If you ever want to see me lose my mind (in a good way), talk to me about Jack Kirby. When I talk about Kirby a conduit opens up directly to my brain and fully formed thoughts pour out like Athena from the head of Zeus. Kirby was a genius and for every ten people that know about Stan Lee, there’s maybe one that knows about Jack Kirby.
That’s a tragedy.
Anyway, there’s an opinion piece in the NY Times on Kirby:
The fear of being forgotten after death is endemic in the creative arts. In the case of the iconic comic book artist Jack Kirby, it happened while he was still alive. By the 1960s, Mr. Kirby had already revolutionized the comic book business more than once. Working as principal artist and in-house genius for Marvel, he created a voice and an aesthetic unmatched by any other company.
Marvel took his talents for granted and denied him the credit and compensation he clearly deserved. Worse, he was overshadowed by his loquacious and photogenic collaborator, Stan Lee, who became the public face of an enterprise that depended heavily on Mr. Kirby’s skills.