Saturday, August 7, 2010
Kirby's Speak-Out Series!
When Jack "King" Kirby went to DC in a watershed move that for me defines the break between the Silver Age and the Bronze Age, he wanted to work in a variety of formats. Many have reported his efforts to create what we know today as graphic novels, in addition to regular format comics.
He was unable to make that happen, but he did get out two remarkable issues of a magazine format. These were in Black and White (or some tone and white) and they each spoke to a very specific genre. Unfortunately DC Comics had little confidence in these magazines and little confidence in Kirby himself as Neal Adams was used to supply the cover for one of the two books. That move echoes the use of Adams and Murphy Anderson to alter Kirby's images, specifically his Superman family images on his work in the mainstream color books.
In the Days of the Mob is fairly self-descriptive and offers up several stories about the gangsters of the 30's, the formative years for Kirby himself. His fascination with the mob figures is well documented, but this is the only time he dedicated an entire magazine to the interest.
If you want to read this interesting tome, check out this link. It was posted just today at the new Comic Reading Library blog.
Spirit World was the other magazine Kirby concocted and this one revives a genre he world before with his old partner Joe Simon on comics like Black Magic. The supernatural was all the rage in the early 70's and this book spoke to that interest.
To read a sample story from the magazine, check out this link. It was posted today also at the Grantbridge Street & Other MisAdventures blog. Other of these stories produced for this magazine got published in DC's color comic Weird Mysteries.
In addition to these two published efforts there were two romance magazines planned and produced. One was called True Divorce Cases and the other Soul Love (a romance mag with a "blaxploitation" angle). These stories which were produced for these mags were never printed. Here's more on those magazines.
It's a hoot to see this material get posted.