Question about Kirby at DC
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1 hour ago, HuddyBee said:

I've never been a fan of Jack Kirby's art. I've always found his art in a way brash. Of his DC work New Gods has to be his best as it's the series that seems to lend itself best to Kirby's style. Mister Miracle doesn't feel right without Kirby, however most inner panels at least in issue 1 look pretty bad. The inker could be to blame, but I just really can't get behind any work Kirby did in the 70s. I just find his style ugly and overbearing. 2c

Just take a look at his BP #1 cover and tell me you don't want to vomit.

 

5015424.jpg

I can see you're a curt swan guy by your avatar-I'm a lifelong swan fan and it took many many years to appreciate kirby.  Swan is like his exact opposite.  I love that cover.  The frog looks like a glowing golden magic artefact. The black panther grabbing it is iconic, reminiscent of ASM 67.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, kav said:

I can see you're a curt swan guy by your avatar-I'm a lifelong swan fan and it took many many years to appreciate kirby.  Swan is like his exact opposite.  I love that cover.  The frog looks like a glowing golden magic artefact. The black panther grabbing it is iconic, reminiscent of ASM 67.

Hey I actually haven't met a lot of people who can stand that cover. But I respect all who can. Kirby's just not for me, I love and I'm all for people who like him. One think I can respect about him is he had a pretty obvious style and he stuck to it (opposed to artists like Dillin whose style changed at least every 5 years).

I've also always loved Kubert and Murphy Anderson. Kubert, Murph and Kirby both have very obvious styles, but are almost all completely different. Kirby used hard straight dark lines usually for a very geometric-esc feel. Kubert is also almost the exact opposite using long thin and often wavy lines. Murphy is more geometrical similar to Kirby, but uses almost exclusively a ton of small short lines which create very intricate and detailed characters.

Kirby also had a unique way of shading, almost always using solid black shapes rather then a lot of small short lines as Murph, Kubert, Swan, and pretty much every other artist used.

Edited by HuddyBee

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6 hours ago, RCheli said:

This quote is apocryphal and if it was true, Jimmy Olsen was far from DC's lowest selling comic at the time.

In Jimmy Olsen #136, reported sales in the statement of ownership was 333k (this was likely for an issue or two before Kirby came onto the title). The next issue with a statement of ownership was #147 had sales just under 300k (this was likely one of the first Kirby issues). I did a quick search and found that Green Lantern had a statement of ownership around the same time as JO #136, and their reported sales were 133k.

Superman family titles were dropping in sales, yes. But they were still some of the highest selling titles that DC had.

It was their lowest selling Superman title, maybe?, and I'm sure they would've loved to see it jump up higher in sales. Jack didn't want to take a job away from anyone so they gave him that book because it didn't have a regular set team working on it.

Without looking, I believe Statement of Ownership was a 12 month average for a book... not sure where that would've started from. 1969 Comichron numbers don't show Jimmy Olsen, but in 1968 it was at 460,000 at #7 for all comics REPORTED, and just under Lois Lane at #6, but ABOVE Action Comics and Adventure Comics. Wow!

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, HuddyBee said:

Hey I actually haven't met a lot of people who can stand that cover. But I respect all who can. Kirby's just not for me, I love and I'm all for people who like him. One think I can respect about him is he had a pretty obvious style and he stuck to it (regardless of how I feel about said style).

I've also always loved Kubert and Murphy Anderson. Kubert, Murph and Kirby both have very obvious styles, but are almost all completely different. Kirby used hard straight dark lines usually for a very geometric-esc feel. Kubert is also almost the exact opposite using long thin and often wavy lines. Murphy is more geometrical similar to Kirby, but uses almost exclusively a ton of small short lines which create very intricate and detailed characters.

Kirby also had a unique way of shading, almost always using solid black shapes rather then a lot of small short lines as Murph, Kubert, Swan, and pretty much every other artist used.

Swan was an absolute master of drawing very natural posed figures.  He could draw any age, which is very difficult-most artists draw children that look like adult midgets and old people that look like young people with a bunch of scars on their face.  Kirby never drew a natural pose-ever.  He was an expressionist in a way as opposed to swan's renesannce (sic) style.

Edited by kav

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1 minute ago, HuddyBee said:

Hey I actually haven't met a lot of people who can stand that cover. But I respect all who can. Kirby's just not for me, I love and I'm all for people who like him. One think I can respect about him is he had a pretty obvious style and he stuck to it (regardless of how I feel about said style).

