Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jack Kirby Week: "To All Things...An Ending!"

Jack Kirby Week
JIM #123
Thor #145
Jack Kirby

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 241: Jack Kirby Week, Day 7

FF #79
Panels from Fantastic Four #79 (October 1968), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek
(Click picture to breaking-heart-size)

Saturday Morning Cartoon: The Origin of the Hulk...and other stuff

Jack Kirby Week

The Marvel Super Heroes The Incredible Hulk in "The Origin of the Hulk!" (1966), starring the voices of Paul Sols as Bruce Banner, Max Ferguson as The Hulk, and Bernard Cowan as Rick Jones

This is the cartoon series that uses the actual panels of the comic as the exact designs for the animation. Below is the first full story page of Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962) by Stan and Jack. Can you count how many panels from this page actually show up as animation on the show?

Page 2 of Incredible Hulk #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Click image to Hulk Out!

Personally, if I'd been making the cartoon, it woulda gone a little something like this:

Hulk #1

Finally, here's a triplet of cool Kirby Triples from Incredible Hulk #1 (click to gamma-size!):

Jack Kirby Triple Panel: Incredible Hulk #1

Jack Kirby Triple Panel: Incredible Hulk #1

Jack Kirby Triple Panel: Incredible Hulk #1

Aw, what heck, just for Jack, why not have another Saturday Morning Cartoon: the opening to Thundarr the Barbarian!:

Opening to Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-1982), main characters designed by Alex Toth, with production design team including Jack Kirby

Friday, August 28, 2009

So, do you think the Kirby tribute went?

New Gods #6 Deluxe

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 24

So. What do you do when you pass into the hereafter? Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny discover that when they voyage to the afterlife and walk through the office door of...well, looks like the Man in Charge:

FF #511
All panels are from Fantastic Four #511 (May 2004), script by Mark Waid, pencils by Mike Wieringo, inks by Karl Kesel, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Randy Gentile

Could it be that God is created for us in our image? Or, just like Galactus, do we see Him as we expect him to be? God sez: "Yup!"

FF #511

Of course, great creation comes in partnership, even if some of the ideas are a bit off the wall...

FF #511

...and there's nothing better for putting things right and where they should be than a pencil with an eraser. C'mon, you can forgive a deus ex machina once in a crossover, especially when it's the real deal deus. Thus Reed's damaged face is fixed, Ben's back to his rocky norm...

FF #511

Because, in the end—heck, it isn't really the end, not with the FF's stories continuing monthly, no matter who from Marvel Comics is on the phone to Reed and Co. working out a plot for the next issue—Jack's gift to the FF...Jack's gift to us...

FF #511 the adventure that never, ever ends.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 23

Dan TurpinThe visual design of hard-as-nails straight-arrow cop Dan Turpin (created by Kirby in Detective Comics #64, June 1942) has always been a broad, short, tough guy, but never was that look more apt than when Superman: The Animated Series producer Bruce Timm redesigned Turpin slightly for the series in order to make him resemble...Jack Kirby. Voiced by veteran character actor Joseph Bologna, here's a Turpin-centric 1997 episode (in two YouTube parts) of Superman: "Tools of the Trade" (written by Mark Evanier, directed by Curt Geda). Enjoy!

In the episode "Apokolips...Now!", Dan rallies his fellow Metropolisians (Metropolitans?) against Darkseid, frees the captive Superman, and delays the Apokoliptean (Apokoliptolistists?) army until the New Gods arrive with backup...and Dan is killed by Darkseid simply to pour salt in the wounds of Superman.

He is buried with full honors and saluted by his friends and companions—but you're not seeing them all in this clip. In the original funeral scene, edited out in rebroadcasts and on DVD, his services were attended by his many creations, "including Nick Fury, Fantastic Four, Big Barda, Scott Free, Orion and others, alongside Kirby's friends and fans Mark Evanier, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alex Ross, his father Norman Ross and Stan Lee. These characters and persons were later removed and the scene pacing was re-edited for subsequent airings and its DVD release." (Wikipedia: Superman: The Animated Series. Accessed 2009-08-28.)

Farewell, Dan. You'll be missed. Farewell, Jack. You'll be missed.

Jack Kirby's gravestone

24 hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 22

Jimmy Olsen #134
Jack Kirby self-portrait cartoon from Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970)

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 21

Three versions of the iconic "Kirby's the Name" pin-up:

Kirby's the Name!

