Eighteenth in a series of posts, each one analyzing a single panel from a Jack Kirby-drawn comic book.
I only own one original piece of Jack Kirby art [inked by Mike Royer] and it is page 19 from Devil Dinosaur #4 (July 1978), a short-lived Marvel Comic series about the first human boy and his pet dinosaur. Alas, neither of the lead characters are featured on this page but, even when Kirby was writing a transitional scene, he couldn’t help but flex hyperbole.
This panel in particular engrosses me. I dig the way Kirby graphically presents the clash of transition. The organisms of the old in conflict with the technology of the new while commenting on the state of the future. A world wide war. Kirby was fascinated with the twilight of the future while honoring the wisdom, heartbreaks, and history of the past. My favorite comic book authors are masters who write with their art; creating a unique and personal storytelling calligraphy.
Despite some of his outlandish yet oft times super prescient concepts [Ego the living planet, The Silver Surfer, Galactus, The Negative Zone, The Power of HIM, OMAC, Mother Box, and “The Source,” to name a few], Jack Kirby knew it was a priority to entertain while delivering emotional truths. He didn’t seem so concerned with the wiring of plausibility but more with the nuts and bolts of what makes us tick. And, with that in mind, Kirby cleaned our clocks with his big ideas and made them attainable for young boys and girls to grasp and mull over. Kirby made people think in ways that could ignite the atoms of genius and melt lesser minds.
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CHECK OUT “Cosmic Debris: Kirby in the ’70s,” a series running in tandem with “Kirb Your Enthusiasm” at the 4CP gallery of comic book details | Kirby cutaways and diagrams collected at the Comic Book Cartography gallery | Joe Alterio’s Cablegate Comix and HiLobrow posts about comics and cartoonists, and science fiction | The Jack Kirby Chronology | scans of rare 1940-50s Kirby comics at the Digital Comic Museum | Joshua Glenn on the New Gods generation
POSTS IN THIS SERIES: Douglas Rushkoff on THE ETERNALS | John Hilgart on BLACK MAGIC | Gary Panter on DEMON | Dan Nadel on OMAC | Deb Chachra on CAPTAIN AMERICA | Mark Frauenfelder on KAMANDI | Jason Grote on MACHINE MAN | Ben Greenman on SANDMAN | Annie Nocenti on THE X-MEN | Greg Rowland on THE FANTASTIC FOUR | Joshua Glenn on TALES TO ASTONISH | Lynn Peril on YOUNG LOVE | Jim Shepard on STRANGE TALES | David Smay on MISTER MIRACLE | Joe Alterio on BLACK PANTHER | Sean Howe on THOR | Mark Newgarden on JIMMY OLSEN | Dean Haspiel on DEVIL DINOSAUR | Matthew Specktor on THE AVENGERS | Terese Svoboda on TALES OF SUSPENSE | Matthew Wells on THE NEW GODS | Toni Schlesinger on REAL CLUE | Josh Kramer on THE FOREVER PEOPLE | Glen David Gold on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY | Douglas Wolk on 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY | MORE EXEGETICAL COMMENTARIES: Joshua Glenn on Kirby’s Radium Age Sci-Fi Influences | Chris Lanier on Kirby vs. Kubrick | Scott Edelman recalls when the FF walked among us | Adam McGovern is haunted by a panel from THE NEW GODS | Matt Seneca studies the sensuality of Kirby’s women | Danny Fingeroth figgers out The Thing |