Episode 1667 Talkback - Spotlight on Jack 'King' Kirby, Part Two

Part Two of our two-part Jack Kirby centennial retrospective covers Kirby's creation of the Fourth World and other early-1970s projects for DC Comics; his return to, and subsequent legal disputes with, Marvel; his career in animation; and his golden twilight years. Hail to the King! (2:17:44)

Listen here.

Or watch here!
«1

Comments

  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    @wildpigcomics, re: your question as to where the term “fourth world” came from, Kirby started using it on the fourth issues of the three main books: New Gods, Mister MIracle, and Forever People. He never explained what relevance the term had to the story, and he probably didn’t really know himself. It just sounded good. But the term can be found in the creation mythology of the Zuni tribe (one of the Pueblo tribes). It describes the phase when the beings who became man are brought into light and learn from the knowledge of the Sun Father.

    It’s widely known that Kirby was an avid reader, and was into Chariots of the Gods, and Aztec and Mayan mythology, so it’s logical to assume he also read up on Southwestern Native American mythologies and came across the Zuni creation myths. Whether consciously or subsconsciously, he probably pulled the “fourth world” term from somewhere in his memory bank.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    Sorry, @Pants, The Demon was not the first time Camelot and its inhabitants showed up in DC comics. It first appeared (I think) in the Shining Knight origin in Adventure Comics #66 (Sept. 1941)—Merlin enchants the armor of Camelot’s newest knight, Sir Justin, making it bullet-proof, after Sir Justin saves Merlin’s life. Morgan Le Fay didn’t show up until Brave and the Bold #21 (Dec. 1958-Jan. 1959) as the villain of the “Silent Knight” feature, but still long before The Demon #1.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    edited September 12
    The original Kobra Kommander. The story Kirby and Steve Sherman wrote and turned in was basically a mash-up of The Abominable Dr. Phibes and The Corsican Brothers with some other stuff thrown in.

    image

    And the artwork which actually saw print after being altered by Pablos Marcos. All the Jason Burr and Lt. Perez heads were redrawn by Marcos, and many of Kirby’s panels were rearranged into a different order to fit Pasko’s new story.

    image
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    Re: the magazines, Kirby had also started work on two other magazines which never saw publication: True Divorce Cases (the anti-romance magazine) and Soul Love (a romance mag aimed at black readers). DC rejected True Divorce Cases, which I’ve read and is actually really good, but one of the stories that was part of the pitch featuring a black couple led to DC requesting Kirby do Soul Love instead (which is decidedly not good).
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    Both the second and third issues of Dingbats of Danger Street were fully penciled and inked.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    I've read a few chapters of The Horde, and it has lots of problems, but it's pretty interesting. Yes, it is about the apocalypse in a sense. It's the story of a Mongolian boy (hence the title) who grows up driven by prophetic dreams to conquer the world, and the cult of personality that develops around him. Kirby stopped writing the book because as he was writing, he saw the things he was writing coming true in real life. He actually thought if he finished the book, he might bring about the end of the world.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    @wildpigcomics, you will love The Prisoner. It’s one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I made my son watch it this summer, and he dug it too.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    More details on the Kirby/Carson dispute, Johnny thought “Jack Kirby, King of Comics” written on the side of the 3-D glasses referred to a comedian, not a comic artist, which is why Johnny got pissed. Mark Evanier got on the phone and got things cleared up, which led to Carson making a retraction on the show a couple of nights later.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    edited September 5
    Re: Pacific Comics, Captain Victory began as concept drawing Kirby drew back in the ’60s. When Star Wars came out, Jack felt it borrowed from his ideas, so he decided to return the favor and create a comic which borrowed from Star Wars. He drew a 17-page story, and tried to launch his own imprint of books, of which Captain Victory would be just one. The funding fell through, so he turned the CV story into a full-blown 50-page graphic novel (intended to be the first of three volumes). Again, this is all in 1976. That also fell through. Then he and Steve Sherman wrote it up as a screenplay in 1977, which went nowhere. When Pacific came calling, Kirby divided up the graphic novel into the first two issues of the series, which is why the artwork looks so different from the later issues.

    Likewise, Silver Star started out as a screenplay written by Kirby and Sherman in the mid-’70s. Kirby then adapted the screenplay as a six-issue miniseries for Pacific.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the preceding posts reaffirm what we've been espousing on the air for some time: Mr. Weathington is the CGS equivalent of a national treasure. Thank you sir!
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169

    Ladies and gentlemen, the preceding posts reaffirm what we've been espousing on the air for some time: Mr. Weathington is the CGS equivalent of a national treasure. Thank you sir!

