Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Jack Kirby Day!

It's Jack Kirby's birthday (he would have been 96!), which, around here, is a major holiday.  For me, anyway.  And if I have my way, one day it will be a holiday for everyone.  I don't care if it becomes a national holiday with government offices and schools closed or anything like that.  I'd just love to buy a calendar and see August 28th labeled Jack Kirby Day.

And maybe some parades in his honor or fireworks shows.  Here's a favorite splash page of mine, from the classic Fantastic Four #29 (August 1964).

I'd tell you the credits right here, but they're already in the artwork!

This color recreation is probably pretty close to the originals.  Some of it is a bit too intense, but I'm happy they didn't try to model a lot of shadows and light effects on the figures.  But what I like best about this isn't the Thing having stepped in gum (although that is a nice touch); it's the way Mr. Fantastic plants his feet on the concrete and then uses just his torso to dodge the tossed garbage.  There's a strong contrast between Reed's sturdy, pre-Vietnam-America-can-do legs and his swirling mid-section that draws my eyes.  I keep imagining Mr. Fantastic's texture as sometimes like taffy, and at others, like in this instance, almost a liquid.

And there's Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl, in the center, saying something completely sensible.  Call the police, not the superheroes.  It's not fear talking.  Sue isn't playing the dithery, do-nothing citizen trying to stay out of trouble at all costs.  Sue's objection has to do with prioritization.  She knows the team has more important things to worry about, like communism and Dr. Doom.  She probably also has practical concerns.  While I'm sure she'd agree the crime rate on Yancy Street is something of a concern, and it's admirable the FF want to pitch in, what can they realistically do about it?  Burn the Yancy Street Gang to death?  Bully them with the Thing's strength?  Build a community center with the wealth generated by Reed Richards' patents?  Psssh.  This isn't for the Fantastic Four to bother themselves over.  It's more a Spider-Man-level situation.

But I agree with Sue.  What's truly needed is police involvement.  Those lazy bums.

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