Stalkbacker-Happy Birthday Jack Kirby, the Undisputed King of Comicdom! Stalkbacker-Happy Birthday Jack Kirby, the Undisputed King of Comicdom!
The influence of Jack Kirby, genius comic book creator, is bigger than you might think. Stalkbacker-Happy Birthday Jack Kirby, the Undisputed King of Comicdom!
Now with Kosmic Kirby Krackle!

Now with Kosmic Kirby Krackle!

Welcome to yet another segment of Stalkbacker in which I revive the old articles from Talkbacker but with added material. Think of it as my very own “Director’s cut” and you’ll get the gist of it right away.

“And I was thinking how the world should have cried
on the day Jack Kirby died I wonder if I’m ill, yeah”

Lyrics are from the Song, “Melt” Courtesy of Monster Magnet

What do Galactus, Darksied, Black Bolt, Hulk, Thor, Black Panther, Adam Warlock, the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America and so many other iconic heroes and villains all have in common?

Well for starters, they are among the many creations or co-creations of the legendary artist and co-collaborator of the most iconic and obscure comic book characters in history. The Man, the Legend, Jack “King” Kirby!

kirby-perfection

Many may believe that Elvis is the King of Rock n’ Roll, but when it came to comics, Kirby has more than earned his crown. Not only did he create incredible characters, but also astonishing universes.

In honor of the King’s 98th Birthday, this retrospective to pay homage and respect to the King’s various contributions to not only comics, but pop culture in general.

This was the Man who not only saved the comic industry, but revolutionized it with mind-blowing aesthetics and the tenacity to co-plot and draw five different books within a week. Many of his ideas came to fruition, however, “someone else” took most of the credit for Kirby’s contributions. Here are but a few examples of his amazing work;

Splash Pages

Not only was every Comic Cover from Kirby was mind-blowing, but the same could be said for his two page- canvas that’s full of detail, dialog and were the geek’s answer to a “Centerfold”.. Well, c’mon, which would you rather hang up on your wall? (0;’

Kamandi Vol.1 DC Comics

Kamandi Vol.1 DC Comics

The Eternals Vol.1 Marvel

The Eternals
Vol.1 Marvel

Silver Surfer Graphic Novel (Marvel)

Silver Surfer Graphic Novel (Marvel)

 

Black Kirby

Black_Panther_by_Jack_Kirby_Vol_1_2005

During a segment of Stan Lee: With Great Power documentary, Lee claims to have been responsible for creating The Black Panther. That’s bullshit! The idea to create the first black superhero was Kirby’s.

I remember watching some interview with Kirby in which he mentioned that why weren’t black people represented in comics and that his first childhood friend was black.

Here is the first concept of what would is now known as The Black Panther.

DEFUCK?!?

“Coal Tiger”? DEFUCK?!?

 

Okay, it’s not what I would expect from a brilliant artist like Jack, but it’s a start in the right direction I guess. (0:’

Despite Kirby’s fascinating run of BP during the late 70’s, the book was cancelled after nine issues. (Deja Vu)

Jack Kirby-A Real American Hero

In 1979, Kirby drew concept art for film producer Barry Geller’s script treatment adapting Roger Zelazny’s science fiction novel, Lord of Light. In collaboration, Geller commissioned Kirby to draw set designs that would also be used as architectural renderings for a theme park in Colorado to be called “Science Fiction Land”. Geller announced his plans at a November press conference attended by Kirby, former NFL football star Rosey Grier, science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, and others. Although the film Lord of Light did not come to fruition, Kirby’s illustrations were used for the CIA’s “Canadian caper”, in which members of the U.S. embassy in Iran, who had avoided capture in the Iran hostage crisis, were able to escape the country posing as members of a movie location-scouting crew as witnessed in the Ben Affleck- film Argo, co-starring Michael Parks as Kirby.

1305755227885603399 argo_concept-art-2_400px kirby_lordoflight_1

As a result of Jack’s contribution, the hostages in Iran were rescued. What a Real American Hero!

