Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hooray for Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus!

The first volume of Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus has now been published, and it is beautiful. I was eleven years old when The Forever People, The New Gods, Mister Miracle, and Jimmy Olsen were published. Those comics were magical to me when they came out, and they still are.

In the years preceding their publication, I was what would have to be classified as a DC fan rather than a Marvel fan. Any time I took a chance and looked at a Marvel comic on the newsstand I always found one where two heroes were duking it out on the cover, and I just didn't get it. So when the tagline "Kirby's Coming" started appearing in various DC comics, it meant nothing to me. At that age I didn't know the names of any of the artists of even any of the comics I followed regularly, much less the names of artists fom that "other" company. But soon I would understand what all the fuss was about.

"KIRBY IS HERE!" is what the cover of Jimmy Olsen #133 proclaimed. Those first couple of issues were bursting with a vibrance and energy far different from the Jimmy Olsens I had been reading just months earlier. They were GREAT comics, and the best was yet to come.

With The Forever People #1, I was hooked on Jack Kirby for life! It was unlike any comic book I had read before it. Now keep in mind I was right at the age where kids start drifting away from comics, but this one comic book more than any other magnified my gravitation toward the artform. Every other comic would just been put in a pile someplace after being read one time, but not Forever People #1! I clearly remember leaving it out in the living room and re-reading it numerous times for many weeks. The scene of a contemplative Superman hunched over in thought at the end of the story is deeply ingrained in my memory! When had Superman ever done that before? When had a story ever ended like that before? Hooray for Jack Kirby!

I've had some issues with the quality of DC's Archive editions for the last few years; some of the "touch-up" artists have made too little of an attempt to match the integrity of the artwork they were allegedly archiving. I far prefer the Theakstonizing process employed in the earliest Archive editions of 20 or so years ago (click here for details) , but the work in this Omnibus before me is much better than I've seen in quite some time.

Your comic book shop is probably already sold out of the first Ominbus volume, but click here to be whisked away to and receive 34% off the cover price AND get free shipping( no, I don't get a penny from them, but I do want you to get the book!). While I'm at it, it's been a while since I posted the following two links of great interest:

Please click here if you'd like to view the pages of Jack Kirby original artwork that it is my privilege to own, one of them being a Jimmy Olsen Fourth World splash page. I also have a gallery room that I've seen fit to entitle "Artwork by Jack Kirby...almost" which includes a re-creation of the cover to Forever People #1 that I commissioned from comicdom's very own Fred Hembeck; click here to visit that gallery room.

Don't be alarmed when I shout it one more time. Hooray for Jack Kirby!