Jack Kirby is a giant legend in comics and everyone who has enjoyed a comic book in their life owes a tip of the hat to him. Kirby: King Of Comics by Mark Evanier is a biography of Jack Kirby with a skewed “fanboy” perspective that will appeal to every Kirby fan, of which I count myself.
In it’s 224 pages we get an excellent biography of Kirby’s comic career, covering everything from his childhood sketches to final works. Sprinkled among the excellently written text are lots of artwork, like my favourite below. Stunning, even with the white out nose correction.
I picked this up at my favourite discount bookstore in Toronto, mainly for the great art and excellent paper quality. As published by Abrams this is a well presented book at 9×12.25″, a very nice paper stock and beautiful artwork reproduction. What surprised me was how effectively Mark Evanier drew me into Kirby’s story, so much that I skipped the artwork on my first read just so I could get the written material which is a first for me.
There were a lot of items, I hesitate to say facts since this biography is told from Kirby’s perspective, that I didn’t know. Such as Kirby had to conform his 1950’s DC artwork, like Challengers Of The Unknown, into a DC style instead of his own. Looking at the progression of the art you discover Kirby came to his signature style some twenty years into his career. Who knew?
This is a great book and a must read for Kirby fans.