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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Comics AM | Theakston threatens action against Kirby MuseumComic Book Resources, December 24th
Legal | Illustrator Greg Theakston tells The Comics Journal that during his Christmas vacation, he plans to file a police complaint against the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, alleging it stole about 3,000 photocopies of Kirby's pencil work...Read more
Our guide to 2014's best graphic novels and collectionsUSA TODAY, December 24th
The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (Abrams ComicArts, $60). The new golden age of reprints is in full swing, but Simon and Kirby were so prolific (beyond creating Captain America, romance comics, Kirby at Marvel and more...Read more
Mary KirbyThe Southern, December 22nd
Kirby, both of Alpharetta; two grandsons, Robert Andrew “Andy” Kirby and wife, Christina, of Mountain View, California, and Ludovic Jean-Baptist Kirby of Alpharetta; and four great-grandchildren, Jakob Roscoe, Sofia Roscoe, Olivia Kirby and Jack Kirby...Read more
The King Is Back: Marvel Announces Deluxe Oversized Collection of Jack Kirby's ...Hollywood Reporter, December 17th
With the lawsuit between Marvel Entertainment and the estate of comic creator Jack Kirby finally settled, it was announced Wednesday that Marvel will issue King-Size Kirby next year, an oversized hardcover collecting examples of the creator's work for...Read more
Art of the Simon and Kirby StudioBoing Boing, December 15th
The names Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are synonymous with comic books, and their partnership ushered in the Golden Age of comics starting in the 1940s. Together they created memorable characters such as Captain America and Sandman, invented ...Read more
The Results of True Collaboration: 'The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio'PopMatters, December 10th
As individuals and as a team, the impact and influence of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby on the comic book industry cannot be overstated. Trying to describe it is like wading into a bottomless pool of hyperbole. If they'd stopped working in the '40s after...Read more
Comic Books True Origin Story: The Art of Joe Simon and Jack KirbyDaily Beast, December 6th
Joe Simon was the first guy Jack Kirby ever met who wasn't from New York City (he came from Syracuse), but together they created most of the famous comic book characters that remain standard bearers for the industry including (but not limited to...Read more
Marvel & Jack Kirby Heirs Settle Legal Battle Ahead Of Supreme Court ShowdownDeadline.com, September 26th
Just days before the Supreme Court was set to take the matter into conference, Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have settled their long running legal dispute over the comic legend's rights to the characters he created or co-created. Here's their...Read more