How To Pay Tribute To Jack Kirby

The best way a creator can pay tribute to Jack Kirby? Innovate.

Don’t pastiche or copy or use his lost properties, INNOVATE! CREATE!

I think, in a perfect world, Jack Kirby would spit on your backward looking nostalgia and pastiche, and wonder why you don’t use your brain. [I later admitted “spit” was a little harsher than Kirby himself might have done.]

Kirby was never one of my favorite artists. But as an IDEA man, he’s right up there with the best.

Every single one of Kirby/Lee’s FF issues had a new concept. Each one. Mark Millar said THAT was the influence he wanted on HIS run. Did he succeed? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. But Jonathan Hickman is taking the same torch now and running with it. Can every other run say the same? I don’t really think so, no. But that’s beside the point. The point is, pastiching Kirby to sell your book is lazy.

Furthermore, it’s indicative of a general lack of ideas. What’s wrong with YOUR concepts? Why don’t THEY work?

[Response to a reply] [T]here’s a difference between using created characters and putting your mark on them, and putting out a big ad saying K I R B Y and… nothing else. Unless Kirby’s been reanimated and drawing this book from the grave, it’s disingenuous to the actual creators of the book. Not to mention the easy way out.

[Response to a reply] Y’know, paying tribute to Kirby by copycatting his ideas and art style isn’t really paying tribute, it’s being a copycat.

[Response to a reply] It’s not just the Dynamite stuff. It’s all the other “pastichy” “lookalike” books out there. They may be good books but could they have been sold without deliberately pushing the Kirby Buttons?

[Response to a reply] Better question: why do you NEED a “Kirbyverse?” Where are these clamoring millions begging for books based on sketches Jack Kirby, or anyone else, made on a coctail napkin? [Someone replied “Writing comic book blogs.” Ha ha.]

[Response to a reply] Arguing against Marvel and DC using properties they already own is Quixotic at best. Dynamite et al paid money so they wouldn’t have to use their fucking brains to come up with actual new concepts. That’s downright sad, IMO.

[Response to a reply] You can be influenced and be direct about it without tattooing “I’M RIPPING OFF THE NEW GODS WHOLESALE” on the work.

I just can’t imagine Kirby himself being comfortable merely pastiching Winsor McCay, or EC Segar, or even Joe Schuster. Instead he created, he innovated, he used his brains. No amount of money paid can make up for lack of innovation. It’s nice the Kirby estate’s getting paid, but at the end of the day, I think he’d rather you make up your own stuff. Personally. But then, look at movies, TV, music, and we see general lack of innovation anywhere. Why should comics be immune to such laziness. Sad.

[I went a liiiiiitle crazy on Twitter earlier today]


One Response to “How To Pay Tribute To Jack Kirby”

  1. Ha! Found it… !

    just wanted to say I thought this line was great:

    “The best way a creator can pay tribute to Jack Kirby? Innovate.”

    Spot on, and exactly the kick up te arse I needed on a decaffeinated sat morning while chewing thru ways to move a story forward.

    Nice one.

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