Happy 95th Birthday to Jack Kirby, the King of Comics.
Kirby is without a doubt one of the most influential pop artists of the 20th century. His work has had a huge impact on many comic book illustrators and animators. Not only did he spend most of the 60’s co-creating the Marvel universe (the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, etc), but he would later on create some of the coolest characters and concepts to ever grace DC comics, such as the New Gods, Kamandi, OMAC, and the Demon, all by himself.
Like many great artists, Kirby’s genius was not recognized by the mainstream public until after his death in 1994. He received no money for any of the characters he created for Marvel, which is to say most of them. Kirby could not even walk past a toy shop selling Captain America and Iron Man toys without getting very upset, due to the fact that he didn’t see a dime from them, while others did. He never received the attention Stan Lee received because he was a humble and quiet man who wasn’t interested in being famous (although, in his youth, he did fantasize about starring in gangster pictures like James Cagney).
Kirby’s surviving children still see no money from any of the movies and cartoons and toys made from their father’s creations.
But his legacy and place within comic fan’s hearts is still strong as ever. In “Superman: The Animated Series”, the supporting character Dan Turpin was modeled after Kirby in voice, appearance, and attitude. When Kirby died in ‘94, so did Dan Turpin by the hands of one of Kirby’s most famous creations, Darkseid, in the episode “Apokolips…Now! Part 2”. Kirby will also be portrayed by Michael Parks (From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, Red State) in the upcoming Ben Affleck thriller “Argo”, which is based on real events that Kirby was actually a part of.
But on this day, in 1917, in New York City, a King was born.