The announcement of DC preparing some kind of deluxe Fourth World collections has brought Jack Kirby back to the comics internet. Over at Comic Bloc, Jim Beard has a petition he’d like you to sign:
Please sign up here if you would like to see DC put the effort into restoring Jack’s original heads and faces in the art for the 4th World stuff.
I’m pretty sure photostats of the pencils exist for all or most of it. I think that they could increase sales by doing this.
Please support this idea if it means something to you.
If you don’t know what he’s talking about, he explains:
Kirby’s Superman and Jimmy Olsen heads were redrawn in the early 70s to more closely resemble the DC “house style” (bullcrap). Many Kirby fans have been asking for the original faces to be restored when the stories have been reprinted, to make the art more complete.
Meanwhile, Millarworld has some people who won’t be signing that petition:
I don’t get why Jack Kirby is the “King.” Now don’t get me wrong, he was a really solid artist, but comparing him to Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Bill Everett and a lot of the other artists at the time… I don’t really see how he’s BETTER than those guys. The styles aren’t THAT distinct from each other (certainly not like artists today) and, to be honest he’s not even my favorite from what I’ve seen (Everett in my opinion is way better). I just don’t get why artists today have so much “kirby envy” when he wasn’t, in my opinion, even the best of his time.
Millarworld, as is its wont, splits in half. There’re those who don’t get Kirby:
“Kirby is one of the few artists whose work I have never liked. I remember being a child in the 70s and first getting into comic books and thinking his art hurt my eyes. Kirby’s style, for me, makes comics unreadable.”
“I’ve never been that great a fan of either Lee or Kirby to be honest; I respect the sheer ideas they generated in creating the Marvel Universe, but neither Lee’s scripts nor Kirby’s pencils have ever compelled me in the way that a later generation of creators wouls.”
“I don’t deny that Kirby influenced the medium but I still think his artwork is crap.”
And there are those who idolize him:
“He’s the single most influential comic-book artist of the last 40 years. It all begins and ends with Kirby.”
“You know… If you don’t understand why Kirby is KING…you might as well burn all your comics now. ’nuff said’.”
“He introduced both the single-page splash and the two-page spread to comics. He also pioneered the use of photo-montage in comics. His depiction of action and figure were unparalleled at the time. The reason you saw so many artists aping Kirby in the 60s wasn’t because he was the ‘hot’ artist, it was because he was creating the visual language that superhero comics rely on – to this very day. His imagination was off the charts. Stan Lee gets a lot of credit for ‘creating’ Marvel in the 60s, but it’s well known that Kirby (and Ditko) were just as much responsible for creating Marvel’s 60s output.”
Considering I’m already hoping that Kirby’s “Super Powers” stuff gets collected in these new editions, I think it’s fairly obvious which side I’m on in this one…