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Thursday August 4, 2011 3:02 pm

Kamandi The Last Boy On Earth Omnibus

Kamandi #1What do you do if you can't get the comic book license to Planet Of The Apes?

If you're DC publisher Carmine Infantino and the time is the early 1970s, you simply encourage someone to follow an old comic book tradition: create the homage.

Except that Infantino made that request of Jack Kirby and he took – to his credit – only the very basics of that idea (which was a staple of post-apocalyptic sci-fi for decades) and ran wild with it. According to Wikipedia, Kirby took the germ of Infantino's request, mixed it with a couple of pre-POTA projects of his from earlier and the result was Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth.

It debuted in 1972 as part of Kirby's "2nd phase" at DC, after they cancelled all his debut books from the Fourth World series – New Gods, Forever People and Mister Miracle – and turned Jimmy Olsen back into a red-headed d-bag.

I love Kamandi. It's my favorite of the post-Marvel Kirby projects. It's got a bunch of great characters, it's weird, it's wacky, it's fun and the action never really lets up. It was also, I think, Kirby's longest-running title during his time at DC.

And now DC Comics is putting out Kamandi The Last Boy On Earth Omnibus Vol. 1 in hardcover. Collecting issues #1-20, it's scheduled to debut between the end of September (according to DC) and early October (according to Amazon). It's 448 pages (!), and while DC is selling it for $50, Amazon has it for $30.

Here's what DC's solicitation copy says: "In these tales, Kamandi – one of the few survivors of a futuristic Great Disaster that has destroyed civilization – must make his way through a world populated by bizarre, mutated animals and other strange wonders! Considered one of Jack Kirby's most creative works, Kamandi features a band of intelligent animal supporting characters who accompany Kamandi as he searches for answers and adventure across the wastelands of Earth."

Kirby wrote and penciled the series and the inking was by Mike Royer and D. Bruce Berry.

I'm in for this and I've already pre-ordered my copy. I suggest you do the same!

[Artwork: Kamandi #1 by Jack Kirby, © DC Comics]

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