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Jack Kirby

‘Heroes Of The Comics’ Offers Brilliant Drew Friedman Portraits Of Siegel, Shuster, Kirby And More

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, by Drew Friedman

With comics being the visual medium that they are, there's no shortage of pictures of the characters. With the exception of media darling Stan Lee or commercial star Rob Liefeld, however, most comic book creators exist behind a much deeper veil of obscurity -- especially in the Golden Age, when their names were rarely attached to the comics they worked on. When you hear names like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster or Jack Kirby, you think of the creations rather than the people.

Now, artist Drew Friedman is attempting to change that, at least a little, with Heroes of the Comics, a Fantagraphics hardcover book of portraits of the pioneers of the golden age, from the creators we all love like Siegel and Shuster, above, down to the villains like Bob Kane and Frederic Wertham.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Phantom Of The Paradise, Frozen, Saga, Shirley Manson, Buffy And More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Dinosaurs vs. Aliens vs. Ants! (1978)

Devil Dinosaur #5 by Jack Kirby

I think I speak for everyone when I say that the most anticipated new comics release this week is the paperback collection of Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur. It's one of my all-time favorite comics, and while there was a nice oversized hardcover put out a while back, it's been out of print for far too long. It's one of the most underrated and exciting comics that the King ever produced, and while it's not exactly hard to find -- most of Kirby's later work is shockingly cheap if you're willing to flip through quarter bins for it -- the convenience of being able to snag it in paperback is a great thing for the world of comics.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Humor, Longform, Marvel

Crystal Skillman And Fred Van Lente Launch ‘King Kirby,’ A Kickstarter-Funded Play About Jack Kirby’s Life

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If you've read Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's Comic Book Comics, then you already know that Van Lente is pretty passionate about comics history in general and the life of the great Jack Kirby in particular, and with good reason. Kirby's story is fascinating, and, as Van Lente says, covers a massive chunk of the history of American comics, starting at their beginning in the late '40s and continuing all the way to his death, while still producing stories, in 1993.

Now, Van Lente and playwright Crystal Skillman are set to bring Kirby's story to the stage in a play they've written called King Kirby, and they're raising the money to do it via Kickstarter.

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Comics Alliance Presents Here’s The Thing, Episode 6: A Dramatic Reading Of Awkward Comics Dialogue [Video]

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If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he sits in his living room under a framed portrait of Destro, drinking a cup of coffee and sharing his opinion on comic books.

This week, Chris sets out to read comic book dialogue in a way that it was never meant to be read: Out loud. With a few of his own favorites and some suggestions from viewers, Chris reads out the classic awkward dialogue of creators like James Robinson, Mark Millar, and even Jack Kirby.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): The Sopranos, Skrillex, The Tick, Prince, Cowboy Bebop and More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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ComicsAlliance Presents Here’s The Thing, Episode 4: A Brief History Of Jack Kirby’s Cadmus Institute [Video]

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If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he sits in his living room under a framed portrait of Destro, drinking a cup of coffee and sharing his opinion on comic books.

This week, Chris takes a viewer question from someone curious about Cadmus Institute, a fixture of the DC universe created by the legendary Jack Kirby that has its roots in the Golden Age and continues to operate in the background of comics all the way to the 21st Century.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Zatanna, The Fifth Element, Uncle Scrooge, Ronin, Death and More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Captain America Lives On: Joe Simon’s Granddaughter On Marvel’s Films, Credits, and the Great Comic Book Creator

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The following was authored by Megan Margulies, granddaughter of the late Captain America co-creator Joe Simon.

Today Marvel Studios releases Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These movies are not only a cause for celebration by comic book fans, but also for the artists who created the superhero decades ago. In 1941, Jack Kirby and my grandfather, Joe Simon, dreamt of Captain America in an attempt to keep their heads above the turbulent waters of the comic book industry. Much to their surprise and joy, the character went on to receive worldwide fame.

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Ask Chris #190: The Best First Three Comic Pages Ever

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Supposedly it takes three pages to hook a reader before they drop off, so what are the best opening three pages in a comic? -- @shutupadiran

A: Huh. I don't think it's going to surprise anyone to find out that I'm a dude who thinks a lot about how comic books are structured and what you can do within that structure, but I've never heard that bit about the first three pages being where you have to hook the reader. It makes sense, though -- when you look at it, those first three pages, along with the cover, form a distinct storytelling unit, and it's the first thing you see when you pick up and pop open a comic.

Thinking back on comics that I love, there's a really distinct pattern there. I like stuff that builds to a big last page just fine, but the ones that I tend to rave about when those first issues hit always open up strong. It's like the first five seconds of a song. Some of them might build to a crescendo as they go along, but when you have something like the famous beat from "Be My Baby" or the opening harmonics from "I Get Around," you know instantly that you've got something.

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