Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Happy 100th Birthday To Jack Kirby!

Happy Belated Birthday to the one and only Jack Kirby, who would have been one hundred years young on 8/28. 

Kirby passed away back in 1994, but fortunately fir us his amazing body of work lives on. Kirby, together with writer Stan Lee, created most of the Marvel Comics Universe back in the 1960s. The two of them had an unusual working relationship, which they dubbed the "Marvel Method." First they'd briefly discuss a general idea for a plot. Kirby would go off and draw the whole thing, often adding new characters and ideas they'd never talked about. Then Lee would come in and write the dialogue over the art. It was an offbeat way of producing comics, but it worked! And how!

I've been a fan of Kirby's bold, stylized work ever since I was old enough to hold a comic book. He had the ability to infuse his drawings with action an energy, resulting in still images that almost looked like they were moving. 

His characters also stretched the boundaries of human anatomy to often ridiculous lengths. It's like he broke the rules and put them back together in a completely new and different way for his own purposes. Somehow it worked though, as his figures always conveyed an amazing sense of power and grace.

Oddly enough, Jack Kirby actually LOOKED many of the characters he drew! Or maybe it's the other way around.

Kirby's influence lives on in comics of course, and in film as well. There would be no Marvel Studios movies without Jack Kirby, as every frame is filled with his characters, designs and ideas. It's too bad he didn't live to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Happy 100th, Jack Kirby!

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