-awaited additions to their ESSENTIAL line, each collecting over 500 pages of 1960s Kirby, some of it for the first time in decades, in black and white.
Good Kirby year for those who like Marvel’s hardcover reprints as well, with two FF volumes (bringing it one volume left to the end), some good Thor work, a few previously unreprinted stories in the Golden Age Captain America, plus finishing off the TALES OF SUSPENSE run of Cap and starting his solo series for the Silver Age volume (with some great art in that run, and of course MODOK). And some Iron Man and Doc Strange covers. Add to that the latest variation on Marvel’s reprints, an over 800 page OMNIBUS collecting the FF up to #30.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 2
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE ALL-WINNERS COMICS VOL. 1
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 8
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 9
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOL. 2
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THOR VOL. 4
FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS Vol. 1 HC
The 1970s Kirby also got a taste of the limelight in two dedicated volumes, including the hard-to-find original tabloid Cap story, with hopefully more to follow (ETERNALS is also likely for 2006).
Kirby also figures into a few mostly non-Kirby collections from Marvel in 2005:
AVENGERS: KANG – TIME AND TIME AGAIN TPB – one story
BEST OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 1 HC – five stories
FANTASTIC FOUR – THE MOVIE TPB – one story
MARVEL VISIONARIES – STAN LEE – three stories
MARVEL WEDDINGS – one story
WHAT IF? CLASSIC VOL. 2 TPB – one story, one other cover
Marvel also mixed a few reprints into their regular comics during the year, either all reprint books (the MILESTONES specials) or mixing new stories with reprint backups (the rest of these). Each of these has one or more Kirby story.
FANTASTIC FOUR: THE WEDDING SPECIAL
GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #2
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #3
MARVEL MILESTONES: DR STRANGE, SILVER SURFER, SUB-MARINER & THE HULK
MARVEL MILESTONES: DR. DOOM, SUB-MARINER & THE RED SKULL
MARVEL MILESTONES: IRON MAN, ANT-MAN & CAPTAIN AMERICA
MARVEL MILESTONES: VENOM & HERCULES
MARVEL MILESTONES: WOLVERINE, X-MEN & TUK THE CAVE BOY
MARVEL MONSTERS: DEVIL DINOSAUR #1
MARVEL MONSTERS: FIN FANG FOUR #1
MARVEL MONSTERS: MONSTERS ON THE PROWL
MARVEL MONSTERS: WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #1
There was apparently some never followed up on “Dollar Digest” experiment that reprinted some Kirby stuff in small black and white volumes. I never did see them.
AVENGERS: ASSEMBLE DOLLAR DIGEST
FANTASTIC FOUR: FIRST FAMILY DOLLAR DIGEST
HULK: HULK SMASH DOLLAR DIGEST
SPIDER-MAN: AMAZING FANTASY DOLLAR DIGEST
X-MEN: CHILDREN OF THE ATOM DOLLAR DIGEST
And a few trivial bits from Marvel:
ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE VOL. 1 TPB – five covers
MARVEL VISIONARIES: STEVE DITKO – one cover (SPIDEY #1)
SPIDER-MAN / FANTASTIC FOUR CLASSIC – one cover (SPIDEY #1)
Plus there was MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR, which I don’t know what to make of, except that I’m sure the Evanier introduction was interesting.
On the digital front, for those into that, there was a DVD-ROM volume of every issue of FF, so lots of Kirby there, some not yet ever reprinted, and Greg Theakston released the first two volumes of his COMPLETE KIRBY on CD-ROM, apparently including some comic strip and interview material not found in the print versions. Expect a few more Marvel volumes like that in 2006 and beyond.
There was also a documentary produced about Kirby, related to a film featuring characters he created, but it won’t be released until later. Bootlegs will be discretely accepted, hint hint.