We are delighted to announce the addition of Matt Birris to our board of directors! With a rich background in video game publishing and management consulting, Matt brings invaluable expertise and a profound passion for Jack Kirby’s legacy to our organization.
Matt holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, specializing in Marketing and Strategy, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, with a focus on Finance. His impressive educational background and professional experience uniquely equip him to contribute to our mission.
Matt’s journey to joining our board is a testament to his lifelong admiration for Jack Kirby’s artistic contributions. Reflecting on his childhood influences, Matt recalls, “As a child of the 80s, I fell in love with DC Super Powers toys, the Incredible Hulk TV series, and Jim Starlin’s Silver Surfer comics.” However, it was only later in life that he realized the creative force behind these beloved works was Jack Kirby. Matt’s adult exploration of Kirby’s Fourth World solidified his admiration and prompted him to question why Kirby’s impact wasn’t more widely celebrated.
Rand Hoppe, our founding trustee/director, expressed his enthusiasm for Matt’s appointment, stating, “We are thrilled to welcome Matt to our board. His background in video game publishing and management consulting, coupled with his genuine passion for Jack Kirby’s work, make him a valuable addition to our team.”
In accepting his new role, Matt expressed his honor and commitment to furthering the museum’s mission: “I’m honored to be a part of this effort to bring Kirby’s genius to a larger audience.”
With Matt Birris joining our board of directors, the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center looks forward to leveraging his expertise and passion to advance our goal of preserving and promoting the enduring legacy of Jack Kirby in the world of comic books and popular culture.
Less than a day left for our 2nd edition of Ferran Delgado’s beautiful “Sky Masters of the Space Force : The Complete Sunday Strips in Color (1959-1960” filled with Jack Kirby and Wallace Wood awesomeness! Get yours now!
We’re thrilled to announce that our crowdfunding campaign for the 2nd Edition of Sky Masters of the Space Force – The Complete Sundays Strips in Color (1959-1960) is now live on Zoop!
Early bird prices are in effect through tomorrow, January 10, so head on over to the Zoop campaign page and make it happen!
Sky Masters of the Space Force – The Complete Sundays Strips in Color (1959-1960) is a second edition of Ferran Delgado’s hard to find, 2019 Eisner Award-nominated book, which featured all of Jack Kirby’s color Sunday Sky Masters strips for the first time. Wallace Wood’s inks are incredible over Jack’s art, so fans and scholars shouldn’t miss out on this chance to experience the pairing of these two legendary talents. What’s more, this volume contains Kirby’s color guides for the strip, making it one of the only confirmed examples of “Kirby Kolor” in published form.
The book also features articles by comics scholars, original art, color guides, and more!
In 2006, we initiated the Jack Kirby Digital Archive project with an ambitious aim—to scan every piece of Jack Kirby’s original art and related artifacts. Our Archive, now boasting over 14,000 pages, is being meticulously cataloged through an incredible database, encompassing comic and strip art, sketches, pencil photocopies, photos, and more.
But that’s just the beginning. We’re also crafting Jack Kirby’s Catalogue Raisonné—an online catalog where you can explore both his published masterpieces and previously unseen creations.
We’re excited to bring these archives to you on a new Collections website. However, we can’t do it alone; we need your support to make this vision a reality. Join us in celebrating Jack Kirby’s legacy by contributing to our cause.
Explore the artistic wonders of Jack Kirby—your help makes it possible.
We’ll be at #4539 selling our many Kirby wonders, and looking forward to talking Kirby!
The Kirby Museum will be at next week’s New York Comic C. The Kirby Museum’s booth is at 4539.
At Nostalgic Investments’ booth 4040, we are scanning Kirby art for the digital archive. If you have Kirby art and are going to the con, please stop by and have your art archived. It’s very important to preserve your art in digital form in the Museum’s Kirby Digital Archive for us to enjoy and for future generations.
