Happy 100th Birthday, Jack Kirby!

  "Marriage Contract"  Young Romance  #3 (January/February 1948), Prize Comics. Pencils by Jack Kirby. Scan from the Digital Comic Museum. 

"Marriage Contract" Young Romance #3 (January/February 1948), Prize Comics. Pencils by Jack Kirby. Scan from the Digital Comic Museum. 

I won’t try to rehash all the wonderful things about Jack Kirby that have been going around the internet today on what would have been his 100th birthday, but I do want to tell you what he means to me. First of all, without Kirby (along with Joe Simon) there would be no romance comics. And to state the obvious, without romance comics, well, Sequential Crush wouldn't exist!

  Romance comics exploded onto the comics scene in part thanks to Jack Kirby. House ad from  Young Love  #4 (August/September 1949), Prize. Scan from the Digital Comic Museum. 

Romance comics exploded onto the comics scene in part thanks to Jack Kirby. House ad from Young Love #4 (August/September 1949), Prize. Scan from the Digital Comic Museum. 

While so much of Kirby's work (including romance comics) was commercially viable, he was an artist that took risks. We should remember him not only for all the superheroes he gave us that remain popular but for all the things that never quite worked out (I’m looking at you Soul Love and Dingbats of Danger Street). Perhaps not knowing whether they'd be successful or not, he had the guts to try anyway. I hope I can be just a sliver as bold as Kirby was in his lifetime.  

  Cover of  Soul Love  #1 (Unpublished), Image from Heritage Auctions.

Cover of Soul Love #1 (Unpublished), Image from Heritage Auctions.

I’ve also always admired Kirby for his unrelenting work ethic -- talk about stamina! His creations oozed out of him and pictures of him at his drawing board show a man who is the very definition of being in flow. For all of those reasons and more (two words for you - Kirby Monsters) I remain in awe of Jack Kirby -- the man and the artist. Kirby may be gone, but the amount of joy he left behind is beyond measure. 

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