2017 marks the centennial of American comic book artist and writer Jack Kirby's birth. Kirby created (or co-created) most of the iconic characters we continue to see in comics and on film today; Captain America, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Nick Fury, X-Men, Galactus, the Silver Surfer, the Black Panther, the Mighty Thor, New Gods, Mister Miracle, Doctor Doom and many, many more.
Almost thirty years ago, following a chance encounter, I found myself in California, sitting at the King of Comics dinner table, in total awe and almost total silence. Jack and his lovely wife, Roz, invited me into their home, fed me, catered to me and generally took care of me for those precious few hours. I felt like family. I felt at home. They were open and warm, friendly and generous, not only with their hospitality and time, but with their answers to my many, many questions; Jack and Roz even allowed me to open packages of recently returned artwork, some of which had not seen the light of day for over 25 years; I held several 'classic' pages of 'New Gods' and the 'Fantastic Four' (amongst others) in my bare hands. Moments I will cherish and remember forever.
Three years later, I returned to the Kirby home and was able to record part of that meeting. This film has never before been seen in its entirety and serves as an historical document, showing Jack Kirby in his own home, in his own studio, talking about his own life, in his own words.
This footage is unique; my only regret is that I cannot return and have further conversations with this genius, if only to record more of his stories and experiences. Still, I have my memories of those hours and I'd like to share all I can with as many people as possible through this film.
Thank you for your support in making this film possible, and many thanks to Kickstarter for allowing me to post this unique film on their website.
Risks and challenges
The physical challenges have been long overcome; the phone calls, the letters, the flights across an ocean and then a continent. The car journeys from Anaheim and San Bernadino to Jack's home in Thousand Oaks. The anticipation. What would I say? What would HE say?
Believe me, it was all worth it.
I have struggled to think of any kind of 'rewards' for this project; t-shirts, hats and mugs, I felt, only served to undermine the project and consequently, there are none. I have, however, included a 'five copies for the price of four' offer.
That said, rather than just release the Kirby footage as a stand alone film, I decided to commission a professionally recorded 'interview' to set the scene, telling of my journey to Jack Kirby's house, my thoughts on his work and on the man himself. To be sure, my journey to Jack's house was a long one; some twenty odd years in the making. All that is left is the funding to complete that journey; the funding necessary to finish this production, to finish a journey that ultimately ends with you, the viewer.
So, this is my story about how I met the undisputed King of Comics, how I held a passion in my heart for half of my life and how I found myself, one warm October Californian afternoon, knocking on the door of a genius.
Preview Review :
I have loved the work of Jack Kirby for as long as I can remember reading American Comic Books. His work is the very reason I wanted to become a comic creator in the first place. I have always read and I have always drawn, but Jack Kirby’s incredibly epic vistas and dynamic storytelling were the original catalyst to propel me on my way to do so.
You always hope that when you meet your heroes they hold up to your dream of them; I never got to meet Jack Kirby himself, but this film successfully shows you not just the man behind the creation of thousands of pages of comics, but indeed the man himself. It gives us a glimpse of his life, his home and his humour; away from the crowds, away from something created with comics, away from the pressures of a deadline. We see this glimpse of the private life of Jack Kirby.
I never got to meet Jack in person, but through this film, I feel I have managed to get a little closer to the man that gave me the idea, through his work, to forge a career of my own in comics.
Glenn Fleming, the man behind this film, is a very lucky man in my eyes. Glenn actually did get to meet Kirby (twice) and he is also a very generous man for sharing this event, especially this year as we celebrate Jack Kirby’s centenary.
What better way to celebrate this epic moment than to own a little something personal about the King; not just words written about him – but words, personal words, spoken by the powerhouse of a creative man himself – Jack KING Kirby.
To everyone that may read this - may all of your Keyboards Krackle, as you order at least one copy of this unique film for yourself and others.
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