JACK KIRBY 2017 fine art print / edition of 15 / $175.00 each
This year (August 28, 2017) we celebrate the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby, a towering figure in comic book history.

Emerging from humble beginnings on New York's Lower East Side, Jacob Kurtzberg had a tenement childhood during which he worshipped the fantasy comic strips of Hal Foster, Alex Raymond and Milton Caniff. In his late teens, Jake began drawing cartoons and strips for newspapers, worked briefly at Fleischer cartoon studio, then joined Eisner-Iger Comics Shop as an artist/writer. He became buds with editor/artist Joe Simon, with whom he collaborated on Blue Bolt Comics. When Simon was named editor at Martin Goodman's new Timely Comics, he and Kirby created the sensational Captain America.

After a dispute with Goodman over money, the duo moved to National Comics, where they found instant success revamping the character Sandman, creating the superhero Manhunter, and developing the youthful crime-fighting Boy Commandos. After serving during World War II, Kirby reteamed with Simon on superheroes, crime stories, and western and war comics.

In the early 1950s, when comics were targeted by vigilant parents and crusading politicians, the industry took a hit, sales slumped, and jobs evaporated. Simon went to work in advertising, but Kirby remained committed to comics. Freelancing for DC and Atlas, he specialized in action thrillers and covers depicting horrifying monsters, with names like Groot, Titano, and Gorgilla, bent on destroying Earth. These appeared in Tales to Astonish, Amazing Adventures and World of Fantasy.

When DC Comics began having success with revised superheroes, Atlas (rebranded Marvel in 1961) asked editor Stan Lee to create a new superhero series. Lee developed The Fantastic Four, enlisting Kirby to plot and illustrate the adventures of Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Girl, The Human Torch, and The Thing. The series became an instant success, revolutionizing the industry. Lee and

Kirby replicated this success with The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, X-Men, The Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, and others.

Kirby devised what was essentially Marvel's in-house style, designing their dynamic visual motifs and creating a template that artists have been following and stealing for decades. Yet by the late 1960s, Kirby, the most important figure in Marvel's fortunes, was earning a paltry $35,000 a year freelancing for the company. He left in 1970 to work for DC, where he created several new titles. He later returned to Marvel for sporadic assignments and became involved in TV animation. Yet he continued to struggle financially.

In 1987, under pressure from comics journalists, creators and fans, Marvel returned to Kirby about 2,000 pages of the estimated ten to thirteen thousand he had created for the company. Kirby was thus able to sell the original art to fans and collectors, which allowed him to enjoy his final years with some financial security. He passed away in 1994.

This portrait of Kirby appeared on the cover of Drew Friedman's book Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics, 2014).
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SHIPPING COSTS
  • U.S. DOMESTIC via UPS Ground: $25
  • HAWAII & ALASKA via USPS Priority mail: $30
  • CANADA via USPS Priority Mail International: $45
  • INTERNATIONAL via USPS Priority Mail International: $55
Only fifteen (15) prints of JACK KIRBY were produced for this edition. Each print is signed in the lower right, hand-titled in the center, and numbered in the lower left (all beneath the image). We are now offering numbers 1/15 thru 5/15, unframed, for $175.00 each (plus shipping & handling). Prices will increase for subsequent prints as the edition depletes.

The image area is 16-3/4" high x 11-1/2" wide centered on an untrimmed 19" x 13" sheet. Paper, ink, and production specifications, as well as shipping details, are available on our PRINT SPECS page.