Friday, July 29, 2011

Kirby, space and abstraction

For Kirby, cosmic scenes are occasions for some of his most powerful abstract compositions, his krackle and his motion lines filling space like Jackson Pollock's drips and splatter, his arrangements of shapes inside their frames as rigorous and as right--if not even more so--as those of any artists championed by Clement Greenberg (whom I can only dream of having been so open-minded as to realize his formal ideals had been achieved in the confines of a supposedly "kitsch" art of the kind he despised). More than that, Kirby's larger layouts and double-page spreads become formal constructs in their own right, traversed by vectors of sequential dynamism, giving us some of the earliest precursors to abstract comics. We still have a lot to learn from him.

From "2001," issues 6, 2, 4, and 7 (in that order):

Yesterday, Marvel/Disney won its suit against the Kirby estate, keeping copyright of all the characters and comics that Kirby created for them over a period of almost forty years, effectively forming the "Marvel Universe" as we know it.

I am working on a new anthology to benefit the Kirby Museum and Research Center and help keep Jack Kirby's legacy alive. I wasn't going to announce it yet, but then I figured this would be the right time to do so. More details to follow later.

EDIT: I just found the originals of two of these pages online (on Both inked by Mike Royer, I believe. Here they are:


  1. This makes me want to make one of my "redacted" comics based on these pages.

  2. love seeing there, now where's that 'like' button,,,,

  3. A sublime, psychedelic punch to the solar plexus. Kirby is GOD. Always love to see the epic kracklin' Kirbyverse. Thanks for posting, and I'll be staying tuned to news on the anthology. -Rich


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