Jack Kirby’s grandson Jeremy has a current Kickstarter project to fund the publication of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JACK KIRBY, including lots of photos of Kirby and family and the reproduction of a play Kirby wrote called “The Frog Prince”. Should be impressive looking, considering he’s already at over three times the funding goal with two weeks to go. Check it out, some great photos are on the Kickstarter page, and check out Jeremy Kirby’s Jack Kirby Store for a look at some of the prints and the shirt available for backing the book (or to order them separately if you don’t do Kickstarter).
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.
On the occasion of some financial records related to Kirby creations, the Wall Street Journal has an interesting article, “Fighting to Rescue the Lost Avenger” by Bruce Bennett.
The Comics Journal is hosting a roundtable discussion (part one, part two, part three) about Jack Kirby, specifically some issues raised by Charles Hatfield’s recent publication HAND OF FIRE, featuring contributions by Jeet Heer, Sarah Boxer, Robert Fiore, Glen David Gold, Doug Harvey, Jonathan Lethem, and Dan Nadel. And I just noticed that HAND OF FIRE is also available as an e-book for the Kindle and other formats, significantly more affordable (and searchable) than the print formats, so I’ll probably pick that up when I have the time to read it.
I just quickly skimmed through, since I haven’t read HAND OF FIRE yet, but I see SILVER STAR is discussed quite a bit in the roundtable, if not in the book, so a good chance to remind you that it’s available digitally from Image for just $9 (also available directly in the Comixology and Image apps). Haven’t checked it, since the three different print editions I have are enough for now, but from the page count I’m pretty sure the digital version includes the 1970s screen treatment by Kirby and Steve Sherman.
This is a neat little discovery. FOREVER PEOPLE #1  was reprinted in a 1975 anthology LOOKING AHEAD, along with some study guide questions (Do you think the symbolism of “boom tube” and “mother box” would be lost on young readers?). Rand Hoppe has some images and excerpts.
Charles Hatfield has a book coming up in January 2012 from the University Press of Mississippi called HAND OF FIRE: THE COMICS ART OF JACK KIRBY, a 300 page exploration of some key aspects of Kirby’s work through the years. Should be an interesting read. Hatfield has a site up for the book, with a contents page and more to come, the publisher has a page with some more details and you can pre-order a copy at Amazon.
The estate of artist Marvin Stein, who drew quite a few S&K studio comics, has been selling some of the work from his files, including the piece over at the right, a Jack Kirby pencilled piece from circa 1958 for an unrealized proposed comic strip called Space Busters. Most of you have probably seen the page before, in various recountings of the history of the Sky Masters strip, but the large scan at the site is quite a bit sharper and more detailed than any I’ve seen before, so worth a look.
If you’ll indulge me in a rare completely Kirby-free post on this weblog, if you like funny comics may I recommend the just-released SUGAR & SPIKE ARCHIVES VOL. 1, collecting the first 10 issues of the Sheldon Mayer series from 1956-1957. One of my favourite comics of all time, this is a long overdue collection, and I hope the first of many.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, you can see many, many posts about it over on my other site.
The subject of this very weblog, Jack Kirby, was born this day in 1917. I’m sure the sharp-eyed among you can figure out the theme for the six covers I chose to mark the day above.
For Father’s Day, Neal Kirby shares some thoughts on his father Jack Kirby, along with some great family photographs.