Not Kirby, Young Love #6 “My Promise”

Young Love #6
Young Love #6 (1949) “My Promise” by unidentified artist

I was going to skip this particular work because frankly it is a bit of quibbling to say the Checklist is wrong. I will explain why I changed my mind later. The Checklist says that 1/2 page of this story is by Kirby. I suspect that this is their way of saying that the splash is by Jack. Well I think that there is little question that the figure of the man was done by Kirby. But the woman is a perfect match for how she is portrayed in the rest of the story. I am certain she was done by the story’s artists and not Jack. Nothing in the rest of the splash looks like Jack’s work to me either.

When the inking is examined we once again find that all the splash except for the man has the same style inking as the rest of the story. This style is not the Simon and Kirby shop style either, although in one area it tries to be. The S&K shop style frequently uses an abstract arch shadow. There is something like that between the man and the woman. But I have never seen the shop style turn the arc into an ‘S’ pattern like the artist did here. Further whereas the shop style makes effective use of the abstract arch shadow in the design, the ‘S’ shadow here seems poorly placed. When the inking of the man is examined it looks very different from the rest of the splash or the story. The spotting is done with much more assurance. The spot lines in the jacket sweep further and are effective in both depiction and design. The lines placed in the face and hand have nuances that the story artist just does not seem capable of. Some of the spotting in the hair was done with a broad brush, something not found in the rest of this work. Although the man is missing any of the rows of spots or the picket fence crosshatch often found in the S&K shop inking, it is otherwise a perfect match.

The artist draws rather large and poorly placed ears when viewed from behind. It may just be a quirk of the artist, but it was something the Jack Kirby also did during the war years. The rest of the face is not like what Jack did so my suspicion is that the artists was using old Simon and Kirby comics as an aid to drawing those parts he had problems depicting.

Two possible explanations for what happened here. One is that the story artist did a close swipe of a Kirby figure for the man in the splash. I do not like that explanation because of the inking which have subtleties that seem beyond the ability of the story artist. The other explanation, and the one I accept, is that Jack has stepped in here in his role as an art editor. The man plays a crucial part of the splash and I suspect the story artist did not do a good enough job on him. Kirby redid the figure but used restraint in the inking so as to blend in better. It is as an example of Kirby as art editor that made me reconsider posting on it.