Today is Jack Kirby’s birthday. In case you’ve forgotten, Jack is the comic book artist who created, or co-created Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, The X-Men, The Mighty Thor, The Avengers, and basically everything that’s still making money for Marvel Comics.
More important to the comics medium, Kirby defined and re-defined the language of comic books. The way heroes are drawn. The way cityscapes are depicted. The way force, impact, and energy are rendered on the printed page. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Jack Kirby is the most influential artist in the history of comic books.
And he was and remains my hero. Growing up, I spent untold hours copying Jack’s drawings, trying to learn how to replicate his foreshortening, his dynamics, his way of making a static drawing seem to not only move but to leap off the printed page. I lived and breathed Kirby art.And you know the best thing? Years later, when I finally got to meet him; he was the greatest guy you can imagine. Friendly and enthusiastic and just the coolest ever. I need to write a long post about that meeting because it’s a very funny story. For now, though I’ll just say Happy Birthday to my hero, Jack Kirby. You’re still The King, Jack.