Monday, January 16, 2012

Kirby's messages in a bottle....

From a great article in "Back Issue" speculating what Jack Kirby would have done with his incomplete "New Gods" series (Grant Morrison sums his series in one line:"Jack Kirby doing the bible in comics form")--- The article plants a great idea: that even though Kirby's ambitious (and still long-remembered) "New Gods" series got cancelled by DC in rather short time, Kirby's move back to Marvel with "The Eternals" and later on to Pacific Comics with "Captain Victory"--- show bits and pieces of what Kirby might have done with the New Gods--- only with different names and costumes.

It's not a ridiculous idea...but a fascinating one. It's a pity that even though there's nothing new that can be said that hasn't already been said about Kirby, as a personal exploration, I'm currently pursuing the other 'god-like' stories by Kirby (thank goodness almost all of them are in collected editions) and trying to extract what I feel might have been his 'true' ending for the New Gods series.

In doing some minor research on Kirby's work, I'm reminded of his sad endings.... although he's immortalized in comics- boy, it's a horrible reading of how minimized his contributions were during his employment at the companies. Makes being aware of Stan Lee's success a bit bittersweet in viewing.... the question remains: 'why didn't Lee work harder to share the wealth with his co-creators?'

What's great is that, even as unrecognized and underappreciated as Kirby may have felt, hopefully his work filled a spot in his heart and spirit when he was alive, even if he never truly got the financial success he deserved.

Hopefully, it's an idea that can fill others who do work that never get recognized, hopefully it's an idea that can inspire others who may constantly self-doubt their own efforts. It's amazing to think how many dismissed his work in his heyday..... but, I take some joy in knowing that (as cliched as it sounds) remembering the man and his work is something. I don't know if it ends up curing cancer of the body, but who knows how art can cure cancer of the spirit. Anything that inspires to do work outside of themselves can only be a positive, and hopefully something we do can add to that.

At least we gotta try.


benton jew said...

It's too bad many of the greats like Kirby were never recognized for their contributions. It's still happening today. The only remedy is for artists to control their own content and not depend on a corporate entity that will inevitably steal from you your livelihood, dreams, heart and soul.

crazy_asian_man said...

Benton, I agree with you 1000%.
It's truly a pity that some rich entity couldn't have recognized Kirby's genius in his prime and just support him in letting him go wild.

Instead, in reading all these horror stories about how badly some of these comic legends got treated--- it's of course sad for the person, but also incredibly sad for the artistic vision that may have also got squashed when the person got squashed.


At the very least, his work and memory lives on--- but I don't know if he would have wanted to trade the immortality in for more money for his family.