Jack Kirby | Sequential Spotlight #09
Sequential Spotlight #09
Compiled by Arsia Rozegar
Jack Kirby, legendary comic book artist would have been 95 today.
Where do you begin when it comes to writing about Jack “King” Kirby? There are books written about him so it’s all probably been said before. His contributions to comics and sequential art are immeasurable. He has a massive amount of respect from creators in the comic book industry. He is a comic artist’s comic artist.
To the untrained eye, his style may come across as simple. But what Kirby demonstrates to the absolute fullest through his art, is “Efficiency of Motion”. This was a concept first introduced to me by Bruce Lee (Jeet Kun Do) and in my opinion it applies to all disciplines and art forms. But basically getting out as much as you can with minimal effort.
Kirby’s comprehension and ability to demonstrate dynamic action is something to be studied by all sequential artists (especially those in the super hero and sci-fi genres). His style is so in-your face it’s like his characters are popping off the page.
Not only is Jack Kirby an amazing sequential artist, but his sense of character design is unmatched by anyone. Ever. The number of notches he has on his belt for visually iconic super hero design is unparalleled. It’s a perennial “who’s who” of super heroes. Let’s do a roll call: Captain America, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, The X-Men, Doctor Doom, Magneto, The Juggernaut, The Silver Surfer, The Inhumans, Mr. Miracle, Darkseid, Devil Dinosaur and so many more.
Also, let’s not forget my personal favorite Kirby character design, Modok.
Any attempts at comtemporizing or “improving” the classic originals have consistently been utter failures in my opinion and don’t even come close to touching the Kirby’s character designs.
Every time I go to comic conventions I always find myself bringing home Marvel Essentials Trade Paper Backs that reprint classic Marvel comics in Black & White. It’s always a treat seeing Jack Kirby’s art in this fashion. It makes you appreciate his genius even more.
Check out some of his art in B&W
But I dare you to go out and pick up a reprint of a classic Marvel comic written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby and do a side by side comparison in both story and line art to a contemporary Marvel comic being put out today. Even though I do think comic creators have progressed and improved the art form, but as far as super hero comics go, nothing compares to what Lee and Kirby put out back in the 60′s.
Happy Birthday Jack Kirby and thanks.
You can find more Jack Kirby art and info here:
A fan of all forms of creative expression, Arsia Rozegar got into comic books and the artform of sequential story-telling as a young kid. Eventually he found his way as a professional comic book creator working primarily as a Colorist on countless pages for major comic book companies like Marvel, Image, Top Cow, Todd McFarlane Productions and Zenescope.