Tuesday, August 28, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JK! Woulda been 95 today!

JACK KIRBY was hands-down the most prolific, imaginative and influential comic book creator of all time. He was the visual architect of many genres, many universes, including Marvel Comics Group in the Silver Age.

He continues to be missed and unequaled in the industry.

I feel blessed that I met him and his wife Roz at my very first San Diego Comic-Con when I was 23. I had just come out with my first published comic, a one-man humor anthology called BOUND & GAGGED on the Iconografix label (Caliber Press) and I had a copy signed up for him (as if he cared). I also ported my copy of MARVEL DOUBLE FEATURE #11, the first comic I ever got as a child in Canarsie when my grandparents bought it for me off the spinner rack at Irv's Pizza. It had a Lee/Kirby Captain America as a lead story.

Also coincidence: I'm going back into my native Canarsie, Brooklyn, today of all days, on the mighty King Kirby's big day....I'll have to see if Irv's Pizza even exists...or what's in it's place. It should be emotional seeing the place where I grew up and where my grandparents lived, and the corners where I bought Marvel Comics when I was 6-9 years of age.

Would love to be posting a few examples of his work right now but I'm not on my home laptop. In fact, I'm coincidentally in NYC, visiting the various parts of town where one Jacob Kurtzberg grew up to become the spirited, unparalleled creator whose characters everyone knows and loves worldwide to this day. The biggest tribute to Jack, I'm guessing, is that I chose to become a cartoonist and follow in his path (and I say that loosely, as I'll never be the cartoonist he was or even close...he was just too monumental....I'm a mere mortal and this guy was a god.)

Jack Kirby is just too big in the field to warrant explanation. If you love comics, you know Jack.

Happy birthday to a mighty giant!

2 comments:

Javier Hernandez said...

These personal tributes to Jack Kirby are always nice to read. There are always plenty of detailed surveys of Kirby and his work, but reading how an artist was influenced and inspired by Kirby is something I can always relate to.

Good one, Michael!

Robert Fuentes said...

I don't really read comics to often but i am a fan now. your blog is great. Keep doing it.