5 thoughts on “~23 minutes of Jack Kirby drawing

  1. Anonymous

    this is really cool to see jack draw doom on tape I’ve been a fan of his for long while and this thrilled me to jack drawing one my favorite villains very awesome

    Shawn Atkins (satkins@workshop13.net)

  2. Anonymous

    What a shame the drawing ended up being inked. Love Kirby’s comment when told Doom was injured when trying to contact his mother in the netherworld, “Oh-oh, I see.”
    Not only the comment, but his tone of voice is hysterical.

  3. Jon Bogdanove

    Although the camera focuses only on the drawing and Jack’s hand, I found it interesting how formal and rigid his position seemed to be. He never seemed to shift of readjust his position. He controlled the paper with economic movements of his left hand while his right continued to draw. In other words, his form was very strict. Most artists I know, including myself, have to hunch over the drawing table, leaning forward for depth of detail and pulling back to keep a survey of overall design. I also must fidget to keep a directly perpendicular view of the page so as not to develop a skewed perspective. I have a hard time imagining working 14-15 hours straight in exactly the same position, as this video suggests Jack might have done.
    Even more interesting was his technique. I’d often heard that Jack could start by drawing an eye or something in the upper right hand corner of the page and just draw the whole page directly, as if he were just tracing a ghost image that was already there. But, in this video, he does pretty much what most of us do– lightly sketch the basic forms until he was happy with the layout, and then proceed to go over the drawing many times, progressively tightening and refining everything until he’s zeroed in and nailed it. This is the same time-consuming most of us must use!
    What that suggests to me is that, even with his prodigious speed, Jack’s reported 5 page/day output must have put him at his desk, in the same grueling posture, for at least 14 hours/day!
    Can anyone out there deny or verify this?
    The main difference between Jack’s method and my own is that Jack never seems to erase! I think most comic book artists, with perhaps the exception of John Byrne, all have to erase things from time to time. But I don’t recall ever seeinng any obvious erasures on any Kirby pencils I’ve been lucky enough to examine. So, I guess maybe that bit of Kirby apocrypha was true. Did he in fact say he never erased because “they don’t pay me to erase.” ?


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