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King Kirby, a play by Crystal Skillman and Fred Van Lente's video poster
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The hysterical and heartbreaking story of artist Jack Kirby, "the King of the Comics," at the 2014 Comic Book Theater Festival Read more

Brooklyn, NY Plays
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This project was successfully funded on June 20, 2014.

The hysterical and heartbreaking story of artist Jack Kirby, "the King of the Comics," at the 2014 Comic Book Theater Festival

Brooklyn, NY Plays
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About this project

KING KIRBY is a play by the husband-and-wife team of New York Times bestselling comics writer Fred Van Lente and NYIT award-winning playwright Crystal Skillman about the life and times of Jack Kirby, the great comic book artist who created or co-created some of your favorite heroes on the page and screen, Captain America, the Avengers, Thor, Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, Young Romance, the New Gods, Darkseid, The Demon… the list goes on and on.

Jack Kirby by Suzy Skaar 1992
Jack Kirby by Suzy Skaar 1992

From the Jewish ghetto of New York's Lower East Side to the battlefields of France to the Senate hearings of 1950s, this is a hysterical and heartbreaking story about a man who pours his quintessentially Twentieth Century life into his comics, only to make the fateful mistake that sends him into obscurity while his creations become known to every person on Earth. 

A real-life "Adventures of Kavalier & Klay", King Kirby asks what happens when an artist doesn't own his own legacy? Can he ever get it back?

King Kirby has been a long-term passion project of Fred's; with Crystal's help, it's down on paper. Now, with your help, we'll bring this astounding true story to life on stage.

Risks and challenges

We’re thrilled to be presenting KING KIRBY for the first time at the 2014 Comic Book Theater Festival at New York City’s The Brick Theater — check out show times here. http://bricktheater.com/index.php…

The director is the great John Hurley, director of Crystal’s NYIT Award-Winning The Vigil as well as her stage adaptation of Fred’s Action Philosophers comics.

The cast is headed by Steven Rattazzi as Kirby (perhaps best known to comics fans as Dr. Orpheus from Cartoon Network's "The Venture Bros"), and he's joined by Amy Lee Pearsall, Joe Mathers, Nat Cassidy and Timothy McCown Reynolds.

Our amazing design team:
Scenic and lighting design by Olivia Harris
Costume design by Holly Rihn
Sound design by Janie Bullard.

Your donations will let us pay for the services of these fine folks, rehearsal space, and the actual running of the show — thanks in advance for helping us bring comics history to life, and we hope you dig the rewards we’ve gathered for you!

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FAQ

  • Because under the Actors Equity union contract, we'd have to pay our fine cast members much more than this KS will raise in order to videotape and then make money offering the recording of their performances.

    The Equity rule is to protect actors from undue exploitation, and as a member of an oft-exploited profession myself, I fully support them. :) -- FVL

    Last updated:
  • Sure. Just get the one-comp pledge and in the message in which you tell me which night you're coming, tell me how many people you're bringing, and I'll make sure to reserve those seats for the same night. Your ticket will have already been paid for, but your companions' tickets will have to be purchased at the box office on the night of the performance (all Comic Book Theater Festival tickets are $18).

    Showtimes (and ticket purchasing) can be found here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/934831

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    31 backers

    DIGITAL COMIC - A Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE 60-page digital Jack Kirby “COMIC BOOK COMIC!”

    FIVE of the Jack Kirby biography stories from Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS as a PDF, 100% DRM-free!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    60 backers

    DIGITAL BOOK - Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE illustratated PDF of “KING KIRBY,” the play by Crystal Skillman & Fred Van Lente -- PLUS the JACK KIRBY "COMIC BOOK COMIC" PDF!

    DRM-free! This play that we are talking about today! It will contain production PHOTOS from the 2014 Comic Book Theater Festival production of King Kirby and notes on historical sources you won’t ever be able to get anywhere else. (Except in the print version, below.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    51 backers

    DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDING of KING KIRBY - plus the COMIC BOOK COMICS and KING KIRBY PDFs!

    Due to Actors Equity union rules, we are unable to provide a video recording of the production, but we can provide you with an MP3 of a special performance of the play to be enjoyed on the treadmill, in your car, or, anywhere, really, except the soundless void of outer space. Also DRM-free.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    33 backers

    SIGNED, LIMITED EDITION BOOK - Containing the full script of "KING KIRBY" with exclusive photos and notes on historical sources, signed by playwrights Crystal Skillman and Fred Van Lente, PLUS the AUDIO RECORDING, KING KIRBY and COMIC BOOK COMICS PDFs!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    3 backers Limited (27 left of 30)

    SIGNED PLAYBILL autographed by the playwrights, director and crew plus PHYSICAL BOOK plus the AUDIO RECORDING plus COMIC BOOK COMICS and KING KIRBY PDFs!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    10 backers Limited (40 left of 50)

    Signed SIMON & KIRBY PRINT (Limit 50) plus the PHYSICAL KING KIRBY SCRIPT BOOK plus the AUDIO RECORDING plus COMIC BOOK COMICS and KING KIRBY PDFs!

    Artist Ryan Dunlavey created a dynamic COLOR PRINT from his great double-page spread in the Comic Book History of Comics showing how Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s style revolutionized adventure comics — and he, Crystal and Fred will sign it for you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    17 backers Limited (3 left of 20)

    Signed copy of THE COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS plus the PHYSICAL KING KIRBY SCRIPT BOOK plus the AUDIO RECORDING plus COMIC BOOK COMICS and KING KIRBY PDFs!

    The book-length story of comics history, and Jack Kirby’s, as told by the award-winning, best-selling Action Philosophers team of cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey and writer/researcher Fred Van Lente, signed by the authors.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    One COMP TICKET to King Kirby production plus the PHYSICAL KING KIRBY SCRIPT BOOK plus the AUDIO RECORDING plus COMIC BOOK COMICS and KING KIRBY PDFs!

    Due to limited availability, we can only provide a few tickets to performances to backers. BEWARE: Which of the four performances you will receive tickets for will be solely up to our discretion. Check out show dates at the URL below and let us know in the “Notes” section of your pledge which ones you prefer and we will do our best to accommodate you. FIRST COME FIRST SERVE!

    Show dates: http://bricktheater.com/index.php?type=show&id=966

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    Breakfast with the Playwrights plus the PHYSICAL KING KIRBY SCRIPT BOOK plus the AUDIO RECORDING plus COMIC BOOK COMICS and KING KIRBY PDFs!

    Want to hear about the ins-and-outs of comics and/or theater? Have breakfast in New York City with Crystal Skillman and Fred Van Lente. They are both wonderful mealtime companions, close their mouths when they chew, and have not bitten anyone since 2004.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    COSMIC VOYAGER LEVEL! Comic Book Comics PDF + KING KIRBY script PDF + Audio Recording + Signed Physical Book + Signed King Kirby Print + A PIECE of RYAN DUNLAVEY ORIGINAL ART from the COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS series!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    CREATOR OF WORLDS LEVEL! Comic Book Comics PDF + KING KIRBY script PDF + Audio Recording + Signed Physical Book + Signed Simon & Kirby Print + Signed Playbill + Signed COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS + A piece of original Dunlavey COMIC BOOK COMICS art + a ticket to the show + AND a thank you phone call from Fred and Crystal!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (32 days)