Jack Kirby
Told in vivid graphic novel form by a groundbreaking Eisner-nominated comics creator, the long-overdue biography of the legend who co-created Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and many more superhero favorites.This sweeping, full-color comic book biography tells the complete life story of Jack Kirby, co-creator of some of the most enduring superheroes and villains of the twentieth century for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and more. Critically acclaimed graphic novelist Tom Scioli breathes visual life into Kirby's life story--from his days growing up in New York during the Great Depression and discovering a love for science fiction and cartoons to his time on the frontlines in the European theatre of World War II where he experienced the type of action and adventure he'd later imbue his comic pages with, and on to his world-changing collaborations at Marvel with Stan Lee, where the pair redefined comics as a part of pop culture.Just as every great superhero needs a villain to overcome, Kirby's story also includes his struggles to receive the recognition and compensation that he believed his work deserved. Scioli captures his moves from Marvel to DC and back again, showing how Kirby himself and later his family fought to preserve his artistic legacy.Drawn from an unparalleled imagination and a life as exciting as his comic book tales, Kirby's super-creations have influenced subsequent generations of creatives in the comics field and beyond. Now, readers can experience the life and times of a comics titan through the medium that made him famous.

Jack Kirby Details

TitleJack Kirby
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 30th, 2020
PublisherTen Speed Press
ISBN-139781984856906
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Comics, Graphic Novels, Biography, Nonfiction

Jack Kirby Review

  • Dan Schwent
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a biography of Jack Kirby by Tom Scioli.When I was a kid, I first discovered Jack Kirby through Who's Who in the DC Universe. Most of the entries I found myself rereading were creations of his, like the OMAC and the New Gods. As reprints became more accessible, I discovered this Kirby guy created most of the Marvel Universe! Anyway, I've been on a Kirby kick lately so I snapped this up.Scioli takes us on a journey through Kirby's life from start Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a biography of Jack Kirby by Tom Scioli.When I was a kid, I first discovered Jack Kirby through Who's Who in the DC Universe. Most of the entries I found myself rereading were creations of his, like the OMAC and the New Gods. As reprints became more accessible, I discovered this Kirby guy created most of the Marvel Universe! Anyway, I've been on a Kirby kick lately so I snapped this up.Scioli takes us on a journey through Kirby's life from start to finish, starting with his parents coming to America, through his rough childhood and beyond! Kirby's stints at the various companies are detailed, as is his tour of duty during World War II. Upon his return, Kirby eventually ends up at Marvel Comics during its darkest hour and the rest is history.I knew a lot of snippets but great whacks of the book were new to me. For instance, I didn't know Simon and Kirby sold their company to Charlton when it looked like they were going under. I was aware he worked at the Eisner shop and Harvey but didn't know all the details. I also didn't realize the magnitude of how much of a huckster shitheel Stan Lee was. How many millions (or billions) did Jack get screwed out of over the years?The way Marvel treated Kirby during his time at the company was fucking shameful. DC didn't really know what to do with the goose that laid the golden egg either. Super hero comics probably wouldn't exist in their current form without The King but you'd never know it the way the Big Two treated him for most of his life.This was clearly a labor of love by Tom Scioli. The presentation is gorgeous and his colored-pencil art give the book a unique look and feel, although it's still evocative of The King at times. There are some sad moments, particularly during Kirby's twilight years when he could barely hold a pencil.Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a fitting tribute to the King. Five out of five Kirby dots.
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  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by David AllenWho deserves credit for the meteoric rise of Marvel Comics? Was it Stan Lee, writer, eventual publisher, and Marvel mascot, a man whom nerds across the globe revere? Or was it artist extraordinaire Jack Kirby, whose contributions went uncredited and underappreciated for decades?Although Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics does not explicitly set out to answer this question, it nevertheless makes a solid argument on behalf Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by David AllenWho deserves credit for the meteoric rise of Marvel Comics? Was it Stan Lee, writer, eventual publisher, and Marvel mascot, a man whom nerds across the globe revere? Or was it artist extraordinaire Jack Kirby, whose contributions went uncredited and underappreciated for decades?Although Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics does not explicitly set out to answer this question, it nevertheless makes a solid argument on behalf of Jack Kirby. The 200-page graphic novel sets out to recall the legendary artist’s life from conception to death in the master’s own medium.Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily
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  • Oneirosophos
    January 1, 1970
    Must read.By every person in this planet.Right now.Because...image: EDIT: My full review of this masterpiece, in Greek @ Comicdom.gr:https://www.comicdom.gr/2020/08/13/ja... Must read.By every person in this planet.Right now.Because...image: EDIT: My full review of this masterpiece, in Greek @ Comicdom.gr:https://www.comicdom.gr/2020/08/13/ja...
