Tuesday, September 26, 2017

48 YEARS AGO TODAY

What is better than a multi-part Lee/Kirby FANTASTIC FOUR story based on a Star Trek episode?
A Lee/Kirby trilogy based on two STAR TREK episodes that were broadcast a week apart: “The Gamesters of Triskelion" (January 5, 1968) and “A Piece of the Action” (January 12, 1968). If you want to experience the zeitgeist of the late Sixties I suggest you watch these and then read FANTASTIC FOUR #91-93.
In the former Captain Kirk is abducted into slavery and trained to fight as a gladiator for the entertainment of gambling aliens. In the latter Kirk visits a planet with a 1920s gangster culture. 
If you would like to have an authentic snack from that era I would suggest SpaghettiOs and coke in an aluminum can.

Monday, September 25, 2017

57 YEARS AGO TODAY

Writer/editor/art director Stan Lee thought enough of both Ditko and Ayers to allow them to embellish Kirby's artwork.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

75 YEARS AGO TODAY

This might be the first time some of you long time fans saw Kirby's name (it was the first time that it appeared on the cover of ADVENTURE COMICS)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

55 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby drew the Hulk flying in INCREDIBLE HULK #4
    Lee's captions insist that the Hulk is leaping even though the art shows the Hulk changing direction in midair. It is possible that Lee didn't reject the page and have Kirby draw a new one because Kirby wouldn't be paid for the rejected page.

Friday, September 22, 2017

49 YEARS AGO TODAY

This 1968 Lee/Kirby splash demonstrates how their decade of collaborating had honed their respective skills.
Kirby depicts the three characters that make it possible for Lee to craft  a synopsis disguised as a conversation, complete with a comedic punchline. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

45 YEARS AGO TODAY

MISTER MIRACLE #11 exhibits the archetypal opening for a Kirby-crafted 1970s comic, the visual one-two punch of a full page panel followed by a double-page spread.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

53 YEARS AGO TODAY

Marvel shipped as many Kirby-covered comics as the month before...9
  
This issue of STRANGE TALES, unlike the previous issue, had a Kirby cover AND interior Kirby art (1 page). Half of the Kirby-covered comics released in August and September of 1964 contained no Kirby interior art.

Monday, September 18, 2017

55 YEARS AGO TODAY

Banner decides in the second story of  HULK #4 that teenagers like Rick Jones  are undependable so he adds a foot switch to his transformation machine!
Words by Lee. Embellishment by Ayers.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

52 YEARS AGO TODAY

Hogun establishes himself as a staunch Thor ally in his third "Tales of Asgard" appearance.
from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #122
Inks by Colletta

Saturday, September 16, 2017

54 YEARS AGO TODAY

Even though Marvel had expanded their monthly output by 30% from a year earlier, Kirby penciled the same amount of covers - nine. Six of the Kirby-covered books had interior pencils by Kirby totaling 107 pages.
Dick Ayers did not embellish ANY Kirby artwork that was published September 1963 leaving a void that was filled by Sol Brodsky, Paul Reinman, Don Heck, George Ruossos and Steve Ditko.

Friday, September 15, 2017

55 YEARS AGO TODAY

One-quarter of most shops' 40 pocket spinner rack would be displaying Marvel product. 90% of that product had Kirby covers. 80% had interior art by Kirby totaling 121 pages.
Full-time Kirby embellisher Dick Ayers was able to finish 108 of those pages.


Fun fact: "Marvels carrying dates of 1962-1964 featured 3,130 pages of Kirby art plus 285 covers - roughly the equivalent of a book a week." - Mark Evanier KIRBY: KING OF COMICS

Thursday, September 14, 2017

66 YEARS AGO TODAY

BLACK MAGIC volume 2 #1 was in the shops with 8 pages of Jack Kirby art inspired by the same legend as this Albert Pinkham Ryder painting from a half century earlier.

To see the rest of the story

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

55 YEARS AGO TODAY

There was 9 comics with Kirby covers available for the discriminating consumer. 


 More than half of those covers were inked by Dick Ayers. 
If you were seduced by this Kirby/Ayers cover into purchasing this comic you were rewarded with 24 pages of interior art by the same team. Their combined talents made it possible for Stan Lee to establish that the Fantastic Four was set in the real world by having guest stars anyone would recognize. For an example of just a few of these celebrities 
click HERE.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

56 YEARS AGO TODAY

The Kirby/Ayers Age of Marvel Comics continued.


Examples of pre-Sinnott Kirby/Ayers Krackle.

Monday, September 11, 2017

57 YEARS AGO TODAY It was the Kirby/Ayers Age of Marvel Comics.

“As the inker Dick had to do a lot of “embellishing” (in ink, but also in pencil, to bring the drawing up to a finish before inking it). Also a lot of corrections and refinements and added detail were required–probably partly due to how fast Kirby penciled, which was always very fast (as much as five pages per day, I have heard–on a good day the most I could ever manage was three, and not on a regular basis!). Anyhow Dick estimated that the inking took him two or three times as much time per page as it did for Jack to pencil. And he wasn’t bragging or complaining–that’s just how it was in those days.” - Rich Buckler
 
from TALES TO ASTONISH #15
Dick Ayers prided himself in making sure that the period weaponry and costuming was authentic.


Not only did Ayers work his magic on this Kirby cover he also embellished all 23 of the interior pages, five of which were penciled by Kirby.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

59 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby illustrates the danger of changing the channel on someone else's television set!
FUN FACT: In 1958, American shoppers paid $269.95 for Sears’ “best 24-inch console TV” (black and white, of course) 
In 1958 the Average Annual Salary was $5,500, Minimum Wage was $1.00 per hour

Saturday, September 9, 2017

60 YEARS AGO TODAY

40 year old Kirby adds Cubism to his artist skill set.
Kirby also provided the art and possibly the script for the 8 page story this cover promotes.

Friday, September 8, 2017

61 YEARS AGO TODAY

 After 18 years in the industry Kirby knew how to draw a crowd.
To read the rest of this rare gem

Thursday, September 7, 2017

62 YEARS AGO TODAY

Was it a conspiracy or just good business sense?
 Kirby immortalizes a famous Freemason!


Fun fact: In 1955 10% of adult American males belonged to a Masonic Lodge.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

69 YEARS AGO TODAY

The Kirby and Simon comic that started a new genre, YOUNG ROMANCE #1, was being pulled off the nation's racks to make room for the second issue.
Just because it was a Love Comic it didn't mean that there was not any action.

If you decided to focus on collecting just Love Comics with Kirby art you would end up purchasing more than 160 comics over the  next sixteen years.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

73 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you were collecting Kirby covers you may have been a victim of fraud. Experts disagree if this cover was by Jack Kirby or Louis Cazeneuve, who like many other talented comic artists, had inked some Kirby covers so it was probable that he could have created a credible Kirby counterfeit. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

67 YEARS AGO TODAY

By this time your local comic-selling retailer should have gotten all four of the Kirby-covered comics for September 1950. 



Odds are that one of these covers is Kirby's 200th (allowing for the Comic Historian Perception Variable of minus 0 to 16).  They DO agree that this brought his total of published covers for the year to 14.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

70 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you had started collecting Kirby-covered comics when they started appearing eight years earlier these two new releases would increase your collection to 156. (or maybe 141, Comic Historians are NOT in agreement)


Saturday, September 2, 2017

74 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you had started collecting Kirby-covered comics when they first began appearing four years earlier you would own 77 comics.
This would be the most recent one. Like 75% of your collection, it would also have interior Kirby art.