I thought I’d go ahead and add a few things to today’s post. I’m going to be moving in a different direction here at Kirby Dynamics for a lot of different reasons. I’ll discuss that in more detail when I wrap up this series on the 70s Captain America books and the shameful coup d’état that was taking place in the 70s Captain America letters pages.
By the way, to Kirby Museum Director Rand Hoppe, can you please increase the font size on Kirby Dynamics? As I write this post on WordPress, I cannot read it. The text is too tiny. I can’t tell you how stupid I feel writing a weblog that I cannot read. Seriously. It’s like a bad sitcom joke. Just please take a moment and increase my font size. I’d also like readers to be able to read my weblog. Many read things on small handheld devices. I’d like them to be able to read the text here without having to use a microscope. Thank you.
Okay, getting back to my original thread, let me start by saying obviously we all learn (probably around 5-years-old or earlier) that all humans have different opinions. So I realize a lot of people out there will disagree with what I’m about to do (if you are fairly observant, you’ll pick up what Kirby Dynamics’ new direction is going to be after checking out the next 5 posts).
I know most of you will ignore the suggestion I’m about to make for a long list of reasons, but I encourage you to participate with me in the process of examining single HD images — what I’d like you to do is go ahead and upload the single panels I am posting, and look at them closely. Zoom in. Imagine them as a single stand-alone piece of art and take a moment to soak them in, like if you were at a Museum walking up to a painting and checking out details a photograph can’t capture.
That’s one of the reasons I invested what for me was a substantial amount of money in Kirby artwork in the mid-2000s. Believe me, I worked my ass of to afford every single page. I’d save $50 bucks here, $100 there, and it was hard. But it was also fun. I was part of that whole global flea market atmosphere that took place during the 2000s where every body was unloading their junk and the spirit of the chase was part of the pseudo-excitement. I was what I call a C-list Kirby collector. Meaning I could not come even close to affording the A-list stuff which sold for 10s of thousands of dollars. I also couldn’t afford the B-list stuff which sold for 1000s of dollars. I was what I call the Kirby bottom-feeder. I was able to grab pages the millionaires weren’t interested in. I’d say I paid on average $400 a page, which was (and is) a HUGE friggin’ amount of money for a comic book page. I basically broke even when I sold the collection so it was a good investment. It was an honor to be the caretaker of that art for about 5 years or so, but I’ve moved onto other things so I hope the new owners enjoy the mini-masterpieces.
I loved having a chance to examine the art closely. Only a super-HD scan like the one I am presenting here today (in that last post) comes close to capturing the wealth of detail you can see on Jack’s originals. No, I didn’t sit around for years drooling all over this stuff like a psychopath and I’m not asking you to do that either. Maybe once every couple months on a Saturday I’d go out in my backyard and I’d let the sun hit the pages and I’d enjoy looking at them for maybe a few minutes, then they’d go back into their box. So although I suspect most of you won’t be interested in zooming into single panels of Kirby art (and quite frankly I know you all are very busy just trying to survive) this is pretty much the new direction I’m going to move into. As long as I can, I’m going to be posting single HD scans of Jack Kirby panels. Again, I’ll discuss my specific reasons for this change of direction in more depth later.
Looking at the Kirby Dynamics WordPress stats for this month you can see I’ll probably hit about maybe 10,000 hits for May 2013. That big spike in early May was when Tom Supurgeon mentioned Kirby Dynamics on comicsreporter.com. Thanks to people like Tom for helping Kirby fans promote Jack.
If the numbers here drop like a bomb, I’ll do this weblog for another year and then just turn this into an archive — the last thing I want is for this to be some lame blog that sucks. I personally love looking at these HD images, but if readers bail, I’ll pull the plug.
So at least into 2014 I do want to continue to post something about Jack every day because I think that helps keep his memory alive. I feel I can set aside a few hours each week to keep broadcasting, especially now when Jack’s creations are generating billions of dollars, and entertaining and inspiring billions of people — and they will continue to entertain and inspire billions for as long as human civilization (and Disney) exists. Now is the time to discuss Jack and promote his legacy.
One final thing. Is Mark Evanier still alive?