And yes, he also served in the armed forces during World War 2.

Newer Gods

 E 3 Sep 76

In 1970, Jack Kirby left Marvel Comics to work at DC Comics, where he began the saga of the New Gods, an epic story involving mythological and science fiction concepts that was so influential, that even George Lucas took notice. *WINK*

NG_07_22c

Although Kirby planned to have a definite ending for his Fourth World opus, the series was left incomplete after the cancellation of all titles involved. Kirby than began The Eternals when he returned to Marvel. The Eternals‘ saga itself was similar to that of the New Gods‘, and eventually that series was also cancelled without resolving many of its plots, particularly the subplot involving the  Celestials’ (Space Gods) judgment over humanity. Initially, the comic book was never intended to be part of Marvel’s continuity (That explains the “Cosmic Powered Hulk” plotline I guess.)

I was more into The Eternals than say, New Gods because of its unapologetic camp and there was something brilliant about the introduction of the Celestials as well as the three Species-Man, Deviant and Eternal; The aesthetics were eye-catching and one of the main protagonists, had a kickass outfit and those eyebeams.

34090_20060326173554_large

Giving credit where credit is long overdue

kirby_creator1

“I got to know Jack Kirby’s work and remarkable creativity quite well and witnessed his characters and stories as they evolved. There is no question in my mind that Jack Kirby was the driving creative force behind most of Marvel’s top characters today including “The Fantastic Four,” “The Mighty Thor,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “X-Men” and “The Avengers.” The prolific Kirby was literally bursting with ideas and these characters and stories have all the markings of his fertile and eclectic imagination”. 

–Joe Sinnot

 

More than anyone around him, Kirby was aware of the magnitude of his contributions, yet he never evidenced a moment of public arrogance or conceit.

–Jim Steranko

 

Lee started out early with his self-serving, self-claiming, self-gratifying style, of giving credit and then undercutting the giving by taking away or claiming most or all of the credit.

-Steve Ditko

Throughout the decades, Stan Lee has been known to take most of the credit for so many Marvel concepts and characters, and thanks to his cousin Martin Goodman owning the company and being “Lawyered” up, Lee was able to “Convince” nearly everyone that he was the sole driving force behind Fantastic Four and such. When it was actually Kirby that created most of said concepts.

 

 

“On September 16, 2009, the Kirby estate also served notices of termination to Disney, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Paramount, and Sony to attempt to regain control of various Silver Age Marvel characters. Marvel is seeking to invalidate these claims. However, in mid-March 2010 Kirby’s estate, sued Marvel to terminate copyrights and gain profits from Kirby’s comic creations.” In July 2011, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a summary judgment in favor of Marvel, which was affirmed in August 2013 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

 As of September 2012, Hollywood films based on characters Kirby co-created have collectively earned nearly $3.1 billion. Despite the fact that these Films have grossed billions, not much if any royalties were given to the Kirby Estate”.

This just goes to demonstrate how unfair life itself can be. There are givers and there is the takers.

Jack had given so much of his life to Marvel and time away from his family yet those bloodsucking leeches at Marvel (including Stan) had taken most of the credit and royalties from Kirby’s contributions. Another reason why I have such contempt for lawyers.

What’s funny is when Kirby left Marvel (twice), Stan didn’t write nearly as many stories or create new characters especially compared to what Kirby has done. Even if some of his creations weren’t as successful, there was a huge abundance of ideas from Jack’s brain.

Homage

Quentin Tarantino did a script polish for Crimson Tide and added dialog for this particular scene of who draws the best Silver Surfer-Kirby or Moebius?

Nuff said, Denzel.

Storyboard artist Alan Kupperburg paid homage to Kirby when he did the layout for the teaser trailer of T2: Judgment Day.

