Jack Kirby imageMany of you steeped in comics culture already appreciate how Jack Kirby's creative legacy has grown way beyond the industry since "The King" left us more than 13 years ago. Apparently, however, the love for all things Kirby is moving way beyond those scattered annual tributes at funnybook venues like Comic-Con, and into the real world.

Nice timing, then, two days before Jack's 98th birthday that New York Times writer Brent Staples wrote a glowing piece about his legacy, even suggesting that Hollyweird mount a motion picture project about his life.

Like Staples, I was ticked to no end that Kirby "was overshadowed by his loquacious and photogenic collaborator, Stan Lee, who became the public face of an enterprise that depended heavily on Mr. Kirby's skills."

Fact is, it was very hard for the longest time -- especially after Jack's death -- for me to watch or hear Lee's voice in media interviews, taking advantage of his folksy gravitas and the naiveté of many media folks to dodge or seemingly lessen "The King's" considerable contributions to the Silver Age of Marvel. And, don't get me started on those cheesy Marvel movie cameos...

For me, Lee took a HUGE step toward reconciling the past in his contributions to Jack Kirby: Storyteller, a documentary included in the two-disk "extended" DVD release of Fantastic Four two months ago.