This Monday, August 28th 2017, marks the 100th birthday of the legendary Jack Kirby. All summer long, Biff Bam Pop! has been celebrating the King of Comics, and the remarkable impact he had on the world of graphic storytelling. Let’s be real, though. Even though Jack’s been gone for more than 23 years, he’s not really gone. His presence is felt all the time in the medium he helped cement as a pop culture force, and Kirby’s work is always be lauded, as it should be.
As John Morrow of TwoMorrows Publishing says in his introduction to Kirby 100, he’s made celebrating Kirby his “life’s work.” Along with former Kirby assistant Mark Evanier, there really is nobody out there that can lay claim to being a definitive expert on the artist. John’s been publishing The Jack Kirby Collector for nearly 25 years, a magazine that explores with the greatest depth Kirby career in all its facets.
It makes perfect sense then that today, Kirby’s centennial birthday, also sees the national release of Kirby 100: 100 Top Creators Celebrate Jack Kirby’s Greatest Work.
In this full-colour edition, available as both a PDF and softcover book, Morrow and his co-editor Jon B. Cooke have solicited images and essays from some of the greatest contributors to comics about the impact and legacy of Jack Kirby. Among the names included are Dave Sim, Sal Buscema, Larry Hama, Walt Simonson, Kelly Jones, John Romita Sr., Mike Allred, Alex Ross and Bruce Timm. And those are really just a few of the names.
Along with the thoughtful words from so many esteemed creators, the true highlight is the outstanding collection of art that Kirby 100 contains. From iconic covers and pages to pencils that show the master at his most raw, so much of what makes Kirby enduring can be found here.
Morrow and Cooke have also put together an extensive chronology of Kirby’s life and work, which along with being incredibly thorough, highlights that Kirby’s legacy didn’t just begin in 1961 and with publication of Fantastic Four #1 and the superhero universe he and Stan Lee would be responsible for creating. So much work has gone into this book that Morrow and Cooke should be applauded for their devotion to honouring Kirby.
Whether you’re a longtime devotee of Jack Kirby, or a newfound fan whose interest in the genre has come from the new breed of creators, or the cinematic features that can’t help but pay tribute to the King of Comics, Kirby 100: 100 Top Creators Celebrate Jack Kirby’s Greatest Work is a wonderful way to celebrate the artist and the man whose influence is truly unending.
You can order Kirby 100: 100 Top Creators Celebrate Jack Kirby’s Greatest Work directly from TwoMorrows Publishing here. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a monumental day.
Happy 100th birthday, Jack Kirby!