Jack Kirby is 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.
This Thursday would have been Kirby's 97th birthday. We've assembled some pieces to celebrating the life and work of the man American comics also knows as "the King." This one focuses on Kirby's strength as a cover illustrator.
Of all the characters that Jack Kirby created for DC Comics in the 1970s, a roster that includes OMAC and the Demon, the ones that have always resonated the most with readers are undoubtedly Mister Miracle and Big Barda. The story of a super-escape artist who fled an oppressive planet rather than be changed into something he wasn't, and a fierce warrior who overcame her brutal conditioning and learned to love, and how they conquered evil is, one of the most compelling things Kirby created in a long and unmatched career in superhero comics, and it's been a favorite of subsequent creators over the past 40 years too.
One such creator is Ramón Pérez, the Eisner-winning cartoonist of Jim Henson's Tale of Sand, who revealed on Twitter this week that he pitched a Mister Miracle and Big Barda series that "died because of the New 52."
Truly, we are living in a fallen world, but the good news is that you can at least check out a sample of Pérez's work.
You hear it all the time: "Jack Kirby is the King of Comics." "Jack 'King' Kirby." "Marvel's House of Ideas is The House That Jack Built." Most people, comics critics and the like, usually leave it there
As we move towards Valentine's Day, our thoughts here at ComicsAlliance naturally turn to Superman. He has, after all, been at the center of one of the greatest romances in the history of comics. His love for Lois Lane is beautiful on so many levels, centered on the idea that that the most powerful person in the universe falls in love with someone defined by her wit and determination. Even at the height of the Silver Age, when Lois's romantic pursuits could charitably be referred to as "obsessive," there's still a genuine sweetness to it.
March, 2008, will see the release of JACK KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS VOL. 4, the final hardcover collection in this highly acclaimed series. Highlighting this volume will be THE HUNGER DOGS, with 24 pages of art restored to the original inks by Mike Royer.
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