Pipes Magazine » General Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

Why Jack Kirby Matters.

(14 posts)
  1. jiminks

    JimInks

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 30,788

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Jack Kirby matters for all the right reasons. This innovative man created or co-created the heroes and villains that impacted the culture of several generations: Captain America, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Avengers, Darkseid, The New Gods, Boy Commandos, Newsboy Legion, the romance comics genre, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, Dr. Doom, Red Skull, Magneto, Mr. Miracle, Kamandi, the Demon, Challengers of the Unknown, Black Panther, Silver Surfer, Galactus, Mole Man, Machine Man, Captain Victory, Nick Fury, the Inhumans, and hundreds more. Nobody created more important characters in such great abundance.

    Jack was one of the first “big” thinkers in comics. His work influenced directly or indirectly many movies (e.g. Star Wars), tons of cartoons and video games. Were there cosmic sagas in comics before Jack? Barely (if you count Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon), and certainly none on the grand scale that became a Kirby trademark that others continually riff from to this day.

    Conversely, Jack portrayed the average world just as convincingly as he did the environments of fantasy, often at the same time. Mundane aspects of clothing, buildings, furniture, cars, planes, trains… you name it, Kirby gave life to every detail that ever appeared a comic book panel that he designed. It was his world of imagination extracted from life, and he brought us along for the ride.

    Jack influenced hundreds of artists and writers with his ground breaking story ideas and approach to drawing. He created a lot of the visual language of comics that we take for granted today. There are untold people indirectly influenced by Kirby who don’t even know they were, and of course, many more who readily admit how Kirby’s work did affect their thinking in regard to what comics were or could be. The vast scale and depth of his work rescued comics in the 1960s from the doldrums they had lapsed into by not changing with the times. Jack was always ahead of the times he lived in. Would there be a Marvel Comics today without Jack Kirby? Possibly not, and certainly not in the form that Kirby helped to craft that many others continued and expanded on in later years.

    He did all of that, and more. Jack loved the fans, and they loved him. Jack interacted with others without the big ego that drove some comics creators. Kids and adults were treated equally, and Jack never thought he was above them in any way. When you walked away from an encounter with Jack, you felt you had a real conversation instead of being granted an audience. People easily related to Jack as he did with them because Jack never felt superior to others. On a down to the ground human level, he was one of us, and never wanted to be more than that.

    Today, August 28, 2017, would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday. We celebrate his life and career, both of which continually influence us, and likely always will. Those of us who knew him, those of us who counted him as a friend, those who only knew him through his work owe him a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. Jack wouldn’t have wanted us to, anyway. He was content to stand in our number as a citizen of humanity, and enjoy our company, just as we enjoyed his. Thais why he lives on past his life span, and why he will continue to do so as long as his works and the man himself are remembered by a society and culture he help to shape just by being Jack Kirby.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. balkisobrains

    balkisobrains

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 1,504

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Plus, he smoked a pipe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. jiminks

    JimInks

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 30,788

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    He did indeed.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. pipesmokingtom

    pipesmokingtom

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 3,243

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    "We have an unspoken, mutual understanding to ignore the things we hate about each other so we can continue to enjoy the things we love about each other."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7,204

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Wonderful post! I wonder how Jack Kirby would feel about comics today, and the extended media (tv shows, movies,video games, novels etc.) based on those comics.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. jiminks

    JimInks

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 30,788

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Anthony: Jack predicted all of what you asked about would happen back in the 1960s, but nobody took him seriously then. Or later, for that matter. They couldn't see beyond what was current, but Jack was a visionary who could build on current times and those creative visions allowed him to see what was possible and what was likely to happen. He invented a form of the IPhone in comics in 1970, DNA testing, futuristic weaponry that has since come to pass, and much more. He was talking about the possibilities of what became the internet decades before it became reality. He saw the time would come when his work would fill big movie screens, TVs, and computers with his images and images that expanded on what he depicted or copied them. He was the only one who saw all of this, and when I think of those conversations with him, I feel sad he didn't live to see them all happen. But, he knew they would.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7,204

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    He may not have seen it all happen, Jim. But he was able to see some of it, and definitely the beginnings of it. Of course, it has blown up 10 fold since his passing, and it is a shame he wasn't able to witness all of that. Now my question is for you, Jim... what's it like knowing you have spoken, befriended, and even worked among giants?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. jiminks

    JimInks

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 30,788

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Well, Jack Kirby was one of my first heroes. Roberto Clemente is the other from my childhood, and though I saw him play, I never got to meet him. I have known or met some famous people, and luckily for me, none have disappointed me. It's hard to explain the fun and the thrill of sitting with Mickey Spillane in a bar discussing drinking, women, comics, and writing. He, like Jack, was a very down to earth man. They were unpretentious people.

    I'm not the type to rate people, nor do I like to rated. I have found that for the most part, that if you treat famous people like regular people, they tend to be interested in chatting with you (if we ever phone chat, I'll tell you about meeting Paul McCartney and interviewing Howard Stern). As much as I loved Kirby as a role model, we became close friends because we related to each other on equal ground as human beings. I can't see being any other way with people, and I think famous people - unless they have their egos into high over drive - would much prefer to be treated as normal people. They don't get enough of that.

    Here's a link to a short piece I wrote on Jack years ago. You may find it interesting.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=KI-et-e206EC&pg=PA193&lpg=PA193&dq=Jim+amash++meets+jack+kirby&source=bl&ots=9w8Hf4Fu1w&sig=J_PjHA6JBEhE-EHKPVcH0kfzDcE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwir7vHP0fvVAhUEPCYKHbeoDFMQ6AEINzAG#v=onepage&q=Jim amash meets jack kirby&f=false

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7,204

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Very cool, Jim. Thanks for that link.

    I have found that for the most part, that if you treat famous people like regular people, they tend to be interested in chatting with you
    I remember a time walking out of a venue, being parked in the back, and my favorite band was leaving out the back door where their tour bus waiting. My buddy says, "Hey, let's go say hi." So I said, "Ok." And so we did. The band was gracious enough to just hang out and talk with us, not bothered in the least, and seemed to be enjoying themselves every bit as much as we were. They were very down to earth, and very normal. The fact that they were down to earth and normal didn't take away from the experience. In fact, it hightened it. I may have to hear you tell that story about meeting Paul McCartney some day.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. heyyomike

    heyyomike

    New Member
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Do you know what kind of tobacco he preferred to smoke? What his favorite pipe was?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 24,855

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Comics like poetry address the active imagination out of sight while we are being coerced by other things. Comics are the living mythology that shape personality as much as parentage, formal education, or politics. The underground river that moves in both language and visuals.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

    The Bard Of Barlings
    Joined: Jun 2013
    Posts: 9,302

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    That's a wonderful tribute, Jim, and the best birthday present anyone could hope for.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. jiminks

    JimInks

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 30,788

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Jesse: thank you.

    Mike: I know Kirby had a Medico and a Grabow in his studio. He wasn't picky about his cigars or pipe tobacco, and thought I don't know what he smoked, I'm sure it was a drug store OTC. Jack had simple needs and simple wants.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. heyyomike

    heyyomike

    New Member
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Awesome. Thanks!

    Posted 1 year ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   seaelf32, newbroom, autumnfog