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it, a huge leap forward for Scioli, can’t wait to see what he does next.
  • Tony McMillen
    January 1, 1970
    Just finished reading Tom Scioli's Jack Kirby biography comic and it's beautiful. The legend of Jack Kirby told in mostly six panel pages and decidedly in pencil not ink; two of the tools the king was most known for. It's inspiring, heartbreaking, hilarious and most importantly superhuman...cosmic. Kirby.
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  • Richard Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    Well researched comic book biography on Jack Kirby. Covering Kirby's entire life, it goes into detail on what a creative force he was. The book is also a great showcase for the case for creator's rights when they create things for companies and receive almost no credit or compensation.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Long live the King. I cried like a baby. I always thought that Stan must have sold his soul to the devil and screwed the devil in the process. This book reinforces that sentiment. I never thought that I could love someone I have never met be it as a fan of their work and them as a person but Jack Kirby is that person.
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  • Theediscerning
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Kirby is a well-known name to any comics fan to have ever looked back at the beginnings of the genre. He helped give us Captain America, and worked on a host of other major, major titles – especially in his post-war, second, never-to-run-smooth collab with Stan Lee. In fact that makes the bulk of this book up – hit title after hit title, strong character after strong character, and always a Stan Lee to take the credit. In fact I just typed that name as 'Stab Lee' – I didn't know laptops cou Jack Kirby is a well-known name to any comics fan to have ever looked back at the beginnings of the genre. He helped give us Captain America, and worked on a host of other major, major titles – especially in his post-war, second, never-to-run-smooth collab with Stan Lee. In fact that makes the bulk of this book up – hit title after hit title, strong character after strong character, and always a Stan Lee to take the credit. In fact I just typed that name as 'Stab Lee' – I didn't know laptops could create their own Freudian slips, but the verb there is certainly on point.If this were the autobiography its first-person narrative implies, it would be quite a committedly revealing one, showing Jack's youthful violence and wannabe gangster years. But it certainly isn't an autobiography, and what we get is actually quite a dry, wordy approach – the details and facts get pulled from the official story and just plonked down quite coldly at first, so I wondered if I was missing some pages here and there, or at least a frame or two of context for what I was seeing. But we soon see the lad succumbing to the funnies, first the monotone yucks pages and then the full-colour action books and comics. And lo and behold there he is, soon drawing them, and soon writing them as well, even if the narrative jumps continue. Timely is just allowed to be rebranded as Marvel off-screen without any say-so, for one, and this isn't newbie-friendly in that regard. One moment he's getting a foot in the door at DC, the next page sorting Marvel contracts. I'm sure that wasn't far from the truth, but it's not always clear that we get as much edification on these matters as we need.Also, the visual style is a little bit funny. The general design of the book, with a tint to the page to make it look antique, and colouring to suggest a similar period derivation (would that the look transformed from Golden Age through Silver to now), seems to be both fast and loose with some things, yet concerned with lightboxing the people we meet, so that their faces – even Kirby's own youthful mug – look unreal. The whole 'traced' look might again be part of the intent, but it doesn't look that great. And when we're into the main gist of things all the book is is monologue voice-over, at great length, with accompanying visual samples of the pics he's drawing at the time. It's cut-and-paste heaven – yet must have been a pig to produce all those reproductions at a certain artist's-POV angle. (And what's with the eye-liner, and generally making Kirby look like the Kid Galahad character from Hero Wars??!!)On the whole it's another book that's a little frustrating, in looking at a frustrating time. I'm sure there are books about how the creators of Superman got stiffed, Grant Morrison's history of comics was 400pp of "creators are stiffed and BTW I'm a f**king genius" – and this book was a lot of people dumping on creatives, alongside Kirby pretending that even nearing his sixth decade he was down with the kids and a flawless master at his trade. Without any evidence, I'm not sure he would have bigged himself up in such a way, but whether that's Kirby or Scioli it's not that fun to read, partly as everyone else living through that time has had the same story to tell. So in the finish, this isn't ideal for the novitiate, nor a fresh novelty for those in the know. It does have a compelling narrative drive when Kirby's pen flows, but – in line with the moral of the piece – that glory doesn't last. Three and a half stars.