    Happy to pitch in. You guys threw a great game with the two-parter. I'm just mopping up the last couple of batters.
  • image

    I believe this would be he Paul and Linda McCartney drawing which was mentioned.
  • CalibanCaliban Posts: 1,345
    Over here in the UK there is a hardcover of Kirby and Kane's unpublished art for The Prisoner listed for release next March.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prisoner-Jack-Kirby-Gil-Kane/dp/1785862871

    Not yet listed on the US amazon though?

    image
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    Re: Lee’s deposition, I’m guessing at least some part of why he said what he said had to do with the deal he made with Marvel, where he gave up his copyright claims in exchange for undisclosed terms (credit lines, etc.) and a boatload of cash. I would not at all be surprised if in that contract there was some clause that defined Lee as the sole creator of the characters he had a hand in creating, which Marvel could then use against any artist (Kirby, for instance) claiming copyright ownership of any of those characters. Just speculation on my part, but that seems like something a corporation’s legal team would want to do.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    @wildpigcomics and @Adam_Murdough, I'm on my second listen, and it occurred to me you’d be interested to know that while Kirby was working at Ruby-Spears, he did some presentation art pieces for a Planet of the Apes pitch, featuring Burke and Virdon from the live-action TV series.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 521
    Not only was this, to steal a turn of phrase from @wildpigcomics, an OUTSTANDING and MAGNIFICENT episode, but hearing @Adam_Murdough perform Wings "Magneto and Titanium Man" was more than worth the price of admission. Yes, I am aware that admission is free.

    I learned a lot, gentlemen! Now I need to read more Kirby in general, for I am much too uninformed.
  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    nweathington said,
    you will love The Prisoner. It’s one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I made my son watch it this summer, and he dug it too.
    I was 10 yrs old when that began its US run and I still have occasional nightmares about being chased down by a relentless, sentient, big bubblegum bubble!
  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    @nweathington:
    Sir, you are a storehouse (!) of arcane data and very entertaining in your discourses. Nicely done!
  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    This episode was well worth the wait! I was in great anticipation and kept checking for part two every evening after studying and my wife (who is finally appreciating comics after 26 years of being married to a nerd) was quite as excited as I was when I told her it was here. We cancelled OTR, gathered some snacks, and made a night of it! Very informative- learned some things I didn't know. BTW: I sang along with Magneto and Titanium man but I only managed to embarrass my wife and the cat. Thanks guys!
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    edited September 9
    DanDare said:

    I was 10 yrs old when that began its US run and I still have occasional nightmares about being chased down by a relentless, sentient, big bubblegum bubble!

    I didn't see it until my senior year of high school in 1987-88. PBS aired it on Friday nights at 11 p.m., and I ate it up.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,169
    DanDare said:

    @nweathington:
    Sir, you are a storehouse (!) of arcane data and very entertaining in your discourses. Nicely done!

    Thank you, sir. That’s why I get paid the big bucks.
  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    I think Chris has consistently gone out of his way to be fair to Stan Lee but at some point in the future when time and my studies permit (or if there is already a thread?)- as one who was once a pint sized 'true believer' in the sixties- I'd like to offer a word or two in defense of Stan.No disrespect meant to the legendary Messrs. Ditko and Kirby- I firmly believe that there are no bad guys here and everyone's recollections are honestly conceived but flawed. I just don't think Stan Lee's role in the Marvel creative process has been fully appreciated of late. (As I said, I thought that Chris was refreshingly fair.) Still it seems to me that of late that it has become almost de rigueur(especially among younger comic fans) to cast Stan in the role of a somewhat dastardly Thomas Edison taking credit for other's inventiveness.
  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    Re: The Prisoner:
    Its a bit like real life I've always thought. Every night I escape, lead a life of high adventure and do amazing things that impress beautiful exotic women and then at the end of every episode... I wake up- and I'm still in the same old room!
  • CalibanCaliban Posts: 1,345
    Another great episode and a fitting tribute to the King.

    Would it be impertinent for me as a Brit to suggest that even with if we put his artistic genius to one side Jack Kirby is still an example of a truly great American?

    Tolerant, kind, respectful to to other professionals and to his fans.
    Devoted to his family with a work ethic which boggles my mind.
    Prepared to stand up to fascism, oppression, corruption and bullying when he witnessed it.
    The sort of person we should all aspire to emulate.


    Great stuff as always from the CGS studio.
  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    @Caliban:
    Impertinent? Why you can put that eloquent elegy
    to a Lennon and McCartney tune and broadcast it from Thunderbird 5!
    F.A.B.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,841
    Why no one has posted this on here yet is beyond me

  • DanDareDanDare Posts: 27
    Haven't seen that since the 10th grade! My hair is growing out and my beard is receding just looking at it! Holy Crap! I MISSED FIRST PERIOD AGAIN!
  • Adam_Murdough, you had me at hello, but I was ready to pick out china patterns at 'Centurions: Power Extreme!'.
  • Speaking of Lennon & McCartney, I liken Kirby's contribution to Marvel to what those 2 contributed to The Beatles, with Stan Lee being more like a George Harrison. That feels right to me.

    (And don't @ me with any of that "Stan Lee is actually Ringo" BS! :smile: )
  • alienalalienal Posts: 461
    Just listened!: Part Two even better than Part One! Hats off to @Pants (great clutch hitting there, dude!) @wildpigcomics (way to present the important parts of Kirby's history!) and @Adam_Murdough (great rendition of Magneto and Titanium Man, and way to give us those parts of Kirby's DC history that Chris couldn't give). Good job to you all!
Sign In or Register to comment.