Art For Art’s Sake – Happy Birthday Jack

Published On August 28, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics

Jack Kirby: August 28th 1917 – February 6th 1994.

Frankly if you aren’t aware of the debt owed by modern US Superhero comics as a genre and Marvel and DC as companies, then you really, really need to brush up on a little comics history.

Today would have been Kirby’s 95th birthday. Happy Birthday Jack. Hopefully one day, those who owe you so much may share a little of their riches born from your imagination. Now there are loads and loads and loads of Kirby pics and characters I could have chosen, but I’ve always had a soft spot for a few of his more low-key characters, so here I thought I’d share a few of one of my favourites; Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle.

First a few from the man himself, starting off with the Mister Miracle debut, April 1971:

Kirby’s original lasted 18 issues, but was revived in ’77 in a short (and sadly unfinished) series with stories from Steve Englehart (as John Harkness) and Steve Gerber, and art by the great Marshal Rogers. The entirety of #22 is here at Diversions Of The Groovy Kind.

And here’s Steve Rude with the cover to the Evanier/Rude 1987 Special following in the wake of Mister Miracle’s inclusion in the Giffen/Dematteis/Maguire Justic League:

And that was followed up by Ian Gibson artwork from the sit-com reinvention by DeMatteis following the success of the funny Justice League series. Personally I quite enjoyed it for what it was. Gibson disagrees!

Finally, a few pieces from here and there….

Michael Cho:

Warwick Cadwell Johnson – from Kirby Museum:

And a more cartoon-y styling from Ramon Perez from 2010:

….”a few months back, just post TCAF, i and a handful of others webcomics creators were approached to develop some ideas for new webcomic content for zuda based on existing dc comics properties. we were given free reign as to who to choose from… so i naturally chose my favourite dynamic duo of mr. miracle and big barda! if we had been given the green light i would have been weaving tales on a weekly basis starring perhaps my all time favourite kirby creations! the stories would have been short arcs outside of continuity.”

Great ideas, but never taken up…

So from all of us at the FPI Blog, Happy Birthday Jack. And thanks for making our imaginations fly.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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