Saturday, December 27, 2014


In 1963 Lee/Kirby came up with a reusable explanation for characters having unique powers. Mutation. They collaborated on the first twenty issues of X-MEN from 1963 to 1966 and created the first 17 Marvel Universe Homo Superiors: Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, Marvel Girl, Magneto, Vanisher, Blob, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad, Mastermind, Unus, Lucifer, Juggernaut and Mimic.
A decade later Kirby created 5 more mutants for Marvel without Lee's input: Burner, Lifter, Peepers, Shocker and Slither.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Lee's twenty years of scripting experience and Kirby's craft, honed by drawing nearly 9000 pages by this point in his career, combined to produce the perfect 13 page Giant Menace story. (and create one of the three best-known dragons after Smaug and Puff).

Monday, December 22, 2014

What is the Subtext?

From August 1961's JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #73

 9% of U.S. households (3,880,000) had a TV in 1950.
87.1% of U.S. households (45,750,000) had a TV in 1960.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The REAL reason Disney settled with Kirby's human creations?

See, there's been this series of science-fiction movies, three in all, the last few years. Maybe you've seen one or all of them. I've only seen one of them, myself, and it seemed altogether Kirbyesque to me.
- Mark Evanier, THE SOURCE column (1986 NEW GODS #1 reprint

A 1972 triptych from issue 9 of the series that MIGHT have inspired STAR WARS.

Monday, December 15, 2014


This one-page retelling of the seven page "What was Gargantus"  from STRANGE TALES #80 is an early example.
STRANGE TALES #85 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped March 1961
    "The Return of Gargantus" (13 Kirby/Ayers pages)
    "The Man Who Fell" (5 Reinman pages)
     "The Ape Man" (5 Ditko pages)

Reinman draws an impressive gypsy and a credible gypsy camp.
Ditko designs an entire prison island for his five-pager.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Some comics historians theorize he may have been an inker on some portion of Kirby's landmark comic Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961), for which George Klein is the generally recognized, uncredited inker. Others note the long lag time between Rule's last confirmed credit and the Fantastic Four premiere. The Jack Kirby Museum, singularly and with no specified corroboration, gives Rule credit for stories as late as "I Dream of Doom" in Strange Tales #96 (May 1962), and lists him as inker for one of three chapters in The Fantastic Four #1 (the 12-page "The Fantastic Four Meet the Moleman") and the 24-page entirety of The Fantastic Four #2 (Jan. 1962)"

Friday, November 28, 2014

After presenting 60 stories by 15 different artists* in 13 issues, the 14th issue of TALES OF SUSPENSE was the first to have only two stories by two different artists.

Of course, one of those artists was Kirby, who also provided the cover. The other was Ditko.

*Kirby, Ayers, Burgos, Crandall, Ditko, Everett, Reinman, Heck, Buscema, Forgione, Sinnott, Williamson, Forte, Lieber and Heath.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From January 1956 to September 1958 15 issues of WORLD OF FANTASY were published. They presented 90 stories by 49 artists.

Talents as diverse as Bernard Krigstein
Gene Colan

Mort Meskin
Manny Stallman
and future Kirby inker, Chris Rule
Early November 1958 WORLD OF FANTASY #16 shipped. It had the debut appearances in that title of three men that many credit with saving Marvel Comics and possibly the entire industry from extinction in the next decade.
 Joe Sinnott, many fans' favorite Kirby inker.
Steve Ditko
 and the savior of superhero comics - Kirby.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fin Fang Foom marked the end of 13 page Giant Menace Era. Starting with STRANGE TALES #90 Kirby's lead stories were cut back to seven pages.

Coincidence-filled alien invader stories with twist endings supplied by unlikely heroes filled the void. 
There isn't a story that can't be made better by setting it at a circus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lee and Kirby hit the ball and touched them all with their lead story for STRANGE TALES #89.

"When I was a kid, I loved going to the movies. When I say a kid, I mean 10, 11, 12 years old. And there was one movie I'd seen. I remember nothing about it except the name. It took place in China, I believe, and the name of the movie was Chu Chin Chow. Now I have no idea what it meant — I don't know if it was somebody's name or a country or a city, but I never forgot that name. Those three words just stuck in my memory: Chu Chin Chow. So when I was looking for the name of a monster, I remember Chu Chin Chow ... and that particular meter, that beat, somehow led to Fin Fang Foom."  Stan Lee (from ALTER EGO #3)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Was the CCG the reason that the Kirby Estate didn't think the Supreme Court would give them a blank check and infinite credit ruling?!?!

Am I the only one who thinks that there will soon be a Kirby Museum at every Disney Theme Park with an animatronic Kirby drawing purchasable art in a recreation of his basement studio complete with the appropriate shows on a vintage television?!?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

88 YEARS AGO TODAY Another master craftsman who would use his skills to embellish Kirby (and others) was born

Fun fact: Joe Sinnott has been working for Marvel for 64 years, he has been inking the Sunday Spider-Man newspaper strip for the last 22 years!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Not only did Marvel finess the cover...
they only reprinted 90% of the story!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


(W/A) Various (CA) Don Heck
    In 1958, Stan Lee stood before the decimated Atlas line. Having gone from editor of a line of dozens of titles to just eight, Stan refocused his efforts on only biggest and best: enter TALES OF SUSPENSE! Anchored by the visual talents Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck, this new "big monster" book became part of a creative revival that would change comics forever. Their twist-ending tales featuring Martians, killer robots and massive monsters were the very foundation for what would become Marvel's super-hero House of Ideas. So strap on your tin-foil hat, grab your ray gun, and get ready to dive into one of the most amazing eras of comics' history! Collecting TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #1-10. Reprints 8 Kirby-drawn stories totaling 45 pages of art and 7 Kirby covers

