Thursday, December 26, 2013

Was the reprint editor purposely trying to ruin Lee and Kirby's reputations?

If you started reading comics in the early 1970's the edited versions of well-crafted Silver Age masterpieces might have made you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Editing Masterpiece?


Page five from MARVEL'S GREATEST COMICS #57 was created by combining pages five and six of FANTASTIC FOUR #75

Monday, December 23, 2013

Superfluous Kirby - The Fantastic Four File

If you didn't start reading comics until 1969 you would not have seen this page showing how responsible Sue Richards was about her prenatal care as it was cut from the 1975 reprinting of FANTASTIC FOUR #76.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rainy Day Fun: Identify the Kirby inkers.

Jim Lee inked 1 of the story pages of PHANTOM FORCE #1 (plus a pin-up). Can you tell which page? The other was finished by Scott Williams.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Along with a few surviving western titles, much of Kirby's output was now movie-matinee-style monsters with names like Monstrom and Titano and Groot and Krang and Droom. Lee would feed plots to his younger brother, Larry Lieber, who would then write them into scripts and send them to Kirby."

to purchase a copy and/or 
read a chapter for free

There is a review and comments from folks that have read the book at

Comic scholar Nick Caputo has observed that a planet-with-a-word-balloon panel is indicative of a Larry Lieber script.

The Ditko contribution to March 1961's TALES OF SUSPENSE #18 was a five page hard science fiction story likely inspired by Asimov's popular robot stories. 

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    96 YEARS AGO TODAY: the most important birth in comics' history!

       The Hero Initiative is a charitable organization dedicated to helping veteran comic creators in medical or financial need. The Hero Initiative has recruited more than 40 artists to celebrate Jack Kirby's birthday by drawing a “birthday card to Jack.” The drawings will be featured at, and they will be auctioned to benefit Hero Initiative at a later date.

       Or you can simply donate in Kirby's name via the PayPal link at Please type in “Kirby4Heroes” in the special instructions box. 

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

    "Although a rare and potent blend of horror and heroics, THE DEMON failed to build as other Kirby creations had, and perished after sixteen issues." - THE COMIC BOOK HEROES (1985)

    In 1989's THE COMIC BOOK IN AMERICA by Mike Benton THE DEMON is mentioned once, as one of Kirby's Fourth World books.

    In the 256 page DC COMICS: SIXTY YEARS OF THE WORLD'S FAVORITE COMIC BOOK HEROES by Les Daniels, the Demon is mentioned once and only because of his appearance in the Bissette-rendered panel from the 1985 SWAMP THING ANNUAL #2 that illustrates the Swamp Thing's chapter.

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Jack Kirby, Storyteller: Galactus and the Inhumans

    By Barry Pearl

    About a Year ago the Daily Kirby gave me the privilege of posting a blog that asked a very interesting question.  I thought the time had come for me to give MY answer, which actually has a Cold War influnce.  And I hope it surprises you!!!!   I wrote, in part,

    In Fantastic Four #48, the Inhumans siblings, Black Bolt and Maximus battle and Maximus wins. “I can create a negative zone around our land. A zone that nothing can penetrate.” And Maximus creates a barrier forever separating the Inhumans from Humanity.

    Of course, life goes on, and Galactus, led by his herald, the Silver Surfer, attempts to drain Earth of all of its energy.  In issue #50, the Silver Surfer turns against his master and is punished for it. “Since you shall be herald to Galactus no longer. I shall remove your space time powers. Henceforth, the Silver Surfer shall roam the galaxies no longer.”  And the Surfer is banished, stranded on Earth to live amongst the people he helped save.

    So what’s the link? A defeated Maximus punishes the Inhumans by imprisoning them in the Giant Refuge to keep them separate from humanity. Galactus does just the opposite he punishes the Silver Surfer by imprisoning him on Earth where he must forever mingle with the same humanity. There is a contradiction here. But which is the worst punishment?

    The surprising (I hope) answer is: Both are!!!! Because they were both given the SAME punishment.  In both cases the powers that be, Maximus and Galactus, took away their ability to make a choice. They took away their freedom, their freedom to choose. They were both shown that they were not fully in charge of their own lives.  Crystal was separated from her love, Johnny, and the Surfer was separated from his love, Shalla-Bal. Neither could go where they wanted to.

    Why is this a cold war ending? In 1966, Russia did not allow people to leave their country, even on a vacation.  Even during the Olympics, Russian athletes were heavily guarded. They, like the Inhumans, had to remain where they were born. The ability not to travel was definitely a cold war era concern.

    PS: There were two mistakes in the Silver Surfer comic I feel that lead to its cancellation. First, although he was the Sentinel of the Skyways he was trapped on Earth. That was fun for a few issues, but he would have been more interesting visiting other galaxies.

    But there was something about the early Silver Surfer  stories that was so silly!!!!!  Stan Lee, wanted to use the Surfer as the best example of prejudice and discrimination, often alluding to the reality of being an African-American or another  minority.

    So is it discriminatory or common sense when in the middle of winter a naked, silver, plastic person shows up with a surfboard in your backyard and you don’t live near the beach… and you call the police?  Being fearful of that is not prejudice, it’s common sense.

    (Barry became part of the Silver Age zeitgeist by having a letter printed in SILVER SURFER #14. - Bill)

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Is it merely nostalgia that makes me think June 1967 was one of Marvel's best months?