Skip to 0.41

Kirby is truly one of the unsung Heroes of pop-culture, for he has contributed so much to the medium of comics, animation and even movies, yet not rewarded enough thanks to shady business partners and greedy ass companies. But those of us know that had it not been for his contributions, Marvel would nowhere be near as successful as it is today and as long as fans such as yours truly is around, his legacy shall never be forgotten. Thank you, Jack. And if there truly is a heaven, may you keep on banging out those wonderful splash pages.  In closing, I leave what is a fitting tribute courtesy of noted Kirby- fans Bruce Timm and James Tucker. Respect!!

“The World didn’t need a Superman, but a brave Man”.

 

 

 

Recognize!!

Recognize!!

 

Now You Know…

Prior to leaving DC Comics back in 1974, Kirby had laid groundwork for a new series based on an international terrorist and mad scientist. Here’s the “twist”: The series was named…

"Kobraaaaa"!

“Kobraaaaa”!

jack kirby. kobra. 001

Now, I didn’t know.

And knowing is half the Battle!

Stalks, out!

Author Image

Stalkeye

. Satirist, Gamer, Artist and Pop Culture commentator- Stalks offers his outspoken views on on most things Geek related as well as WTF is wrong with the world today!

  • Orcus

    FIRST!

    Orcus hasn’t used that in a while. Heh.

    Excellent write up!

  • Abe

    Stalks you’re kicking ass lately!

  • Bop

    You are pretty busy, bro. 🙂

    I didn’t know Kobra was created by Kirby. Kobra was a nasty bugger in Ostrander’s original Suicide Squad run.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Excellent tribute. Well done.

  • CreepyThinMan

    Excellent article Stalkeye. Kirby is legend while Stan Lee is a self-aggrandizing cunt who stood on the work and shoulders of great men, just like George Lucas. Oh and here’s a clip from Comic Book Confidential, a documentary that any self respecting comic book fan must see, with the man himself!!!FACT!!!
    https://youtu.be/2dypJ8zc5Qc

  • KilliK

    great tribute. Kirby was truly a King.

  • Nice one again. I really love Kirby’s visuals.

  • Tarmac492.1

    great article mang!!!! this was very informative. Love the Tide scene even tho Danny Nucci is a hotrible actor. Cheezeball.

  • Wonderful work, Stalks! Kirby moved the comic books away from the always same shit.

  • Stalkeye

    Thanks, T! I was very surprised when I had first seen that part in which they debate over who’s the better SS Artist. I laughed my Ass off after Denzel said “Everybody knows that Kirby draws the best Silver Surfer”! QT obviously is a huge fan of Jack. (As witnessed during a scene in Reservoir Dogs.)

  • Stalkeye

    “Kirby is legend while Stan Lee is a self-aggrandizing cunt who stood on the work and shoulders of great men, just like George Lucas.”

    That’s the response I was waiting for! HAHAHAHAHAH

    Thanks, Creepy!

    I remember while Lee was signing autographs at the NY South street Seaport, I asked him; “What’s the deal between you and Jack (Kirby)”?

    Lee looking somewhat somber; “Jack and I aren’t speaking to each other anymore”.

    Foe 5 seconds of silence you could hear a Pin drop!

    I don’t really get why Kevin Smith kisses Lee’s Ass so much and not to mention that there were constant rumors that Smith had said off record-“I never understood the big deal about Jack Kirby”. That Fat Fuck need to turn in his Geek Badge.

    If you look into the Comment section of this Video guess who expresses his rather outspoken opinion? (;’ (Circa 7 Years ago!!)

    BTW I own that CB Confidential as well as Superheroes; A never ending Battle on Blu-ray.

  • Stalkeye

    Thank you, Turd!

    Kirby is King to Comics as Cameron is King of Modern Cinema as to Elvis is the King of Rock n Roll….Ok, that last one is kinda debatable for obvious reasons. XD

  • Stalkeye

    Kirby did so much for both companies and when he found out that DC tried to Fuck him over as well, he went back to Marvel for the time being.Ostrander was one of the best contributors at DC and SS was one of my favorites back in the day.

  • Stalkeye

    Ah, I’m just doing my part tis all. (0=

    Also, here is an old SUK Podcast in which Dan, Nick and the Colonhell discuss the Legacy of Kirby. Great segment!!

    http://thesupernaughts.com/podcasts/movies-and-stuff/shut-up-kids-26-sad-keanu/

  • Stalkeye

    Stalks says, thanks Orc!!