I've also always loved Kubert and Murphy Anderson. Kubert, Murph and Kirby both have very obvious styles, but are almost all completely different. Kirby used hard straight dark lines usually for a very geometric-esc feel. Kubert is also almost the exact opposite using long thin and often wavy lines. Murphy is more geometrical similar to Kirby, but uses almost exclusively a ton of small short lines which create very intricate and detailed characters.

Kirby also had a unique way of shading, almost always using solid black shapes rather then a lot of small short lines as Murph, Kubert, Swan, and pretty much every other artist used.

 I LOVE that cover.

It's so Golden Age, it stands out like a sore thumb in 1977.

AND... Jack was 60 years old when he drew that. He'd been drawing comics for 40 years. And not just 60 years old and for 40 years but...

From 1963 to 1967, Jack drew an average of FIVE to SIX pages a day. Even at DC, to get the money he was asking, he had to do 15-20 pages week. His late period Marvel work wasn't his best, but... dang, the guy was wearin' down by that point...

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On 6/30/2019 at 1:13 PM, lizards2 said:
On 6/30/2019 at 11:55 AM, MR SigS said:
On 6/29/2019 at 3:11 PM, lizards2 said:

I have to admit, Kamandi was one of my favorite reads as a kid - 12-13 years old.

At a convention many years ago Mike Royer suggested that as 60's Kirby fans grew and matured, Kirby's stories didn't always grow and mature with them, and that he was still "targeting" the younger readers. He actually got some "boos" from the crowd, and all the others on the panel who agreed with him before the panel began suddenly left him on his own. 

Actually, that theory makes a lot of sense to me.  Too bad people get so angry at messengers and opinions.

And the ultimate irony is that Kirby (and Royer) was right: in 1972, the vast, vast majority of comics were still sold to readers, and the vast majority of those...were kids.

It is only in the last 30 years, when we have writers performing nothing but fan service, unwilling (or unable) to create new hits of their own, so they simply write for an ever-aging (and ever-dwindling) audience of loud, pushy, sweaty man-boys. Kirby was creating something new and different; it didn't matter if it didn't catch. Bendis and Johns and the rest are content retelling the same stories over and over again. It's the "grown-up" version of "tell me that story again, Grampa!"

And it's been happening all over the culture, not just comics. 

By the way...there's a fascinating gem of a book that is often overlooked: New Gods (1984) #6. The first five issues are the deluxe reprints that DC was doing in the mid 80s...but the second half of #6 is new material that leads to the Hunger Dogs DC graphic novel (#4.)

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13 hours ago, HuddyBee said:

I've never been a fan of Jack Kirby's art. I've always found his art in a way brash. Of his DC work New Gods has to be his best as it's the series that seems to lend itself best to Kirby's style. Mister Miracle doesn't feel right without Kirby, however most inner panels at least in issue 1 look pretty bad. The inker could be to blame, but I just really can't get behind any work Kirby did in the 70s. I just find his style ugly and overbearing. 2c

Just take a look at his BP #1 cover and tell me you don't want to vomit.

 

5015424.jpg

LOVE this cover! Those huge, dynamic hands, the crazed expressions, the psychedelic space frog??? Pure Kirby nirvana.

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I love the cover of Black Panther 1 as well. Jack Kirby was a master of conveying movement and as his work matured it became more stylized (or as I like to say, really bleeping cool!!!). His panels are always moving you along, always in service to the story.

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Posted (edited)

Ya know I can actually get behind the perspective. Kirby's poses and the perspective he uses in said cover above are actually pretty cool and unique. However, what really turns me off is his overbearing shading and geometric feel. Take a look at (what I assume is) the guard. His face is just a rectangle, a slight curve on top, and 3 lines to close it on the bottom. His nose is entirely straight lines, and extremely blocky. This style is applied to both BP and the man in the background. The woman's face is one of the better looking as it isn't anywhere as rigid, for if it where it wouldn't look like a woman. Now this style can be used for certain characters and be fine in order to establish a feel to those characters, however when it is applied to almost all characters (and all art for that matter) it just becomes brash and overbearing.

When it comes to Kirby's shading we have very little actual "shading," he rather uses solid black blobs. This form of shading is used by other artists as well, ones I'm a fan of like Nick Cardy and Ramona Fradon. However it is used sparingly and in the right places. Look at the guards shirt. His ruffles in no way call for that much shading.

Anyway this is just my humble opinion and if you're a huge Kirby fan then take all with a grain of salt.

