Category Archives: Upcoming Kirby

Upcoming Kirby – CHALLENGERS Omnibus

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Coming in June from DC, a single volume hardcover of Kirby’s 1950s run on CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN in a format to match the other recent Kirby reprints from DC.  The stories were previously collected in two Archives hardcovers and in the black and white Showcase Presents format.

CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN OMNIBUS BY JACK KIRBY HC
Written by DAVE WOOD and JACK KIRBY • Art by JACK KIRBY, WALLACE WOOD, MARVIN STEIN and others • Cover by JACK KIRBY
On sale JUNE 20 • 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US
Now in one amazing volume collecting SHOWCASE 6, 7, 11 and 12 and CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN #1-8, these are the original 1950s tales of four death defying adventurers and their incredible exploits.

Upcoming Kirby – S&K Library Science Fiction and Horror volumes

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Titan has just announced the next two volumes in their SIMON & KIRBY LIBRARY series, with SCIENCE FICTION scheduled for the fall of 2012 and HORROR in 2013.

The science fiction volume will include Blue Bolt and various other 1940s and 1950s material.  The RACE FOR THE MOON stuff is especially good.  The horror book will have stories from BLACK MAGIC and STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS.  Should be a great pair of books to go with the existing books.

Upcoming Kirby – Romance collection from Fantagraphics

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Some discussion in the comments to the previous post about YOUNG ROMANCE: THE BEST OF SIMON & KIRBY’S 1940S-’50S ROMANCE COMICS, an upcoming book from Fantagraphics, including a link to some comments from editor Michel Gagné on the history of the project and some sample panels.

Upcoming Kirby – Next two Kirby Collectors

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The 57th issue of TwoMorrows’ THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR is available now.  The next issue is a change in format, with a double issue looking at Kirby’s 1960s work at Marvel, scheduled to come out in November.  Then in February 2012 comes TJKC #59, billed as a look into the “Kirby Vault”, with “personal correspondence from Jack to fans and co-workers, private photos and accounts from family and friends’ interaction with Kirby, a gallery of his amazing collage work, rare art from Marvelmania, bootleg album covers featuring Kirby art, private sketches, and other artifacts. PLUS: A transcript of a never-before released 1969 visit of San Diego fans to the Kirby home (where Jack answers all the questions you would ask if you were there in ’69)!”.  Should be a good one.

Note that issues of TJKC are available in both in print format (tabloid sized since #31) and in downloadable digital editions.  The digital editions are free with purchases of the print editions direct from the TwoMorrows website, or available for purchase separately from the website.

Upcoming Kirby – SPIRIT WORLD hardcover

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[update, official solicitation text below]

Quite a bit of commentary in a previous post about the SPIRIT WORLD hardcover from DC showing up on the schedule from various on-line sellers for April 2012.  Usual caveats about listings this far in advance being even more subject to change in release date, format, price, contents and existence than normal.  Mark Evanier has confirmed that, as the 108-page count suggests, the intention is to include the material intended for the unpublished SPIRIT WORLD #2, and that he is writing the introduction.

Some background for those unfamiliar.  When Kirby signed with DC  in 1970 his initial work was on the Fourth World books, but he also later developed some non-superhero material, including several magazines intended to be upscale productions to appeal to other readers. Those magazines were in genres that Kirby was very experienced in from his work with Joe Simon in the 1940s and 1950s, with a crime theme (IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB), horror/fantasy (SPIRIT WORLD) and romance (TRUE DIVORCE CASES).  DC wound up publishing only the first issues of IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB and SPIRIT WORLD in the summer of 1971, in a not-quite-so-upscale monochrome wash (greyish on MOB, a sort of sickly blue on SPIRIT WORLD) newsprint format under the “Hampshire Distributors Speak-Out Series” imprint which I don’t think was used for anything else.  Some of the contents prepared for SPIRIT WORLD #2 eventually saw print in colour in DC’s anthology comics of the time:
FORBIDDEN TALES OF DARK MANSION #6 [1972]
WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #1 [1972]
WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #2 [1972]
WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #3 [1972]

At least some of the stories were modified in major ways.

(I’ll see if I can get a post up on SPIRIT WORLD #1 in the next few weeks)

Some material for MOB #2 saw print in black and white several years later in DC’s short-lived in-house promotional magazine AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS (#1 in 1974 and #10 in 1976). TRUE DIVORCE remained unpublished by DC, although a few of the stories with black lead characters were apparently seen to fill a niche DC wanted to explore and Kirby did several other stories with similar themes for a proposed magazine called SOUL LOVE. That also remained unpublished.

A lot of the unpublished material, in various states of completion, have seen print in various fan publications over the years, especially THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR, which has had a few full stories from the romance books.

Anyway, still a lot of questions about this new book, most of which will be answered closer to publication.  Will the trim size be the larger format of the originals, or matching DC’s other Kirby reprints?  Will the stories be printed in full colour or monochrome, or mixed based on their original publications, and will they try to duplicate that blue shade of the original or go with straight black and white?  Will all unpublished pages be included, either restoring the original stories or separately as extras?  Will the giant collage poster from #1 (missing in many copies, including mine) be included, and will it be full size? Same for any poster that might have been intended for #2, if it was completed? And will we see the crime and romance material (re)-printed anytime soon?  I know I have my preferred answers, I’m sure you do, too, and so does whoever at DC actually decides these things, which is probably the only answer that matters.