(W/A) Various (CA) Larry Lieber
    Experience classic tales featuring mystic hero Dr. Droom, arch-villain Dr. Doom and the cosmic Watcher in one must-have Masterworks collection! Featuring some of the era's greatest talents - Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas and Gene Colan - it's a perfect Masterworks pedigree! This volume will also include a host of amazing extras from the 1960s peak of the Marvel Age - original Marvel Merry Marching Society memorabilia; rare pinups, posters and prints; and more! It's the volume you've dreamed of, so reserve your copy today! Collecting material from AMAZING ADVENTURES (1961) #1-5 (16 Kirby pages), TALES OF SUSPENSE #49-58, SILVER SURFER (1968) #1-7, MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #20 and #23, and ASTONISHING TALES (1970) #1-8.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kirby denied credit for Marvel work.

"The Human Torch (joined by the Thing with ST 125, Oct 1964) received even less attention from its creator; Lieber wrote it and Dick Ayers who was most prominent as an inker, drew it from the beginning."
      - THE COMIC BOOK HEROES by Jacobs & Jones (1985)
 Maybe they hadn't bought an OVERSTREET in 9 years. OVERSTREET began crediting Kirby with the art for this story in  the 5th edition (1974) of the comic guide that changed the focus of the hobby by monetizing it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014


After 9 consecutive issues with nearly equal amounts of Kirby, Ditko, Heck and Reinman art the story count per issue was reduced to 3 starting with STRANGE TALES #82 so that the Kirby-drawn stories could be expanded to 13 pages.

STRANGE TALES #73 - Kirby/Everett cover - shipped Oct 1959
        "Grottu, King of the Insects" (6 Kirby/Everett pages)
        "I Saw the End of the World" (5 Ditko pages)
        "I Was Captured by the Mole Men" (6 Heck pages)
        "I am a Walking Time Bomb" (6 Reinman pages)

STRANGE TALES #74 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped Nov 1959
        "Gorgolla, the Living Gargoyle" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
        "Beware the Hands of Hundu" (6 Heck pages)
         "I Was Trapped in the Nightmare World" (5 Reinman pages)
         "When the Totem Walks" (5 Ditko pages)

STRANGE TALES #75 - Kirby/Ditko cover - shipped Jan 1960
        "Taboo, the Thing from Murky Swamp" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
        "The Return of the Totem" (6 Ditko pages)
        "Doomsday" (5 Reinman pages)
        "I Made the Hulk Live" (5 Heck pages)

STRANGE TALES #76 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped March 1960
       "I am Dragoom, the Flaming Intruder" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
       "Beware, the Ghosts Surround Me" (6 Heck pages)
       "The Dummy and Me" (5 Reinman pages)
       "I Found the Mad Universe" (5 Ditko pages)

STRANGE TALES #77 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped May 1960
      "The Return of Taboo" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
      "I am the Beast-Man" (6 Heck pages)
      "The Strange Magic of Master Khan" (5 Ditko pages)
      "Am I the... Unhuman?" (5 Reinman pages)

STRANGE TALES #78 - Kirby/Klein cover - shipped June 1960
       "A Martian Walks Among Us" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
       "The Fantastic Menace of Mento the Mighty" (6 Heck pages)
       "The Gargoyle" (5 Reinman pages)
        "Worm Man" (5 Ditko pages)

STRANGE TALES #79 - Kirby/Ditko cover - shipped July 1960
       "I Was in the Clutches of the Living Shadow" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
       "The Ghost of Grismore Castle" (5 Ditko pages)
       "I Found the Perfect Hiding Place" (5 Reinman pages)
       "The Thing on the Moon" (5 Heck pages)

STRANGE TALES #80 - Kirby/Ditko cover - shipped Aug 1960
     "What? What? What was Gargantus" (7 Kirby/Ditko pages)
     "The Thing from Dimension X" (6 Heck pages)
     "the Door They Dare Not Open" (5 Reinman pages)
     "Trapped in the Room of Shadows" (5 Ditko pages)

STRANGE TALES #81 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped Sep 1960
     "The Scarecrow Walks" (7 Kirby/Ayers pages)
     "A Giant There Was" (6 Heck pages)
     "I Went Too Far Back" (5 Reinman pages)
     "The Thing in the Cell" (5 Ditko pages)

STRANGE TALES #82 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped Oct 1960
     "The Thing Called... It" (13 Kirby/Ayers pages)
      "The World Beyond" (5 Ditko pages)
      "Fangs of the Monster" (5 Heck pages)

STRANGE TALES #83 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped Jan 1961
        "From Out of the Black Pit Came... Grogg" (13 Kirby/Ayers pages)
         "Masquerade Party" (5 Ditko pages)
         "The Menace of Shandu" (5 Heck pages)

STRANGE TALES #84 - Kirby/Ayers cover - shipped Feb 1961
        "The Wonder of the Ages, Magneto" (13 Kirby/Ayers pages)
        "Twelve Silent Men" (5 Reinman pages)
         "They Met on Mars" (5 Ditko page story)

The proto-Magneto helps set the tone for the upcoming Superhero Age in STRANGE TALES #84. And what red-blooded American boy wouldn't like a story set at a carnival?

Thursday, August 14, 2014


There seem to be several souls out there laboring under the delusion that I "ghost wrote" some or all of these issues. This is not true.
 Mark Evanier, THE SOURCE column (1986 NEW GODS #1 reprint) 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014