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365 Reasons to Love Comics #1

Oh, yes. It begins.

1. Jack Kirby

(Let’s get the obvious choices done first.)

Jack Kirby brought most of the Marvel Universe to life. He co-created the romance comic. He did, well, everything. My favorite Kirby era isn’t the 60’s Marvel Age, but his vastly underrated run at DC in the 70’s. He made Jimmy Olsen comics cool, and he gave us brilliant stuff like New Gods, Kamandi, and OMAC.

And thanks to Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo, we all know Kirby’s the supreme deity of the Marvel Universe.

Forget Elvis– Kirby’s the King.

16 Comments

This feature is a great, great idea.

Is that page Jack is drawing representative of an actual New Gods page or is it all new original Orion goodness?

Good way to start off the new year with royalty.

someone should tell Jack that that page he’s drawing is already inked…

Yes. Just…yes.

Sleestak: that very question vexed me when this drawing first appeared — I had been hoping it was a preview of a page from the next issue, but no.

Billy: worse yet, inked by Vince Colletta, who snuck in and erased lines even before Jack had finished putting them on the page!

Great idea, Bill.

If you can actually pull it off, I’ll give you twenty bucks. :)

Nice idea, that’ll brighten up the daily visit (and possibly pull in more daily visits upping your pagerank). I have a feeling were gonna see Grant Morrison pop up somewhere in this feature (won’t we Brian?).

It’s true, Kirby’s 60’s Marvel stuff is great, but his best work is probably the 70’s DC stuff. His return to Marvel (late 70’s?) is also some of my favorite stuff, though, with 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Eternals, and Captain America. Unfortunately, I have yet to read Cap, but the excerpts I’ve seen are great.

I think the reason I like his later stuff better is that he was doing the writing as well as the art. His art is beautiful, but he could really come up with some crazy plots. And the dialogue! Just that panel above has some great stuff. “Newie”! “Grabber”! “As it was”! I love it!

Yeah. Kirby always gets ragged on for his dialogue, but I love it.

Has anyone checked out what Gaiman is doing with the Eternals…it’s pretty good stuff. And I couldn’t think of a better artist than JRJR to do it.

The Kirbydotter

March 9, 2007 at 11:32 am

This is a great series and a cool idea.
I think this is a time when I need to be reminded of why it’s cool to collect comics.
Seems to me my pull list has never been shorter and shorter has the months go by.
DC seem to have lost all inspiration.

Marvel seems to be getting better (Brubaker’s Daredevil, Captain America and Iron Fist) but a lot of the new stuff I like is short lived (I liked the NEW INVADERS, AGENT OF ATLAS, FANTASTIC FOUR: FOES, SPIDER-MAN AND HUMAN TORCH, and Slotts’s SHE-HULK that has been given another chance thankfully).

The Kirbydotter

March 9, 2007 at 11:44 am

On Kirby…

Well he was the King and still is.

I like the DC late Golden Age of Boy Commandos, Newsboy Legion, Manhunter, Sandman and his MY GREATEST ADVENTURES sci-fi tales.

My favorite Marvel stuff is his westerns (Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid, Black Rider, etc.) and pre-hero monsters.

DC’S Bronze Age is my favorite time in comic book history and it is synonymous with Kirby’s stuff. KAMANDI is a favorite since childhood. His Fourth World saga is an unfinished tragedy; the 48 pages of that era was also cool because they introduced me (like many) to the King’s great Golden Age stuff at DC. I would have love to see more Dingbats, Atlas, Omac, and others. Kirby’s DC was so varied in genre: OUR FIGHTING FORCES, JUSTICE INC, WEIRD MYSTERY TALES, DAYS OF THE MOB, and everything that was and still is just pure fun to read.

The Kirbydotter

March 9, 2007 at 11:47 am

Dang!, I forgot to add his return to Marvel stuff: MACHINE MAN, DEVIL DINOSAUR, ETERNALS, CAPTAIN AMERICA.
All fun and cool stuff that everyone who loves comics should read.

When I try to explain Jack Kirby’s importance to non-comics people I compare the 60s comics to 60s pop music.

To me, Jack Kirby was like the Beatles and the Stones combined, with Jimi Hendrix mixed in for full cosmic effect. All in the one man. All those albums and songs all produced by one creative force.

Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Adams and Curt Swan and Robert Crumb, all the other comics creators, would have their own approximate parallels in the music scene (I see Stan Lee as something like a fusion of the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan?)

But imagining the music of the 1960s without the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Hendrix is like imagining comics without Kirby.

then again, the beach boys were pretty clearly a DC product, weren’t they?

I would actually see Jack as more like Elvis. He was there at the beginning, developed a unique style, and that style developed through the years. It was always distinctive, it was strictly his own, and though many would try to imitate it, and even come close to getting the look right, there is still a basis behind it that requires and understanding that is unique to the artist himself.

Will Eisner was more like Ray Charles. A master of many different styles and able to take his art and use it in unique and original ways to express mood, feeling, etc.

The Silver Age was much like the British Invasion, with the original super heroes re-interpreted and given new life. The Marvel Age was like the later 60’s where rock & roll started charting new territory, exploring new boundaries. The lengthy, epic storylines that came out of that period, and continue today, are like the Album Oriented Rock and bombastic rock operas of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

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