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Author Topic: Personal stories of you and Mr. Jack Kirby...  (Read 882 times)

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Offline bminor

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Personal stories of you and Mr. Jack Kirby...
« on: March 06, 2012, 07:16:05 AM »
I am a HUGE fan of Jack Kirby.
I was wondering if anyone has any personal anecdotes of interactions with him.
Growing up in the Midwest I had little chance for personal one-on-one communication.
I had only one communication with the great man.
The one thing that I did was in about 1973 or so, I was deep into Kamandi Last Boy on Earth. I wrote a personal letter to him in Sherman Oaks, CA.  telling him how much I loved his work and would be please, send me a little sketch. (I had included a SASE (self address stamped envelope) with my letter.
Some time later I received my envelope back!!!! With much excitement I tore it open. Inside was a 3"x 5" lined index card bearing the inscription. "To my pal, Brian, yours Jack Kirby" in his own hand!
I treasured that card.
Now I am not sure exactly where it is! I think that I put it inside one of the thousands of comics that I have accumulated. One of these days I need to go through them and see if I can find it!

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Personal stories of you and Mr. Jack Kirby...
« on: March 06, 2012, 07:16:05 AM »

Offline vaillant

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Re: Personal stories of you and Mr. Jack Kirby...
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 01:50:17 PM »
Hi bminor,
I have had the honor to meet him in his Thousand Oaks home, in 1991. In fact, it has been during my only trip to the US (I am Italian) but that year I had the gift of meeting two of the comic artist which I loved most, and whose work had been part of my – I dare say education: him and italian Disney comics' legendary artist Romano Scarpa (you have had a few of his classic 1950s stories printed by Gladstone in the 1980s).

In fact, although I published the interview I did with him at the time, it has been quite some years now that I was thinking to contact John Morrow to re-transcribe and reprint it (an english-language version was printed by David Anthony Kraft on Comics Interview, but without the few pieces I wrote for my own fanzine, back in 1991, where it originally appeared translated in Italian).

After having met Jack, I did not feel merely a "huge fan", but he was like family. At least, that’s how he managed to make you feel. Wow! :)
At the time I was 21 (b. 1969). How old are you?
I am a huge fan of Kamandi as well, and in Italy we did not have the post-Kirby issues published. I think they are beautiful as well. :)

Offline moondood

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Re: Personal stories of you and Mr. Jack Kirby...
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 05:59:48 PM »
I was part of the whole Image Comics thing back in the early 90's and got to meet Jack several times as a result.

I started in comics as a letterer in the Marvel Bullpen in the early 80's and came west to Hollywood to work in the film business, which I did for awhile.  But when Image started up, I was invited to join Liefeld's Image studio as their in-house lettering wizard.

Eventually I also started writing and editing.

Anyway, we were doing a book called Phantom Force with Jack and I had occasion to go out to his home in Thousand Oaks several times to hang out with Jack and Roz, talk comics and hear war stories.

The last time I was there, I was at the kitchen table with Jack and Roz.  They had asked me to bring anything I wanted signed and I had brought my Marvel Mystery #20 {I think it's 20--or is it 12?}...Jack took one look at it and told me he didn't draw the cover that I wanted him to sign.  Mind you, according to the Overstreet guide that issue has a "classic Kirby cover"....I was never sure why it was classic, per se--it was an Angel cover...but it sure reeked of 1940's Kirby.

At first I thought he must be could he remember that far back?  But I figured he could tell from the layout or style that it wasn't his.  One source I later spoke with thinks it might be a Joe Simon Kirby-style cover.

I got my Mister Miracle #1 signed, that was cool.

I was supposed to again go to their home on a Monday in 1994, but he had collapsed in his driveway the Sat or Sunday before.

He had an amazing array of framed art on his walls...many by him....watercolors and old comics covers.  It was amazing.

A time I'll never forget.

At his funeral, I was able to meet his longtime collaborator Mike Royer {whom Jack told me was his favorite inker on his work}.  Wish it were under different circumstances, however.
I recall Billy Mumy [kid from Lost in Space] was there, too.  He was writing for Marvel at the time, I think.

Jack was a great artist and a wonderful man.

Kurt Hathaway
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