Monthly Archives: April 2011

Dan Turpin/Kirby

I haven’t seen any of the various DC Superman and Batman cartoons so don’t know what episode or year this is from,  but someone sent in this scan of the character Dan Turpin where Kirby was apparently used as an influence on the character design. Here’s the character in Jack’s New Gods.

Hulk # 5

Thanks to Superhero Legacy for this comment on The Incredible Hulk

Gotta love the original Hulk artwork…this is what started the legacy of Hulk…

I’m also a huge fan of Jack’s artwork on those pivotal first several issues of the Incredible Hulk. Here is some artwork from Incredible Hulk# 5 (Jan 1963), Kirby/Ayers. Terrific splash page.

I think Dick Ayers is really underrated for his work on this series — I believe he played a huge role in determining the look of the Hulk character early on. Especially compare Dick’s inks above to Ditko’s work below  in Incredible Hulk# 2 (Jul 1962). Ditko puts a lot more linework on the face of the Hulk character, especially underneath the eyes.

Ditko’s interpretation of Jack’s pencils with the additional shading makes the Hulk look mysterious — like a character in Ditko’s famous monster work — whereas Ayers’ version is slick and more traditionally “superheroic” in terms of being delineated in a straightforward, no-nonsense style. Interesting to see the Hulk visually transitioning from a typical Kirby/Ditko monster into the more modern Kirby/Ayers superhero.

I can only imagine how the character would have evolved if Jack had worked on the Hulk for 100-or-so issues as he did on Fantastic Four, Captain America, and Thor.


Spirit World

Original artwork of an unpublished Spirit World page. Above, a classic image of a character experiencing some cosmic Kirby consciousness-expanding. Below, notice how Royer is using a lot of different textures in his inks to give the piece a more artistic flair, probably because Jack felt this style was more suited to a larger-format magazine which is what this piece was intended for.

From Kenn Thomas

Kenn Thomas is one of my favorite Kirby historians so I always enjoy posting any of this thoughts on Jack here.

From Kenn:

Some Kirby-related thoughts:

Some time ago you had a discussion going on at Kirby Dynamics about Dr. Droom. I forget now the particulars but at the time I scanned the attached and intended to send it to you but forgot. It’s no doubt something you already know about. It’s one of those 1970s Kirby covers I find so elusive.

In the latest TJKC Mark Evanier suggests that the FF/Amazing Adult Fantasy cover lettering matches that of the Twilight Zone TV show. Frankly, I don’t see it. The letters have pointy ends but so does a lot of lettering. It dovetails into a theory he has that the stories in AAF also derived from Twilight Zone. Don’t know if I buy that one either.

The first appearance of Captain 3D, reprinted in the Simon and Kirby Superheroes volume jumps from an advance race giving cavemen the book containing Captain 3D to a reference on the next page: “Soon after, Professor Five’s aircraft was blasted from the skies by a cat patrol…” Who is Professor Five? I checked with my copy of the original and it’s that way as well. Suggests to me that there’s another page to this story. Am I missing something? Has this been discussed somewhere?
The production of the S&K Superheroes volume would have been a good time to track something like that, maybe even uncover some lost art, since it boasts of access to Joe Simon’s archives and  having Harry Mendryk “fully” restoring Captain 3D for the first time. (Not to slight Harry’s otherwise brilliant work.)

Also, the Harvey house ads for Captain 3D declare in a centerspread “Who is ‘Infinity’? This is his symbol [infinity symbol] Watch for him!” So I have to ask, who was Infinity? Did that story ever get drawn?

— Kenn Thomas

Doing a quick amazon search so that I could pull a cover of one of Kenn’s books, I see he has a new one out this month available for pre-order called JFK and UFO. Great title!

You can also read more of Kenn’s work at his website

Finally, from the Kirby Museum digital archives, here’s a scan of the original art to Weird Wonder Tales # 19 (Dec 1976), Kirby/Giacoia.

Surfer Sketches 1975

Silver Surfer Pencil Sketch (1975)Silver Surfer sketch from 1975.
Here’s another Surfer sketch from 1975 used for a comic art convention cover. Probably one of the few examples ever where Jack’s actual pencils were used for a published piece.

Adventure Comics # 73 Cover

Adventure Comics # 73 Cover (April 1942). The first image is a restored scan from a reprint of the story. Below that is a scan of an original copy of the published book.

See Jack already experimenting with exaggerated perspective as the main character’s hand reaches right off the page. Also notice the anatomy of the right arm — it’s more expressionistic than anatomically correct. Or maybe Kirby and Simon simply learning their craft. See also Jack never seems to have a specific light source, which adds a unique dynamism to the piece.

Looking at Jack’s 100 issue run on a book like Fantastic Four, one has to wonder how a character like Manhunter would have evolved if Jack had worked on that property for an extended period of time.

FF 40 Cover Discrepancies

Thanks to Frank for sending in this email:

I’ve attached covers of FF 40. The printed version from Marvel Masterworks and the scan from WiK. Unless the art restoration from the Masterworks is the problem, that scan may not be the original cover that saw print. I have circled areas on both pieces that differ one from the other. On the printed cover the face of Sue is definitely in the style Vince Colletta would ink a female face, not so much on the scanned copy. What do you think?

(1) Original art scan:

(2) Masterworks scan:

(3) Published cover:

I also posted a small scan of the original printed cover below the two scans Frank sent in.

Looking at the original published image at the bottom of this post, and comparing something like the lines underneath the torch’s arm, it looks like that cover was made directly from the original art.

My guess is that the Masterworks reprint cover is based on a stat, so there might have been some loss of detail, and someone may have tweaked the image somewhat because of that.

Kirby/Sinnott FF Calendar Art

Thanks to Glen G. for sending in this email on the 1977 Marvel calendar as well as the art scan above by Kirby/Sinnott:

I’ve seen the art in question — Kirby did indeed do the pencils for that 1977 Marvel calendar cover, except for the Howard figure.  The pencils Romita really really reworked it when inking, though.  Kirby also did a few great calendar plates, including a Cap origin piece (Giacoia inks), a Hulk close up (can’t remember the inker) and a recreation of the FF 2 cover (Sinnott inks), the last of which I would love to find and bring home and look at every day.