Remembering Jack Kirby (A Review of Captain America #4)
Today is Friday August 28th, 2015, and while my feet are firmly planted on the ground, my eyes are looking up to the sky.
You can thank Jack Kirby for that.
Born in 1918, the legendary Jack "The King" Kirby has become a household name in the homes of comic fans and art enthusiasts. He's worked on pretty much damn near every comic book character you can think of and helped created some of the best.
One of my favorite comics he lent his artistic talents to is this book: AVENGERS #4. In a tale written by Stan Lee, in this key moment in Marvel Comic Mythology, CAPTAIN AMERICA is found by the Avengers and released from suspended animation after being frozen in ice for decades. After summarily showing how awesome of a fighter he is, he is given pretty much automatic membership on the team. It's a defining moment for the world of comics and to this day, remains one of my favorite comic books of all time.
There was something about the way the characters jumped from the page. Arms, hands and even fingers outstretched...poised for action. Many comic artists of the day (and even today) captured heroes as if they were standing in front of a camera posing. Not Jack. His artwork was like a still frame in the middle of a fistfight and you felt the energy bursting from the panels.
I never had the good fortune to meet Jack Kirby. I started attending comic book conventions in 1986 at the age of 12, and have been lucky enough to meet some of the best comic creators in the industry. Sadly, Jack was never one of them. I guess I figured guys like Kirby would live forever. He passed away when I was 20, and his artistic and creative influences surround guys like me every day. Ask anyone that knows anything about comic books who was one of the greatest and most influential comic artists of all time. I challenge you to find one that doesn't mention Kirby's name.
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