Monthly Archives: November 2011

Spider Costume from 1954?

Over on the Kirby/Ditko Yahoo discussion forum, one of the members posted a link to this image:

The poster listed this as: “1954 Ben Cooper Halloween costume.”

Anybody have a better scan of this or know anything about it?  What colors were used for the spider costume? I wonder if any photographs of this costume exist? According to the website featuring this image, it is from 1954. Long before Ditko’s Spider-man costume from 1962. Anyone know if that 1954 date is accurate?

The poster who wishes to be known as Deep Throat had this to add:

I don’t know anything more about the costume than the info listed. I just came upon it via a comic message board. I have heard this costume has been on eBay a couple of times, but I have never personally viewed the listing.

If this is legit, it is quite interesting – did Steve Ditko get the idea for the costume from a Halloween catalog? Eventually, Marvel licensed its super-heroes to Ben Cooper Costumes for additional heroes in the mid-sixties thru the sevnties. Was there a special deal between Marvel and Ben Cooper as a result of the costume being the inspiration for Spider-man?

One would have to verify that this catalog was published prior to 1962 –or at least produce a copy of the box with a pre-1962 date.

Forever People # 5 Cover

Forever People # 5 (Oct 1971) cover. Kirby/Royer. Signed by Jack in the top left. Jack trying to promote some ethnic diversity here with the Asian character Sonny Sumo.

Object From the Sky

Terrific psychedelic, cosmic Kirby splash. From Devil Dinosaur # 4 (July 1978).

This would make a killer black light poster. I’ll beef up the saturation on this a little so we can see what that might look like.


Here are some recent comments from the mailbag:

This is a comment on yesterday’s Fighting American post.


That may be Joe Simon inking somebody–but it’s not Kirby.

The pencils might be by John Prentice–one of the guys that worked at the Simon and Kirby studios.

– Frank

A recent Kirby comment from Kenn Thomas:

Watching my cartoons this morning (Saturday habit of long standing) I notice that this Young Justice show on Cartoon Network used the Forever People last night, although it turned Infinity Man into something like a Transformer robot. Previously the show used ideas from Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen, like the genetics project (called Cadmus now) and Dubbilex. So there’s Kirby again, all over what’s going on in TV animation.

An article from Arlen Schumer:

Charles Hatfield has a wordpress blog set up for his new book on Kirby called Hand of Fire.

An email directing you to some original Kirby art:

G’day Rob. Over at Kirby Creates, Mark Luebker posted a link to Heritage Auctions where the 13 page Jack Kirby Thor story from JIM 88 is currently on offer.

On page 13 of the story, a pastup has fallen off, revealing the original artwork. I thought you might be interested in seeing the original, and published versions of the page.

All the best,


Another comment from Kenn:

I was reading this small Ditko fanzine, Ditkomania, tonight and found the attached. Apparently there’s more than one version of Amazing Fanatsy #15 by Kirby. I thought you might be interested and might flush out the significance.  You might know this zine, since it does reference Kirby Dynamics . Published by Rob Imes in Southgate, MI. Latest (Halloween) issue, #86.

Four Panels From Fighting American # 6

Four panels from Fighting American # 6 (1955), “Deadly Doolittle.” The Kirby Checklist attributes these inks to Joe Simon. I’m not a Simon expert, but do these inks look like Simon to you all? Almost looks a little like Kirby/Wood in that 3rd panel. Great example of a hero encountering a classic femme fatale. I love the “boing” sound effect in the first panel.

Cap and Hulk Buttons

Looks like originally the Captain America button I showed you  was on the same page as the artwork for the Hulk button. I suppose the owner must have cut the piece in half, maybe feeling the art had more value in two pieces?

Captain America Button Art

Captain America Marvelmania piece from the 1969. Probably inked by Jack. I also suspect he added the letters and pasted them on. The crafstmanship isn’t all that spectacular on the piece. You can see the stars at the top aren’t the same size and the circles have some sloppy areas, but this was for a tiny botton, so I doubt anyone would’ve noticed.

Here’s the button with several other Marvelmania buttons, all of which look like they were penciled/inked by Kirby.

Fantastic Four # 98 Cover

Classic Kirby/Sinnott Fantastic Four cover. Issue # 98 (May 1970).

One can only wonder what a book like Fantastic Four would have become if Martin Goodman had given Jack some royaties for all of his creations, and Jack had stayed at Marvel and used this book to introduce new characters and concepts. As a huge fan of Kirby/Sinnott I would have loved to have seen that team stay together longer, but it’s hard to complain when looking at Jack’s spectacular work on the Fourth World for DC.