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Comic Book Questions Answered: How Many Pages Did Jack Kirby Draw in a Day?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

This question concerns Jack Kirby.

Enjoy!

Some time ago, a reader (I have lost the name, to be frank) asked me a question about how fast Jack Kirby drew. We have heard so many stories about how fast Kirby was, but how many pages did he actually draw a day? The one I heard the most often was about three pages a day, which is a remarkably high amount of pages.

To find out for sure, I went to everyone’s favorite Jack Kirby expert, Mark Evanier, and here’s what he had to say:

Jack often did more than three a day. During the 1963-1967 period, he often did five or six a day. His 1970 deal with DC required fifteen a week and he sometimes did twenty.

I’ll have an article in an upcoming JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR that will deal with this in more detail.

Isn’t that amazing?

Thanks, Mark! Be sure, folks, to check out the Jack Kirby Collector from TwoMorrows!

2 Comments

The Jack Kirby Chronology can give a better picture of The King’s prodigious rate of cranking out pages (not just cranking out pages, but cranking out some of the greatest pieces of pop culture in the history of humankind):

http://www.marvelmasterworks.com/resources/kirby_chronology.html

For the largest part of his career, Kirby was able to complete 40-70 pages a month, so accounting for days off, that’s between two and more than three pages a working day. However at the top of his career and productivity, Kirby was slugging out 100-120 pages a month, often hitting over 130, particularly during the 1960s at Marvel, topping out at a ridiculous 152 in September 1947. So Kirby was easily knocking out 4 pages, and probably closer to 5 pages a day, and probably over six a day at his absolute peak output.

So yeah, what Mark Evanier said.

Again, even if the pages weren’t very good, the sheer numbers would be impressive. But that Jack Kirby created some of the best, most historically significant comics ever, virtually each and every time out (at the top of his game), at the incredibly productive rate he was going… it is an utterly superhuman level of endeavour.

Meanwhile, Glenn Fabry averages one page a week!

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