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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

What if Kirby

What if Kirby

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Cover Browser

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Jamie Coville's in-progress ode to the history of 20th century comic books. Start with his Newsstand Period Part 1 … [read review or visit site]

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Bruce Shults takes us on a comprehensive Popeye fan tour, from the early comic strips to cartoons and collectible m… [read review or visit site]

Barnacle Press

Barnacle Press

This collection of obscure newspaper comic strips provides scans browsable by title, year and date. Showcases comic… [read review or visit site]

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Recent News: Jack Kirby

Source: Google News

Stan Lee's Greatest Cameos...In The Actual Comics!, February 11th

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby cameo ed in their very own superhero family; The Fantastic Four. They were playing themselves; as they tried to make it to Sue and Reeds wedding but were kicked out due to not being on the party list. As you can see they later...Read more

Hating the Internet is easy: “You could't run a commercial on television ...
Salon, February 11th

The book veers between funny and enraged, with tangents on libertarian heroine Ayn Rand and legendary comics artist Jack Kirby. It also introduces many of its characters by describing the amount of melanin in their skin. The novel is the first to be...Read more

Essential 11: undici fumetti di Jack Kirby
LoSpazioBianco (Comunicati Stampa), February 11th

Jack Kirby è sempre stato “autore” di tutti i fumetti alla cui realizzazione ha collaborato, intendendo come “autore” colui che caratterizza le sue opere con una serie di temi ricorrenti e con una visione personale del mondo e della vita, come ho...Read more

Check Out Jack Kirby's Intergalactic Super Bowl, February 7th

What do you get when the NFL recruits the greatest superhero comic book artist of all time to create art for an "intergalactic Super Bowl?" Well, pieces of this art have surfaced here and there over the years, but with Super Bowl 50 being played...Read more

Hinckley: Jack Kirby left a legacy of superheroes from the X-Men to Captain ...
New York Daily News, February 5th

(Originally published by the Daily News on Feb. 8, 1984. This story was written by David Hinckley.) Jack Kirby is dead. He is survived by Spider-Man, the X-Men, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and a cast of thousands. Kirby, 76, who died...Read more

Comic book legend Jack Kirby's heirs settle with Marvel
The Voice Observer (blog), January 19th

NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The legal war between comic book art great Jack Kirby's heirs and Marvel Entertainment over the rights to Iron Man, Captain America and other superhero icons has ended, not with a climactic final battle but with a...Read more

Marvel Universe Co-Creator Jack Kirby Is Having A Moment
Forbes, January 18th

If you have even a glancing familiarity with the comics of the 1960s and 70s that gave rise to today's cross-media franchises, you've probably encountered the work of artist Jack Kirby, even if you have never heard his name. Kirby, who died in 1994 at...Read more

'King Kirby' play profiles the artist behind the superheroes, overshadowed by ...
The Seattle Times, January 15th

If you ever take in a movie, or covet memorabilia or a vintage comic book featuring The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man or Captain America, give a silent thanks to Jack Kirby. A skilled graphic artist with a fantastical imagination, Kirby first drew those...Read more