Monthly Archives: April 2011

Hero Worship – Jack Kirby


Here’s something some of you might find fun:

Hero Worship – Jack Kirby

Kind of a strange selection of artwork — mainly covers and a lot of them the digitally re-colored work from this century — but I love the idea of showing a Kirby slide-show with music, so I give this a big thumbs up.

One day I’d like to do a video where I go through Jack’s whole career, but I don’t really have a good video editing program at the moment. When I made this Kirby Space Odyssey video, I used Sony Acid house to put together the music track and I literally sat there and manually did a slide show with a video screen capture framing my slide show to put that piece together, so it’s not really synced up perfectly. It’s a ghetto video.

Jack Kirby Space Odyssey

I’d love to do something one day called “Kirby Revolution” using the Beatles’ Revolution One track, and sync up images from Jack’s really explosive period during the 60s and 70s.

The Beatles – Revolution (Live)

Although it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal on YouTube, I don’t want to violate the Beatles copyright so I never did it. In fact it would be fun to do Jack’s whole career and use the long version of Revolution you can hear — here.

The Beatles Unreleased Song – Revolution 1 (Take 20)

Sgt. Fury Inks

Thanks to Rob Wuest for inking the Sgt Fury pencil sketch I posted here recently. I think Rob did a fantastic job — he’s very faithful to Jack’s original art, and his delineation gives the piece depth and visual impact. Here’s Rob’s email.
Thank you for your blog KIRBY DYNAMICS, which I view regularly.  I very much enjoyed inking the attached Sgt. Fury Kirby art from 1984 (oh boy do I wish I owned that pencil art… is fabulous!). 
Please feel free to post it on your blog.  My favorite inkers are Joe Sinnott, Frank Giacoia, John Romita and Mike Royer, which all influence my inking style.
Fellow Kirby fan,
 Rob Wuest
e-mail: monster

Zampowie! FF Annual # 4 Art

Scan from Fantastic Four Annual # 4. Look at all of Jack’s liner notes on the left and right sides of the page — especially the notes next to panels 2 and 3. Too bad about 75% of Jack’s notes were cut off during the production process. When discussing this topic a few years ago with Kirby historian Mike Gartland, Mike mentioned that on many of the originals returned to Joe Sinnott, Joe actually erased the liner notes, wanting the original to be as pristine as possible. So even though Jack wrote these margin notes on virtually every page from late 1963 – 1970 while he was working “Marvel method,” most of them are gone or hard to decipher if they are cut off or erased. It would have been fun to see what Jack’s directions to Stan Lee were and how much of them made it into Lee’s captions.

This is a poor scan, so I can’t even begin to decipher the partial notes, but I can clearly make out Jack’s notes at the top of the page. Jack’s notes to Stan Lee:

“Zampowie! The android thought-waves have made a dimension track that leads Lockjaw and group right into Thinker’s lab.”

Notice Stan Lee uses Jack’s directions in his dialogue. Lee has Reed Richards say:

“The Android’s thought waves created a dimensional track which enabled Lockjaw to lead us right to the spot!”

Kamandi # 25 Art

Another very yellow page from Kamandi # 25. Kirby/Berry. I’ve never been a huge fan of Berry’s inks, they always seemed a little flat to me, but this seems like a solidly crafted page with lots of nice contrast and line variety.

Kamandi # 25 Splash

Another Kamandi splash from my k-files. Not  a terrific scan, but I enjoy looking at the faded originals.  Mike Royer mentioned in an old interview that Jack was using a really cheap brand of atboard at this time and I wonder if that had something to do with the yellowing. Or I suppose someone may have left this art where it was exposed to some moisture? This is from Kamandi # 25. I think D. Bruce Berry did a nice job on the inks for this page. You can see the white-out behind “All Right” twice on the caption at the top of the art. I wonder if Jack had written “alright.” Woudn’t that be the correct word? The correction makes it appear the characters are “all” (noun) “right” (adjective). Here’s one answer from

World English Dictionary
all right.
—Usage note
The form alright  as a one-word spelling of the phrase all right  in all of its senses probably arose by analogy with such words as already  and altogether.  Although alright  is a common spelling in written dialogue and in other types of informal writing, all right  is used in more formal, edited writing.

alright  (ɔːlˈraɪt)
adv , — sentence substitute , — adj
  a variant spelling of all right
usage The form alright,  though very common, is still considered by many people to be wrong or less acceptable than all right

Sky Masters 4.24.1959

Sky Masters daily from 1959. Art by Kirby and Wally Wood.

I don’t think comic strips translate very well online, especially on traditional weblogs because they have to be reduced so much in size lengthwise to fit horizontally. I wonder if that fact will affect the future of the traditional comic strips as more and more people distribute and view comics content on the net.

Surf Hunter

Scan of a beautiful Surf Hunter sample piece — this being what I assume was the Sunday strip which was part of a package Jack planned to pitch for syndication. Dated 1959. Terrific inks by one of comics greatest inkers (and artists), the legendary Wallace Wood. Zoom in to see details of the artwork.

Kamandi #30 Splash

Original art scan for the splash page to Kamandi #30. Clever use of the robot head as a mirror to show the reader the main characters. Jack coming up with a great way to make two characters sleeping dramatic.

Early FF Promo Art

Unfortunately I don’t have a scan of the whole image, but this is apparently the first promotional piece featuring all 4 members of the FF in costume. Kirby/Ayers. This showed up years ago on eBay and I suspect a deal went down behind closed doors because I never saw a final price on this. I haven’t followed the original art hobby in years so I’m not sure if this piece is circulating or not. Love to have a scan of the whole image if anyone has it.

Sgt. Fury Commission Pencils

Rarely seen Jack Kirby Sgt Fury commission piece. HQ scan, zoom in to look at the details. Dated 1984. Any of you artists out there want to try your hand at inking this piece? I’ll post the results here.