Not Kirby, KO #1

KO Komics #1
KO #1 (October 1945)

I apologize for using an unrestored image for the cover of KO #1. The art for the cover is so poor I am unwilling to spend the time to restore it. Add to that the fact that the cover was not actually done by Jack Kirby. The most obvious sign that this was not done by Jack are the lower legs and ankles, particularly his left one. The outline is so sinuous that the form is broken. Jack was not accurate in his anatomy but he would not damage the structure like this artist has. Another feature not seen in works by Jack is the stiff arm swing, it is just too awkward. One final point although perhaps it is not as convincing as the other evidence. Jack had done only two covers using an oversized figure, at this point in his career Jack had stopped using that device.

2 thoughts on “Not Kirby, KO #1

  1. Tom Morehouse

    I have to strongly disagree with you on this one. If you remove the lower legs (knees down) the punch trail, helmet wings and cape what you have is a Kirby rendition of the Guardian from Star Spangled which has been altered in the inking process by a less than adept artist. What this, in all liklihood was originally, is an incomplete cover or model sheet sketch left behind when S & K went to serve in the military. The exact same illo of the Guardian figure, drawn by another artist, can be found in Star Spangled #50 published at around the same time (with a correct punch trailcoming from over the shoulder and down as opposed to across). K.O. #1 was produced by Jason Comic Art (JCA), the same shop which would later produce the JC Penney giveaway 48 Famous Americans. It is a stand alone cover as there is no such character in the interior stories In addition to what’s been added, a close examination of the figure’s keft hand shows erasure (of the Guardian’s shield). Both Jim Vadaboncouer and I have noted this and although the evidence is circumstantial I think dismissing this as not by Kirby is incorrect although who the other artist is will remain a mystery. It might have been someone working at DC who, knowing S & K were returning soon, took it, “finished” it and sold it to JCA but the original figure was drawn by Jack just never finished. Another example of an unfinished Kirby cover left behind and completed by another is Adventure Comics #98. There kirby drew the “caveman” (who looks a lot like Brooklyn of the BC) and large animal heads but the rest of the cover was done by another (Gil Kane perhaps?).

  2. Harry Post author

    Sorry about the delay in you comment appearing. For some reason your comment got caught up in the spam filter. Because of the delay I will be handling my reply in a post along with your comment.


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