May 31, 2010
May 30, 2010
I'll select what I think are some of the stronger individual panels that also give you the gist of the story. Here is the splash. Beautiful blond hanging out poolside. Probably what a lot of people are doing this Memorial Day weekend in the states.
Rita is getting over a bad relationship. As good-looking as she is, I don't foresee her being single for long (pg. 2, panel 5).
Not surprisingly, it doesn't take long for an attractive guy to approach. Plus Kirby and Simon only have 6 pages to find Rita a love-connection, so things happen fast (pg. 2, panel 6).
Page 3, panel 2. Girl meets boy.
Page 3, panel 3 - 4. Girl loses boy, or at least he inexplicably wanders off.
Bad news for Rita, it turns out the good looking guy has a flaw (page 4, panel 6).
Page 5, panel 1. Kirby shows he can draw pretty girls with the best of them.
Page 5, panel 2. A little sexual tension between these two, perhaps?
Rita and her Romeo don't take long to get together again (pg. 5, panel 6). Looks like he's checking her out with his fingers -- something only a blind guy is going to get away with in a 50s romance comic book.
Page 6, panel 4.
Page 6, panel 5.
Not a brilliant story by any stretch of the imagination -- for example, how this blind guy is able to get around so easily is beyond me -- but some gorgeous artwork from Kirby and Simon at the peak of their powers working in the romance genre during the mid-1950s.
Thanks to several members of the Kirby-l Discussion Forum for answering my question: Was Joe Simon the inker on this story? Kirby historian Stan Taylor thinks the inks might be by Kirby, while Kirby biographer Greg Theakston, and the author of the Kirby Kinetics Weblog Norris Burroughs think the inks are by Joe Simon.
Looking at examples of Kirby romance artwork on Harry Mendryk's Simon and Kirby Weblog that list Kirby as the inker, I have to say I agree with Stan Taylor that these might be Kirby inks, especially page 3, panel 2, and page 5, panel 1. But I'm guessing because I haven't seen a lot of Kirby/Simon artwork. Plus maybe this is another inker entirely or a mixture of inkers.
Simon/Kirby Historian Harry Mendryk has done extensive research on Simon and Kirby artwork. Harry put together a checklist of what he describes as Kirby's austere inking (a style Jack adopted in the late 50's) which is available on his Simon/Kirby Weblog at the Jack Kirby Museum website. Here is Harry's comment on who inked Resort Romeo: For me, inking attributions take a little time, time which is hard for me to spare right now. But I did take out my copy to have a quick look. Often it is easier to say who did not ink something than it is who did. My conclusion is I still do not think Resort Romeo was inked by Kirby.
One thing is for sure, I'm grateful that this weblog is giving me an excuse to look at so much great Kirby artwork, and my thanks to everyone who has sent me Kirby scans, answered my questions, and offered me feedback on the website.
May 29, 2010
Tony Hopkins is playing Odin in the film scheduled for release next year. I wonder if he will wear giant headgear like Kirby's character, and sport the long pointy mustache.
Taking a really close look at the original artwork, you can see that Odin's armor is a slightly different color than the rest of the image -- cream-colored as opposed to white. It looks like Colletta used white-out like paint to achieve the metallic sheen you see here on the arm and bottom of the glove.
Jack's margin notes at the top of the page: "My eyes have seen mighty Odin himself."
I've seen hundreds of Kirby originals online from the late 1960s with Kirby margin notes, but I'm no handwriting expert so not 100% sure these are Kirby notes because they are so small; at an angle; and the style seems to shift between cursive and all-caps (Jack's later margin notes are bigger, in all capital letters and written horizontally).
These might be early examples of Kirby margin notes, written hastily to give Lee some additional ideas and clarify Jack's plot, but as I look at them closely, I wonder if they were written by Stan Lee -- possibly when Jack first presented him with the art: Stan added notes to himself, or as he looked at Jack's original artwork for the first time, he made some quick annotations for future reference.
Let's go ahead and zoom into the artwork. Panel 1: a great example of early FF. By now, Jack had really established the look of the characters. Notice how you can still see Jack's pencils for the Human Torch underneath Dick Ayers's inks.
Maybe it was a cold winter day in NYC so the torch has his flame on, trying to keep his friends warm.
Panel 2. The Thing looks hilarious in his own little piece of the flying fantasti-car. The torch is still on fire even in the vehicle -- guess the machine is flame-proof.
Nice work by both Jack and Dick giving you a modern New York skyline with an economy of linework. I love the shape of the building in the middle -- it looks like an orange juice container.
Panel 3. The Thing lands in a parking lot, and gets yelled at. I'll try and translate the tiny margin notes on the left side of the page. I think they say:
(1) "No airplanes!" (2) "Not plane" (3) "Car with wings."
Notice if you zoom into the Thing's body, you can see dark, solid pencil-shading representing his rocky body, but Dick Ayers chooses to use parallel lines instead. We can see that Jack's version of the Thing was more blocky and sharp-edged as opposed to the softer, rounder look Ayers gave the character.
Panel 5. Not sure what those margin notes say. I have no idea what that third word is.
"I can't (?) you." Maybe "I can't lose you."
Panel 6 and 7. Nice melodramatic spotlight on both characters in the first panel.
Let's zoom into the margin notes.
My translation: "But if anything happens to you I'll be alone -- nobody to protect me."
A closer look at the last panel. Beautiful delineation by Ayers here.
Notice the subtlety of Ayers's inking on the eyes, and Jack's pencils beneath the inks. It's too bad Marvel doesn't reprint material like this, shot from the original artwork -- you really can see the symbiosis of penciler and inker at work here.
Thanks to Kirby Biographer Mark Evanier for answering my question: Were the margin notes on this page written by Kirby? Here is Mark's response: No, they're Stan Lee notes to someone else in the office...probably Sol Brodsky.
May 28, 2010
Here's an image of Jack's Vision almost 40 years earlier, from Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (Nov. 1940). Ironic that the only reason Kirby revisited the character was because he was assigned to do the 70s Avengers covers.
May 27, 2010
Pages 1, 3, and 6 from the story with inks credited to John Verpoorten, but I wonder if Everett worked on this. One of the rare examples from Kirby's first stint at Marvel where Lee allowed Jack a "Writer" credit.
It looks like the figure in silhouette from panel 3 of this page was also used on the splash page. Since the image would have been cut off half-way up the legs, maybe that explains the odd, curving peg-legs on the character in the splash.
The plane crash at the beginning of the story reminds me of the TV series Lost which recently aired it's final episode. Also the bald-headed character in panel two above looks a little like the character Locke from that show.