Kirby's the Name!

Kirby's the Name!

Why not indulge your inner Stan Goldberg and color that last page? Remember, neatness counts...but especially when you're collaborating with Jack Kirby...imagination is the most important thing!

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 20

FF #176
Above, from Fantastic Four #176: Left to right: George Perez, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and Jack Kirby brainstorm the next issue of...Fantastic Four!

FF #176

Here's Jack with Marvel's "Jumbo" John VerPoorten:
FF #176
All panels are from Fantastic Four #176 (November 1976), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by George Perez, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Michele Wolfman, letters by Joe Rosen.

Wondering what the story behind these panoramic panels is? Worry no more, true bull-liever...simply click round to my post "Mission: Impossibullpen!" for the full story! And it's a doozy!

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 19

Jack Kirby guest-stars on Bob Newhart's sitcom Bob, in the episode "You Can't Win" (1993)

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 18

Supreme: The Return #6
Supreme: The Return #6
Supreme meets the Supreme Being, in Supreme: The Return #6 (June 2000), script by Alan Moore, pencils by Rob Liefeld and Rick Veitch, inks by Rick Veitch, colors by Matt Yackey, letters by Todd Klein and Albert Deschesne

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 240: Jack Kirby Week, Day 6

FF #73
Full-page panel from Fantastic Four #73 (April 1968), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Artie Simek

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 17

FF Annual #5
Two of many wonderful and wacky panels from "This Is a Plot?," the back-up story in Fantastic Four Annual #5 (November 1967), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by "L.P. Gregory" (Gaspar Saladino), and starring Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 16

The Spirit: The New Adventures #8
Panel from The Spirit: The New Adventures #8 (November 1998), script by Joe R. Landsale, art by John Lucas, colors by Lee Loughbridge, lettering by Dave Lanphear

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 15

"The King of Comics": a documentary about Jack Kirby (two parts)

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 14

UXM #98

It's Christmastime and the Uncanny X-Men are enjoying a bit of much needed R&R at Rockefeller Center! (Yes, yes, I know it's actually August 28, not Christmas. Bear with me. I'm goin' someplace with this. Sheesh.) Wow, and it looks like everybody who's anybody is there in the snow of Manhattan today! There's Nightcrawler (using his image inducer to cosplay either Errol Flynn or Tony Stark), Colossus, Storm, Phoenix, Cyclops, Wolverine, Moira MacTaggart, and Banshee. Apparently they left Chuck in the car. Oh, don't whine...he's perfectly happy there...he's got his Game Boy.

But look close, Waldo-style, and you might spot more than our uncanny 'uns hanging around 30 Rock. Could that be...Matt Murdock?:
UXM #98

And check it out: Colonel Nick Fury's there, accompanied by the lovely Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine! Better make sure you buy her a fancy and expensive gift for the holiday, Nick...that Dustbuster ain't gonna be appreciated! (And look, it's Chris Claremont. Is it just me or is he giving Storm the googly-eyes? Face front, CC...or at least put your eyes on your lovely companion, Marvel colorist Bonnie Wilford!)
UXM #98

And take a look who's skating on the Rock Center Ice Rink!:
UXM #98

Also, somewhere in that crowd? Liz Lemon.

Turn the page and the cameos keep comin' so hard they're seeping through from another universe! There's Galaxy Broadcasting anchorman Clark Kent arm in arm with belle du super Lois Lane, while Julius "Be Original" Schwartz looks over their shoulders to make certain their Christmas kisses stay "G" rated.
UXM #98

But the best Christmas gift of 'em a cameo from The Dynamic Duo! No, not those two...these two!
UXM #98
All panels are from [Uncanny] X-Men #98 (April 1976), scripted by Chris Claremont, pencilled by Dave Cockrum, inked by Sam Grainger, colored by Janice Cohen, lettered by Sam Rosen

Don't got the comic? Have somebody read it aloud to you!:

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 13

Jack Kirby interview from the documentary film
The Masters of Comic Book Art (1987)

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 12

What's this?!? (in my best WIlliam Dozier voice) Our fearless frenetic foursome in a frantic fix?
WHat If? #11

Well, yes, that is the Fantastic Four, actually. To be precise: the FF of Earth-1228, an universe where, presumably, Reed Richards is off teaching physics in some lazy small-town college, Ben Grimm is either running a bar and grill or serving as an executive consultant to the Air Force (or, knowin' Ben, prob'bly both!), and Johnny Storm is either married to a fabulous leggy supermodel or dead in a tremendous car fire. Or, maybe both. So who became the Fantastic Four in this reality? The Beatles? ABBA? The Golden Girls? (Say, I'd pay to read that one! The girls from Sex in the City? (I say Samantha would be the Thing.) The Marx Brothers? ("Why, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever clobbered!") Nope, all wrong guesses, but everybody gets points for trying. And you all know what points mean, right?

