Monthly Archives: April 2011

Journey into Mystery # 117

Splash page from the Tales of Asgard backup story in Journey into Mystery# 117 (Jun 1965). Looking at the first image, you can see how reprints would lose a lot of detail as compared to a high-quality scan of the original artwork below. For example, look at the back of the character in the bottom left-hand corner — you can see a lot of Colletta’s fine linework was lost as the various prints of this page lost a generation.

 

2001 # 10 Cover

Original artwork and the published image of the cover for 2001: A Space Odyssey# 10 (Sep 1977). This would be the last title of Jack’s 2001 series, but the Machine Man character would re-appear in his own magazine in April of 1978.

Monsters on the Prowl # 30

A Kirby monster reprint from Monsters on the Prowl # 30 (Oct 1974), originally published in Tales of Suspense # 9 (May 1960). Pages 1, 4, and 5 featuring the smoke monster Diablo.

 

Reminds me of the smoke monster from the LOST TV series.

FDR

Example of a Ruby-Spears presentation piece of FDR where I’m pretty certain Jack must have used some photo-ref for a change. I wonder if an FDR historian would be able to tell us which photos he thinks Jack used. Both images look like portraits, maybe pulled from an encyclopedia.

 

Big Barda Jail Break

Original artwork from Mister Miracle # 17, page 13 (Dec 1973), Kirby/Royer. Notice in the 4th panel Barda grabs the iron door with her left hand, then in the 5th panel she rips it out with her right. The left hand also looks backwards in that panel. A great example where Jack wasn’t all that concerned with literal continuity between panels, but instead far more focused on producing a dramatic sequence with maximum impact.

I love Barda’s purple outfit. Barda is also one of my favorite Kirby characters — an early example of the kick ass “Grrl” charcters that became so popular at the turn of this century.

Mailbag

 

Hey, Rob —
 
Just saw your two Kirby Museum posts about Dingbats. As it happens, my “Incidental Iconography” column in the next issue of Jack Kirby Collector focuses specifically on Dingbats, with an emphasis on Non-Fat and Bananas. There should be some good clean scans in there. I believe the issue (#56) will be out next week.
 
Sean Kleefeld
http://kleefeldoncomics.blogspot.com

Thanks for checking out the weblog, Sean. I look forward to reading your article in TJKC.

Hey, Rob,

I’m pretty sure that Dingbats cover was inked by D. Bruce Berry and not Mike Royer.

-Frank F.

Thanks Frank. Interesting observation. I always appreciate when people correct me, or show that sometimes it’s hard to call all the artist combos every time. If that is Berry, he did a solid job — probably because the cover required thicker linework. TwoMorrows Kirby Checklist says Royer but the checklist is not 100% correct (although still a great resource and I’d say correct close to 98% of the time). Now that I look closely, I think you might be right. That does look like Berry on the faces.

…I enjoy when you examine original art, but I think you could be wrong about Stan Lee’s notes. Stan may have written those notes on the art paper BEFORE Jack drew on them.

Jason S.

Hi Jason, Interesting theory that I’ve heard before. None of us were there, so this is all speculation, but here’s what I think. Remember we’re talking about the period from 1960 – early 1964 before Jack did extensive margin notes.

(1) I don’t think Lee would give Jack about 100 pieces of free blank artboard each month; I also doubt Jack carried in about 100 pieces of blank artboard into NYC each month. So I think the hypothetical method of Lee plotting the story on blank artboard doesn’t pass the common sense test.

(2) Also, why not make these notes on a piece of typing paper? Why do them on the margins of fairly large, heavy artboard?

(3) Why are they so small and so sparse? I have to zoom in really close to try and read them. I still say the Lee notes fall into two categories: they are either production notes to his staff (usually for Sol Brodsky) or notes to himself either made during a conference with Jack F2F (scribbles in cursive); or possibly made during a phone conversation where Jack could have answered any questions Stan had, or simply Lee’s first reaction to looking at the art if Jack mailed it in the NYC. I just don’t see Stan making those tiny notes on the artboard as an efficient way to plot a story, they look like they were done after Jack turned in the art.

I love the big barda en espanol post. Do you have any more of that story?

Joe B.

Unfortunately, I don’t. Anybody out there have any scans of Jack’s art with foreign captions? It is fun to look at that stuff. I’m sure there must be a lot of it out there. I’d think Marvel has reprinted Kirby’s material in almost every language. Any sightings of Jack’s work in Chinese? Russian? Any African Kirby translations? Has anyone ever catalogued any of Jack’s foreign print runs? Could be an interesting topic for a future TJKC.

Rob,

Are you sure Jack drew that Marvel calander? It looks like John Romita pencils to me. Thanks for your work! Love the blog!

Andre

It looks like Romita to me too, but the Kirby Checklistsays it’s by Kirby. I suspect it may have been publicized somewhere (or credited in the calendar) as Kirby pencils. Romita certainly did “Romita-ize” the piece if that is Jack’s pencils — probably more than any other piece I’ve ever seen. Maybe this is an example of Marie Severin layouts, Kirby pencils over that, then Romita? Maybe a lot of editing to get that friendly “Romita” look? Not sure, but I agree there is little Kirby there.

Thanks to everyone for the emails and art scans. Several people also wished me well when I mentioned the passing of my Grandmother, and I thank you all for that. Jack has some of the best fans out there.

April 1: Kirby Dynamics 1-Year Anniversary

It’s April 1, so happy April Fools Day, everybody.

I thought about doing a fake April Fool’s post where I had a fictional Stan Lee admit Jack played a significant role in the creation of Fantastic Four, Hulk, X-Men, Sgt. Fury, Thor, The Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, Inhumans, Dr. Doom, Galactus, etc., etc. etc., etc.; and Stan felt that Jack should be considered a co-writer on all of his 1960s stories… but I realized no one would fall for that.

This also marks the one year anniversary of Kirby Dynamics. Thanks to everyone who has been along for the ride. Lots of great Kirby art coming up in the next year.