May 5, 2010

Kirby in Lucerne, Switzerland

Great news if you think Jack's deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with all the great illustrators in history. The Fumetto International Comics Festival at Lucerne in Switzerland is hosting an exhibition called "Jack Kirby: The House That Jack Built," curated by Dan Nadel and Paul Gravett. The exhibition will be the first major retrospective of original art by Jack Kirby, featuring over 160 works from 1942 to 1985, as well as rare sketches and key pages from Jack's entire career. The exhibition will be on display from May 1 to May 9, 2010, so to all our friends across the Atlantic, if you can make it, check it out.

When I first started studying Jack's work in 2000, I encountered many critics who laughed at the idea of Kirby artwork hanging in a museum aside the great sculptors, illustrators, and painters of the past, believing Kirby's work was only cheap production art, nothing more than disposable entertainment for children. It's great to see that as we move deeper into the 21st Century more people are beginning to realize Jack Kirby was more than just a funny book artist -- he was a master craftsman who created an enormous body of quality work, and along the way he helped create some of the most successful intellectual properties in history.

Kudos to everyone involved for making "The House That Jack Built" exhibition happen. If I could afford a plane ticket to Switzerland, I'd be there just to thank you for your efforts in person, and of course I'd enjoy all the spectacular Kirby original art. I've only seen a few pieces up close, and there is no comparing seeing the actual art in three-dimensions.

Here are a few scans of some of the pieces that will be at the exhibition: letters Jack wrote to his wife while serving in France during the Second World War.