Monday, August 26, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 238: Jack Kirby DC House Ad Week, Day 2: Ho, ho, ho / It's magic, you know

I mentioned The Magic of Kirby yesterday, and whoo boy, I weren't kiddin'! And neither was DC!:

House ad for The Forever People #1; The New Gods #1 (both February-March 1971),
and Mister Miracle #1 (April 1971) printed in Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970)
Comic cover art: Forever People and The New Gods: pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia (Forever People and New Gods) and Vince Colletta (Mister Miracle), letters by Gaspar Saladino, [Superman face redrawn by ???] Gaspar Saladino
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Say, those black-'n-white repros of the covers ain't doin' them justice (especially New Gods). Let's take a big gawkin' peekaroo at the finished work!

(Click picture to Supertown-size)

Just for fun, and because Walt Simonson is awesome, here's a bonus "Separated at Birth": the cover of Draw! #20 with Simonson's homage to New Gods #1!

Cover of Draw! #20 (Spring 2011), art by Walt Simonson

(By the way, you really oughta check out Walt Simonson's Orion series from DC, which I love and consider one of the finer handlings of Kirby's Fourth World characters!)

And here's that New Gods cover, with added painted color for the 1998 trade paperback collection. Go, Orion, go!

And for something completely different, here's some more The Magic of Kirby House Ads. Surprised? You shouldn't be! I toldja that all during Jack Kirby DC House Ad Week, the winner is you!

from top to bottom: house ads for: Forever People #5 (February-March 1971), printed in The Brave and the Bold #98;
Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971), printed in Superman #245;
Mister Miracle #5 (November-December 1971), printed in World's Finest Comics #206;
Mister Miracle #6 (January-February 1972), printed in Batman #239;
The New Gods #6 (December 1971-January 1972), printed in Superman #245

I'm interested by my realization that DC dusted off the "Magic of Kirby" ad campaign three years later for an issue of Our Fighting Forces, featuring a story of The Losers written and pencilled by Jack. Each of his Fourth World books had been canceled (in the case of Jimmy Olsen, Jack was no longer on the book). It must have been much easier to just pull out the old format for Kirby ads to promise this issue rather than design a whole new house ad! (Tellingly, it's the only one I've found in the series that's colored red!

House ad for Our Fighting Forces #152 (December 1974-January 1975), cover pencils by Jack Kirby

By 1974, Jack's days at DC were short-numbered, and he'd be back at the House of Ideas in a year and a half. But the period between the Fourth World of 1971-72 (Mister Miracle ran through early 1974) and Jack's return to Marvel in 1976 were spent creating and co-creating many other iconic DC characters and books: The Demon, Kamandi, OMAC, The Sandman, and, um, "The Dingbats of Danger Street."

But tomorrow we'll look at ads for two of Kirby's more unusual DC books (and with Jack, that's sayin' something!), comics that were never reprinted until a couple months ago! Who says this isn't the Jolly Age of Jack? Until then...Keep KCollectin' Kirby!


Smurfswacker said...

I cringed in 1971 when I saw that Forever People cover and I cringe now. Jack Kirby hippies, especially sympathetic Jack Kirby hippies, were too much for me to handle. Not as bad as Milton Caniff hippies, I admit (anyone remember "Revered Paul"?), but...yeah.

Bully said...

Yeah, I definitely feel that The Forever People is the weakest of Kirby's Fourth World titles, and he probably meant it in dead earnest, but it's so over the top that I can enjoy it as the adventure of space hippies who don't quite realize they're taken it to the extreme.

Dave said...

I think The Losers is one of the best series he ever did. It just felt like a WWII vet telling great stories of his time in the service. Highly underrated.

Evan Waters said...

I'm actually somewhat especially fond of The Forever People because in the midst of a bunch of comics writers and artists shaking their fists at those damn longhairs, Kirby was empathetic and did a series about how the youth are always seeking to challenge the norm and break free from existing structures.