Sunday, 23 March 2014


Hands up who likes Jack Kirby?

Good gracious, almost all of you.


As I've said before, I grew up reading British anthologies - they are my inspiration for PARAGON - so never really found a place in my heart for superheroes, which were predominantly an American thing. This probably explains why I have no interest in muscular men in spandex pants hitting each other.

But I just don't get the love for Kirby; look at this page from The Prisoner (which other online blogs have been drooling over)

The anatomy is appalling. How long are those arms?

Consider his British contemporaries, the Franks Hampson and Bellamy.
While Kirby was churning this out, Bellamy was drawing Fraser of Africa

The beautiful stippling and sepia tones on that astonish me. And the man could turn his hand to everything; he drew the Winston Churchill biographical comic, the Happy Warrior (soon to be reprinted), science fiction (ever seen his Dr Who illustrations for the Radio Times? His Star Trek comics? His Thunderbirds work?) and of course, Garth - the Daily Mirror three panel strip.

I'm sure you are aware of Frank Hampson and his creation Dan Dare and the beautiful airbrushed space-scapes within it, and of course the fantastic alien worlds and spaceships, so here's one of the last pages he drew

even at the end of his life, he held a beautiful line.

So tell me again why this Kirby chap is so lauded?

1 comment:

Kid said...

I'd have to agree with you about that Prisoner page - I've always thought it was awful since I first saw it many years ago. Jack was far from the peak of his powers at this stage, perhaps due to deadline pressure, age or illness, or a combination of all three.

Jack's art was great for a long time 'though, and even greater when inked by Wally Wood. You can see a few examples here: