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Monday, August 28, 2006

A Birthday Beyond Reason!


"Comics is a world of bad guys and good guys...
That is why Jack King is here."
--Will Eisner,
The Dreamer.


Originally, I'd slated tonight for a review of American Born Chinese, Gene Yang's incredible new graphic novel from First Second Books--and I will be doing just that tomorrow--but as you probably know by now, Jack Kirby would've been 89 today.

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you know that I'm a fan of his work--how could you not be?--but like so many of us, it goes a little beyond that for me.

I've mentioned it before, but a few times when I was a kid, my dad told me bedtime stories about the New Gods. But the stories he told wouldn't just be about Orion and Darkseid--in fact, the main focus of what he used to tell me didn't involve them at all. Instead, he would tell me not just about the stories, but about the man who made them, a guy who created Thor and the Silver Surfer (his favorite characters), and then, after a dispute with Marvel, went to DC and decided that if he couldn't tell stories about the old gods, he was just going to have to create some new ones.

There's a lot to like in that story.

Happy Birthday, Jack. I made you a card.






BONUS FEATURE: OMAC - The Tributes


If you've been reading the ISB for any considerable length of time, you've probably latched onto two key factors in the way that I write:

1) The opening splash pages from Kirby's OMAC #2--one of the most fightin'est comics ever printed--is one of my favorite panels things of all time.

2) I physically cannot go a month without bringing it up.

Fortunately, today, it's somewhat appropriate. After all, last Thursday I mentioned that the opening splash of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men #16, wherein Ord of the Breakworld rampages through a squadron of SWORD agents, was an awesome homage to the scene from OMAC--and that I'd seen another.

So tonight, I invite you to celebrate the King by enjoying OMAC: The Tributes:

Kirby's original, totally awesome piece.
OMAC #2



The always-radical Paul Pope uses the scene in a re-telling of Buddy Blank's origin.
SOLO #3



Whedon and Cassaday take a more head-on approach.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #16



And finally, for the first time here on the ISB, I present...

Len Wein and Paris Cullins offer up the most unexpected "OMAGE" of all!
BLUE BEETLE #3


Got any others?

10 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Wow -- the old Wein/Cullins Blue Beetle. I read that issue back in the day, but at the time I didn't spot the reference. You're quite right, though. Dude even calls him a one man army. Neat!

8/29/2006 4:25 AM

 
Anonymous Chawunky said...

That card: Sensawunda.

8/29/2006 4:52 AM

 
Blogger The Fortress Keeper said...

I liked the old Wein/Cullins Blue Beetle (who was basically the Ditko/Charlton Beetle). That guy was the best alt-Spidey ever!

Beautiful Kirby tribute. It made me go all Red Tornado.

8/29/2006 7:03 AM

 
Anonymous SanctumSanctorumComix said...

I remember reading some "behind the scenes at Timely/Atlas" type tales once back in the day, and that Eisner-drawn story of Kirby standing up to the mob-guy is totally true.

They wanted to have their "service" in the building and (iirc) comics paying as little as they did, the "service" couldn't really be afforded.

So everyone was worried about "enforcers".

Kirby walks in there and gives the "representative" what for and it's over without a fuss.

I met "The KING" once in a late 1980's convention.
I had a table in artist's alley and when I saw him and his wife, Roz, I ran over and gave him the only thing that I thought might matter to him;
my own depiction of Captain America.

He graciously took it, smiled, said "what wonderful work these new kids are producing" (paraphrased), shook my hand and promised to send me an autograph (his arthritis had been so severe he had a hard time holding a pen).

Well...I never got the autograph, but I got something better.
A memory.

I also met and spoke with Stan Lee that day too (a portfolio review)... he struck me as a a nice enough guy, but not as genuine as Jack.

~P~
P-TOR

8/29/2006 11:21 AM

 
Blogger gorjus said...

This is just a wonderful post, Chris--the card is extraordinary, and I love the "omages." You're always invincible, but today you flew a little bit.

8/29/2006 1:10 PM

 
Blogger Todd Lawrence said...

Great card, Chris. Your words misted me up a little.

I always loved that page, even though Jack's opening dialogue leaves me with just the teeniest feeling that the King of comics is coming on to me. Granted, the "come-hither" look drawn on his face probably isn't helping matters much.

Naturally, I'm flattered.

8/29/2006 11:37 PM

 
Anonymous Jonathan Miller said...

Chris--Have you seen this? http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/kirby/archives/897 Kirby homaging Kirby!

8/30/2006 12:16 AM

 
Anonymous Christopher said...

Nobody did, or hell, DOES Superheros better then Kirby.

I mean, other people, (Alan Moore, say) have done sort of revisionist takes on Superheroes, that were more about deconstructing the genre, and those may be better then Kirby's stuff, but in terms of straight-up stuff I maintain that nobody has everbeaten Kirby.

8/30/2006 11:55 AM

 
Anonymous SanctumSanctorumComix said...

Just popped over to postmardernbarney a few minutes ago and he has (in his Sept. 1st post) a scan from WonderWoman (yes, I know. shock) # 300.

In it, is that OMAC splash swipe.

This post is JUST in case he forgot to mention it to you (although he DID link to your OMAC post, so...)

~P~
P-TOR

9/02/2006 10:27 PM

 
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