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Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Kirby - Jack Kirby Collector #43 - quick notes

Initial reactions to the latest issue, available now in finer comic shops and from TwoMorrows.

The cover is a 1980s Silver Surfer piece, newly inked by Joe Sinnott. The original was kind of loose, so Sinnott does quite a bit of fleshing out of the details, especially on the background, which he's certainly qualified to do (yes, I have a double standard when it comes to requiring faithful inking of Kirby). The original appears inside. The backcover is an early version of Silver Star from the mid-1970s, drawn and coloured by Kirby (and as we find out inside partially digitally restored for this printing) and a few other colour images related to interior articles.

The announcement of the Kirby Museum is up first, including a great photo of Kirby with his parents at age 3, some of the tentative plans for the project and a hint of a SILVER STAR GRAPHITE EDITION to go with the existing CAPTAIN VICTORY edition sometime next year. I'm always forgetful on Silver Star history so I don't know exactly what would be in this.

Mark Evanier's article this time around is on inkers, specifically Colletta. I think he mostly makes good points, although I think in balance he's a bit too generous to Colletta, but then I'm kind of sick of the whole Colletta argument (other than taking a cheap shot on the weblog every few months).

The full story reprint this issue is the 8-page "His Best Friend's Sweetheart" from YOUNG ROMANCE #3, a good early example of the S&K work in the genre, about a girl who waits for her man during the war, and copes with the unwanted attentions of the friend he asked to look out for her both before and after his return. Great stuff, nice look at post-war life in America, plus a nice unpublished TRUE DIVORCE page from the 1970s included for a look at Kirby's last try at the genre.

First Gallery section is devoted to the Captain America story in TALES TO ASTONISH #93, with four full finished pages inked by Sinnott printed full-page next to their uninked counter-parts. Great looking pages, and interesting to see exactly what Sinnott added to the process.

Second Gallery is devoted to 1980s work, with pages from various projects printed with pencils beside the inked versions (plus an unused pencil-only Bruce Lee / Phantom Force page). A good look at the techniques, I was especially interested in seeing the DESTROYER DUCK page, where Alcala used Kirby's main linework but did a lot of his own shading. Also a very nice is the SATAN'S SIX page.

There's a good speech and Q&A session from a 1966 convention in here. Kirby's in fine form, very funny (KIRBY: Roy has asked me to announce that there'll be a refreshment period. ROY: No, a question period. KIRBY: Well, if there's a refreshment period, it's on me). He also mentions the "extras" in his crowd scenes being people from his life, like his brother-in-law or old landlord, which came up here a few weeks ago.

The Kirby Obscura article looks at some more nice 1950s stuff, including one I'm now in love with based on the splash page. "Lone Shark", the story of a mutant killer shark, narrated by the shark. I hope they reprint that. The splash from the DC published "The Two-Dimensional Man" is also great.

A big part of this issue is a series of articles/interviews with people who Lisa Kirby presented with a "Jack Kirby Award" last year, various friends and associates, including a long interview with Steve Sherman and his brother Gary. I haven't read all of those yet, just quickly scanned them and looked at the art included, but there are some interesting anecdotes about the Kirby family life in California. Lots of interesting photos and artwork, including a very different early Devil Dinosaur proposal (originally a modern day "hidden land" type story, including remnants of Atlantis and an old Nazi sub crew) and an unused Captain Victory page and a very odd photo-comic proposal STARBABY (printed in colour on the backcover). Looking forward to reading through this section.

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