    1st - Beatles release Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in US.
    2nd - Race riots in Roxbury section of Boston
    3rd - Aretha Franklin's "Respect" reaches #1
    4th - 19th Emmy Awards: Mission Impossible, Monkees, Don Knotts & Lucy Ball. Monkees take home an Emmy for their Outstanding comedy Series
    5th - Murderer Richard Speck sentenced to death in electric chair
    11th - Race riot in Tampa Florida; National Guard mobilizes
    12th - Race riot in Cincinnati, Ohio (300 arrested). Supreme Court unanimously ends laws against interracial marriages
    13th - "You Only Live Twice" premieres in US. Thurgood Marshall nominated as 1st black Supreme Court justice
    16th - 50,000 attend Monterey International Pop Festival
    17th - China becomes world's 4th thermonuclear (H-bomb) power
    18th - Monterey International Pop Festival rocks Southern California
    19th - Paul McCartney admits on TV that he took LSD
    20th - Muhammad Ali convicted of refusing induction into armed services
    25th - 400 million watch Beatles "Our World" TV special (First global satellite television program)
    25th - Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay) sentenced to 5 years

    retro-researched on the Proto-net

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    "Jack Kirby meets Philip Marlowe? It's got my vote!" BRYAN TALBOT

    Talbot's not talking about this...

     He's talking about this!

    The new book by the best-selling author of 

    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    Joe Kubert and the Germans help Kirby get work.

         While stationed in Germany in 1951, a German movie magazine with red and blue anaglyphic photographs and glasses impressed Joe Kubert. In 1952, after being discharged from the Army, he convinced St. John to hire him to write, draw and produce their comics. Kubert got his boyhood friend and fellow artist Norman Maurer to assist him. In the Spring of 1953 the duo developed an affordable way to produce the same 3-D effect as the German magazine. They devised a process unique enough to patent.  They formed the American Sterographic Corporation and sold the first license to use their innovation to St. John.

    A month and half later a million and a quarter copies of THREE DIMENSION COMICS #1 starring Mighty Mouse arrived at the newstands. Even though it cost 250% more than the 2-D comics it sold out. St. John decided to make their entire line 3-D.

    Leon Harvey (of Harvey Comics) noted the success of THREE DIMENSION COMICS #1, was able to figure out the basics of 3-D and began publishing 3-D comics two months later using a method that created 4 planes of depth rather than the 6 planes of depth that the Kubert/Maurer process produced.

    Harvey contacted Jack Kirby and asked him to develop a superhero to capitalize on 3-D's popularity.

    Unfortunately by the time CAPTAIN 3-D reached the market the 3-D fad was over.

    For more about the history of the 3-D process (which goes back to 1838) I recommend AMAZING 3-D by Hal Morgan and Dan Symmes

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Congratulations to Sean Howe for his well-deserved Eisner Award nomination for MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY

    to purchase a copy and/or read a chapter for free:

    There are many gems of Kirby information with every source documented for deeper research. 

    It also provides historical perspective. Here is one of 432 footnotes:
    Early fandom had unkind words for the Hulk. "It stinks. A comic-book length rendition of one of their hack monster stories with a continuing character modeled more or less on The Thing." wrote Don and Maggie Thompson in COMIC ART #3.

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    What a difference a half century makes!


    After a two week drought 4 proto-Marvels shipped the last week of February 1961. Half of them had Kirby/Ayers covers, the other half were romance titles with Vince Colletta covers. Both of the Kirby-covered comics had some Kirby interior art

     JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #68 had the most interior Kirby art with another variation on the 13 page Giant monster story. (GUNSMOKE WESTERN #64 had the least with only 5 Kirby pages)

    Saturday, March 2, 2013

    And now a man who needs no introduction

    At least not to DAILY KIRBY regulars. His one guest post has been read more times than any of the hundreds I've composed.  He has a frequently updated blog where he shares his pearls of comic book wisdom. He is also the originator of the most logical theory of why there was a Marvel Age of Comics.

    By Barry Pearl

         In the beginning, Marvel’s “House of Ideas” was built on Jack Kirby’s creativity, Steve Ditko’s ingenuity and Stan Lee’s continuity. Throw in the consistency of Don Heck and Dick Ayers and you have the birth of the Marvel Age. As if it was a race and not a business, some fans like to give out credit for the incredible Marvel Age to just one person.
       When that issue comes up, I like to ask, “What is the most important leg on a three legged stool.” The people who cared most about the quality of comics were not those who published them but those who created them.  And Lee, Kirby and Ditko were on top of that list.
        And Lee held it all together, keeping Kirby and the others on track and keeping in touch with the fans to see what they wanted. It was Stan’s dialogue that, uniquely for that era, gave each character their own personality. And while DC and others had each characters each in their own world, Stan was able to weave Marvel’s stories together, creating a One Universe concept never tried before in comics.  It worked, but don’t think that the artists were keeping track of that.  They were too busy getting their own pages drawn to look at their own finished comics, let alone the comics of others. In the beginning that burden fell on Lee alone.
         But if Kirby gave wonder to the Marvel Universe then Steve Ditko gave it awe. Kirby externalized the quest for knowledge, Ditko internalized it. On a journey to the Infinite Kirby took us to the outer reaches of the universe. On a journey to find Eternity Ditko took us into the minds of the Ancient One and Dr. Strange.
         A great example is the Incredible Hulk, which failed after six issues. Lee and Kirby created a creature that turned from man to “monster” by peripheral events: A bomb blast, the sun setting and finally a gamma ray machine. It was Steve Ditko who internalized the situation and gave Banner an anger management problem. Now Banner, himself, was the cause of the change. This is what made the Hulk an iconic character. While Kirby look outward to cause the change, Ditko looked inside the character.
    It took the best of all three men, aided and abetted by Heck and Ayers, working together, to create the characters we have today.  Ask yourself, how many of the Marvel movies, 50 years later, are based on characters that came later?

    And you can learn a valuable lesson: The decency, humanity and humor of the Marvel Super-Heroes was hereditary. They got it from their creators.