Sometimes it pays to have friends!
Regular readers of my blogs know I am not the most regular or punctual of bloggers...I never seem to find enough time to keep all seventeen of my blogs organized and on schedule. Yet.
That is why I am grateful to my fellow comic blogger LYSDEXICUSS, creator and author of TEN CENT DREAMS as well as his new personal art showcase HUNGRY COMIX.
Today's post comes courtesy of Lysdexicuss, and it is a stunning example of black and white stories by none other than the king himself, Jack Kirby, aided ably by inker Vince Colletta.
I have little need to explain who either artist is to you, my knowledgable readers. I don't need to share that Kirby was born on August 28th, 1917, that his real name is Jacob Kurtzberg, and that he grew up on Suffolk Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. That he grew up reading classic adventure stories by H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs, as well as pulp magazines, is probably common knowledge. Kirby had no formal art education in his youth, but he almost did. After enrolling in Pratt Institute and attending one day of class, young Jack came home to find his father had lost his job. No more Pratt Institute for him. The next day he was out selling newspapers to help support his family.
It was in this depression era that young Jack became part of a local boy's club, the Boy's Brotherhood Republic, or BBR for short (this may explain his fondness for drawing comics like the Boy Commandos, Boys Ranch, and the Boy Explorers later in his career). It was there that he began what is one of the most amazing careers any comic artist has ever experienced, as from 1933 to 1935 he drew his first feature, Kurtzberg's Konceptions, printed as a mimeographed newsletter that sold for a penny apiece. In 1935 he started working for Max Fleischer Studios, doing work as an 'in-betweener' for animators (filling in poses in between the other artist's poses). In 1937 he drew his first daily comic strip, The Lone Rider, and soon after began working for the Eisner-Iger studios.
In the early 1940's, Jack met future partner Joe Simon, whose collaboration would produce, among other things, their most famous creation, Captain America. Later, it was his collaboration with Stan Lee at Marvel Comics that would earn Kirby the nickname of "The King", as his powerful and dynamic style set the tone for just about every comic book to come after that point, ushering in the revolution known as the Marvel Age Of Comics in the 60's.
Vince Colletta's name has become a polarizing force in recent days, and I don't desire to add any more fuel to that controversy, other than to say that I feel some of his best work, aside from the romance comics that he is heavily identified with, is when he was inking Kirby. Many fine artists worked as inkers for Kirby in the 60's, and in my mind Colletta was one of them, his work on The Mighty Thor remains a much beloved example to many fans. The story posted here is another wonderful example of his skills as an inker.
(for more of my thoughts on V.C., you can check out my comments on Jacque Nodell's SEQUENTIAL CRUSH, here.)
Aside from a short story intermission (written by Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman), all of these stories were written and edited by Kirby, and published in 1971 under DC Comics Hampshire Distribution banner (the only comic published that way). I now present to you, courtesy of Lysdexicuss, a beautiful example of Kirby's art in a rare black and white format. I hope you will enjoy...
IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB!
An extra bonus, here are two pages of gangster cartoons that also appeared in this issue, as drawn by the incomparable