Saturday, September 21, 2019

56 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 20, 2019

50 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 consecutive STAR TREK episodes “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. 
To enhance the experience indulge in an authentic snack from that era such as SpaghettiOs and coke in an aluminum can.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

51 YEARS AGO TODAY

This 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. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

51 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you had been a FANTASTIC FOUR reader for less than five years this never-before-reprinted story in MARVEL COLLECTORS' ITEM CLASSICS #18 would be new to you.
The fun of rereading Silver Age Marvels is knowing now that Lee would provide the beginning and ending and task the artist/co-plotter with supplying  the middle. Superhero stories being formulaic that was frequently as simple as choreographing fight sequences. Having the alien interact with gangsters was probably a Kirby contribution.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

55 YEARS AGO TODAY

 Kirby gets Stoned!


All nine of the Kirby covers that shipped September 1964 were inked by Chic Stone.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

54 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 14, 2019

47 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.

Friday, September 13, 2019

57 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

Evanier did not quantify Ayers contribution.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 57 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.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 58 YEARS AGO TODAY

The Kirby/Ayers Age of Marvel Comics continued.


Examples of pre-Sinnott Kirby/Ayers Krackle.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

59 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.

Monday, September 9, 2019

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 61 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

Sunday, September 8, 2019

63 YEARS AGO TODAY

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

Saturday, September 7, 2019

64 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.

Friday, September 6, 2019

71 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.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

75 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. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 57 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 Accuracy Variable of minus 0 to 16).  They DO agree that this brought his total of published covers for the year to 14.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

72 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 can NOT agree)


Monday, September 2, 2019

76 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 Kirby story art.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

77 YEARS AGO TODAY

The 51st comic with a Kirby cover hit the shops.
It was the 21st without any story art by Kirby

Friday, August 30, 2019

81 YEARS AGO TODAY

Jack Kirby's first published comic book work was available in the stores.
Besides working for Lincoln Features in 1938, Kirby was also employed by Jerry Iger and Will Eisner's syndicate. His first assignments were Count of Monte Cristo (4 episodes or 8 episodes - it is a disputed point between historians), Diary of Dr.Hayward (12 episodes) and Wilton of the West (12 episodes).
Fiction House Publishing contracted Iger and Eisner's syndicate to supply material for JUMBO COMICS. They provided them with Kirby's Diary and Wilton, which Fiction House used in the first three issues of that title. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

83 YEARS AGO TODAY

Jack Kirby had been working as a staff artist for Lincoln Features Syndicate for three months, a job he would keep for two years. He created real facts strips (Your Health Comes First and Facts You Never Knew), humorous strips (Socko the Seadog and Abdyl Jones), adventure strips (Black Buccaneer and Cyclone Burke) and editorial cartoons. These strips were done in different styles and signed with different aliases.The enigmatic Lincoln Features, which was run by Horace T. Elmo, is a syndicate that sold features to weekly papers. Elmo never was able to sell a lot of his product. Lincoln was a mix of slapdash and brilliant work. The syndicate's main claim to fame is that Jack Kirby got his start there. Kirby didn't discuss the syndicate in any depth in later years, so we don't know much about it. Some Lincoln material is so rare that it has yet to be found actually appearing in a newspaper (Kirby's Abdul Jones, for instance, so far exists only in the form of a run of proofs that Kirby held onto) - source http://strippersguide.blogspot.com/2011/05/obscurity-of-day-detective-riley.html

Strippersguide.blogspot.com explains why it is that when you DO find a Lincoln strip in a Weekly it usually only runs for only 4-6 episodes which means that the syndicate sent the newspaper some samples, which the Weekly would then use without any intention of picking up the service on a paying basis.

This example of Kirby's early strip work appears in Mark Evanier's KIRBY KING OF COMICS and Greg Theakston's JACK KIRBY TREASURY.