Happy Birthday to Jack “The King” Kirby

Posted: August 28, 2009 in Life, Opinion

The King

From his Wikipedia page:

Jacob Kurtzberg (August 28, 1917 ā€“ February 6, 1994),[1] better known by the pen name Jack Kirby, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor. Growing up poor in New York City, Kurtzberg entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s. He drew various comic strips under different pseudonyms, ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1941, Kirby and writer Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics. During the 1940s, Kirby would create a number of comics for various publishers, often teamed with Simon.

After serving in World War II, Kirby returned to comics and worked in a variety of genres. He contributed to a number of publishers, including Archie Comics and DC Comics, but ultimately found himself at Timely’s 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. In the 1960s, Kirby co-created many of Marvel Comics’ major characters including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk along with writer-editor Stan Lee. Despite the high sales and critical acclaim of the Lee-Kirby titles, Kirby felt treated unfairly, and left the company in 1970 for rival DC Comics.

While working for DC, Kirby created his Fourth World saga, which spanned several comics titles. While these and other titles proved commercially unsuccessful and were canceled, several of their characters and the Fourth World mythos have continued as a significant part of the DC Comics universe. Kirby returned to Marvel briefly in the mid- to late 1970s, then ventured into television animation and independent comics. In his later years, Kirby received great recognition for his career accomplishments, and is regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic-book medium.

In my opinion the comic industry would not be what it is today if it were not for the creativity and imagination of Jack Kirby. While reading his Wiki page you can not help but be overwhelmed by the number of comics and characters he had a hand in creating. Unfortunately for the comic industry there will never be another like him. Jack Kirby would have been 92 today.

If you are to young to know about what Jack Kirby meant to comics please take the time to read and learn more about him.


Jack Kirby Wikipedia Page

  1. generaldark says:

    i appreciate all he has done for the industry and if there is anything im jealous of him for….is his name! i wish i had the name kirby in my name šŸ˜¦ badass šŸ™‚

  2. Chris says:

    I’ve never heard of Jack Kirby before? He really came up with all those characters that are still widely used today? Thats seems amazing!

    Nah I’m kidding of course, I am familiar with his work. It is really amazing though. Lots of people I know seem to see him as a Marvel guy (myself included for a long time), but I was surprised when I read about how much DC work he did too. I mean he created Darkseid, and anyone who read a DC comic in 2008 should probably know who he is!

    One other thing to note, in that bio you posted is that he left Marvel because he felt like he had been treated unfairly. This seems to be the case with a few of the Artists that worked with Stan Lee at the time. I guess its because hes a massive credit hog.

    Even though it is nice to see new characters in comics, its hard to deny that sheer genius behind alot of Kirby’s old favourites. And I’m sure his work will not only out live the man himself but most of us!

  3. comicbookdude89 says:

    Jack Kirby is the man! He’s designed most of the best Marvel characters. Happy B-Day Jack Kirby! I’ve looked at his art in trades I have of older comics and your right Jose there will never be another guy like him. It’s also my Grandma’s B-Day as well…that’s kinda weird… and cool!

  4. phil says:

    While never a fan of Mr. Kirby, I later in life became to appreciate his place in comics. Through youthful eyes all I saw were squiggly lines, blocky bodies and poorly adapted cartoon series. As I became older, things that I would not given a 2nd glance to when I was younger, ocassionally I can fully appreciate being older.
    Where I once saw squiggly lines, I would later see cosmic visions come alive’
    Where I once saw blocky bodies, I’d later see heroes/heroines standing confidently, ready to defend or protect.
    Einer was the master storyteller
    Raymond excelled at fluidity of motion and gestural elegance
    Kane’s impactful artistic anatomy was unparalled
    Adams’ stylized realism is unmatched to this day

    but Jack eclipsed ’em all by bringing the vision, and from that vision the focus to share with those willing to embrace it… a taste of what was going on inside that mind of his.
    Jack brought the GRANDEUR and none of the delusions that are associated with that term.

    While I’m not a fan, I am an admirer.

  5. Roger says:

    Jack Kirby is the man. His shading and representation of material (earth, fire, water) was remarkable. Early on he developed the human form superbly. Perhaps a bit too design oriented, light has a way of obscuring form, he was a better artist than Steve Dikto. The Fantastic Four and Thor comics are the ones I’ll always remember. He was as big an influence on Marvel as Mort Drucker was an influence on Mad magazine. He’s just the man. Whatever drug he was on, I want some of that. Peace out.

  6. thecomicrant says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to the “King” of comics!

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