Sign up… to give Jack Kirby credit!

Bryan Munn has started a petition over at

Judge McMahon wrote that her judgement for Disney/Marvel against the Kirby heirs was “not about fairness.”

I added my name to Bryan’s petition because I think fairness is important.

Three months of Kirby Enthusiasm at Maxwell’s come to an end


Walking into Maxwell’s at Washington and 11th in Hoboken during these last three months, patrons have been greeted by 50 pieces of striking artwork displayed on walls of russet brick. Brightly colored images of fantastic gods, dinosaurs, heroes, and villains fill the space, making one wonder what cryptic theme connects them all. The answer, not surprisingly, is that the 34 artists from such varied locations as Hoboken, Maine, California, and the UK, are paying tribute to the hyper-imaginative and influential comic-book creator, Jack Kirby.

2011 - Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ Kirby Enthusiasm opening event main wall
2011 – Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ Kirby Enthusiasm opening event main wall

From the dawn of comic books in the early 1940s, through his final years, Jack Kirby created and co-created some of the most enduring characters and stories in comics (Captain America, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, X-Men, Thor, Hulk, Avengers, Darkseid among hundreds of others). In addition to revolutionizing such comic book genres as crime, war and superheroes, Kirby also co-invented romance comics with his partner Joe Simon. Kirby’s 1960s work with Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee (who dubbed Kirby “King”) may be his best-known, considering the movies that have recently been made based on their work. But another Kirby legacy is his almost single-handed definition of the expressive visual language of comic books, with his dynamic page layouts portraying exaggerated anatomy, heartfelt emotion and explosive movement.

1966 - Jack Kirby
1966 – Jack Kirby

KIRBY ENTHUSIASM has been on display since the mid-October weekend of the New York Comic Con at Manhattan’s Javits Center. The well-attended opening featured a Kirby-themed bill of musical acts headlined by Weep, which is led by Doc Hammer of the cult-favorite cartoon show, The Venture Brothers. All of the musical acts donated a portion of their ticket sales to the Kirby Museum. The visual artists have pledged to support the Museum with their art sales, as well.

“This was the first exhibit of its kind that the Kirby Museum has mounted,” said Randolph Hoppe, a cartoonist, graphic artist and communications professional who is not only a co-founder of the Kirby Museum, but also a longtime Hoboken resident and Maxwell’s patron. “I’ve participated in other group shows at Maxwell’s, and I hoped that combining a Jack Kirby-tribute art opening with a Kirby-tribute music bill during the New York Comic Con would be a winner. The bands were incredible, and as you can still see, the art is wonderful, too.”

2011 - Kirby Enthusiasm logo
2011 – Kirby Enthusiasm logo

Karl Heitmueller, a cartoonist and writer who co-curated the show with Hoppe, is Maxwell’s house artist, as well as a bartender. “In addition to the nightly original musical acts that co-owner Todd Abramson books in the back room,” Karl noted, “Maxwell’s regularly showcases visual artists on the walls, in the front bar and restaurant. Kirby Enthusiasm may be the most visually dynamic group-show we’ve displayed,” he added, “which is only fitting, considering the subject. Jack Kirby is the King, after all.”

So, to celebrate this feast for the eyes, and to garner one more blast of support for the artists and the Kirby Museum, Maxwell’s is hosting a closing event on Monday, 30 January, starting at 7:00 p.m., with FREE domestic drafts and house wines served from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Artwork may be sold right off the walls! Mark Frauenfelder, co-founder of blog boing boing, contributed a painting, “Flower, Daughter of Goom.” In addition to pledging a portion of the sale of the painting, Frauenfelder has also authorized the Museum to offer a limited edition of prints of the bold, sexy image of one of Kirby’s characters. The Museum has prints available from other participating artists, such as Arlen Schumer, Steven Brower, Ryan Inzana, Karl Heitmueller, R. Sikoryak and Cheese Hasselberger.

New Kirby Museum memberships will be welcomed – posters, prints, portfolios, t-shirts, stickers and more are all offered in return for donations and/or membership dues. Membership dues support the ongoing operations of the 501(c)(3) Museum, convention appearances, its online presence, education programs, publishing efforts, and more. The Museum is also actively building a collection of archival-quality scans of Jack Kirby’s original art. Donations outside of membership dues are currently being marked for the Museum’s Brick and Mortar campaign. The Kirby Museum is now engaged in a campaign to raise $30,000 to open a pop-up Museum on New York City’s Lower East Side, near where Jack Kirby lived his early life.

