SEE IT – TO BELIEVE IT: JACK KIRBY’S WILDEST DC COMICS COVERS IN HONOR OF THE KING’S 97TH BIRTHDAY
Jack Kirby is arguably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.
This Thursday would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday. We’ve assembled some pieces to celebrating the life and work of the man American comics also knows as “the King.” This one focuses on Kirby’s strength as a cover illustrator.
Jack Kirby’s comics work is justly renowned, but one of the less-recognized aspects of his genius was his skill at crafting covers – even half-hidden on a supermarket spinner rack, or surrounded by other colorful titles on a vast magazine stand, his books could reach across the room to grab your attention. Once he left Marvel for DC in the early ’70s, Kirby took his designing skill with him. And even though DC tended to be less receptive to his input than Marvel had been (often bringing in other artists to rework his covers, or even replacing them entirely), when he was left to his own devices, Kirby produced a number of incredibly striking images for DC that eclipse even his Marvel highs, full of colorful and confounding characters.
All hail the King.
If you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you know Groot — the singing, dancing, crime-fighting tree. Groot was created by comics legend Jack Kirby, who’s also responsible for Captain America and the co-creator of the Avengers and the X-Men. Kirby died in 1994, but his birthday on August 28th has become something of a national celebration for comic book fans.
In the back room of a brewery just outside Albany, a small group of comic shop owners and comics creators gathers around a sketch of Kirby. The likeness peers intensely out from the page, inking pen in one hand, pencil clenched in his lips. But it’s not in a comic book. It’s the label on a bottle of beer.
"I just wanted to capture sort of his artistic power," says artist Paul Harding. "Sort of an extreme view looking up from his drawing surface." Harding is the sculptor behind a lot of the action figures you see in stores. He drew the image of Kirby. The the group is slapping it on limited edition beer bottles in preparation for Kirby Day.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Paul Harding
All hail the King.
Since entering back into the ring this year, British Knights has come firing with a flurry of flavour. Slightly off-beat from the usual BK we are use to seeing, the Hajime Sorayama collaboration is an interesting step forward for the brand. Revered for his futuristic and heavily erotic style, Sorayama’s robotic women have become sought after for decades by the masses. Translating from the canvas to the footwear world, this Control HI is one half of the two part pack, which boasts an arousing array of metallic finishes and golden detailing. Fans of Sorayama’s work know this one is a must, so head to Oneness to collect yours right now, and keep glued to SF for the second part of the pack.
After checking out the specs on the Control Hi half of the Sorayama x British Knights pack, run your eyes over the Control Mid lower half. Utilising the same reflective intensity, it’s a serving of suede down back that raises the wear-ability levels here. Against the starkness of the silver dosages, the sandy beige oddly adds a nice premium touch, which is further complemented through the tongue and sole unit. We’re not saying this one’s in the bag, but those with a keen eye will find a way to pull them off. Time to dust off the old Slim Shady jeans, kids? Find these now at Oneness.
If you like bright, do your thing.
I’m already exhausted at all the Nike LeBron 12 colorways that have been previewed so far. Here’s a new Bright Orange/Volt colorway to peak your interest until the season starts and Nike decides to finally unveil the 12th signature shoe for LeBron. This release has been handled very poorly, but that shouldn’t effect sales hopefully. Stick with TSG for official details of this upcoming Nike LeBron 12 release.
Man, we thought we loved these bad boys before, but these new images of the Nike LeBron 12 “Lion Heart” have us approaching Stan levels. We realize that this new dramatic rendering of LBJ’s signature sneaker is already extremely polarizing, but even the most staunch hater has to give this colorway some love. In these new high quality photos we can see that the red mesh is overlapped by orange honeycomb-like cells which really speaks to Nike’s surprise in King James’ decision (part deux) to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nike LeBron 12 “Lion Heart” will hit shelves on Halloween, October 31 for an MSRP of $200.
What do you think of LeBron’s new digs after seeing these photos? Trick, or treat?
Katsuhiro Otomo - Sayonara America, Sayonara Nippon
comic: katsuhiro OTOMO AME-LINGO 1976