At July 2008’s Comic-Con International: San Diego, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auctioned “The Teacher!”, a story Jack Kirby wrote and drew for National Periodical Publications’ aborted Soul Love magazine. Inked by Vincent Colletta and possibly lettered by John Costanza, “The Teacher!” was one of six stories Kirby produced for Soul Love.
The many white-out and blue pencil corrections on the characters’ faces throughout this story point to the turmoil of the Soul Love project.
Having moved to California in early 1969 and left Marvel a little more than a year later, Kirby pitched a number of trend- and segment-hopping ideas to his new publisher, National (DC). One possibility was DC entering the non-juvenile black-and-white comics magazine segment. Trailblazed a decade and a half earlier by William Gaines with Mad Magazine to avoid the Comics Code Authority in the wake of the U.S. Senate’s “Kefauver” Juvenile Delinquency Hearings, the black-and-white comics magazine segment was the haven of Warren Magazines, publishers of Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella.
Unfortunately, the distribution of Kirby and DC’s first entries into the segment, Spirit World and In The Days of the Mob magazines, was unreliable. Soul Love, intended to tap into the black “urban” market, died on the vine; in addition to the distribution woes, the magazine was hindered by tinkering with the art at the DC offices over concerns of the representation of African-American faces.
As with all pieces included in the Kirby Museum’s Original Art Digital Archive, both sides of the art pages were scanned at 600 dpi, in RGB color, and saved with a lossless compression algorithm.
Thanks to the CBLDF for allowing us the time to scan this wonderful ten page artifact from an interesting period of Kirby’s career.
A few of the pages: