I was checking out some of my favorite science blogs when in Paleoblog I came across a post titled “Origin of Homo mermanus”. Palaeoblog subtitle is “Evolution, extinction, fossilization”. But don’t let that fool you, Palaeoblog is not just informative but it is also a lot of fun. Serious posts on science news are often accompanied with images from comic books. In fact Dr. Michael Ryan will even post on comic art even without the science. Unless you are a stout anti-evolutionist you might want to check it out.
Well I did not have to be a scientist to know that Paleoblog was just having a little fun with the Homo mermanus post. Hey I know enough about human evolution to say there are no mermaids! But the part that struck me, and the reason for my own posting, was the image of two comic book panels. Actually one of the panels in particular. Just a man holding a skull and a another looking on. Nothing special except even with that I immediately recognized it as the work of Jack Kirby. Because my main interest is the Simon and Kirby period I was not sure what comic book the panels were taken from.
Well the Paleoblog post did not give either the artist or the source (shame on you Dr. Ryan!). But he did provide a link to another blog where he got it from, Atomic Surgery. Well I have to admit I was not at all familiar with this blog, but with a subtitle like “Scrambling the molecules of science and pop culture” it is a blog that I am going to start looking at.
Anyway the post in Atomic Surgery was even more interesting. It not only confirmed that the art was by Jack Kirby but that the source was the Fantastic Four. Better yet it provides 4 pages of the original art and of the corresponding comic book pages. I should have guess that it had to do with an origin story for the Sub-Mariner. It does not say, but a quick check of the Kirby Museum Catalogue Raisonne indicates that it must by from “Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race” in the first FF Annual. (The Catalogue is free but you should be a member of the Kirby Museum anyway!)
I got a kick out of seeing Jack Kirby in unexpected places in the Internet. But I also liked the fact that even with just the one small piece of art you still could detect Jack’s hand at work.