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  • Ben Truong
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a biographical graphic novel written and illustrated by Tom Scioli. It is an unauthorized graphic biography of the comic-book artist Jack Kirby.Jacob "Kirby" Kurtzberg was an American comic book artist, writer and editor, widely regarded as one of the medium's major innovators and one of its most prolific and influential creators.Told from the point of view of Kirby, the biography also acts as a history of the comics industry, from early strips Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a biographical graphic novel written and illustrated by Tom Scioli. It is an unauthorized graphic biography of the comic-book artist Jack Kirby.Jacob "Kirby" Kurtzberg was an American comic book artist, writer and editor, widely regarded as one of the medium's major innovators and one of its most prolific and influential creators.Told from the point of view of Kirby, the biography also acts as a history of the comics industry, from early strips to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Beginning with Kirby’s hardscrabble upbringing in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Scioli extensively documents the artist’s career and personal life through a chummy and casual first-person narrative.Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is written and constructed extremely well. It is far from perfect, but it comes rather close. Scioli recreates many of Kirby's panels from superhero, war, crime, and romance comics, while his pompadour-adorned, wide-eyed figure of Kirby seems to pop from the page among a more realistically drawn supporting cast, just as his own heroes stood out as larger than life.All in all, Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a fast-paced celebration of an under heralded legend within the comic-book industry.
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  • Ryan Fohl
    January 1, 1970
    Graphic biographies are difficult to do. The artwork is great. I like how Jack Kirby is drawn in a more cartoonish way, to demonstrate how different heIs from the rest of the world. Kirby said “if you want to understand me look at my characters.” So it makes sense to draw him like a comic book character. (I also love how well the art work ages the character) This just isn’t a great biography. I was expecting more insight into his creative process, or his impact on society, or an overarching narr Graphic biographies are difficult to do. The artwork is great. I like how Jack Kirby is drawn in a more cartoonish way, to demonstrate how different heIs from the rest of the world. Kirby said “if you want to understand me look at my characters.” So it makes sense to draw him like a comic book character. (I also love how well the art work ages the character) This just isn’t a great biography. I was expecting more insight into his creative process, or his impact on society, or an overarching narrative discovered in his life.(bullies or inspiration vs ripping off) This book focuses too heavily on the comic book industry history. Some of the anecdotes are unforgettable, and were well serviced by visuals. Stan Lee looks like a big piece of crap in this book. The World War Two stories were amazing. What I learned: The coast guard used horses in WW2. A “spider man” Halloween costume existed a decade before the comic book character. Jack Kirby created the Black Panther. At first he called him “The coal tiger!”
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  • Tommy Grooms
    January 1, 1970
    Tom Scioli has created a stunning tribute to the life of Jack Kirby. Kirby forged a fascinating and seminal path through American comics history, and in a singular respect his story is a tragic one, as he was consistently swindled out of appropriate credit and compensation for his font of creativity, talent, and labor. Scioli’s storytelling ability is attested to by the fact that I read this in essentially one sitting, and I loved such subtleties as the art style changing to match the time perio Tom Scioli has created a stunning tribute to the life of Jack Kirby. Kirby forged a fascinating and seminal path through American comics history, and in a singular respect his story is a tragic one, as he was consistently swindled out of appropriate credit and compensation for his font of creativity, talent, and labor. Scioli’s storytelling ability is attested to by the fact that I read this in essentially one sitting, and I loved such subtleties as the art style changing to match the time periods the book passes through. This is a must-read for any fan of comics.
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  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    Read this on the King’s birthday and it’s a lovely overview of the man’s story, contributions and of how he often was mistreated by the medium he breathed so much life into. My only nitpicks would be the odd chibi way Jack himself isn’t drawn - especially weird when he’s next to characters draw realistically - and the way the book essentially skims his life events, often one even per panel.
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  • David Turko
    January 1, 1970
    wow what a story. The book takes you on a journey through Kirby's life from beginning to end. Scioli's writing and art in this book is incredible. There were times I felt like Jack Kirby was actually talking to me through the book. It's heartbreaking, hilarious, inspiring, and epic. An essential read for comic book fans.
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  • Jeff Swartz
    January 1, 1970
    Well done. Interesting. Fair to all parties concerned (based on my incredibly limited knowledge).Learned the same thing I learn over and over again. Nobody has it easy, there is no such thing as a “dream job” and “hell is other people.”
  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the story it told, hated the pacing. This book would've benefitted fron chapters or some kind of passage of time shown to the reader. The author also likes to make assumptions you know about certain things already and this book is only to expand on what you know.
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  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
  • Cal
    January 1, 1970
    A must read for fans of the Marvel movies who aren't comic book fans.
  • Brady Dale
    January 1, 1970
    I know it's stupid but one of the things that impresses me most about Kirby is that he could draw like all hell but he could also kick your ass.
  • Chim
    January 1, 1970
    A real love letter to jack Kirby's life and his imaginations.
  • Brian Stewart
    January 1, 1970
    Good historical background on Kirby, many details were very new to me. I didn't realize how deep the feud between him and Stan Lee was, but I can understand it.
  • Jefferson
    January 1, 1970
    Although the artwork is a little on the rough side, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of American comics. Jack Kirby's influence and impact just cannot be overstated.
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