Yesterday I read some good news for the family of Jack Kirby. As those of you who frequent this blog will know, I admire Jack Kirby quite a lot and I've always been horrified of the way he was stripped of the acknowledgment that he created most of the characters that generated the success of Marvel Comics. With few exceptions, one can point to virtually all of the superhero comics of Marvel's early days and find the hand of Jack Kirby solely involved in their creation.
Yeah, yeah, he's supposed to be "co-creator". Even Ernest Hemingway had an editor. Big deal.
The first things that I recall actually reading were comic books. And the first two comic books that I ever read were illustrated and written by Jack Kirby. Either my mom or my dad bought me a few comics at a local bookstore on Norwich Street before I was even old enough to go to grade school. The first of these comics was Fantastic Four #4. I was amazed and read the damned thing to pieces.
I wanted to read some more of this stuff, so my mom took me to the used bookstore where she'd bought that one and I found another issue in the stacks. This one was Fantastic Four #12. Of course I loved the issue and never forgot the story and those amazing images.
After that, though, it was mainly Disney comics and Jesse Marsh adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs' JOHN CARTER. These were the only comics I could get from relatives and family members for a time, and so I didn't get to see any more superhero comics until we moved to Atlanta and my dad opened his first bookstore. And then, brothers and sisters, I had so many comics to read it should have been a crime.
The first superhero comic that I can recall reading after my dad opened his store was Fantastic Four #28. It was probably only a year old at that point, and once again I found myself hooked on superhero books. This time there were no limitations because soon my dad had about a quarter of a million of the damned things stacking up in his warehouse and I could read them at will. And there was a drug store down the street from our house that had the new ones on the stands. And my pals all read comics and their big brothers read comics and we'd all sit around talking about them and trading them and reading them.
Today I finally landed a reader's copy of Fantastic Four #28. It's not an investment quality book, but I just wanted to hold it in my hands and look at it the same way I did when I was a kid in the third grade in Decatur Georgia.
Yep. It brought back some good memories. If I close my eyes I'm still living on Mead Road and my pal Wayne Culver lives one street over. We're probably going to go walk to the hobby shop and look at the latest Aurora kits and see if the new issue of Famous Monsters is on the stands. Maybe he found some new Outer Limits trading cards I don't have. And we'll talk about the Fantastic Four, of course.
My own copy of Fantastic Four #28, featuring Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four and some of his other creations, the X-Men.