Born on August 28, 1917, Jack Kirby taught himself to draw when he was a young boy in New York, taking the “Flash Gordon” newspaper comic strip and other sources as his inspirations. He enrolled in the prestigious Pratt Institute but dropped out on his first day, largely due to the financial strain of tuition on his family.
Kirby’s first job as a professional illustrator was as an in-betweener at the Max Fleisher studios, where he helped with “Popeye” cartoons. After working for Lincoln Newspaper Syndicate as a cartoonist and then for Victor Fox as a comic book illustrator, Kirby began drawing for Joe Simon at Timely Comics Company in 1941.
Timely had only two stars—the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. Simon and Kirby created a number of new characters, the most notable of which was Captain America. From there, Simon and Kirby went to work for the Detective Comics Company (known as DC), where they created “The Newsboy Legion” and “The Boy Commandos,” both of which fought the evil Axis powers in their adventures.
In the late 1950s, Kirby was doing much of his work for Marvel Comics. In 1961, with Marvel’s head writer and editor, Stan Lee, Kirby helped create the “Fantastic Four,” which inaugurated a new era of Marvel superheroes. In the years to come, Kirby helped illustrate and generate stories for “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Mighty Thor,” “The Avengers,” X-Men,” and more. Often Kirby’s role was to draw the first issue to get it off to a good start, and then let other artists at Marvel take over from there.
In 1970, Kirby resigned from Marvel and began working for National-DC comics as an artist, writer, and editor. At DC, Kirby helped generate the “Fourth World” series, spawning a whole new universe of modern mythology. Kirby returned to Marvel in 1975 but left for the last time in 1978. He passed away in 1994.
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X-Men creator Jack Kirby was the original comic book social justice warriorVox, September 1st
Over the past week, comic book enthusiasts have been celebrating the late artist Jack Kirby's birthday by remembering the impact he had on the industry. From his iconic stories and characters to his contentious relationship with Marvel, Kirby's legacy...Read more
Graphic Content: Michel Faber on Marvel, Jack Kirby and why he loves comicsHerald Scotland, August 31st
I recently interviewed the novelist Michel Faber for The Sunday Herald in his home in Ross and Cromarty. At one point in a wide-ranging interview we talked about his love of comics and their influence on his latest and – he says – last novel, The Book...Read more
Celebrating Jack Kirby's Creature Creations!ComicsAlliance, August 28th
The late '50s and early '60s was a time of great upheaval in American culture: the Cold War was heating up, the space race was achieving lift-off, rock and roll was stepping away from its R&B roots and splitting off into teen pop and surf and girl...Read more
Jack Kirby Would Have Been 98 Today, And Here's How You Can CelebrateComicbook.com, August 28th
Jack Kirby, co-creator of much of the Marvel Universe and creator of, among other things, the Fourth World characters, Kamandi and dozens more for DC Comics, would have turned 98 years old today. In honor of The King's birthday, comic book retailers...Read more
A Look Back At Jack Kirby's 'Lord Of Light,' The Abandoned Movie That ...Tech Times, August 28th
In other words, he was sufficiently badass to justify Jack Kirby bringing his novel to life. Lord of Light tells the tale of Earth-abandoning colonists in search of a new home. Set in the distant future, the group's combing of the cosmos sees them...Read more
It's Jack Kirby's 98th birthday…why not give to the Hero Initiative todayComics Beat, August 28th
Jack Kirby, the titanic force of US comics, would have been 98 years old today. While it makse you wonder what exciting things we'll be doing for his centenary, it's also a reminder that it's a good day to contribute to The Hero Initiative, as Kirby's...Read more
Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack KirbyImprint, August 26th
Jack Kirby was one of the most important and prolific cartoonists of the 20th century. The characters he created and co-created now earn billions at the cinema. These include Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers, The X-Men, The Silver...Read more
The Largest-Ever US Gallery Of Jack Kirby's Comic Art Heads To Californiaio9, August 24th
Jack Kirby's career crossed all over comics, from Marvel to DC and beyond, giving us a veritable treasure trove of some of the most iconic pieces of comic book art ever produced. Want to get up close and personal with it? If you're in Los Angeles, you can...Read more