On Saturday, August 27th at 3pm Eastern US time, join us on our YouTube channel for a live streamed visit to the Kirby homes in Nassau County and Brooklyn!
We won’t be going inside the homes, but just visiting the outside. We’ll start at the Kirbys’ last NY home in East Williston and end up at the first recorded home in Brooklyn! We expect this stream to last almost 2 hours. Whew!
What: Streaming Tour of Kirby Homes in Nassau County and Brooklyn When: Saturday, August 27th, 3-5pm Where: YouTube & Facebook
Then Sunday, we’ll start our Lower East Side Jack Kirby walking tour at the corner of Delancey & Essex at 5pm. We’ll make our way to Kirby’s birthplace, then to the location of his boyhood home, and will end at the location of the boy’s club that was instrumental to his upbringing. At each stop, we will share stories and facts about Jack Kirby’s life on the Lower East Side and engage in some friendly Q&A about his work and career. There will also be trivia questions with prizes!
The Walking Tour will last approximately 90 minutes with a walking distance of less than a mile. We expect all attendees to keep a reasonable distance while walking. The tour will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel.
What: Jack Kirby LES Walking Tour When: Sunday, August 28th, 5-6:30pm Walk: Meet on the NE corner of Essex and Delancey, in front of Richies and Fabco Shoes Watch: YouTube & Facebook
This year would have been Jack Kirby’s 105th birthday! We hope you’ve seen some of the fun tweets folks have shared on Twitter with the hashtags #JackKirby105 and #JackKirbyMonth!
Since we’re getting closer to the “celebration weekend” of 27 and 28 August, we thought it best to share some of what we’ve got in the works!
Join us as we take a look at some of the Kirby homes in the NYC metropolitan area! On Saturday, we’re planning to visit Nassau County and Brooklyn! This will be a driving stream, with Rand Hoppe and Tom Kraft – and possibly some special guests – in Tom’s car.
Then, late Sunday afternoon, we’ll reprise our Jack Kirby Lower East Side Walking Tour, where you can join as online or in person! We’ll have guests, trivia questions, and, as is becoming tradition, a live dramatic reading of “Street Code,” and possibly more!
We also hope to kick off “Kamandi, the Last Kirby at DC in the 1970s Livestream Series!”
We’ll be sharing links as the schedule firms up. We hope you can join us!
Science Fiction Land and Lord of Light producer/co-designer, Barry Ira Geller passed away on February 22, 2022. Barry was a longtime supporter and advocate for the Kirby Museum. A regular on our live streaming interviews, Barry also organized Kirby-themed panel presentations and lectures at several west coast comic conventions and festivals. His excitement about future projects, passion for the work and legacy of Jack Kirby, and his vision of Lord of Light as a means of elevating consciousness will be missed.
Barry shows his 1978 appointment book indicating his first meetings with Jack Kirby during our live stream event, “3 Days for 103” with Kirby Museum Trustees on August 29, 2020.
Geller and Kirby
In 1978 Barry purchased the rights to Lord of Light, a sci-fi novel by Roger Zelazny about colonists from another planet who conquer Earth and become the legendary Hindu gods until they turn against each other for control of the world. Concepts of advanced technology, magic, enhanced consciousness, and spirituality resonated with Barry and formed the foundation of his ambitious projects to create and build a mega, Disney-sized science fiction theme park called Science Fiction Land® and a related movie, Lord of Light. Barry set out to recruit some of the top technical and creative minds to build and conceive his cutting edge Science Fiction Land.
Having grown up with 60s Marvel Comics, Jack Kirby was the first person Barry thought of for the ambitious project, and simply called him on the phone in 1978. Together they concepted and visualized 13 architectural drawings of key structures and points of view in the Science Fiction Land theme park. Kirby’s pencil drawings were inked and titled by long-time Kirby comic book inker, Mike Royer. According to Barry, Kirby was to be his “general” to execute visual conception and creation of the park. Later additions to Barry’s Science Fiction Land team included famed sci-fi makeup artist John Chambers, celebrated sociologist Maurice Stein, holography scientist Donald Broadbent, futurist and cultural critic Buckminster Fuller, legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, Arcology architect Paolo Soleri, and others.
