A Brief Pause

The deadline for a Simon and Kirby project I am working on is approaching. It is a deadline I fully intend to meet. Unfortunately that means I really do not have time for much of a post this week, but I will return next week to more typical postings. However I did not want to leave my visitors without anything to look at…

“The Diary of Dr. Hayward” by Jack Kirby

This is one of the works that Kirby did for the Eisner and Iger studio. I believe it appeared in Jumbo Comics #3 (November 1938) but my scan is from a sales print. The existence of such sales prints indicates that despite Will Eisner later comments, the main objective of the studio he formed with Jerry Iger was to market new syndication strips. Their appearance in titles such as Jumbo Comics was just a means of generating income in the mean time. The Eisner and Iger studio did later provide art specifically created for comic book, most famously for Marvel Mystery #1 Wonder Comics #1.

This particular strip is unusual for Kirby. In most of the work that Jack did for Eisner and Iger the backgrounds were uninked white or used a simple grey tone dot screen. In this case Kirby uses a variety of background inking. It would seem that he is experimenting on the effects of the different techniques. Most of these inking methods would not become part of Kirby’s inking style in the years to come.

5 thoughts on “A Brief Pause

  1. Stan Taylor

    Hi Harry,
    Happy Holidays!! to you and Joe. Another beautiful reproduction. Could you explain what you mean by “sales copies” Were these presentations sent to potential clients? I think in your rush to get back to your project you made a small error. Eisner/Iger prepared the comic art for Wonder Comics #1 for Fox, not Marvel Comics #1, that was Funnies Inc, owned by Lloyd Jacquet.

    In panel #2, note the background shading pattern, for want of another term, I’ll call it herringbone. It also shows up in panel #9. It’s not a common pattern, I have only seen it a couple times in other places. Strangely enough, it shows up on the covers of Champion Comics #8 and 9. Note Champion #8 was always credited to Simon and Kirby, but recently, the Kirby inking credit for #8 has been rejected. I have always believed that Kirby did assist on the inking of this cover, and that herringbone shading is one of my pattern matches that I have never seen by Joe Simon previously, but Jack had used it. Of course I haven’t seen all of Joe’s prior work and might have missed something.


  2. Harry Post author


    Thanks for the correction about Marvel Mystery/Wonder Comics, my mind was elsewhere.

    The inking technique that you mentioned (what you referred to as herringbone and I call mottled) is one that Kirby rarely used at this time and did not become part of his normal inking mannerisms. I cannot check now, but I believe I have seen Joe Simon use it in his newspaper work. But again it was not a common technique for him at the time nor did he seem to adopt it later. I would be more convinced if either Joe or Jack made more use of it so its presence in the Champion covers is not, for me, convincing evidence that either Kirby or Simon contributed to the inking of the covers. There is one artist that often used this inking technique at that is Al Avison, but I do not know if Al had met Joe at this early date.

  3. Harry Post author


    To answer your other question. Yes the sales copies were used to show potential customers for a syndication strip. The ones I have seen were all printed on fine glossy paper. The resulting print is quite nice, much better then when the same strip appeared in either newspapers or comic books. Joe Simon still has one for the Blue Beetle drawn by Jack Kirby.

  4. Anon

    You fiend, how could you post that page and not tell us what happens next?

    Does he pull the lever? Can Taylor stop him in time? I’m on the edge of my seat here.

  5. Harry Post author


    I wish I could tell you what happened next, this was Jack Kirby’s last Dr. Hayward strip and I have no idea if some other artist picked up the story in Jumbo Comics #4 or whether the strip was discontinued.

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