Fantastic Four: TWGCM >> View Post
Post By
Chris Tolworthy

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,423
In Reply To
Chris Tolworthy

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,423
Subj: Revised version: The Case For Kirby
Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 at 03:14:05 pm EST (Viewed 148 times)
Reply Subj: 200 page analysis of Fantastic Four issue 1
Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 at 07:46:25 am EST (Viewed 267 times)

Previous Post

You may not like the title. Sorry guys, but after writing the book this was the only thing I could possibly call it:

Since the late 1990s I've had a rather large FF web site. But I haven't added much over the past couple of years. The reason is, the more I focus on the things I love about the FF, the more I realise that what I REALLY like is Jack Kirby's FF. And I see the story continuing in his other work (the FF is the Challengers, and I think the characters continue in his later books, with changes just for legal reasons)

I love the FF stories where Kirby was involved. And I hated the changes that Lee made as soon as he was solo writer: immediately getting rid of Crystal; making Sue weaker; replacing change with the illusion of change so Franklin would never grow up, or do anything interesting; recycling old plots - Galactus, creature from the lost lagoon, etc... I admit that I am hopelessly biased, but for my tastes, everything that Kirby added made the team wonderful and exciting and ground breaking and just amazing. And for me, everything Lee added, for me, went the other way.

I feel like a real heel just writing that. A party pooper. After all, isn't Stan Lee at the heart of what makes comics silly fun? Maybe I'm just too serious. But I love Kirby's sense of humour, I love his dialog in his own comics (it's a real change of gears but when I "got it" I never wanted to go back to Lee's style). Lee just doesn't do it for me.

Anyway, click the link at your own risk! If you can get past my obvious negativity toward Lee, hopefully you'll find some interesting stuff. And if nothing else, maybe it's a warning to future generations, not to take comics too seriously.

PDF version (recommended):

web version (if you have a slow Internet connection):

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for all the feedback, guys! the revised version is now up. The file name and links are the same, just in case anybody shared them (unlikely, but who knows?) but the title is now "The Case For Kirby".

PDF (recommended):
Web (if you have a slow connection):

There are lots of small changes, but the big ones are:

* Better intro. Less aggressive, and makes a simpler case that is easier to prove (about sales figures)

* New appendix 1: Kirby's writing pre 1961. Especially dialog. If you don't read any other part, I recommend this (he said, modestly). Because when people think of Kirby's writing they usually think of his post 1970 stuff, where he goes extreme Kirby! But his pre 1961 work is much more mainstream, and just a delight to read IMO.

* new appendix 10: how Lee's claim of being the writer evolved. This isn't a strong proof on its own: if the rest of the book doesn't convince you then this won't change your mind. But I think it's really interesting that Lee didn't actually say he was the solo writer for over a year, and before that point the evidence is consistent with the FF being a joint creation.

* more about the flare gun, the "valley of diamonds" and subsequent explosion, the history of Metallo, and various other bits and pieces.

If anything seriously big turns up then I'll make another revision, but hopefully this is the final one. Thansk again for all who made suggestions.

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