Jun 9, 2010

Kirby & Fan Photo

I came across these pictures while surfing the web and asked the owner John Whitlock if he would mind if I posted the scans here. John's website is: piecemakerdesign.com.

The envelope is postmarked July 17, 1990.

Here is the text accompanying the photos written by John on his website: "When I was 10 years old, I attended a comic convention and got to meet the legendary Jack Kirby. All that I was hoping for was a simple autograph, but being the kind man that he was, Jack Kirby not only signed my comic, but he also took a photo with me, and wrote my home address down so that he could mail me the photo later. I didn't think much of this until a few weeks later when I received a package with Jack Kirby’s handwriting on it, containing a lithographed print of Captain Victory (with a note from Jack on the back), and the autographed photo that his wife had taken of us."

How many famous people can you think of who would have their spouse take a picture of you with their own camera, write down your home address, make you a print of the picture, sign it and send it to you with a piece of autographed art? I've heard a hundred or more stories like this about how friendly and gracious Jack and Roz Kirby were towards every single fan Jack ever met. Thanks to John for letting me post the images here.

Russell Payne, author of Morris Telford's Salopian Oddysey, had this to add: "I love little Kirby anecdotes like this, it's been said before, but we can't repeat it enough, Jack was one of the good guys. I hear people talk about how it doesn't matter what the artist is like, if the art is great and the artist is a schmuck, the art is still great, but such a big part of the Kirby story is Jack's personality, his relationship with Roz, and the way he stayed a decent bloke despite the massive success of his work and years of poor treatment by the industry, things that would have (and has in many cases) turned some people into bitter, miserable, egotistical freakshows. Jack was an outstanding artist, whose work had outstanding influence, but unusually, was also an outstanding man. The three things are intrinsically linked. I'm still waiting for the book/film/documentary that manages to capture that."

I agree with Russell. Jack's life story would make for a terrific film, and I hope at some point a talented team of video journalists or documentary filmmakers tackles the subject, resulting in an audio/visual presentation celebrating Jack's life and work. Thanks to Russell for the comment.