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My Tribute to Jack Kirby and his art!

Updated on June 8, 2013

Jack Kirby-Master of the Comic Book World!

A COMIC BOOK GENIUS!

When you talk about comics, Jack Kirby is a name you should be familiar with. When I got exposed to his art, especially when he drew Captain America, I was amazed at how he captured the facial expressions. His attention to detail in drawing the body and great fight scenes are worthy of anyone's attention. His art was brought on TV, when the Marvel SuperHeroes came to life in 1966! These Superheroes were unique and special!

The five Superheroes shown were Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man; Thor and Submariner. Kirby drew the artwork on Captain America. This popular TV program was hosted by Captain Universe (I don't remember the actor's name-Help, if you know it!) and featured a Marvel hero a day. Showing three episodes per day, I was excited because these cartoons followed the true to life format of the comic books. Many times, I would take my comic book and follow the episodes along.

Kirby's artwork was second to none and one could appreciate it on the Captain America episodes. Jack would capture the facial expressions along with the eyes giving it a sense of realism.This was Marvel at its best and Jack was good at what he did. He was truly an asset to Marvel Comics. If you are a true comic book fan, you owe it to yourself to get a DVD of the original Captain America episodes! It is a wonder to behold! My favorite episode is the Origin of Captain America. Here we are introduced to Cap's sidekick-Bucky Barnes, who later on, dies tragically in the line of duty.

Captain America!

In the beginning!

Jack Kirby was born in New York City on Aug 28, 1917. His real name was Jacob Kurtzberg. Spending some time in the streets, he learned how to use his fists, but then his interest changed. As the years passed, he started working for the comic book industry in the 30's. Around this time, comic books were in its infancy. He was a self-taught artist and winded up working for Timely comics, which would in the future, become Marvel comics.

He did some work with the Fleischer studios, helping with the old Popeye cartoons. In the 1940's, his salary was $15.00 a week, but saw his income skyrocket with his publication of Captain America. Joe Simon, also, contributed to the work and was a hit in the USA! He, also, worked on a Superhero called the Blue Beetle. I have read some of the Blue Beetle comics, but unfortunately,did not see Kirby's artwork. Another great comic book Superstar, Steve Ditko, drew some of the episodes of the which I got exposed to. Personally, I saw potential in that character, but alas, it flopped.

A dispute with Timely comics had Kirby and Simon switch over to National comics which later became DC comics. They published another hit with the BOY COMMANDOS! An exciting comic book of some youths that are trained to fight in World War II! This comic book sold over a million copies back in 1942, which was a remarkable feat for the time! This comic book reminded me of another great title-SGT FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS! Another great war comic and, also, published by Marvel!

JacK Kirby, also, saw action in World War II. Drafted into the army, he traveled to Europe. An army lieutenant found out that he was a comic book artist. He made him a scout and used his artistic talents to win the war. His job was to draw pictures of the enemy based locations. He was honorably discharged from the army on July 20,1945.




Another Kirby classic!

A BITTER BLOW!

Nonetheless, sometimes, success has its drawbacks. In the 1950's, while working in National Comics, Kirby had a bitter blow delivered to him. Timely comics title changed to Atlas. Captain America made a comeback under Atlas and was drawn by another artist. Bitter at that, Kirby invented another Superhero by the name of Fighting American with his sidekick, Speedboy! He was similar to Captain America but did not have a shield.

As the years passed by, Kirby went to work for Atlas comics and met Stan Lee. The two would become a duo that would revolutionize the comic book industry. Atlas comics would become Marvel comics and impact the Super hero market. He drew such Superheroes like Captain America, Hulk, Sgt Fury and many others. Moving to DC comics, he drew Superman and many other great Superheroes.

A TRIBUTE TO HIS LEGACY!

How would I sum up my tribute to the best (In my opinion) comic book artist? First, he had a great mind to tell a story. Second, he used the patriotic spirit of America to create a hero that would inspire a nation by the name of Captain America. He revolutionized the comic book industry by drawing life-like figures. His art, also, was original because he would put real pictures and draw the Superhero or character in the story. Finally, The realism that Marvel had with its characters, sometimes, dying tragically like Bucky Barnes! Jack Kirby was one of a kind. He passed away in 1994, but his artwork will live for generations to come!

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    • rabbit75 profile image

      Vic 

      6 years ago

      Love it and Jack Kirby's artwork. He influenced so many comic book artists that would later influence me. This is a great look back on his career, and there were quite a few things I didn't know about.

      Great hub and voted up and awesome!

    • Jakd profile image

      Jakd 

      6 years ago

      Nicely done, thanks for writing this. I love reading about the original innovators.

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