When we were planning this 100th birthday celebration and retrospective of Jack Kirby here at Biff Bam Pop!, fellow staff writer and friend Justin Mohareb made the comment as we were picking assignments, “If I did Devil Dinosaur it would probably come out as ‘you know, they can’t all be winners.'” He meant it in good fun, but I was kind of shocked. Even though I hadn’t read the stories in decades, I remembered liking the series. It reminded me a bit of Kamandi, which I loved. So I decided I had to take Devil Dinosaur, and prove to myself, and to Justin, that Devil Dinosaur rocked. Or not.
I can’t draw to save my life. But I can look at the work of Jack Kirby all day. And while there are countless digital compilations of so much of his seminal work at DC and Marvel, there’s something about holding physical collections of King Kirby’s great art that is something special.
The folks at IDW know this, and for years have been releasing outstanding large-scale volumes of original Kirby art and stories. Slightly smaller than their award-winning artist editions is their book Jack Kirby Pencils and Inks: Artisan Edition.
His artistry was, and remains, so innovative and influential in the comic book zeitgeist that the industry named awards after him. Heck, they even named a visual image after him: the affectionately known, “Kirby Krackle.”
How pervasive is writer and artist Jack Kirby in pop culture?
You can scan the litany of comic book characters that the man created or co-created and you’d be certain to find dozens that are your favourites. From the globally renowned Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men series of characters, to the populace’s burgeoning awareness of Darkseid and Black Panther, to the more niche creations of Kamandi, Etrigan the Demon and Destroyer Duck. With Kirby, the list of great characters goes on and on and on.
Without him, pop culture and comic books wouldn’t be at all what we know it to be today.
This August marks the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby and we here at Biff Bam Pop! mean to celebrate that auspicious centennial with a plethora of written accolades all summer long!
This is your cordial invitation to our #Kirby100 party!
A couple of weeks ago, friend and compatriot Glenn Walker (he of @monsura and regular contributor to all things cool on this very website), came to visit my hometown city of Toronto for Biff Bam Pop!’s Editor-in-Chief, Andy Burns’ monumental birthday celebration.
It was a wonderful affair, full of frivolity, chatter and seemingly endless shot glasses of Jägermeister (many of us are still shuddering at the taste in our mouths).
At a breakfast get together the next morning, Glenn and I stated talking about our love of comic book industry-changing creator, “King” Jack Kirby (creator of so many of your favourite comic book heroes and villains), and his 1972 post-apocalyptic protagonist, Kamandi. He reminded me of the mid-eighties DC Comics series, the DC Challenge, on which today’s Wednesday Run column comic book pick is based.
And Kamandi, the beloved Last Boy On Earth: in a brand new, limited series, full of story and art and wonder and industry legends working on the creation of the industry’s all-time Legend.
Today sees the release of the hugely-anticipated The Kamandi Challenge #1!
Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.
At first glance, Jack Kirby’s Kamandi might seem like veiled rip-off of The Planet of the Apes with its wild humans and intelligent animals in a post-apocalyptic future, but it was oh so much more. Meet me after the jump for more on my love of Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth!
Biff Bam Pop! presents The GAR! Podcast, the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind. It’s an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world, coming to you from across the vastness of suburban New Jersey via Skype. This week, we’re talking about the aftermath of the San Diego Comic Con, Ray rants about Marvel’s Secret Wars, and he also watches the new Fantastic Four trailer live on the podcast, along with all the usual stuff. See and hear more after the jump.