Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weird Kirby and his audience of Athletes, Balding children and Ugly Girls

I think Jack Kirby is my favorite "realistic" artist. Maybe because he's not very realistic.He sure is a stylist. You can tell he's influenced by Milton Caniff, but he added all kinds of weirdness to it.
I really love this late 40s-early 50s stuff. The inking is really unique too.

Here are some "normal people".
These are great stories for kids too.

If you wanna be as good as Kirby, they'll sell you this kit that can make anybody draw.

I love who they advertised to in kiddie comic books back then. I can image an 8 year old wrapped in his new leopard skin car seat covers.
Can you imagine this world class athlete standing on the street corner in his health support girdle reading the latest issue of Casper?

There must have been a lot of balding children in the 50s.
Ugly girls must have read a lot of Kirby comics too. Because cute ones don't really need to be taught how to attract boys, do they?



19 comments:

Zane Asylum said...

When it comes to baldness, early detection is crucial :)

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

Wow. I always thought Jack Kirby was good, but these are mind-blowing!

drawingtherightway said...

On that ad for the art reproducer thing it basically says that you don't need talent... kinda sounds like their talking about cartoons being made today!

Sean Lane said...

Hahah, the leopard print seat covers are classic!

Shawn Dickinson said...

"Draw today! No lessons! No talent!"

And now those kids are in charge.

David Germain said...

Jack Kirby's people don't seem to possess any souls, do they? That's what hits me immediately when I see these.

Meh. It's still better than what I can do. Oh well.

Thomas said...

After " We Will Buy Your Dreams", they left out, ...And Sell Them Back To You At Twice The Price!"

Aw Shucks, maybe I'm being too cynical....

Alex M said...

Hey John ---off subject--- I was wondering if you and your crew where planning on getting a booth at the CTN Animation expo taking place in Burbank later this year. I know It's really early but I came across the website recently and thought It'd be awesome to see you and your team there.

----Anyway- thanks for your posts, as always they keep us motivated. These drawings remind me of an old "Flash" comic I had a long time ago (I don't know who illustrated it though.) Top notch.

azulo said...

I've been reading early Spider Man comics, and found those ads really amusing. You can see how some things were on the 50s just by looking at them, like, how AWESOME was an air conitioner back then.

I really like Jack Kirby too, but a commons thing I don't like too much from that era was all the "POW!!" action. You see more action on the kinetic lines and exclamations than on the poses and movements from the characters (but maybe I'm ignoring how revolutionary that might have been for those times?).
I kinda like the "action" from late 80s and 90s comic artists, like Jim Lee (even if the stories weren't as good)

Adam T said...

Speaking of ugly girls and Jack Kirby... that guy had a fetish for women with heavy jaws and protruding cheek bones. Almost every character in his comics has a head like a neanderthal.

Guy said...

You see more action on the kinetic lines and exclamations than on the poses and movements from the characters (but maybe I'm ignoring how revolutionary that might have been for those times?).Well, superhero comics have never really improved from that and have actually degraded.

Jack Kirby's fight scenes are still better than most modern superhero artists, whose "fight scenes" are usually bad guys flipping around while the hero poses. (Having more input from people who can't draw doesn't help, either.)

HemlockMan said...

King Kirby! He could certainly draw some horrific characters. I think that's an overlooked part of his repertoire.

Ah, the lightbox. I once knew a ripoff Frazetta plagiarist who made liberal use of the old lightbox.

Bill J. Barry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coolhand said...

I love this post. Kirby is the man

smbhax said...

I love the chutzpah Kirby put into everything. Sure lots of his drawings looked bizarre, but you can't beat 'em for energy and a creativity that wasn't afraid to throw the weirdest possible stuff at you.

And ah, the days of truly ridiculous things advertised to kids in comics. That went on for decades, even. Heck, those GRIT ads in the 80's were still a scream.

Bill J. Barry said...

You're plugging a book by Mark Evanier, a minor cartoon writer who goes out of his way NOT to mention you on his name-dropping blog? You're a better man than I.

Joy Ely said...

One ad caught my eye: "DRAW the first day! No lessons! No talent!"
LOL... was that a prophesy? Describes a lot of stuff out there now.

Chuck said...

The large creature in the center of "The Strange World of Your Dreams" looks uncannily like a Ferengi, aliens from Star Trek the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. I mean not just a little bit - a lot. Kirby's estate should sue Paramount!

Thomas said...

Kirby makes me think of Capt. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now; "The Horror, The Horror"

To bad he didn't do a comics version of it.