I was happy to see Jack "King" Kirby back in the news this week. His estate has filed a lawsuit against Disney, Marvel and most of the other major studios who have been involved with producing movies based on some of the iconic characters that he created or co-created like Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor while working for decades under the onerous terms then and now available to most comic book artists.
It's the typical story of many of the artists, musicians, writers, and illustrators who created much of popular culture of the 20th Century while laboring under exploitive relationships with the producers, manufacturers, publishers and distributors of their artistic output.
I wonder if he had something like that on his mind when he wrote and illustrated this character sketch (which I have doodled a copy of below) and the accompanying philosophical musing that was his stock in trade for his larger than life, mythological-scale storytelling.
Kirby was one of the most prolific and influential artists in the history of comic books, and drew many of the characters and books that I followed and collected growing up.
I still remember the ripple of excitement in the Nettlehorst Elementary schoolyard when the first issue of his series The New Gods made its debut appearance on the metal rack at the local candy store across the street (it was February 1971 and I was in 7th grade).
There is now a Kirby museum and a couple of excellent new oversize books - KIrby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier, and The Best of Simon and Kirby, featuring stunning reproductions of his artwork and telling the inside story of his career in comics.
A giant in his field, who drew some of the most muscular and dynamic action ever put on the page, I wouldn't bet against his estate as they take on The New Gods of the 21st Century, the media corporations that own and massively profit from his original creations.