Red Alert! Red Alert! Mark Evanier, come in Mark! Over.
I had a question for him. I emailed him twice and never heard back. Anybody out there who knows Mark Evanier? Can you email him and let him know Rob Steibel from Kirby Dynamics would like to ask him a question. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I certainly hope Mark hasn’t added himself to the relatively tiny list of people who “hate” me because of my criticisms of Stan Lee. Or who knows, I’ve written 1300 posts here, if, God forbid I offended Mark, my sincere apologies. I genuinely respect Mark, I have defended him on many occasions, and he answered several of my questions about Jack in the past which I appreciate and continue to be grateful for.
Anyway, if possible, Mark, if you are out there on the interweb please get in touch, I only require like 2 minutes of your time — I have a Kirby question for you. It’s kinda important (to me) because it would require a certain time investment to follow through on what I’m asking, and I really don’t have that time to begin with, so I wanted to touch base with you. Thanks.
And if I have offended yet another comic book insider? (Shrugging my shoulders) I’m not doing this weblog to win a popularity contest. I did this to celebrate the life and work of Jack Kirby. If somebody disagrees with me? Good. That was my goal: to challenge the comic book status quo I discovered when I stumbled back into the hobby in 2002. A lot of old-school establishment comic book collectors got angry when I did this, but I decided to take a hard line on this subject instead of bowing down to Marvel. I’m glad I still lived in a free society that allowed me to do that.
Jack isn’t my “hero.” I don’t worship humans. I have great respect for Jack’s generation. The survivors of the Great Depression and the soldiers who helped stop the Nazis.
This weblog has been my admittedly meager tribute to them — to what they stood for. The way comic book fandom allowed (and continues to allow) Marvel to steamroll Jack Kirby’s legacy is shameful. I’m embarrassed to be even considered a part of comic book fandom if I am.
And I didn’t do this weblog because I’m some freedom fighter.
I did it because I’m stupid. I knew nothing about Jack Kirby in 2002. I’ve learned a lot since then and I thank the literally 1000s of people who have helped me get to this point. There is a lot to be learned from studying the life and work of Jack Kirby. I suggest you do so yourself. But I also encourage you to do your own research. Don’t just buy one book and parrot the narrative you read there. Gather as much information as you can and follow the information trail. That’s where the real truth can be found. And as I have said all along, this weblog is about more than Jack, I focus on the microcasm of Jack Kirby in order to serve as a springboard to examine the macrocasm which is the 21st century and our future. Jack’s story is the story of America. Jack’s story may be the story of our world.
Jack’s work transcends the petty and irrelevant quarrels that take place amongst comic book collectors. Jack’s work transcends the billionaires who own the rights to his creations and his stories. Jack’s work may just be plain transcendent because that is what great art can be.
Jack Kirby’s life should also serve as a cautionary tale. If a genuine visionary and a genius like Jack Kirby could be virtually erased from popular culture by a clown like Stan Lee and a bumbling corrupt corporation like Marvel, what do you think is going to happen to you in this “New World Order” a handful of elite global billionaire bankers are trying to shove down our throats? America and the whole planet is facing very real disaster on the horizon, something akin to The Horde scenario that frightened Jack when he was writing that novel. Our economy is teetering on a tightrope over a bottomless cliff, I hate to ruin your day but we are all in big trouble. This isn’t a “conspiracy theory,” economic collapse is already happening and it will get much worse.
But in inevitable hard times, Jack Kirby’s story can also be inspiring. With tremendous dedication to his craft, genuine devotion to his beloved family, with sincerity, humor, class, character and an incredible amount of imagination, ingenuity and creativity, Jack Kirby showed what a real American hero can be. We will need to look to the memory of men like Jack Kirby for guidance as our world goes through changes that may eclipse the horrors of the Great Depression and the Second World War in terms of brutality and misery. Humble, hardworking, creative people need to be our new role models, not the vacuous, soulless corporate eunuchs pop culture so deifies today.
Studying Jack Kirby’s work and giving my honest opinions on what I learned here at Kirby Dynamics has been an honor and a privilege. My thanks to all of you out there for sharing your opinions on the subject. Long live the King.