Sunday, August 30, 2020

82 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 comic 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. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

84 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.

Friday, August 28, 2020

103 YEARS AGO TODAY JACOB KURTZBERG WAS BORN

Twenty years later he had mastered cartooning sufficiently enough to be hired by a syndicate to draw a daily cowboy strip called The Lone Rider.

By his 24th birthday Kurtzberg had changed his name to Jack Kirby and was working in the embryonic comic book industry. Kirby already had nearly 1000 published story pages to his credit and 18 covers.

By his 30th birthday Kirby had contributed nearly 3,000 pages of story art and 150 covers to the comic book zeitgeist.

By the time Kirby was 35 he had produced more than 5,000 story pages and 250 covers. 

When Kirby reached 40 he had 350 published covers to his credit.

By his 45th birthday he had reached 500 published covers.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

87 YEARS AGO TODAY

You could get Kirby art for a penny. Founded in 1932, The Boys Brotherhood Republic was Mayor LaGuardia's solution to New York City's juvenile delinquency problem. Kirby had been a member for less than a year when he assisted in starting the club's newsletter. The  mimeographed newsletter sold for a penny. Kirby, who had not yet changed his name from Kurtzberg, did his first comic strip for the weekly newsletter.

The Boys Brotherhood Republic still exists. It was renamed the Boys and Girls Republic in 1998.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

81 YEARS AGO TODAY

FAMOUS FUNNIES #61, the fourth comic book to contain Kirby art, was on sale. It had two and a half pages of ads, including  a Kirby full-pager for the Lone Rider feature that would begin in the next issue. This made Kirby's page count so far for his first year in the industry to be twenty-four and a half pages.

Slightly more than a year earlier Kirby had been hired by Associated Features Syndicate to produce his first daily strip. It was a knockoff of the Lone Ranger, a character that had at that point been on the radio for four years and star of his own monthly pulp magazine for half a year. The Lone Ranger comic strip appeared in newspapers from September 1938 to December 1971. Kirby's Lone Rider strip appeared from January 1939 until February 1939. Thirty-two of those strips were colored and a reprinted four to a page, two pages an issue in FAMOUS FUNNIES #62, 63, 64 and 65.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

50 YEARS AGO TODAY

NUFF SAID TRUE BELIEVER?!?!?!
 Kirby/Colletta cover
Kirby's 15th published cover for 1970. 
   
3 of the 22 pages of Kirby words and pictures.
It would be more than a month before any more new Kirby art would be published.

Monday, August 24, 2020

76 YEARS AGO TODAY

The 22nd Kirby-covered ADVENTURE COMICS was available for purchase. It was the 3rd Kirby Cover Only issue.
Kirby had nearly 100 covers published by this point in his career. The only title he had done more covers for was STAR SPANGLED COMICS

Sunday, August 23, 2020

47 YEARS AGO TODAY

The 20th comic for 1973 to be Kirby-covered, Kirby-written and Kirby-drawn went on sale.
inks by Royer

Saturday, August 22, 2020

42 YEARS AGO TODAY

Another historic New Comics Day at your local shop.
Kirby's final FANTASTIC FOUR cover hit the stores. Unfortunately only the cover was by him.

Plus Kirby's penultimate issue of MACHINE MAN. Cover and 17 pages of story and art by the King.

Friday, August 21, 2020

In the 1940's Kirby, along with his pre-Lee collaborator Simon, created three kid gang teams: the Young Allies, the Newsboy Legion and the Boy Commandos.

In INCREDIBLE HULK #1 Kirby, along with his post-Simon collaborator Lee, created the Hulk and his teen-age sidekick Rick Jones. In AVENGERS #1 Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade, a group of youthful radio ham enthusiasts, were responsible for the Avengers forming.



Ironically it was in the only Lee/Ditko issue of INCREDIBLE HULK that the Teen Brigade originated...


Thursday, August 20, 2020

77 YEARS AGO TODAY

The 16th consecutive Kirby-covered ADVENTURE COMICS was available for purchase. 
Like the previous 15 issues it also had Kirby story art.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

45 YEARS AGO TODAY

Your weekly trip to your local Comic Shop would have rewarded you with 2 comics with new Kirby covers.

Unfortunately neither one have any Kirby story art.

