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Monday August 30, 2010 7:22 pm

Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby!

Kamandi 1Happy Birthday to Jack Kirby, who was born 93 years ago and who I think is the greatest creator of comic books ever. I just love his stuff. If you want to know more about Jack the man, Mark Evanier has a bunch of great stuff about him that’s well worth your time.

If you want some visual proof of Kirby’s greatness, Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter has assembled a fantastic array.

If you want to read some of the classic monster stories that Kirby illustrated, the Monster Blog has a selection of 39 of them that have yet to be reprinted.

I met Kirby only once, at the San Diego Comic Con years ago, so I don’t have any personal anecdotes to share since all I did was shake his hand and burble something inconsequential. My pal Dave Olbrich, back when he was the publisher of Malibu Comics, was an occasional guest in the Kirby house - Malibu’s offices were in the same town as the Kirbys. I was too nervous to try to tag along. I love re-reading Kirby’s long run on Marvel Comics’ The Fantastic Four - it starts slow and builds to greatness. But I really like his stuff for DC Comics in the 1970s - his Fourth World books, especially Mister Miracle and, yes, Jimmy Olsen. Kirby’s the only creator who’s made that cub reporter interesting. I also love Kamandi and The Demon.

In the discussion and debate over Kirby’s many inkers, I go Joe Sinnott #1 and Mike Royer #2.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

[Artwork: The cover to Kamandi #1, by Jack Kirby, © DC Entertainment.]

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