Jack Kirby 100 Jack Kirby 100
Photo Courtesy of Jackie Estrada  It’s not in the draftsmanship, it’s in the man. Like I say, a tool is dead. A brush is... Jack Kirby 100

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Photo Courtesy of Jackie Estrada 

It’s not in the draftsmanship, it’s in the man. Like I say, a tool is dead. A brush is a dead object. It’s in the man. If you want to do it, you do it.

– Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby would have been 100 years old today and while the King is no longer with us, his legacy continues to live on and inspire today and for many years to come. There are many stories about him from both friends and colleagues celebrating his birthday. One of the best is from Mark Evanier who worked with Kirby has a nice tribute to him on his blog today.

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DC Comics has been celebrating his legacy with new series Kamandi Challenge, Mister Miracle, Bug!, and the upcoming Demon. This month they are releasing 5 one shot special with some of the biggest talents in comics paying tribute to him. DC is also collecting his Fourth World material as an omnibus and other series are being collected also.

Marvel has been reprinting some of his work with $1.00 comics, special covers and reprint collections.

IDW has a number of Artist Editions devoted to Kirby’s DC and Marvel series over the past few years that scans his original artwork.

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There are many stories to be had and I have one myself. Back in the late 1980’s at San Diego Comic Con a friend of mine was working for a company that had done a book about Kirby and their booth had a sitting area and I was wanting to sit down for a minute and rest. So after a few minutes Jack and his lovely wife Roz came to the booth and Jack sat down next to me. I politely excused myself but Roz said that she wanted me to stay and keep Jack company because. I looked at my friend and she nodded it was OK. We  started to talk about his work and I said that I was a big fan of his Fourth World work at DC Comics and we talked about comics in general. It was maybe about ten minutes that we talked and then Roz came back over and thanked me for keeping him company and was very grateful. I told her it was a real pleasure and Jack thanked me too and said I was a nice kid.

After that I went over to my friend to apologized for being there when the showed up. She said that Roz was happy that I was there because Jack was not able to get around as well as he used to and people would have him sign stuff and he would never say no. She had to curtail a lot of that in his later years because he would sign so much stuff that his wrists would hurt the next day.

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Photo Courtesy of Jackie Estrada

It was truly one of those once in a lifetime encounters and to simply talk to him about comics was amazing because he really loved comics just like the rest of us. He understood that comics were an open medium to the common man and that they could take you to places that dreams are from. The best way to celebrate him is to look at his work and enjoy all of the characters that he created and to simply enjoy them.

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Steven Howearth

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