Since I had the few trading cards I have out from the posts about the Topps stuff last week, thought I’d mention these. Just about everything got a trading card set back in the early 1990s, and in 1994 one thing released was the “Jack Kirby – The Unpublished Archives” set, with art from Kirby’s years working on animation design for Ruby Spears. 90 cards in all, although a handful aren’t by Kirby for reasons that evade understanding (I only have about half the cards, one of them is definitely Gil Kane, another looks like Doug Wildey).
The cards are fun, with lots of wacky characters, insane vehicles and fantastic scenarios. None of these ever did get produced (though Kirby did of course work on many things that did get produced).
Some of the concepts featured are Animal Hospital, a funny animal soap opera, and Roxie’s Raiders, a 1930s set action comedy, featuring Toad:
Lots of grotesque villains that I have trouble imagining animated on a TV cartoon, but look fun.
If you can pick up a set or a few packs of the cards cheap, they’re good for a laugh. Obviously the small size doesn’t really show off the art at all (the originals are apparently really big), and hopefully someday we’ll see a decent book or portfolio of the best of Kirby’s animation work (this set apparently only has a fraction of his designs) with larger images and better supporting material, but until then this is a nice glimpse at his work in his last decade.