Our good friends at Stabbone and McGraw made Stan Lee a Hero of the Month. While we at Falling Rock heartily approve of his choice, we feel it is our duty to call attention to Jack “King” Kirby, co-creator of many of those awesome heroes of yesteryear and one hell of an artist.
I met Jack Kirby in Tucson when I was but a wee redheaded kid. He was at a small comic book store (is there any other kind?) to chat with fans and sign a book called The Art of Jack Kirby. As I remember, my dad volunteered the information that I was a cartoonist. I was mortified. But Jack smiled and told me to keep on drawing – to draw everything. He said he had learned to draw while he was in the army. I cannot imagine a more different environment to hone your craft. While I sketched desert landscapes, Jack Kirby had learned to draw soldiers fighting in Europe during World War II.
They say that meeting your heroes can be a disappointing experience, but I can safely say that Jack Kirby exceeded any expectations I had for a cartoonist.
I recently read part of Jack’s Fourth World series; while the story was beyond my limited brain capacity, I really dug the way he drew robots. He is also well-known for monsters. His cover for the first Fantastic Four comic book is nigh legendary. There is, in fact, a website devoted to Kirby’s monsters.
While Jack Kirby the man is no longer with us, his art fortunately lives on. Without his amazing eye for perspective or his boundless imagination, many of the superheroes gracing the Silver Screen today would have long been forgotten.
Long live the King.