This Tuesday, November 5th at 7PM the Jack Kirby Museum welcomes to its Prototype: Alpha on Delancey Street designer-historian Arlen Schumer, who will present his VisuaLecture “Ya’akov Kurtzberg – King of Comics.”
As Schumer describes it – “Ya’akov Kurtzberg: King of Comics” is the story of a first-generation American son of European immigrants who grows up on New York City’s Lower East Side and goes on to co-create Captain America and practically the entire Marvel Comics universe—oh, you might know him better, like many American Jews of his generation, by the name change he chose: Jack Kirby. What Elvis was to rock & roll—what Babe Ruth was to baseball—what Picasso was to Modern Art—Kirby was to comic book art. He created a nearly-endless stream of characters and concepts that now form the foundations of American entertainment empires; developed entire comic book genres, like romance comics; and defined his own graphic vocabulary, much like D.W.Griffith did for film, that has influenced generations of artists, writers and storytellers. But as great as Kirby’s successes were, he himself is also one of the greatest victims of the corporate system that denied a creator ownership of his creations. And therein lies the heart of the Kirby story: his comics, his creations, his credit.
When Tom Morehouse displayed his 60″ by 36″ collage “The Power-Packed Marvel Art of Jack Kirby” during the opening event of our Kirby Enthusiasm show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken in 2011, it really made a splash.
Thanks to Tom’s generosity, we struck an edition of twenty 17″ by 22″ prints of the collage last year. While that edition is close to sold out, Tom has always encouraged us to offer an edition of this epic piece closer to its original size. Thanks to Tom Kraft’s new printer, we have.
Debuting at New York Comic Con is an edition of thirty two 24″ by 39″ prints at $100 each. Signed and numbered by the collage artist, embossed by the Kirby Museum.
We’re excited to be attending Locust Moon Comics Festival this Saturday in Philadelphia. The organizers are generously giving us a portion of the donations at the door, and there will be a Jack Kirby panel/presentation at 2pm!
We’re thrilled to be participating in Made in the Lower East Side‘s (miLES) Storefront Transformer project, which will turn one empty storefront into seven unique stores for one week at a time later this year. Sure, we’ve been raising money for our own pop-up on the Lower East Side, but as we explored the neighborhood, we met the good folks at miLES. In keeping with their mission to open underused storefronts to new possibilities by creating short-term, multi-use spaces as community hubs, miLES offered us the week of November 4-10 at no charge to try our pop-up Kirby Museum concept. Thus, Prototype: Alpha was born!
Prototype: Alpha is just what we need to be able to test our three month pop-up idea, with minimal risk! Please understand that donations to miLES’ Kickstarter are not direct donations to the Kirby Museum and the funds we have already raised via our Pop-Up Campaign for the Brick & Mortar fund will not be used for Prototype: Alpha. However, most of the revenue we take in during our week WILL in turn be placed in the Brick & Mortar Fund!
We are incredibly excited to be a part of this project, and we have some fun and unique events planned for our week on the Lower East Side. Go check out the miLES’ Kickstarter campaign, for some awesome Jack Kirby rewards we’ve made available to help them and explore some of the other incredible other pop-ups that your donation will help fund. We’ll see you there!
Jack Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian, daughter of Neal and Connie Kirby, has fired up her Kirby4Heroes campaign again this year to honor what would have been her grandfather’s 96th birthday. Here’s Jillian’s video:
Jillian has recruited comic book stores around the country to donate some of the proceeds from their 28 August sales to The Hero Initiative. Meanwhile, The Hero initiative has recruited more than 40 artists to “Wake Up and Draw” a birthday card to Jack next Wednesday. The art will be viewable at ComicArtFans.com and will be auctioned off to support the charity at a later date.
Jillian says, “I started the Kirby4Heroes campaign as a way to connect with my grandfather, who died the year before I was born. I’ve grown so much closer to him through my endeavors in this area. I have to admit I’m astounded by him as an artist, family member, and just as a kind human being. Raising funds for those in the comic book industry in need of financial and medical assistance is a cause my grandfather Jack would have championed. He never turned his back on a person in need.”
I’d like to pass along an appreciation to Rob Steibel for his herculean effort of more than 1400 almost daily posts on his Kirby Dynamics blog on kirbymuseum.org for the past three years or so. Say what you will about his style or tactics, Rob is, without a doubt, as big a Jack Kirby advocate as they come.