From: Kenn Thomas

From: Kenn Thomas

Re: Stan Taylor’s Comment

While I do not agree that Spiderman is any more or less logical than any comic story and I don’t think it’s paced better than FF#1 or anything like that, Stan Taylor really gets at the crux of the matter in his latest comment at Kirby Dynamics. In fact, this is where the “Kirby kult” business has come up in my experience arguing with people interested in Kirby. What many typically identify as “bad” writing–not just story improbabilities and plot holes, but the odd use of quotations marks and the “this one’s a grabber!” language idiosyncrasies–are part of what makes Kirby’s work valuable and meaningful. This has made me a “kultist” to some because I’m saying bad is good out of blind worship of Jack Kirby. I often compare Kirby to the Beat writers like Allen Ginsberg, also condemned for his defiance of writing conventions.

Allen GInsberg

What was more lowly in literary American in the 50s than 60s than a beatnik? A comic book writer. That’s an enormous mainstream prejudice seconded only by relatively recent comics historians and critics many of whom still are overly defensive about the literary value of comics. I’m not a fan of the kind of pseudo-sophistication that writers like Neil Gaiman bring to comics but it would be unreasonable to expat another Jack Kirby, precisely because Kirby was such a unique genius. What Stan Lee produced in that period never amounted to more than a girlie mag giggle. It’s not “kultish” to make these observations, it’s just context. All kinds of writers do all kinds of things, what Kirby does with his graphic language just puts him on a different stage.