  • Stalkeye

    He certainly was.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I really love the black and white drawings here. Would be cool to have one of them bad boys framed.

  • Stalkeye

    It was because of Kirby that I became this Geek to the extent that I emulated his art style when I used to draw a lot in High School. With the recognition, to the extent of getting attention from Chicks , I felt like a Celebrity of sorts. LMAO

  • Tarmac492.1

    LOL!!! I used to draw aot. Was fairly decent. There was this girl that sat next to me in college who I still say was the most beautiful girl I have ever met. We were friendly. It was a european history class and I was really good at it, so she asked to borrow my notebook once. She returned it and said “I really loved your pictures of sharks and dinosaurs.” Her tone was semi-flattering and maybe semi-not. LOL!!!

  • Stalkeye

    There’s a striking contrast with Jack’s B&W.

    Some Assholes at Marvel already have his drawings framed since they refused to give him back his original artwork.

    http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/04/jack-kirby-artwork-return-controversy.html

  • Tarmac492.1

    It is sad that he got so fucked with. Dirty cunts.

  • Stalkeye

    Then there’s this!

    http://deadline.com/2014/09/jack-kirby-marvel-settlement-lawsuit-supreme-court-hearing-841711/

    “The King shall be Vindicated”

    -Inhuman Target (Now who could that be? LOL)

  • Tarmac492.1

    and stan lee gets to live to 187, adored by all for his cameos? Dont seem right. And fuck Kevin Smith.

  • Stalkeye

    Bro, I would have taken it for what it was and still try to move in on her. “I can also draw semi clad Women and am looking for a European Model to improve upon my sketching, would you like to volunteer”? (0:<

  • Stalkeye

    Your assistance in putting this out is much appreciated, Dee-Dee! (0=

  • You’re welcome! I hope it’s all to your liking.

  • Stalkeye

    LOL I know, right?

  • 187? Did you choose that number randomly or do you want him to get murdered?

  • Maybe I should try to draw a Kirby-style portrait of Mr. Head as a tribute?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Uggh. Thanks. If only I had known you 20 years earlier 🙂

  • Tarmac492.1

    Am I maybe calling on my inner Suge Knight?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Kirby would have probably been able to draw a mean Bob Ross. No. like a seriously mean spirited Bob Ross.

  • Stalkeye

    There’s a few funny ideas you could implement behind a SH Kirby related comic. XD

  • Stalkeye

    XD Oh shit you went there!
    BTW saw Straight outta Compton and I must admit, it was very good! F.Gary Gray did the Biopic justice even though a few things were left out of the cut as well as some exaggerated scenes.

  • Tarmac492.1

    F Gary Gray is a solid director. I am guessing he directed some of their videos back in the day?

  • Bop

    LMAO. Chicks dig art.

  • Bop

    Those cameos really annoy me.

  • Bop

    Bro, kudos to your article. I just finished one myself and it became a drag because of having to look up photos to go with the article. God knows how many time you needed to find your supporting clips and photos. Respect.

  • Bop

    I need to watch Straight Outta Compton too. I am pretty much an NWA noob.

  • Bop

    It is such a sad story.

    And why the fuck does Shooter gets so much shit?

    http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/04/jack-kirby-artwork-return-controversy.html

  • Bop

    Bring it on, mang.

  • Stalkeye

    In some ways, he was the Whipping Boy, but he made great strides when it came to solidifying marvel’s position in Pop Culture. While Lee was just being his usual Huckster self. How the Hell are ya, Bro-Meng?

  • Okay, Mr. Head had to be given some money so he could pose for the pic, but here goes:

    http://pre08.deviantart.net/9a67/th/pre/i/2015/242/b/e/20150830_151800_by_kimjofcoffeeland-d97puht.jpg

  • Stalkeye

    I have been aware of them for quite some time but their style is really not my thing. I prefer Public Enemy, Wu Tang and a few others instead. but Dre lay down some serious tracks while Cube waxed poetry when doing Guerrilla rap.

