Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Kirby Museum’s Prototype: Alpha: It Happened Is Happening on Yancy Street!

What would get a little stuffed bull out of the house on a cold autumn day to head down to lower Manhattan in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, to...Yancy Street?!?

Unless, of course, it was meeting my good pal Mister Ben Grimm for a burger and a cola-flavored beverage down at one of his favorite watering holes. Luckily it's only a hop, a skip, and a little stuffed jump from Brooklyn on the F Train...get off at the Yancy Street station!

Naw, I'm kidding's really Delancey Street. But it rhymes with Yancy and that's good enough for me.

Walk around the corner and down a couple blocks to 178 Delancey Street (on the corner of Attorney Street)...please ignore the taunts of the Delancey Street Gang...and in no time you'll be there: The Jack Kirby Museum’s Prototype: Alpha! (With a name like that, I bet there is Kirby Krackle all around it!)

This special small but power-packed pop-up museum was funded by a group of Kickstarter backers with excellent taste, and is run by the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, giving us a delicious taste-test of what a physical museum spotlighting the King's art would be like.

Ever wished you could see Kirby artwork larger than life, and twice as beautiful? This is where you come, baby!

You don't have to travel to another realm...but you do need to move fast, as the pop-up museum is only open for one week here in New York City, through Sunday, November 10.

On display are dozens of reproductions of Kirby work. Yep, that's right and that's important: these are reproductions, and not the original artwork. But that's actually a good thing: they're very well reproduced, and you can get right up to and examine the fine lines of the art.

And lots of the artwork has double- or triple-layers, so you can lift up a sheet and see Jack's pencils for that page or cover and also the finished color artwork as published.

You can even see the corrections through the mighty wielding of Liquid Paper (by kind permission of Michael Nesmith's mother) and notations and script beats in the margins!

I think I have found my Christmas card image: me and my very fav'rite superhero of all time drawn by my very fav'rite artist of all time! It's art appreciatin' time!

Here's another great Jack pin-up featuring some titanic Kirbytech and a frank admission by Reed Richards.

In fact, artwork for all four of the pin-ups from Fantastic Four Annual #2 is on display!

There's great examples of his work for DC...



Heck, there's so much cool stuff that even tho' this pop-up museum is very compact (the front half of a storefront), there's a huge amount to see!

There's a great introductory display showing where Kirby lived in the neighborhood. You can walk in his footsteps just by exiting the door!

But the centerpieces of the exhibit is the gigantic and (in comics parlance) mind-shattering oversized Kirby Marvelmania mural repro...

It's so big that I felt like I was inside a Mother Box myself!

The other major spotlight is the artwork from Kirby's heavily autobiographical Street Code—an incredibly apt display as it's a vignette of growing up in Manhattan's Lower East Side!

I had never read this (and you may not have either, as it's been published in Argosy magazine and in TwoMorrow's anthology Streetwise), so I was delighted to be able to buy a minicomic reproducing the whole sequence from Kirby's original pencils!

All in all, it's a fantastic exhibit and a lovely tribute to the man we all call "The King." But it's only in town until this Sunday, so, as Jack himself would say: "DON'T ASK...JUST GO THERE!"


Randolph Hoppe said...

It was a pleasure having you visit, Bully. But be warned everyone, our last night is Sunday night!

Bully said...

Thanks for the correction--I originally had the wrong ending date. And we had a great time, thanks!

Reg said...

But where are the hats?

Cardiac Jack said...

Thanks for the tip on this, Bully! I went over at lunchtime and it was great. I made sure to put in a plug for you, too.

Blam said...

Storefront Transformer?!? Look out, Bully -- You're sitting on top of a shape-changing robot!

And lots of the artwork has double- or triple-layers, so you can lift up a sheet and see Jack's pencils for that page or cover and also the finished color artwork as published.

Way cool. Really the whole place sounds great; I hope I'm able to visit an incarnation somewhere someday.

In closing, to quote one Mr. Kurt Busiek, "No, Ulik the Troll." Good day.