New Kirby – Jack Kirby Collector #44


Now in stores, JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #44, with the Demon on the cover, two full-story reprints from BLACK MAGIC, lots of other stuff. Quick notes on the issue.

Highlight, as always for the past few issues, is the section of full story reprints, this time two stories from BLACK MAGIC #4 (“Voodoo on Tenth Avenue”) and #31 (“Slaughter-House”). Both great stories on their own merits, and with the added benefit of interesting connections to other future Kirby work. “Slaughter-House” is about the aftermath of an alien invasion, and how the “bugs” round up humans. Chilling stuff, and parts of it, especially the last caption (a warning to “those who expect a visitation from space to bring us dreams fulfilled by the hands of an alien culture”), bring to mind his thoughts on the creation of CAPTAIN VICTORY and other works. “Voodoo” is also good stuff, and of course the ending famously is very similar to the Puppet Master story in FF #8 a decade later. Anyway, both good stuff, and very well reconstructed from printed copies (as is a “Tales of Asgard” splash elsewhere in the issue). I hope they do a separate book of these when they have enough pages.

Lots of artwork of note in this issue, especially from the 1970s.

The title page is a Roman gladiator image that saw print in an inked form in a 1980s issue of BURIED TREASURE.

Several pages for the unrealized THUNDERFOOT book, which looks like it would have been a funny book in the DEVIL DINOSAUR vein.

Partial pencils for this image, which reveals it was apparently meant to be part of a Captain Victory story. Interestingly, the pencils of the last page of the last issue of THE DEMON suggest if there had been a #17 it would have featured a vampire story. Kirby seemed to like vampires…

Lots of pencils from other issues of THE DEMON, which more and more I’m thinking was among Kirby’s best work of the 1970s, taken as a whole.

An unused page from the “Atlas” story in FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL adds a lot to the characters.

Lots of Thor art as well, which is always good to see, including a look at where exactly the Origin of Galactus that was squeezed into the book might have come from (some interesting speculation that the Galactus Trilogy might have had his origin, with the pages being pulled and then used in THOR years later.

There’s a BLACK PANTHER cover (with Abner Little) where it’s also interesting to note that at least as far as when Kirby did #6 the plan was still to continue JUNGLE ACTION rather than launch the Panther’s own book.

An interesting interview with Kirby from The Journal of Popular Culture. It’s one of those odd interviews where the interviewer is obviously much more familiar with Kirby’s work than Kirby is, and discussing the details of his themes and writing influences rather than the usual focus of Kirby interviews. So you get weird long questions (sample part of a question “…an impersonal technological deity with the Orwellian name of Brother Eye. This machine was designed by Myron Forest, deceased, whose name sounds like ‘My run Forest,’ which suggests ‘My run in the Forest,’ which in turn suggests…”), but Kirby’s reactions to some of them do reveal some interesting things you don’t get in the usual interviews.

Mark Evanier’s column this time concentrates on Syd Shores and why his inking looked the way it did, using his history with Marvel to tell a lot of Marvel history, including their attempts to expand in the late 1960s and some of the resulting artistic shifts.

In the editorial, it’s mentioned that the FF DVD will include a one hour documentary about Kirby, including interviews with his kids and various notables from the comic industry. So that’ll probably be worth renting or borrowing. Still no money or proper credit, but it’s something.

UPDATE: It was later announced that the documentary was pulled from the first release of the DVD, might be on a future “special edition”. So not worth renting or borrowing.

Lots of other articles that I’ll be reading later. One has an interesting find on a possible source for the design of Etrigan, a 1922 movie HAXAN, which was re-released in 1968. Although as I recall either Evanier or Sherman telling the story, Kirby did go back and actually look at the Foster original from Prince Valiant before drawing the character, not draw it from memory, which should be mentioned in the article if that’s the case.

Front cover is inked by Matt Wagner, based on an image from HEROES AND VILLAINS. He has two other tries at the image inside. I kind of prefer the first one, dismissed for being “too Royer”, but the one they used has an interesting ink-wash effect. The backcover is a painting by Georgio Comolo, based on a Galactus splash page from THOR #160, which doesn’t quite work for me. I kind of like the same artist’s version of the double page spread from THE DEMON #7 shown inside.

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