Fantastic Four # 72 (Mar 1968), page 16. Kirby/Sinnott.
This is actually a pretty average page in terms of it’s visual impact, but I wanted to take a moment and say: in my opinion, the Kirby/Sinnott FF period represents a high point in the history of comics art. Sure, you could argue there have been better artists or more important artists in comics before or since, but I think the late 60s Kirby/Sinnott artwork was on a completely different level than anything being produced at that time in terms of it’s dynamism and craftsmanship.
You may not find the Kirby/Sinnott arwork to be the best ever produced in the history of the comics medium — because we all have different tastes — but you can’t argue that this late 60s Kirby/Sinnott material was unlike anything on the newsstands at that time in terms of it’s sheer visual inventiveness and power. I suspect this arwork has had an influence on probably every artist who is working in comics right now.
I’ve said many times before that the Kirby/Sinnott artwork represents a high point in comics as visual literature, and I personally don’t think any comics artist or artists will ever top it in terms of how original, powerful and popular it was during a particular era. Late 60s Kirby/Sinnott comics art set the gold standard for quality comics storytelling.
And I understand all the arguments against what I just said, but to me, for example, I don’t see anything topping the Beatles in the 1960s in terms of the impact and relevance a rock band can have on pop culture. In the same way, I don’t see anything topping the impact the 60s Kirby/Sinnott material had on pop culture in terms of comics. Certainly Lennon/McCartney are more well-known than Jack and Joe, and obviously there are lots of great comics artists and there will be many many more as the decades pass, I just think that Jack and Joe’s work was transcendent.
But I’m biased, I enjoyed reading that stuff as a kid in the 70s buying the FF reprints off the spinner rack at the local 7-11, so I’m sure that experience had a big impact on me. It’s probably better for me to say Jack and Joe’s FF work is my favorite comics art. And maybe those guys produced the best comics art of all time. Like everything I’m sure things like that will be debated for all time, if anyone even cares about comics a hundred years from now.