    I’m tempted to give an earnest review, but I may not have the time.

  • Stalkeye

    Exactly!!!
    *Keeps Mum, about the “Sketch” he drew of his then GF who posed for it* (0:<

  • Stalkeye

    Of course, it is. 😛

  • Stalkeye

    DAYUM, That was Fast n Funny!! XD
    K, sir, you win the Motherfucking thread!!!

  • 😀

    Don’t ask me why he’s wearing that robe. Some “Aggressive Buddhism”-class…

  • Stalkeye

    Thanks a plenty, Brother!
    Some of my greatest challenges is not really finding pics, but actually crafting Videos like the Omac tribute and also Attack on Titan music video.
    It’s a lot of Fuckery and requires patience but in the end, its so satisfying, like an artist finishing a painting or sketch.

    Stalks is very proud of his Music Videos and such. (0=

  • Stalkeye

    OK, before I head off into the deep not so Murky waters (Swimming Pool) I want to drop this lil clip of how Kirby served during WW2 and how Superman inspired him to fight and survive. This guy truly is a REAL AMERICAN HERO unlike those Money grubbing pussies at Marvel.

    Have a great Sunday everyone!

    Stalks, out!

  • Toruk_Makto

    LOL. I’d watch a coal tiger movie. He could have sidekicks named the peach princess and the rouge avenger.

  • Bop

    What do you make the music videos with? Vegas or Final Cut?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Amen!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Well, Smith needs to butter up Lee so he’ll agree to cameo in his shitty movies (remember, there’s a Mallrats sequel coming). But if Smith really did say that about Kirby, then he’s a fucking obnoxious, brown-nosing, ignorant piece of shit and as fake a “geek” as Harry Knowles! Maybe the excess pot-smoking has addled his brain to the point he can no longer think straight.

  • KilliK

  • Stalkeye

    Neither. (Ashampoo)

  • Stalkeye

    PREACCH!

  • Bop

    Interesting. Never heard of it.

  • Stalkeye

    I’ll send you the deets.

  • Scopedog

    Stalkeye, thanks so much for writing this. I have to admit that I didn’t care much for Kirby’s work back when I was young(er) and stupid, but during my college and art school years, I grew to not only like but seriously respect his work and his place in comics (which is pretty f*@#ing high, as far as I’m concerned).

    (Of course, a longtime buddy of mine was ALWAYS into Kirby. He knew better. 🙂 )

    And let’s not forget that like Alex Toth, Gil Kane, and Russ Heath, Kirby did work in animation–mostly as a designer, but you can see his influence in the Bruce Timm SUPERMAN animated series and also in BATMAN BEYOND.

    What the King does need is a museum–an actual, physical museum (an online museum? F*@! no!). After all, Osamu Tezuka (Black Jack, Astro Boy) and Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider) have museums in Japan…but to be fair, comics are respected in Japan and have been for years, whereas in the US we’re still catching up. Just my view.

    (Also….Kirby worked on Destroyer Duck!)

  • Scopedog

    And not just any Bob Ross–but a Bob Ross coming right at you with one splayed hand out in front!

  • Stalkeye

    Oh I’m definitely more than aware that Timm (and James Tucker) are Kirby Fans as mentioned on one of the Superman DVD extras. Before that, The Demon appeared on one of the Batman episodes and of course Apokolips Now, was dedicated to the memory of Jack Kirby as mentioned in the next to last clip.
    I would have killed just to see Timm do a special based on Kirby’s stuff like New Gods, Kamandi and especially my favorite Kirby character post Marvel, OMAC.

    http://thesupernaughts.com/comics/omac-an-army-of-one/

    Destroyer Duck was co-created by Kirby and Steve Gerber who also got fucked by Marvel and needless to say, that Jack had set the precedent for creator owned comics. I have a Friend who worked for Marvel and is still pissed at them for how they treated Jack.