Jack Kirby is very arguably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.
Today would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday, and to mark the occasion we’ve assembled a series of posts commemorating the life and work of the man known to American comics fans as “The King.” For this piece, we asked some of our favorite creators and other comics pros to celebrate Jack Kirby with their impressions of his characters, life, and legacy – and we got so many responses, we'll have another installment of all-star tributes tomorrow!
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
On sale now from Dark Horse is a hardcover collection of Sabertooth Swordsman by Damon Gentry (Eerie) and Aaron Conley (Prophet), a story that ComicsAlliance's Chris Sims praised as "a big, sweeping adventure with new, strange twists" and "one of the most fun comics I’ve read in a long while."
Prophet's success can be measured not just in awards and critical acclaim, but in the way other creators have praised it. No matter who your favorite writer or artist is, there's a good chance that Prophet, Image's sci-fi series written by Brandon Graham and illustrated by the team of Simon Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis, Farel Dalrymple and Graham, ranks among her or his favorite current titles. So it's no surprise that Prophet #39 features artistic contributions from the likes of James Stokoe, Ron Wimberly, Helen Maier and more.
Image Comics has provided ComicsAlliance with a six page preview of Prophet #39,as well as a teaser image highlighting the group of artists who contributed to the issue, and you can check them all out below.
High concept books can be a pretty mixed bag. It's one thing to come up with one of those compelling, bizarre premises that grab the reader's attention, but if the substance isn't there to back it up -- or even if it's done in the wrong tone -- they fall flatter than just about anything else you'll find on the shelves. When they work, though, the results can be pretty amazing, and fortunately, Damon Gentry andAaron Conley's Sabertooth Swordsman is definitely the kind that hits.
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