Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jack Kirby Would Have Been 97 Today

Tumblr has been sharing a lot of stories and art of Jack Kirby today, and I don't really feel like I have a lot to say about the man. Bizarrely, I never used to consider myself a fan of his. I guess it's because I grew up in the age of "cool" comic book artists like Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld. I was in my teens when the 90s comic boom and Image Comics all happened, and like a lot of lame kids, I championed their art over the old masters because it was so new and hip and different and exciting.

Wow, I was stupid. Show me McFarlane and Liefeld and Jim Lee and any of those Image guys today and my eyes just cross. Give me Kirby, man.

It's funny, because I've been doing this Marvels series for about a year, and it was only right before I started it that I really considered myself a fan. Which is kind of hilarious, because I'd actually been rediscovering or, in a lot of cases, discovering his work for five or six years now. In that time, and ending only in the last couple of months, I've read a lot of Kirby's 70s work. I read all of the 2001: A Space Odyssey series from Marvel, but from there I went on to his DC work. I read OMAC, and then read through Kamandi, which I had never read a single issue of before. I loved it. It was thrilling stuff; a pulp adventure through a prism of psychedelic sci-fi and fascinating social commentary. That took me a little while to go through, and then I went to Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, and on through The New Gods, The Forever People, and Mister Miracle, which is one of the best comics I've ever read. There are single issues of Mister Miracle and The New Gods that are better than some entire runs of comics. I know I'm not really saying anything new, but I'm not going to be able to go through them in my Marvels series, obviously, so I'm gushing a bit.

One day I'll have to do a list of my favorite comics from the 1970s, because I'm really feeling like that's the era of comics I love the best.

I leave a lot of the Kirby fandom to the more serious Kirby fans; I really have nothing interesting to contribute about the man, except to keep doing the Marvels series. I just wanted to say that I dearly love his Fourth World comics, and Kamandi, and, hell, I thought OMAC was bizarre and kind of great.

I never really acknowledged how much of a fan I am. I guess I just kind of took him for granted. But god damn, was he great.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

Ah, you were once young; now you are wise.