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A couple of quick questions here, Harry. I notice you’ve credited both pencils and inks on that panel from BLUE BOLT #2 to Kirby. But hasn’t Joe Simon mentioned on a number of occasions that this early material was laid out and inked by him, with only finished pencils being done by Jack? Looking at the art style in this particular panel, I’m inclined to believe that claim. Secondly, do you have any idea who lettered the story? It looks like Kirby’s lettering to me.
I’ll be discussing Blue Bolt #2 in my next week’s posts which hopefully will anwer your questions. However I will comment about your questions about layouts. Without credits layouts are difficult to determine. In the past I have used noticed some features that can help in suggesting whether someone supplied layouts. For instance Joe uses an unusual and warped architecture perspective in some of the the Fox covers he did and when I find the same perspective in some Simon and Kirby covers I attribute the layout to Joe. I have also used panel layouts to disprove the claim that Kirby did provided layouts to S&K studio artists (with some exceptions). Unfortunately neither of these methods works in this case. Kirby used a different layout for the earlier stories he did without Simon but it would be expected that he would use the same panel layouts as Joe in a story they both worked on. Unless I find a physical evidence to the contrary, I generally accept Joe’s statements as being accurate. But it is one thing to say that Joe often supplied layouts and another that he did so in a particular case. Until I can find some feature in the art in question that I can point to as evidence, I prefer to leave the questions of layout to the reader.
The second panel on the “Cosmic” Carson page strongly recalls the cover of Marvel Science Stories v1 #3. To be fair, part of the resemblance comes from the red colouring of the aircraft.
The aircraft could also be compared to the dirigible-like aircraft of the Mongols (kept aloft by “repeller rays”) in early Buck Rogers stories.
Some early SF movies had elaborate models. Examples that spring to mind include Metropolis, Just Imagine and Things to Come.
In my hast to post something I guess I was not clear in what I was referring to as Kirby’s techno art. I was not talking about drawings of futuristic technology. After all most science fiction comics include that. I was referring to the the elaborate and aesthetically pleasing devices that Kirby so often drew in the silver age and beyond. It was the ray gun in the Cosmic Carson story that fits the bill while the rockets on the same page do not. Even the space transport from the Race to the Moon does not really fit the bill but was included as the closest thing in that title. The early science fiction movies I have seen do not have anything like the elaborate devices Kirby liked to draw. I have not seen Metropolis for some time but while I remember fatastic architecture I do no recall elaborate devices. I could be wrong.