Today would have been Jack Kirby’s 101st birthday. From his tough Jewish immigrant beginnings on New York City’s Lower East Side, to the comic book publishing houses of Midtown Manhattan, to Brooklyn and the suburbs of Nassau County, to Thousand Oaks in Ventura County, California, Jack Kirby’s mind and hand brought us countless visually powerful stories and images. His work ethic, timeless ideas, and iconic visualizations continue to influence the storytellers of today, whether on the comic book page or the silver screen. Characters and scenarios that first came from his simple drawing board are household names worldwide, remain the cornerstone of the comic book industry, and are now the foundation of billion dollar blockbuster films.
Having seen the horrors of war firsthand, Kirby understood both the consequences of violence and the meaning of sacrifice, and his experiences informed the heroic ideals exemplified not just in his work but in his everyday life. Kirby’s kindness and general decency towards his fellows, fans, and friends remains the backbone for the culture of comic books, pop culture fandom, and conventions that attract millions of devotees each year. It’s easy to see the impact of Kirby’s creations, but don’t forget the legacy of Kirby the man.
We here at the Jack Kirby Museum are humbled and honored to do the work we do, to educate the world about Jack Kirby, his life, his images, and his stories. We look forward to continuing our work, and thank everyone for their support, especially The Kirby Estate.
We have some exciting projects in the works! Thank you, Jack!
A Special Four Day Event Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Jack Kirby
NEW YORK, NY (August 15, 2017) – Jack Kirby, the co-creator of Captain America, The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and many other pop culture icons, played an indispensable role in the emergence of comics as an art form. Kirby is to comics what Hitchcock or Spielberg are to movies, Babe Ruth is to baseball, or The Beatles are to rock n’ roll. Not only was Kirby incredibly prolific and influential, but he was an innovator whose work has come to define fantastic storytelling in comics and beyond.
To mark the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby’s birth, the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center will open a special, limited-engagement event, celebrating the life, legacy, and boundless creativity of the King of Comics. “Jack Kirby – 100 Years” will take place at One Art Space, located at 23 Warren Street in New York City, from August 27-30.
Jack Kirby 100 Years Highlights Include:
Oversized reproductions of some of Kirby’s most famous work.
Opening reception and birthday party
A peek into the Museum’s digital archive, allowing fans access to thousands of pages of scanned art.
A gift shop featuring limited edition prints of Kirby artwork, books, t-shirts, and more.
A Kirby 100 Years talk by Founding Trustee Rand Hoppe
An introduction to the Kirby Museum by Trustees Tom Kraft and Rand Hoppe
More to be announced as we get closer to the date.
The Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center is organized exclusively for educational purposes; more specifically, to promote and encourage the study, understanding, preservation and appreciation of the work of Jack Kirby. Kirby 100 marks our third pop-up event in New York City and we regularly travel the US and Europe putting on and assisting exhibitions and lectures about Mr. Kirby’s life and art.
The Kirby Museum is pleased to release our first set of prints celebrating Jack Kirby’s centenary. To start the series we have digitally remastered and restored the Tribes Trilogy paintings. The Trilogy was drawn, inked and colored by Jack Kirby. Prints will be on display and for sale at our booth (#445) during this weekend’s Five Points Festival on NYC’s Lower East Side. Prints cost $60.00 each or all 3 with the same series number for $200.00. Prints will be for sale soon on our website.
More about the prints:
This first set is limited to an edition of 50 with the first 10 numbers held in reserve
Each print has the Kirby 100 logo and an embossed Kirby Museum logo
Prints are 18 x 24 inches
Printed as high resolution Giclée using Epson UltraChrome HD pigment inks
Paper is Epson Hot Press Natural, Smooth Fine Art heavy weight (16mm) paper and is archival, acid-free, 100% cotton fiber
Each print is packaged in a 1mm resealable archival mylar sleeve
These prints were remastered from high resolution scans of the original art held in our Kirby Digital Archive. Colors were enhanced to match as closely as possible the original Dr. Ph. Martin ink colors used by Kirby. For example, some of the edges of the art showed the bright colors of the original colors because they had been protected from fading by being under mats or frames. The biggest challenge was the Lizard print. The edges were bright pink however the rest had faded. Restoring the pink gave this print impact.
All sales will benefit the museum in our ongoing efforts to study, preserve, and publicize the work of Jack Kirby.
Here’s Jack Kirby’s pencil script and art for the final spread from the long form Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles, as it looked as it came off his drawing table. Too bad that sliver in the center didn’t get captured.
Jean Depelley’s biography of Jack Kirby, titled “Jack Kirby, Le Super-Héros de la Bande Dessinée” was recently awarded Le Prix Papiers Nickeles SoBD for 2015. The prize, a joint project between SoBD, an annual comics fair in Paris, and Papiers Nickeles, a long running French cartoon and comics journal, acknowledges the best book on comics and graphic heritage.
Jean, a contributor to The Jack Kirby Collector and the Kirby Museum’s The Kirby Effect, as well as co-curator of the 2015 “Jack Kirby: King of Comics” display at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, spent at least five years researching and writing the extensive two-volume biography published by Neofelis Editions,
Jean Depelley at the Kirby display at Angoulême International Comics Festival, 2015.
Our efforts at the Jack Kirby Museum are made possible through your support. For example, we were able to host an event-filled three week Pop-Up Museum on New York City’s Lower East Side, just blocks from where Jack Kirby was born and raised.
With your help, we will be able to host more pop-ups, more events, and more exhibits that show the influence of Jack Kirby and his work in our culture today.
Jack Kirby was born 98 years ago today. It’s a good day to re-visit some of your favorite Kirby work, or even to explore some of his work with which you’re unfamiliar. Make today Kirby Day!
The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative is a fantastic organization that helps comic book creators in need. Since 2012, Jack Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian Kirby has run the Kirby4Heroes campaign to raise funds for The Hero Initiative in Jack’s name on his birthday. This year, her goal is to raise $20,000.
Comic shops around the US are participating by offering percentages of their sales today to the cause. In that spirit, we will share 50% of the proceeds from the sale of any of our t-shirts today on our web store with Kirby4Heroes.
Click on the shirts below to be taken to their sales page.
Very limited sizes on these two:
To donate directly online, visit The Hero Initiative at heroinitiative.org (and be sure to type “Kirby4Heroes” in the space for “special instructions”).
Wake Up And Draw is project where comic artists spend the day creating art that will then be auctioned off to benefit Kirby4Heroes and The Hero Initiative. Follow #WakeUpAndDraw on Twitter and Instagram to see what everyone comes up with.