Because in this reality...wait for it...The Marvel Bullpen became the Fantastic Four. That's Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky...and let's not forget...Jack Kirby: Super King! The best one of the four! Oh, no, wait, he's not The King, he's The Thing. And you know what that means, right?
What If #11

Comics have dabbled a few times with the idea of comics creators being superheroes...both Steve Rogers and Kyle Rayner have been comic book artists...but this is the first time there's ever been a whole fershluggin' team made out of our Mighty Marvel Maniacs! (If you don't count that short-lived 2000 reboot of The New Mutants featuring Joe Quesada, Marc Silvestri and Peter David.)
What If #11
All panels are from What If? v.1 #11 (October 1978), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by a whole lotta cool guys including Mike Royer, Bill Wrayr Scott Shaw!, and Dave Stevens, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by Mike Royer

But first, a flashback: (doodly doodly doodly doodly...)
What If #11

Fan mail from those mysterious "true believers" includes a parcel containing a cosmic ray machine, which unexpectedly irradiates Stan, Jack, Flo and Sol turning them into The Fantastic Four! And since he was all the way in the other room, Artie Simek merely developed an extra six arms to use for lettering eight Marvel books at once.

Well, at least there wasn't a rocket crash.
What If #11

Lucky for Jack, he can turn back and forth from the Thing to Kirby just by grimacing and looking constipated:
What If #11

Consider this: in the "real" Marvel Universe (Earth-616), Ben Grimm cannot change back and forth between his Thing form and human form because he secretly believes that Alicia Masters loves him only in his Thing identity. Does this mean that Jack and Roz Kirby are so close that Jack's supremely confident she'll love him any way he is? Why, sure! Long as he doesn't track those big orange clodhoppers all over her nice clean kicthen floor, I bet.

Oh, and there are also Skrulls and the Sub-Mariner in this reality. Thank heavens this hellish reality never came to be.

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 11

Hunger Dogs
Jack Kirby is surrounded by his Fourth World creations in this self-portrait frontispiece from The Hunger Dogs (DC Graphic Novel #4) (1983)

24 Hours with Jack Kirby: Hour 10

Here's a weird and wacky early Jack Kirby, of all places, Millie the Model!
Millie the Model #107
All panels are from Millie the Model #107 (March 1962), by Stan Goldberg

Say, I can't find that cover of Strange Tales anywhere in the pre-Human Torch early 1960s issues!

The modeling assignment for our glamour girl is simple: comics artist Jack Kirby is looking for a life model to pose for a story. (Overhearing this outside on the landing, a light bulb of inspiration appears over the head of young Nelson Alexander Ross.)
Millie the Model #107

Millie's not too certain she wants to take the job. Aw, c'mon ain't afraid of no ghost! Or, Atlas Monster.
Millie the Model #107

Later at the spacious offices of KirbyConGlomerateCom, Millie's frightened of a larger-than life monster model in Jack's studio. I'm not certain whether she's scared of it, or that she's frightened that a grown man collects and displays monster models.
Millie the Model #107

Meanwhile, Millie's conniving and still-in-the-closet rival, the spicy and heart-burning Chili, has Wile E. Coyotesque plans to frighten and steal the modeling assignment away from Millie! Yes, true to life model tales. This is actually how Cindy Crawford got the Revlon contract away from Paulina Poriskova.
Millie the Model #107

But Chili herself is scared off because Jack's wearing a rubber monster mask. Haw haw! Comedy doors crack me up every time!
Millie the Model #107

Later, Millie and Chili finally find common ground and one thing to agree upon: girls don't read comics.
Millie the Model #107

(Well, at least until Sandman, Strangers in Paradise, and Gail Simone come along.)