Monday, September 14, 2009


Kirby Pulp

From the Kirby Museum comes Jay Piscopo's answer to the question, “What if Jack Kirby had drawn Doc Savage?”

Interestingly, though, while I don't think that Kirby ever did draw Doc Savage (though Ron Wilson did, in a fairly Kirby-inspired style), he did set his pen to that other "Kenneth Robeson" character, the Avenger, in the pages of DC's Justice Inc.

I'm reading Kirby's Devil Dinosaur at the moment, from right around this period, but my favorite mid-70s Kirby probably remains 2001. Considering that Kirby was already doing one movie spin-0ff book, and Marvel had the license to do Doc Savage comics for a time, if the George Pal Doc Savage film had actually been, you know, good, and inspired more than a short-lived tabloid B&W magazine series, then maybe Kirby would have ended up doing the character.

But until we're able to make contact with that world out in the Multiverse in which Kirby drew Doc Savage, I think Piscopo's interpretation is a pretty good glimpse of what that might have looked like.

Ah Kirby, although I usually feel the urge to spell his name in all capitals, I've been slowly amassing all the collections they've been producing lately, I'm up to Eternals, two volumes of Fourth World and Silver Star, and I really want Devil Dinosaur and Demon, one can only dream they could put together a wonderful hardcover of 2001, I've wanted to read that one for a while.
Actually Warren Ellis has been writing a lot about Kirby and well, a great many other things in his Do Anything column over at Bleeding Cool, you should check it out if you haven't already.
I reread all of The Demon last year, and was struck by how fresh it still seems. The only mid-70s Kirby I haven't visited in a while is Kamandi, which was always my favorite before I discovered 2001.

And I've definitely been following Ellis's columns, and anytime he invokes the disembodied head of Kirby I pay extra attention. (Though, to my mind, the best Kirby tribute to date has got to be the final issue of Supreme that Alan Moore and Rich Veitch did, "New Jack City," in which Supreme ventures into a hidden land where the disembodied Kirby is worshipped as the creator god, and with good reason.)
One of these days I'm going to have to track down all of the Alan Moore Supreme issues, I remember it blowing my mind back when it first came out, but then I lost track through the various implosions of all things Liefeld at the time.
To me Jack Kirby is comics and it's pretty amazing what he was creating and crafting in what would be most peoples slow ease into retirement.

I wonder if they plan on omnibus collections of Kamandi, the Archives while handsome in all respects are a bit pricey.
Kirby is strangely capable of continuing resonance, maybe it was his mad fusion of high concept modern myth and a blue collar work ethic, that's not quite the phrase I wanted but I hope you take the point.
On another note, a Kirby Doc Savage would have been awesome, maybe the plane he did draw him on was a comic pulp universe where the pulp characters never went away and the "superheroes" never grew as outlandishly powerful as they did....
No, I totally get what you mean about myth and work ethic. That's Kirby in a nutshell, I think.
I've been checking out a lot of the Kirby compendiums from DC from the library. So far, the Forever People (for whatever reason) didn't synch with me, though I'll be looking to get my own copy of the strangely-fun DEMON collection.

Kirby--a universe unto himself. If I can scare up the time, I'll post a few Kirby inspired posts at my site in a Marvel encyclopedia entry style.

Let me know when you've got them posted, Steven, I'd love to check them out!
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