Jul 17, 2010

Kirby Genesis

Quite a bit of buzz surrounding the new Kirby Genesis project on the web, so I figured I'd offer a few brief comments. I don't follow contemporary comics too closely, but if this book is well-done, packaged nicely, and affordable, I'll definitely check it out. I'm sure it will be difficult trying to tie together 100 or so of Kirby's creations, but it has been done before in the various DC and Marvel crossover books, so the project has potential.

This sounds like a great way for successful creators & Kirby fans like Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross to produce something relevant that might be successful, as well as pay tribute to Kirby, who I take it is someone they respect. It's nice to see some famous comics professionals tackling a project that doesn't just explore one of Jack's creations for Marvel or DC, instead taking on a more ambitious project featuring Jack's lesser known creations owned by Jack's family which won't have nearly the large built-in audience of something like Jack's Fantastic Four.

I would think Busiek and Ross are at the peak of their powers in the comics industry in terms of creativity and audience support, so hopefully they can bring something special and unique to the project while still figuring out a way to pay tribute to Jack. Not an easy task. Jack's visuals are so unique and original, I've never seen anyone come close to duplicating his style effectively, and Alex Ross' photorealsitic approach will certainly create challenges making the characters and dynamics truly visually "Kirby-esque." But it all still sounds like this will be a fun book, and the endeavor seems like a nice way to honor Jack by showing all of his creations have unlimited possibilities, while at the same time hopefully giving Jack's Estate some well-deserved recognition.

I wish Marvel would produce some projects like this honoring Jack Kirby, although ironically they actually have been promoting the Kirby Marvel Universe for over 5 decades since the majority of their publications are based on Jack's creations with editor Stan Lee. I hope Marvel/Disney can work out a settlement with the Kirby family so the comics industry can finally embrace Jack as a whole. I'd love to see a happy ending to the Kirby story, and a generous settlement from Marvel acknowledging his contributions to the company would be the perfect move in that direction.

Hopefully projects like Kirby Genesis will continue to Keep Jack's name in the spotlight, and a reputable news organization will pick up on the story and introduce more people to Jack's amazing life story and body of work. So Good luck to the producers of Kirby Genesis. Hopefully it results in a great story, and who knows it could result in a future animated series or a motion picture. How great would it be to finally see Kirby's name where it belongs, over the title of one of his popular creations.