It’s come to my attention that today marks 20 years since the passing of Jack Kirby. That brings a lot of things to mind.
I know where I was when I got the word. I’d started a new career, working in animation, and was not quite into my first full year at it. I was working at Graz Entertainment on X‑Men, for my first boss in the business (who I also consider a mentor and friend), Larry Houston. In those pre-internet days, Larry was the one who first got word, and passed it to us. Obviously, for those of us on the crew who knew and loved Kirby’s work, our minds and our conversation were occupied the rest of the day.
When I got home, I had a sudden compulsion to go to the longboxes, and pull out every comic I had that Jack Kirby had worked on. Then I surveyed what was left. There were a lot of big holes! I could have gone even further and pulled out all the titles that he’d had a hand in creating, and that would’ve left an even bigger hole. There would probably be fewer comics in the boxes than out of them.
Jack has most definitely left his mark on comics, whether people want to see it or not. And he’s left behind a great legacy of work in all kinds of genres that we can still enjoy today. I can say he certainly enriched my life with his work.
RIP, Mr. Kirby. Your work lives on.