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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IDW's Scott Dunbier finely details Artist's Editions, Jack Kirby visitLos Angeles Times, July 23rd
Scott Dunbier, special projects editor at IDW Publishing and innovator of the Artist's Edition line, holds a Captain America sketch that Jack Kirby drew for him when he visited the comics legend as a teenager. Dunbier edited "Jack Kirby's New Gods...Read more
Marvel Wants SCOTUS To Reject Jack Kirby Heirs' “Bizarre” Rights PetitionDeadline.com, July 14th
EXCLUSIVE: No big surprise that today Marvel and Disney asked the Supreme Court to deny a petition from the heirs of Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men co-creator Jack Kirby. “This case presents a factbound application of a test uniformly adopted ...Read more
Stan Lee's Least Favorite Part Of A Movie Is The Only Place Jack Kirby's Name ...ComicsAlliance, July 9th
But his colleagues back during Marvel's early days — like Jack Kirby and Joe Simon among others — get unjustly relegated to the end credits, stuffed between all manner of filmmaking personnel whose contributions, while certainly valuable, don't...Read more
Year of the Artist, Day 185: Jack Kirby, Part 9 – Argosy #2Comic Book Resources, July 4th
Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today's artist is Jack Kirby, and the story is “Street Code” in Argosy (volume 3) #2, which was published by Richard Kyle and is cover dated November 1990. Kirby drew...Read more
007: Jack Kirby's Copyrights, Gary Oldman's RantThe Escapist, June 27th
This podcast is audio-only. NOTE: Next week's podcast will be audio and video. Having conquered technical difficulties, we're back with a brand new podcast. With Jack Kirby's family's lawsuit against Marvel back in the news, we talk at length about...Read more
Here's The Thing, Episode 13: Where To Start With Jack Kirby [Video]ComicsAlliance, June 25th
This week, a viewer writes in with a question about where to start with the King of Comics, Jack Kirby. With a career that spanned six decades and a masterpiece (or three) in every era, the sheer amount of work that Kirby produced can be daunting for a...Read more
Supreme Court urged to hear Jack Kirby copyright appeal by Hollywood unionsHitFix, June 24th
(CBR) Three organizations representing Hollywood actors, directors and screenwriters have thrown their weight behind an effort to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal by the heirs of Jack Kirby that could have ramifications far beyond...Read more
King Kirby – An Artist And Jack Kirby Expert Reviews The PlayBleeding Cool News, June 24th
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of driving to New York City to see the King Kirby play at The Brick theater in Brooklyn. A few weeks ago my pal Lucky the Painproof Man shared the Kickstarter link with me and I told my girlfriend “Wow, there's...Read more