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

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,423
In Reply To
Iron Maiden 

Member Since: Sun Nov 02, 2003
Posts: 4,854
Subj: Re: Jack Kirby gets some love in JL
Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 at 07:12:21 am EST (Viewed 162 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Jack Kirby gets some love in JL
Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 at 03:51:28 am EST (Viewed 208 times)

Previous Post

    There's a lot of our favorite creators mentioned at the end of the Justice League movie, but I thought it was very nice that as the blocks and blocks of names roll by there is separate section with plenty of space above and below with "Fourth World created by Jack Kirby"

    Boo-yah indeed! Give the King his props!

I'm glad his children can see all of this now but it's too bad he didn't get the attention he deserved while he was alive.

I've read that Disney has made some financial considerations to his children rumored to be in the 8 figure range. He undoubtedly deserved that and more. And he was inducted as a Disney Legend in a ceremony at Disney Expo 23 earlier this year.

BTW, I sometimes browse the John Byrne forum and in some of the older posts you will see some interesting insider info on how DC treated Jack Kirby. Remember, he left DC and came back to Marvel for a brief spell. Some of those guys who were at DC began to call him Jack the Hack behind his back.

Here's a bit from a 2010 post....

"Kirby being labeled a "hack" had little or nothing to do with the degree of control he was or was not demanding. This was the early 70s, remember. Fandom did not have the kind of direct pipeline to the innermost workings of the Companies that exists today (and comics and fandom were better for it!) Nobody outside the offices knew much about why Kirby went back to Marvel after his stint at DC, or why that DC time had happened in the first place. People followed Kirby's books because they liked Kirby's work.

But, increasingly, there were a lot of people who DIDN'T like Kirby's work. And who, as I noted above, had a very bad habit of dismissing ALL his work on the basis of their distaste for what was then his current work. DEVIL DINOSAUR erased the FF in some people's minds, and those people were on both sides of the table, fan and pro alike.

Truth to tell, this is actually nothing new. Steve Ditko was being treated no better. The prevailing attitude in comics, then as now, was "What have you done for me lately?" And fans, who are notoriously intolerant, were quick to dump on Kirby when his work started to decline. And it did decline. There were physical reasons, but also Kirby had had the shit kicked out of him at DC, and it showed in the work. Compare earlier and later issues of MISTER MIRACLE, the Fourth World book that lasted longer than the rest. Clearly, a good chunk of the spirit is gone.

This is where a pipeline to the inner offices might have been a GOOD idea. Fans with no knowledge of internal politicking could only look at the work and decide (as they seem to LOVE to decide) that Kirby "didn't care" any more, and thus was born "Jack the Hack".

And, as I have said many times, in light of the later deification of Kirby, people need to be constantly reminded of this. ESPECIALLY all those who were so quick to dismiss him and his work, and yet even quicker to whip out the fulsome praise when that became fashionable."

Sadly, the younger staff at both Marvel and DC weren't all that respectful in Kirby's later years.

I totally agree that Kirby was no longer putting in the same time per issue, and health was becoming an factor. But I think Kirby was also maturing as an artist.

As a child I saw the Perez-Sinnott FF, and I saw the Kirby Captain America and I drew the same conclusion most other fans did! How could any outsider not draw that conclusion? I felt the same about Picasso. Early work great, later work rubbish. What can I say? I was young. Now one of my favourite books is Captain Victory. if you want the early Fantastic Four then obviously Captain Victory is not what you want: it cannot REPLACE Kirby's early work. But once you have all his early work and read it again and again and again then you start to see other parts you missed the first time, and want more of those, and that's where the later work becomes priceless, in my view.

I think there comes a time when you've seen so much of the technically good art that you see how it's done. You see the tricks, the cliches. And it's time to move on. Like I remember the interview with John Byrne , about how his X-Men were full of muscles. And he got to a point where he just got tired of that and it didn't make any sense and it made the stories worse, so his FF were more realistic. Big muscles on every character didn't seem like "good art" any more. But most fans still want big muscles. I think it is the same with Kirby. We want a certain style, a certain kind of story, until one day we want something more. I think that given time most people would start to see Kirby's later work as his best work. But we need to read a lot more early Kirby first, so we can see why the later stuff is so good.

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