I’ve been counting down to Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday for a few years now. Here’s my blogs for his 96th, his 97th, his 98th and now we’re at his 99th. If you don’t know Kirby then Kirby’s the man who created modern American comic books and did some truly astonishing art for a man not on class A drugs.
As last year, there’s not much to say that hasn’t been said and also, I’m waiting as many people are, for his 100th birthday next year however, it’s always worth pointing out Kirby’s huge role. If Kirby had never been around there’s no big Marvel films, probably no DC as DC ended up chasing Marvel during the 1960’s and assimilating their house style. No ‘geek culture’, no big comic cons, no big Star Name comic writers, nothing.
Sure, something would have happened. The DC revival of superheroes would have resulted in something, just probably not as dynamic as what we got with Kirby’s worth. There’s always one crucial figure in a new culture, or paradigm breaking through. For example, Alexei Sayle’s got a new book out where he discusses his part in the Alternative Comedy movement in the 1980’s where he plays down his role, which in reality, is a defining part.
Kirby is that central figure. No Fantastic Four #1, no Marvel, no nothing. I’ve made the point before, but it’s constantly worth repeating in an age where creators are thrown aside or disregarded at the drop of a hat.
So, happy birthday Jack. Next year is going to be the big one!