Edited by HuddyBee

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13 minutes ago, HuddyBee said:

Ya know I can actually get behind the perspective. Kirby's poses and the perspective he uses in said cover above are actually pretty cool and unique. However, what really turns me off is his overbearing shading and geometric feel. Take a look at (what I assume is) the guard. His face is just a rectangle, a slight curve on top, and 3 lines to close it on the bottom. His nose is entirely straight lines, and extremely blocky. This style is applied to both BP and the man in the background. The woman's face is one of the better looking as it isn't anywhere as rigid, for if it where it wouldn't look like a woman. Now this style can be used for certain characters and be fine in order to establish a feel to those characters, however when it is applied to almost all characters (and all art for that matter) it just becomes brash and overbearing.

When it comes to Kirby's shading we have very little actual "shading," he rather uses solid black blobs. This form of shading is used by other artists as well, ones I'm a fan of like Nick Cardy and Ramona Fradon. However it is used sparingly and in the right places. Look at the guards shirt. His ruffles in no way call for that much shading.

Anyway this is just my humble opinion and if you're a huge Kirby fan then take all with a grain of salt.

There's nothing at all wrong with not digging Kirby, or anyone else, for that matter. At least you're giving it some actual consideration, and not just popping up and saying he "sucks". Some things just don't work for some folks. For instance, I'm a huge Kirby fan, but don't have much use for Neal Adams. I can appreciate his stature in the medium, I acknowledge how much he changed the way comics were drawn, but for the life of me, I just don't care that much for his stuff, with a few exceptions. But then again, I tend to prefer more iconographic comic artists (Kirby, Simonson, Mignola) over the illustrative artists (Adams, BWS, etc). Just personal preference. Whatever turns yr crank!

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2 hours ago, F For Fake said:

There's nothing at all wrong with not digging Kirby, or anyone else, for that matter. At least you're giving it some actual consideration, and not just popping up and saying he "sucks". Some things just don't work for some folks. For instance, I'm a huge Kirby fan, but don't have much use for Neal Adams. I can appreciate his stature in the medium, I acknowledge how much he changed the way comics were drawn, but for the life of me, I just don't care that much for his stuff, with a few exceptions. But then again, I tend to prefer more iconographic comic artists (Kirby, Simonson, Mignola) over the illustrative artists (Adams, BWS, etc). Just personal preference. Whatever turns yr crank!

Neal Adams is a brilliant artist, but IMO his art can't tell a story all by itself the way Kirby's art can. 

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2 hours ago, F For Fake said:

There's nothing at all wrong with not digging Kirby, or anyone else, for that matter. At least you're giving it some actual consideration, and not just popping up and saying he "sucks". Some things just don't work for some folks. For instance, I'm a huge Kirby fan, but don't have much use for Neal Adams. I can appreciate his stature in the medium, I acknowledge how much he changed the way comics were drawn, but for the life of me, I just don't care that much for his stuff, with a few exceptions. But then again, I tend to prefer more iconographic comic artists (Kirby, Simonson, Mignola) over the illustrative artists (Adams, BWS, etc). Just personal preference. Whatever turns yr crank!

But Kirby did suck...

 

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223DF912-7F4A-4311-9731-60DE02EDFA20.gif.0f1cb423f605c97e38af23e52819837d.gif

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2 hours ago, F For Fake said:

There's nothing at all wrong with not digging Kirby, or anyone else, for that matter. At least you're giving it some actual consideration, and not just popping up and saying he "sucks". Some things just don't work for some folks. For instance, I'm a huge Kirby fan, but don't have much use for Neal Adams. I can appreciate his stature in the medium, I acknowledge how much he changed the way comics were drawn, but for the life of me, I just don't care that much for his stuff, with a few exceptions. But then again, I tend to prefer more iconographic comic artists (Kirby, Simonson, Mignola) over the illustrative artists (Adams, BWS, etc). Just personal preference. Whatever turns yr crank!

It took kneel atoms a while to hit his stride-his early DC stuff was fairly stiff and awkward.

363-1.jpg

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On 6/30/2019 at 8:56 PM, kav said:

I admire your passion and love for Kirby but you are wrong-I DO like his 70s dialogue.  It's goofy and wonderful and full of a kind of energy and excitement I cant even describe.

His 70's work were forthrightly aimed at kids, in theory eight to twelve-year-olds. There's no logical pretense or layers of meaning. I just pulled out my OMAC's and picked a random page below. You haven't lived until you've read his OMAC series. Just pure goofy and wonderful Kirby that never fails to bring a smile.

omac5.jpg

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