A Comic Cover A Day (is awesome)

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  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,165
    Time for some 3rd eye stuff, Space Gods! I will always have a soft spot for the Eternals, but he never finished the series. I still want to know what happens after the black pyramid.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited August 31
    Kirby was all over the place in 1947, mostly at Prize and Hillman, doing crime stories, teen humor, and even funny animals—not to mention starting the romance genre with Young Romance. But he also did jobs for Harvey and Archie, along with a special comic for J.C. Penney’s department store. He was still doing Boy Commandos at DC as well, and here’s the fun cover he did for Boy Commandos #24 (Nov.-Dec. 1947).

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    Both Simon and Kirby did penciling and inking on this cover for Charlie Chan #4 (Dec. 1948-Jan. 1949), but Kirby handled the colors on his own. Charlie Chan is a bit on the politically incorrect side by today’s standards, but I really like the statue—gotta be pure Kirby design—and the overall composition of this cover.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    A nice action pose for the cover of Headline Comics #34 (Feb. 1949). Notice the Kirby squiggle down the middle of the robber’s shirt. Inks by Joe Simon, colors by Kirby.

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  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,834

    A nice action pose for the cover of Headline Comics #34 (Feb. 1949). Notice the Kirby squiggle down the middle of the robber’s shirt. Inks by Joe Simon, colors by Kirby.

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    Awesome cover. I've never seen this.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited September 1
    Before there was Chucky, there was Black Magic! Kirby and Simon launched two new comics in 1950, Boys’ Ranch for Harvey and Black Magic for Prize. The cover for this first issue (Oct.-Nov. 1950) might have been inked by Simon, but it could have been Kirby himself, who also colored it.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    Boys’ Ranch only lasted six issues, but it was some of Kirby’s best work of the period. Boys’ Ranch #4 (April 1951), inks by Joe Simon.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    Adam mentioned this odd comic during the first episode of the Kirby retrospective. The cover to The Strange World of Your Dreams #1 (Aug. 1952) was probably all Kirby (pencils, inks, and color). At first it sounds like an interesting idea for a comic, stories based on people’s dreams. But then you realize that most dreams don't make much sense, and don't make for very satisfying stories. Maybe that’s why the series only went four issues.

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  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,834

    At first it sounds like an interesting idea for a comic, stories based on people’s dreams. But then you realize that most dreams don't make much sense, and don't make for very satisfying stories. Maybe that’s why the series only went four issues.

    "WE WILL BUY YOUR DREAMS!"

    I'd love to have read some of those submissions :)
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited September 2
    Simon and Kirby’s Young Love proved to be so popular that they created two more romance series for Prize: Young Brides and Young Romance, and they all ran as monthlies. Those three titles along with Black Magic (a bi-monthly) kept Kirby busy all through 1953. Kirby only worked on one other book that year, Captain 3-D—a one-and-done. Since the cover of Captain 3-D #1 was just posted (see above), and all the romance books ran photos for their covers, here’s Black Magic #20 (Jan.-Feb. 1953) instead. Simon may have inked some of this, but Kirby did the color.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited September 2
    In late 1953, Simon and Kirby decided it was time to go beyond packaging comics for other publishers, and go where the real money was. They set up Mainline Publications, and created four titles which began with 1954 cover dates: Bulls Eye—Western Scout (eponymously named for its cowboy sharpshooting star), In Love (the S&K studio continued producing romance comics for Prize), Police Trap (a title much like Justice Traps the Guilty, which Kirby had worked on for Prize), and Foxhole. (On a sidenote, Simon & Kirby also created Fighting American around this time, and I wonder why they took it to Prize rather than publish it through Mainline. Simon was quoted as saying they wanted to make the public forget about Captain America, so maybe they valued Prize’s better distribution?) Foxhole was very much inspired by EC’s Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales, but with the twist that all the creators in the book had actually served in the war. Here’s Kirby’s gritty cover to Foxhole #2 (Dec. 1954)—pretty sure this one is all Kirby. That bold coloring!

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    Going into 1955, it was becoming evident to Simon and Kirby that their publishing house was on shaky ground. Two of their comics, Bulls Eye and Foxhole, were used as exhibits during the infamous juvenile delinquency hearings chaired by Sen. Kefauver, but whether this played a direct role in the company’s demise or not, Mainline was having trouble with distribution and sales were not sustainable.

    Simon & Kirby launched a new title, Win a Prize, in late 1954, not through Mainline but through Charlton. Not long prior, Charlton had approached the Simon & Kirby studio about creating a subimprint of books S&K would create and package. In the spring of 1955, Mainline ceased publication, and all their titles shifted over to Charlton. Kirby went along with the books he helped create, while Joe Simon went into commercial art and advertising. Kirby actually tried to leave comics during this time as well, creating and pitching several ideas for newspaper strips, but with no luck. So for most of 1955 Kirby was stuck with the low page rates of Charlton. Here’s his cover for Win a Prize #2 (Apr. 1955).

