Category Archives: Gallery

Genre Cover Six-Pack


Six great covers from six different genres, all of which Kirby did classic work in for many years.

FOXHOLE #1, 1954. – This is just an amazingly brutal war cover. Very strong concept, amazingly detailed rendering, and very good colour (I’m not sure if Kirby had a hand in the colouring, but the watercolour stuff from the late 1960s and 1970s that he apparently did solo show a similar colour sense to this).

POLICE TRAP #3, 1954. I wonder if an alternate name for this title was POLICE BRUTALITY? Anyway, a nice real-world version of the hard hitting action that Kirby pretty much defined in the super-hero books. Man, all those Mainline books look nice. It would have been interesting to see what they’d have become if the timing was better (as discussed in TJKC #25).

FIRST LOVE ILLUSTRATED #70, 1956. Here’s a nice quiet romance cover, with the usual tension under the surface. I want to draw particular attention on this one to the rendering on the woman’s hair and the flowers.

KID COLT OUTLAW #83, 1959. Unlike some other major western stars of the Marvel/Atlas line, Kid Colt continued on without a Kirby re-design. Kirby did draw a whole bunch of covers for the book (including on GUNSMOKE WESTERN which also featured Kid Colt), though, starting with this one. Inked by Christopher Rule according to the Kirby checklist.

WORLD OF FANTASY #17, 1959. More Rule. A fun science-fantasy scene designed to draw you in. An amusing looking robot, and I like the cape the guy is wearing.

AMAZING FANTASY #15, 1962. Almost certainly the most famous cover-only Kirby book, it’s well known that Steve Ditko did a similar cover solo first, from an angle above the action. Both are great covers, but I prefer this one. It just leaps right out. I do wonder why Spidey is announcing his secret identity to that guy he’s carrying (which is a problem on both versions).

Atlas Cover Gallery [World of Fantasy, Tales to Astonish, Strange Worlds]


A trio of Kirby’s covers to Atlas books from shortly after his return, all three inked by Christopher Rule according to the Kirby Checklist.

TALES TO ASTONISH #3, 1959. Typical Kirby fleeing crowds, and good details on the buildings.

STRANGE WORLDS #5, 1959. A nice break from the giant monster and alien themes that dominate these covers, this looks like a good horror/sci-fi cover, reminds me a bit of the BLACK MAGIC stuff from earlier in the decade. Very nice face on the foreground figure.

WORLD OF FANTASY #15, 1958. And here we get some nice Kirby machinery, though not as elaborate as he would soon get. And the scan doesn’t really show it, but the aliens are neat, and there’s some good linework on the foreground scientist’s face.

Classic 1950s covers [Hi-School Romance, Love Problems, Wyatt Earp]


HI-SCHOOL ROMANCE #55, 1956. Boy, that guy’s in trouble. Very nice, understated cover, which really shows off Kirby’s skill with facial expressions.

TRUE LOVE PROBLEMS AND ADVICE ILLUSTRATED #38, 1956. This is one of my absolute favourite of the romance covers, and I just wish there was a Kirby story to go along with it. Heck, I’d like to know if there’s a non-Kirby story that fits that cover in the issue.

WYATT EARP #24, 1959. And more western fun for all. I like how in a composition like this Kirby manages to capture a key moment, with Earp just ready to move, frozen in a classic Kirby pose.

Lesser Villains of the early 1960s


A trio of Kirby-on-the-outside books from the early Marvel Universe, showing not everyone was a Doctor Doom, Magneto or Modok.

STRANGE TALES #112, 1963. Inker unknown, possibly Ayers? Nicely drawn figure, but the Eel has one of the dullest costumes ever. Which I guess is fine for his profession, but doesn’t make for splashy comics.

TALES OF SUSPENSE #45, 1963. Don Heck inks. I dunno, I just find it amusing that Happy and Pepper got such a big build-up on their first appearance. Well, they probably did deserve it more than Jack Frost.

TALES TO ASTONISH #47, 1963. Dick Ayers inks. Ah, menaced by a giant piano playing hand. Is it any wonder that they added growing powers just a few issues later?

