There are two Kirby items I’ve been searching for since 1994, when I first started the Jack Kirby Collector magazine (and, unknown to me at the time, the future TwoMorrows Publishing). One is Jack Kirby’s original pencil pages for the first Spider-Man story, before the job was handed off to Steve Ditko to finish for Amazing Fantasy #15.
The other is this one, elusive color concept piece that Kirby did in the 1960s, along with the original drawings of Orion, Darkseid, Mister Miracle, and others (a couple of which still haven’t made it into comics). The only image I’ve seen of it was in the background of a photograph of Jack, taken at his booth at an early San Diego Comicon. The character is African-American, standing with his hands on his hips, wearing a half-length cape. I’ve run the above fuzzy reproduction from that photo in TJKC a few times, accompanying a plea to anyone who knows where it is, to send us an image. (And everyone seemed to think it was Jack’s original “Coal Tiger” drawing that became the Black Panther, but this is a different piece altogether.)
After 14 years, I’m thrilled to announce it showed up in my e-mail box this morning, and I put an immediate “STOP THE PRESSES!” appeal to our printer for my Kirby Five-Oh! book, so I could at least replace the fuzzy image in the book with a clean one. It was too late to add it to the color section, but there is now at least a nice (if smallish) black-and-white repro of it in K-5-0… and wait’ll you see it in full-color! (Which you will on the cover of TJKC #52, and also in a surprise Kirby goody I’m going to announce next week at the New York Comicon.)
After this many years of searching for something, it’s an exhilarating feeling to finally track it down. I’m on Cloud Ten today.
Now, whoever has those Spidey pages, you know where to find me…