Kirby Collages


I’m slowly slogging through production on the new issue of the Jack Kirby Collector (#48, out at the end of April), and am currently working on a great article by Robert L. Bryant, Jr. on the Making of Kirby’s Collages. Anyone who read Kirby’s 1965-72 work at DC and Marvel probably remembers these mind-blowing spectacles. No one in comics then (or since) attempted adding collage—an accepted fine art technique—to comics. Jack had a large collection of magazines like National Geographic and Life, and in his spare time (you know, those milliseconds left over between eating, sleeping, and drawing 5 pages a day), he would sit down, clip interesting photo images from different sources, and combine them together to create some really awesome pieces of art.

The one above was used in his one-shot (actually two-shot, but the second issue wasn’t published) Spirit World magazine. Profoundly influenced by his WWII Army experiences, Nazis and Hitler often made their way into work, as shown here. Unfortunately, printing techonology of the time made it difficult to reproduce these collages in color, so they always ran in black-&-white, usually with some comic figures cut out and overlaying them. (In Spirit World, they ran in BLUE-&-white, because somebody up at DC thought blue ink would be more effective than black for a supernatural magazine…)

Alas, in the Jack Kirby Collector, we’re forced to run them in B&W also, but at least I can give you a color preview of this one here. Enjoy!