More 1970s Marvel covers


JUNGLE ACTION #18, 1975. Klaus Janson inks, which works better than I expected (but then I’m mostly familiar with Janson from a few years later). This is shortly before Kirby would re-claim the character for his solo series.

AVENGERS, THE #148, 1976. Al Milgrom inks, and Kirby’s chance to draw the Squadron Supreme. I’m kind of disappointed they didn’t get Murphy Anderson to re-draw Hyperion’s face…

THOR #250, 1976. Joe Sinnott inks. Ah, Balder, Sif, the Warriors Three and Mangog. That’s some good stuff. Makes me very grateful that Marvel got Kirby to draw all these covers in the 1970s.

Romance Covers


HI-SCHOOL ROMANCE #57, 1956 & FIRST ROMANCE MAGAZINE #41, 1956. At a certain point romance covers really do become variations on a theme, don’t they? A lot of them are the couple in the foreground with the potential jealous rival looking on from the background, like these two Harvey issues. Still look nice, though.

LOVE ROMANCES #106, 1963. Some of Kirby’s last work in the romance genre, as the super-heroes were soon taking up all his time. I like the attention to detail in the furnishing of the room in the background, as well as the usual sexy female leads.

1940s Kirby covers


Another trio of covers from the 1940s

CHARLIE CHAN #3, 1948. These S&K Charlie Chan covers really look cool. It’s almost a shame he apparently didn’t do any full stories (apparently just a splash page or panel in two issues).

GREEN HORNET #10, 1942. A Killer Clown is always a winner. They seem unusually common in comics, compared to reality. Kind of like pirates.

BOY COMMANDOS #8, 1944. That’s an awfull big porthole, isn’t it? Anyway, as Kirby was off to Europe, the Commandos were off to Japan.

More 70s Marvel Covers


MARVEL DOUBLE FEATURE #13, 1975. Kirby did a handful of new covers for this reprint book (generally for issues where the original TALES OF SUSPENSE cover featured the Iron Man story, and one featuring Modok which I’ll have to post for all you Modok lovers, and I know they’re out there), including this one inked by Frank Giacoia. Those dead sidekicks are nothing but trouble. The interior Cap reprint is a Gil Kane issue, from Kirby’s brief gap drawing the feature in 1967.

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #19, 1976. Man, for an idol o’ millions, Benjy got no respect, having to be rescued by Tigra the Were-Woman (a name which somewhat confused me, since a werewolf is a person who turns into a wolf, so shouldn’t she be a were-tiger or something?). Anyway, Giacoia on inks again.

FANTASTIC FOUR #172, 1976. Joe Sinnott inked this cover, though it’s one of those that was somewhat modified, around the faces of the non-rocky FF members. I’m not sure why anyone would think Kirby drawings of the FF need correcting, either. Pitting the Thing up against an old Thor villain. I wonder if Kirby came back to Marvel, saw every old, obscure character he created in the 1960s being brought back and wondered if anyone had created anything new in the five years he was gone. Well, other than Tigra…

Ancient Cover Gallery


A few pre-Silver Age gems.

ADVENTURE COMICS #92, 1944. Look out behind you Sandman, it’s a trap! Where’s Sandy when you need him…

HEADLINE COMICS #44, 1951. Nice to see them cracking down on some of those white-collar criminals for a change. Very eye-catching covers on these old crime books. I like that lackey off to the left.

WARFRONT #29, 1956. Man, those Harvey war comics could get violent.

1970s retro covers


A few 1970s pieces that bring back some old heroes, villains and costumes.

IRON MAN #92, 1976. Inked by Al Milgrom. I like this one, with Kirby drawing the original armour one more time, and a nice general silver age look to the layout.

AVENGERS, THE #154, 1976. Milgrom again. I like Attuma, he’s one of the better minor villains of the 1960s books, although the disembodied talking heads of the Avengers are a little creepy.

INVADERS, THE #33, 1978. Dave Cockrum inks, which I think is one of the few, if not only, time we saw that combination. Cockrum is, to my mind, one of the best of the mainstream artists to come out of the 1970s, so that’s nice to see.