Update, here’s the official solicitation:

SPIRIT WORLD HC
Written by JACK KIRBY, MARK EVANIER, STEVE SHERMAN and SERGIO ARAGONES
Art by JACK KIRBY, VINCE COLLETTA, MIKE ROYER and SERGIO ARAGONES
Cover by JACK KIRBY and NEAL ADAMS
ADVANCE SOLICITED • On sale APRIL 11 • 108 pg, 10” x 13.5”, B&W/FC, $39.99 US
After leaving Marvel Comics at the end of the 1960s, Jack Kirby came to DC Comics, where he soon created the series of superhero comics known collectively as “The Fourth World.” But before that came SPIRIT WORLD, a magazine that delved into the occult and the supernatural.
Now, DC reprints that hard-to-find title for the very first time in this new hardcover, including four stories completed for the second issue that appeared in WEIRD MYSTERY TALES 1-3 and FORBIDDEN TALES OF DARK MANSION #6, plus a pin-up version of the striking cover image by Kirby and Neal Adams!

Well, 10” x 13.5” is considerably bigger than the original magazine, that’s up at JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR size. That’s good, because the price is pretty steep (though fair enough considering the cost of getting SPIRIT WORLD #1 and those four comics where the debris from #2 scattered). I’m not sure why they seem to think SPIRIT WORLD pre-dated the Fourth World, that doesn’t seem to match the evidence (the editorial codes and the release dates). If anyone more expert than I cares to weigh in feel free. No mention of the original poster bound in to #1, or any planned for #2. Don’t really care about getting a “pin-up version” of Neal Adams’ work on the cover, I hope they include whatever exists of the pure Kirby (or even Kirby/Colletta) cover, which I think appeared in a KIRBY COLLECTOR (I really do need to get around to my plan to index all the art in TJKC for easy reference on occasions like this…).

Upcoming Kirby – Sky Masters and others

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Greg Theakston is doing a new reprinting of Jack Kirby’s 1958-1961 science fiction comic strip SKY MASTERS OF THE SPACE FORCE.  Looks like he’s doing it in two volumes this time, with the first one being 138 pages, which is about right for the first 500 or so of 774 daily strips (4 to a page in the previous edition), with the remainder of those and the 53 Sunday full pages left for a second book.  Diamond comic order code is AUG111171.

There’s also the usual slate of Marvel stuff coming out, the last monster/fantasy TALES TO ASTONISH hardcover volume, FANTASTIC FOUR reprints, a YOUNG ALLIES reprint backing a collection of new stories and a new version of the old FANTASTIC FIRSTS book, now MARVEL FIRSTS: THE 1960s (so, bonus, no Wolverine this time…).

Upcoming Kirby – Someday and a Sampler

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Coming this fall from Abrams ComicsArts is THE SOMEDAY FUNNIES, edited by Michel Choquette, an anthology of comics about the 1960s begun in the early 1970s, and including among the contributors Jack Kirby with a two page story “The Ballad of Beardsley Bullfeather, or, Tune In — Cop-Out and Drop-Up!”.  It’s a nice little story, but if you don’t want to buy a $55 book just for that, other contributors include C. C. Beck, Rene Goscinny, Harvey Kurtzman, Moebius, Art Spiegelman, William Burroughs, Federico Fellini, Frank Zappa and Gahan Wilson.

Bit of an odd choice both in timing and content for this book from DC:

DC COMICS PRESENTS: THE JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS SAMPLER #1
Written by Various
Art by JACK KIRBY and others
Cover by JACK KIRBY
On sale OCTOBER 26  96 pg, $7.99
With the JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS VOL. 1 – STARRING GREEN ARROW HC on the way, DC presents this selection of Kirby mystery stories from the 1950s, pulled from the pages of HOUSE OF SECRETS #3, 8 and 12, HOUSE OF MYSTERY #76, TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #13, 1 and 24 and MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #15, 16 17, 20 and 21, plus a Green Arrow tale from ADVENTURE COMICS #251!

That KIRBY OMNIBUS that this is sampling should be out in a few weeks, and this sampler is a bit under a third of the contents of the book. You’d think they’d have the sampler come out prior to the book in question.  I also think this would have been more effective as an overall Kirby sampler, maybe with a few of these stories mixed in with some Sandman, Newsboy Legion, Boy Commandos, one of the as-yet-unreprinted Manhunter tales, a Challengers story, maybe a 1970s story or two.

Also from DC,

JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS VOL. 1 TP
Written by JACK KIRBY • Art and cover by JACK KIRBY and VINCE COLLETTA
On sale NOVEMBER 30 304 pg, FC, $39.99
At last, the first title in the acclaimed FOURTH WORLD series is in trade paperback, collecting SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #133-139, FOREVER PEOPLE #1-3, NEW GODS #1-3 and MISTER MIRACLE #1-3! Featuring the debuts of Orion, Darkseid, Mister Miracle and more!

The contents suggest that’s a straight softcover edition of the 2007 book, although the page count is low for the contents, so one or the other is probably a typo.

Upcoming Kirby – More Fighting American shirts

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For those who like such things, another pair of Fighting American t-shirts coming out soon, to go with the previously announced shirts and mugs.

Upcoming Kirby – Theakston bio continued

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To go with the previously announced but not yet released first volume, Greg Theakston’s concluding volume of his Kirby biography is also scheduled for this summer:


Jack Magic Vol. 02: The Life & Art of Jack Kirby

by Greg Theakston
Witness Jack Kirby up close with almost 200 illustrations that support 160 pages on the King of Comics. From the Marvel era to past the end of his life, Kirby’s influence is investigated. Unseen art kisses unknown fact. Theakston writes an insider’s view of what happened.

Upcoming Kirby – Fighting American merchandise

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Titan has some officially licensed merchandise of the Simon and Kirby creation Fighting American coming out and listed in the May 2011 Diamond Comics Previews catalog.

That’s two different t-shirt designs and two mugs.  The shirts are listed at $20 each (page 366) and the mugs $9 (page 428).