“Jack Kirby is one of the most influential creative forces of the last half of the 20th century, and I’m thrilled to have participated in Kirby Enthusiasm with Maxwell’s and the Kirby Museum,” said painter and cartoonist James Romberger. Having watercolors in collections of organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as producing graphic novels such as “Seven Miles a Second” (with David Wojnarowicz and Marguerite Van Cook), Romberger contributed a large print of an abstract, one-color piece to the show. “The influence of Kirby’s imagination, talent and creativity is deep, far and wide,” Romberger added.


Happy Holidays from the Jack Kirby Museum!

As 2011 draws to a close, the Kirby Museum wishes Happy Holidays to all of our patrons and supporters.

And as you finish shopping and wrap your presents, we hope you’ll consider giving one more gift – a donation to our Brick & Mortar Fund.

We know this can be a lot to ask for in any year, and especially so when times are tough. But we’re asking for a very good reason – to make the Kirby Museum even better in 2012.

Please let me explain . . .

1975 - The Seal Men's War on Christmas final panel
1975 – The Seal Men’s War on Christmas final panel

2011 was a great year for the Kirby Museum. We are very excited about our plans for the Pop-Up Kirby Museum on New York City’s Lower East Side! We have garnered a lot of support and hope to meet our fund-raising goal in the coming months. Having an actual brick-and-mortar Kirby Museum for a little while in New York City will help bring Jack Kirby the attention he deserves. (We even have some other exhibit projects in their infancy.) We’ve set up a Brick & Mortar Fund to help us attain this incredible goal. All revenue we receive other than membership dues are going into this fund.

If you become a Museum member, your dues will go towards our appearances at conventions, our archival projects and publishing efforts:

+ We’re also happy to have attended comic book conventions and festivals this past year. Being able to present the Museum’s efforts and engage in membership outreach, as we did in Calgary, San Diego, New York and Brooklyn this year, is only possible through the support of Museum members. We hope that we’ll be able to do so at even more such gatherings in 2012!

+ The Original Art Digital Archive, where we scan Kirby original art and maintain a digital archive, has grown to include almost 1800 pieces. We are also developing a project involving Jack’s pencil art photocopies.

+ There are also some publishing projects in the works – we hope we can announce them soon. This includes exciting limited edition art prints and books.

Your tax-deductible, end-of-year Brick & Mortar Fund contribution or membership dues will be vital to growing the Kirby Museum as we move towards Kirby’s Centenary! We’re aiming to make 2017 a celebration of Kirby the likes that have never been done before.

Thank you for your support of Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center, and I look forward to the New Year.

Rand Hoppe

Remember, donations to the Kirby Museum are tax deductible. There are two ways you can still be eligible for the 2011 tax year:

One is to click the “donate” button to the right, or the “Membership” menu in the upper right.

OR – You can mail a check to us that is dated on or before December 31. Please send it to:

Jack Kirby Museum
P.O. Box 5236
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Happy Holidays – and thank you!

1942 - Santa Fronts For The Mob final panels
1942 – Santa Fronts For The Mob final panels

Rest In Peace, Joe Simon (1913-2011)

Sad to learn of Joe Simon’s passing today. By all accounts, he lived a great life, surrounded by family and friends, making comics and graphic art.

His recent autobiography, “My Life In Comics,” is a treasure.

Thanks, Joe, for everything. You’ll be missed, remembered and celebrated.

Previously Convention-only Membership Premiums now available here

Yep, just as we’ve been offering at our convention tables for the past year (or more?), you can now join the Kirby Museum and choose to receive either the TwoMorrows Deities portfolio or the Fumetto Fighting American silkscreen. These are our top-level premiums, you’ll receive them by sending us $60 for your annual membership.

Your membership dues supports all of the ongoing efforts of the Kirby Museum – but we’re not using your dues for our Brick and Mortar Campaign. So if you’d like to help us set up shop on NYC’s Lower East Side for a while, please make a donation specifically for that purpose, too!

Tomorrow! Kirby Museum at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival!

Yep, we’ll be set up at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival again this year. We had a fine time last December, so here we go again! If you’re going to be there, be sure to visit us on the Lower Level! We’ll have some small run prints from the Kirby Enthusiasm show by artists like Ryan Inzana, Mark Frauenfelder and R. Sikoryak, as well as stickers, some of our new t-shirts and, of course, our membership premium posters and prints.

View Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival in a larger map

Many thanks to all those of you who have supported our effort towards opening a Pop-Up Kirby Museum on the Lower East Side. So far, we have raised almost $4,000!

Kirby Is King by Norris Burroughs

Norris Burroughs wrote, performed, and recorded “Kirby Is King” to support the Kirby Enthusiasm Art Show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. Norris also provided most of the comic book scans that Gus Lambert used to make the video. Gus also used images from the Kirby Museum’s archives.

Burroughs and Lambert both have pieces in Kirby Enthusiasm art show. Norris also writes the Kirby Kinetics blog for the Museum.

Kirby Enthusiasm – Hoboken’s Artists’ Studio Tour!

The show at Maxwell’s will be open during Hoboken’s Artist Studio Tour this weekend.

2011 - Maxwell's
2011 – Maxwell’s

Saturday and Sunday from noon until 6 pm the whole “convention table” will be set up at Maxwell’s – posters, postcards, stickers, prints, portfolios, books. I’ll probably project some Kirby video, as well.


2011 - Jack Kirby Ringer T
2011 – Jack Kirby Ringer T

And yes, we have Kirby Museum T-shirts available for a $25 donation (please add $5 shipping and handling if you’d like one shipped to you. Just paypal noting the adult size in memo field…)

Also, if you’re so inclined, I’ll be available via Skype while manning the Studio Tour – the Skype ID is kirbymuseum.

If you’d like to come by for a drink or some food, Maxwell’s bar and restaurant will open at 5pm, we’ll be there.


2011 - Kirby Enthusiasm postcard
2011 – Kirby Enthusiasm postcard


View Larger Map

Happy Birthday to Steve Ditko

It’s Steve Ditko’s 84th birthday. Thank you. Your work means a lot to me.

Long-delayed NYCC & art opening wrap up with many, many thanks.

New York Comic Con and the Kirby Enthusiasm opening a few weeks ago were great fun. Successes, even! I, herewith, offer many thanks to many of you!

2011 - Lisa Rigoux-Hoppe and Richard Bensam at NYCC
2011 – Lisa Rigoux-Hoppe and Richard Bensam at NYCC

Thanks to Mike Cecchini (the Museum’s Volunteer Assistant Director), Lisa Rigoux-Hoppe and Richard Bensam, the NYCC booth was well manned, with many Kirby fans stopping by. Some to just chat, others to donate to our Brick & Mortar Fund and receiving stickers, postcards and books – with most enjoying the process of feeding our Mother Box with the subsequent “Ping! Ping! Ping!” – and others to become members of the Museum and receiving posters, prints or portfolios. Tom Kraft was scanning Kirby art for our OADA at Bechara Maalouf’s Nostalgic Investments booth. John Morrow/TwoMorrows was nearby around the corner, as was Andrew Cooke with the Will Eisner documentary and Cliff Galbraith/Rat Bastard. We thank you all, and for those of you for whom we have addresses, be on the lookout for some email. This NYCC may very well have been the Kirby Museum’s best convention to date. I know none of you were wondering, but, yes, the vuvuzela was used, and to good advantage.

2011 - Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ Kirby Enthusiasm opening event main wall
2011 – Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ Kirby Enthusiasm opening event main wall

Thanks to Karl Heitmueller, Jr. and Maxwell’s, the Kirby Enthusiasm opening Saturday evening was a blast. Kirby people took over the place for a while, with artists and friends enjoying the company, the art, the food, and the drink. Thanks to the bands, The Boom Tubes, WJ & The Sweet Sacrifice and Weep, who rocked out in the back room later on. The art will be up until early January, so be sure to stop by Maxwell’s if you’re in the NYC area during that time. I’ll post more about that in another entry soon.

Thanks to the support of our members, we also recorded some video at NYCC and Maxwell’s – interviews were shot with Charles Kochman, Mike Gartland, R. Sikoryak, Tom Morehouse, Frank Espinosa, Adam McGovern, as well as some of those folks mentioned above. We also recorded the Joe Simon and the Auteur Theory panels. The footage is currently being analyzed and edited, and thanks to the interview subjects, is available to be used for our documentary, fund raising and other purposes. Many, many thanks to Ben Tudhope, Andrew Cooke and Malcolm Alston.

All images in this post from work by Ben Tudhope.