Monday, August 17, 2020

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 59 YEARS AGO TODAY

Proto-Marvel was still transitioning from a multitude of diverse artists to Kirby and the favored few.
 Kirby's 20th TALES OF SUSPENSE cover. (Ditko inks)
Not only was there 13 Kirby story pages, there was also 6 pages by Steve Ditko and 5 by Paul Reinman.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

80 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby's 5th cover went on sale. His first one appeared 3 months earlier. 
His first cover would have already been pulled from the racks and returned since it was cover-dated July 1940. That means that there would have been four different Kirby covers on display - just like the previous month!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

42 YEARS AGO TODAY

A visit to your LCS would have rewarded you with two Kirby-covered comics with 17 pages of Kirby words and pictures each.

Sadly, it was the final Kirby BLACK PANTHER and his penultimate DEVIL DINOSAUR.

Friday, August 14, 2020

59 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you saw this Kirby-rendered human transforming into an orange monster in TALES OF SUSPENSE #22...
you might have experienced DeJack Vu when you read FANTASTIC FOUR #1 a month later.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

62 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby's 4th consecutive cover for CHALLENGERS was his 14th cover contribution to the 1958 zeitgeist.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

75 YEARS AGO TODAY

Possibly Kirby's 100th published cover 
(or maybe his 113th depending on which comic historians you adhere to.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

77 YEARS AGO TODAY

The 19th consecutive Kirby covered STAR SPANGLED was available for purchase. At this point in history a quarter of his published covers were for that title.
Like the previous 18 issues it also had Kirby story art.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 59 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby further populates the proto-Marvel Universe by creating a terrified circus crowd.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

59 YEARS AGO TODAY

In slightly less than 3 years 25 issues of TALES TO ASTONISH were published.

96% of the issues had Kirby covers.
88% of the issues had interior Kirby art for a total 226 pages.
96% of the issues had interior Ditko art for a total 116 pages
76% of the issues had interior Heck art for a total 103 pages
32% of the issues had interior Reinman art for a total 38 pages
20% of the issues had interior Sinnott art for a total 25 pages.

Summer 1961 Kirby art from TALES TO ASTONISH #25 with comics' biggest competitor threatening the world!



The same issue presents a Heck 5 pager about the wisdom of robbing a Gypsy, no matter how isolated his house is. 
And Steve (the closer) Ditko completes the issue with a haunted house five pager.

Friday, August 7, 2020

78 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you had started purchasing Kirby covered comics since they first began appearing 27 months earlier your collection would now consist of 49 comics.
This would be the 20th one with ONLY a Kirby cover.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

67 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you were a Kirby Cover Completist in 1953 you would have had to spend only 50 cents so far.
You would only have had to buy BLACK MAGIC
All the 1953 issues also had Kirby story art. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

78 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby's 13th DC cover was available for purchase. 
FUN FACT: Kirby got 13 covers published at DC in half the time it took him at Marvel.
First 13 Marvel covers (May 1940 to Sep 1941 = 16 months)
First 13 DC covers (Jan 1942 to August 1942 = 8 months)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

79 YEARS AGO TODAY

A complete Timely/Atlas (Marvel) collection would consist of 53 comics.
The newest, CAPTAIN AMERICA #7, would have Kirby's 10th Marvel cover (plus 41 pages of Kirby story art.) 

      Despite Captain America's use of performance enhancing drugs Major League Baseball allows him to play in an official game.

Monday, August 3, 2020

ON THE SPINNER RACKS 61 YEARS AGO TODAY

Kirby immortalizes this famous shootist on a cover for the third time in 1959!
Like the previous 2 times they were inked by Christopher Rule.
Like the previous 2 times there was also Kirby story art.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

68 YEARS AGO TODAY

The release of these two comics brought Kirby's total of published covers for 1952 to eleven.
8 were for BLACK MAGIC

3 were for STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS

Saturday, August 1, 2020

78 YEARS AGO TODAY

If you had started purchasing Kirby-covered comics since they first began appearing 27 months earlier your collection would now consist of 47 comics.
Kirby's 7th SPEED cover, 
none of which had any Kirby story art.
Kirby's 5th and final CHAMP cover, 
none of which had any Kirby story art.