Thursday, February 07, 2013

Kirby Additions.

I've been busy working on completing my run of Jack Kirby's FANTASTIC FOUR. As with my Spider-Man collection, I only want the issues that feature the work of the man who created, wrote, and illustrated it. Therefore, I will buy the issues by Jack Kirby and no others. I hope to have the set completed by the end of 2013. We'll see.


I finally landed a copy of FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #1.
This was part of an ambitious story arc by Kirby, wherein Von Doom stole the cosmic power of the Silver Surfer and used it to try to destroy the Fantastic Four. I've always admired this cover, featuring as it does Ben Grimm duking it out with the mad Dr. Doom. It's illustrations such as this one that have always convinced me that Grimm was almost a part of Jack Kirby himself.
Cover featuring the character Blastaar. Even throwaway characters from Kirby were superior to the kind of thing other writers struggled to deliver.
Another fine cover from Kirby. I've been told that this version was delivered at the last minute as a replacement for art that was rejected by the editor, Stan Lee.






6 comments:

Kirk G said...

A fine set of FF books indeed...and all from the first year I was buying comics. I got in at #55 where the Surfer returns for the first time since Galactus, and the arc builds from there to #60. 61-62-63 form a mini arc that is the payoff of the Frightful Four sub-plot and #64 starts the Kree storyline. I've seen the original #64 cover and feel this one is much more powerful! Look for the original on Mark Evanier's "News From Me" website under "Alternative Covers".

Kirk G said...

Re: FF#62's cover-- Many fans were expecting the Silver Surfer to come to Reed's rescue, as the cover implies that, but what a left curve when Black Bolt sends the most unexpected of subjects to do it instead! If you've not read these, you're in for a treat.

Kirk G said...

Turns out I was wrong on two counts regarding the original FF #64 cover. First, the Mark Evaniner website we're looking for is POV Online under Comics and then Alternative covers. http://www.povonline.com/Alternatecovers.htm
Second, it's not there.
I must have seen it in the back filler pages of the FF Masterworks volume 7, as an extra feature. Sorry.

James Robert Smith said...

One thing about Lee is that he was good at what he was: an editor. Almost every cover change he demanded was for the better. Occasionally a guy like Kirby would go for creating something that would make a good panel or a splash page and try to execute it as a cover. That doesn't always work. Lee knew what kind of image sold comics...he was the guy looking at the sales figures and realized what kind of cover sold a book and what kind did not.

However, in the case of some of the Ditko covers, Lee was just being a dick. Apparently Ditko knew that Lee had an aversion to images that showed the hero's ass. Therefore Ditko would deliver just such an image as the cover. I think he got away with it a couple of times by delivering the cover art so late that there was nothing to be done for it. Or else Lee was out of the office and someone else had to make the call.

Kirk G said...

It makes sense, doesn't it? If the hero's face or costume isn't recognisable, then it's not as good a seller as a frontal shot. Therefore, by definition, a shot of the hero's butt isn't going to show his face OR the hero is facing away from the viewer/reader/audience.

James Robert Smith said...

From what I've read, it went a bit farther than that for Lee. I think he just didn't like looking as men's asses. So if his artists delivered a cover that showed a superhero's ass, he'd ask for it to be redone.

Have you seen the Hulk house ad that Ditko did to promote Tales to Astonish? Hulk's ass with Hulk in mid-turn. Lee rejected it. Somehow the finished pencils survived. I think I posted the art here on my blog.