A few quick comments on TJKC #42, the most recent issue. First thing, a note in here mentions that BACK ISSUE #10 has an article on Kirby’s b&w magazines for DC, published and unpublished. Anyone seen that and can give a rundown on what’s included (especially if there’s any unpublished art that hasn’t been seen in TJKC yet).
The main focus this time is on the early part of Kirby’s 1970s stint at DC, especially on JIMMY OLSEN. The front cover is inked by Kevin Nowlan, with the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion based on two sketches Kirby included with his bound copies of his STAR-SPANGLED COMICS issues. It’s okay, I guess, but pretty liberally interpreting of Kirby’s linework. The backcover is Murphy Anderson providing an inked version of an unused JIMMY #147 cover (and with Mike Royer providing the lettering). Also maybe a bit too free with the linework, but he did only have a bad photocopy to work with, and maintained most of Kirby’s power at least. Fortunately the source material and related stuff is shown inside (I like Nowlan’s first try at inking better than the final version).
The Opening Shot looks at how Kirby’s work on JIMMY OLSEN was reflected in other Superman books, in particular LOIS LANE, which is kind of interesting, but more interesting is the closeup of one panel from JIMMY with the Plastino paste-up Superman head removed. DC really does seem to have been conflicted about wanting Kirby’s influence on Superman, but without that, y’know, Kirby influence.
Mark Evanier has his usual column, this time with some interesting notes on Kirby’s cover designs, eating preferences and politics. Some nice art and photos, including a crazily complex robot design that Kirby gave to Don Heck in 1966.
Shel Dorf provides a nice transcript from a taped interview Kirby did with several fans in 1969, where he discusses, among other things, the upcoming first San Diego Con where he would be a mainstay for several decades. This was shortly before he signed with DC, so his answer to whether he’d be at Marvel for a long while is interesting. Nice artwork for this section, too, including the obligatory San Diego Five-String Mob artwork and a recently inked unused FF cover by Joe Sinnott, as seen on Tom Kraft’s site.
Odd unused JIMMY page from #144, inexpertly inked unfortunately, with a discussion about how the Guardian’s story just seemed to be suddenly dropped a few issues before the end. Following that is a more in-depth look at Kirby’s first issue of JIMMY from the perspective of a fan buying it off the racks.
An interview with the creators of the recent RADIOACTIVE MAN with the Kirby pastiche, an issue I enjoyed, but it’s not Kirby so maybe takes a bit too much space, especially with four pages of “Kirby as a Genre” in the same issue and the visit to the FF set, which I’m sure is of interest to some. Good to see another example of Kirby’s FF cartoon storyboards.
Another interesting article about JIMMY, this one with some insights on his working relationship with E. Nelson Bridwell over in New York on the book, plus a short interview with Neal Adams.
One of the highlights of the issues is the long article about the original Newsboy Legion stories, with lots of cover and splash page reprints and comments about the stories that weren’t reprinted in the 1970s. Man, I hope we see a decent collection of those someday, as the early ones when Kirby was still heavily involved seem great.
Kirby Obscura looks at some nice work drawn in the 1950s for Harvey and DC, including old favourite BLAST-OFF #1.
First Gallery section is devoted to pencils from JIMMY OLSEN, all published pages but when it comes to JIMMY that still means a lot of the faces are unpublished. I especially liked the inclusion of the page from the “Arin” story in #146, one of my favourite Kirby shorts.
The absolute highlight of the issue is the complete reprint of the 10-page S&K story “This Way to the Gallows, If You Please” from JUSTICE TRAPS THE GUILTY #9 (1949). Great restoration of the linework and an amazing story, a nice witty crime classic. That section also includes one of the unpublished IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB pages and some nice photos of Kirby drawing at a convention. They’re planning on including more public domain stories, to which I can only say bring it on. Might be nice to see them printed full page instead of some of the non-Kirby content in the issue.
Second Gallery has more good stuff, including several pages from the unpublished b&w romance mags of the 1970s and, drumroll, two unpublished Dingbats of Danger Street pages. Man, that unpublished 1970s stuff needs to be printed in one place once and for all, instead of spread out page by page across dozens of fanzines.
The letter column has some interesting speculation on the unused 1960s Hulk pages printed in #41, with various theories on where exactly they fit in.
The issue closed with Mike Royer’s new inks for the unused JIMMY OLSEN #133 cover which has probably now seen more play than the replacement DC insisted on.
Very good issue, despite some superfluous stuff, thanks to the fact that the highlights were very special indeed.