Science Fiction Land had a great start and was well on its way financially. The park was to be built in Aurora, Colorado. Big restaurant chains, tech companies, and retailers were interested and invested in the project. Unfortunately, the park was not to be. Illegal activity by both Barry’s business partner and the then Mayor of Aurora ended its chances. The movie, financially tied to the opening of Science Fiction Land, also fell apart even though Barry had completed a Lord of Light screenplay.
Barry holds a photo of his younger self exiting prison where he was briefly held after the collapse of Science Fiction Land until legal procedures exonerated him.
In 1979, John Chambers, part of the original Science Fiction Land think tank, also worked for the CIA. Unbeknownst to Barry, Chambers presented the Lord of Light screenplay and Kirby’s architectural drawings to his boss, CIA technical operations officer Tony Mendez. Chambers and Mendez formulated a plan to use a desert-based sci-fi movie produced by their fictional production company Studio Six as the basis to secretly get six American diplomats out of Iran. This operation was portrayed in the 2012 movie Argo. Unlike the movie, Kirby never produced storyboards for Mendez’s operation; they used the existing Kirby-drawn architectural drawings meant for the defunct Science Fiction Land theme park. On January 27, 1980, the six diplomats made it through passport control at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, boarded a Swissair flight to Zürich, and escaped Iran.
Left is the Lord of Light promotional book, right is the CIA version changed to ARGO.
In the years that followed, Barry went into security software development, producing early encryption software needed in the growing computer technology industry. But Lord of Light was never far from his mind, to the point where in the early 2010s he was ready to restart old projects and create new ones. He frequented many comic conventions lecturing on the history of Lord of Light, his work with Jack Kirby and furthering his concepts with the original think tank of using futuristic technologies to change the consciousness of humanity.
In 2012 Barry started work with Jack Kirby Museum trustee Tom Kraft to digitally restore and enhance the Science Fiction Land drawings into giclée prints to bring more attention to Kirby and Royer’s work. Later, Barry licensed the drawings to Heavy Metal who colored and redesigned them into new versions for black-light posters.
Barry with Kirby Museum Trustee, Tom Kraft holding one of the newly restored Science Fiction Land prints 2013 Wondercon.
Barry continued new projects working with artist and colorist Anne Marie “Wally” Wharton who colored the 3D model of Kali, a character from the Lord of Light novel. The Kali figure was designed by Barry and sculpture Jacob Atienza. Wally worked on other projects such as coloring several of the Kirby Science Fiction Land drawings for use in future projects.
Artist and colorist Anne Marie “Wally” Wharton with a model of Kali colored by her.
Barry collaborated with artist Mike Royer to take the god figures from one of the drawings, Terminal of the Gods, and add Kirby-inspired squiggles overlayed on 3D models. Mike and Barry continued new projects working with artist and colorist Anne Marie “Wally” Wharton who colored the 3D model of Kali, a character from the Lord of Light novel. The Kali figure was designed by Barry and sculptor Jacob Atienza. Wally worked on other projects such as building a color palette used as a basis to color several of the Kirby Science Fiction Land drawings and for use in future projects.
Mike Royer with Barry at a panel discussion “Barry Geller & Mike Royer 2017 ComicCon SDCC” at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.
Comic artists/creators Mike Royer and Mike Thibodeaux with Barry doing a Kirby pose at the San Diego Comic-Con 2017.
There were other contributors and artists to Barry’s renewed focus on Lord of Light, such as sculptor Robert Maya, painter Mike Reagan, digital artist David Coons, videographer James Daugherty and digital designer and sculptor Jacob Atienza. Decades after Science Fiction Land first became his passion project, Barry was rebuilding his think tank.
Our sincere hope that this vision will continue after our loss.
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