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    1956 was not a good year for Kirby. He’d mostly gotten away from Charlton by returning to Prize, working on titles he and Simon had created for them just a few years earlier, and he was getting work from Harvey, but you can tell from the quality of his work that he was having to rush things in order to make ends meet. Towards the end of the year things began to look up, as he began getting work from Timely and DC (DC’s page rates were a definite improvement).

    Here’s his cover for Western Tales #33 (July-Sept. 1956) for Harvey—the original art and the printed cover.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    The bulk of Kirby’s work in 1957 was done for DC, though he did quite a bit for Harvey (romance and suspense/mystery), Prize (more romance), and Marvel (“Yellow Claw” and westerns) as well. And, of course, the most significant of that work was the creation of the Challengers of the Unknown in Showcase #6 (technically released in late ’56). Here’s his cover for Showcase #11 (Nov.-Dec. 1957).

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    The Challengers got their own book in 1958, but for me Kirby's most interesting comic book project was the short-lived Race for the Moon, which he (mostly) wrote and (mostly) drew—often with Al Williamson inking him—for Harvey. He began the title write around the time he began working on the Sky Masters newspaper strip, but whereas Sky Masters tried to maintain a sense of realism, Race for the Moon wasn’t afraid to go into the realm of pulp sci-fi. Here’s Kirby’s cover for the final issue of the series, Race for the Moon #3 (Nov. 1958), inks by Marvin Stein.

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  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,834
    Devil Dinosaur #4
    July 1978
    Jack Kirby

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited September 6
    By the end of 1959, Kirby’s law suit against Jack Schiff would be over and Kirby would be verboten at DC. Kirby was getting quite a bit of work at Marvel, sci-fi and westerns mostly, but the giant monsters were beginning to loom large as well. Kirby also reunited with Joe Simon at Archie’s Red Circle imprint for a brief time, producing two issues of a reworking of the Shield, and four issues of The Fly. Here’s their take on the Shield, The Double Life of Private Strong #2 (Aug. 1959), inks by Joe Simon.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    Kirby was practically exclusive with Marvel by 1960, and they kept him busy. He didn't really draw that many stories this year, but he drew a ton of covers—lots of westerns, a few romance, a war book or two, and oodles and oodles of monsters. Here’s my favorite of them, Strange Tales #79 (Dec. 1960), inks by Steve Ditko.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167

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    Pencils by Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    1961 had Kirby drawing more westerns, a little more romance, a lot more giant monsters... and a little thing called Fantastic Four #1. Sure I could go with that, or the first appearance of Fin Fang Foom, but why do that there’s a giant broccoli monster available? Tales of Suspense #19 (July 1961), inks by Dick Ayers.

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  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,165

    1961 had Kirby drawing more westerns, a little more romance, a lot more giant monsters... and a little thing called Fantastic Four #1. Sure I could go with that, or the first appearance of Fin Fang Foom, but why do that there’s a giant broccoli monster available? Tales of Suspense #19 (July 1961), inks by Dick Ayers.

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    Every kids worst nightmare.
    since you didn't eat your vegetables; they are now going to eat you.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    mwhitt80 said:

    Every kids worst nightmare.
    since you didn't eat your vegetables; they are now going to eat you.

    My son actually loved broccoli as a kid. It was about the only veggie he really liked for a long time. Weird, I know.
  • RedRight88RedRight88 Posts: 1,175

    mwhitt80 said:

    Every kids worst nightmare.
    since you didn't eat your vegetables; they are now going to eat you.

    My son actually loved broccoli as a kid. It was about the only veggie he really liked for a long time. Weird, I know.
    Same here, I have always liked veggies that the prevailing wisdom says are hated by all kids (Broccoli, Asparagus, etc.)
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167

    mwhitt80 said:

    Every kids worst nightmare.
    since you didn't eat your vegetables; they are now going to eat you.

    My son actually loved broccoli as a kid. It was about the only veggie he really liked for a long time. Weird, I know.
    Same here, I have always liked veggies that the prevailing wisdom says are hated by all kids (Broccoli, Asparagus, etc.)
    I hated broccoli as a kid. Then I grew up and realized my mom just overcooked it.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,165

    mwhitt80 said:

    Every kids worst nightmare.
    since you didn't eat your vegetables; they are now going to eat you.

    My son actually loved broccoli as a kid. It was about the only veggie he really liked for a long time. Weird, I know.
    My daughter loves it too, but she has very few foods she won't eat
  • I've only recently tried asparagus and am kicking myself for waiting so long.
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