On to Victory!

We’re get­ting close to the end! Day 30 of our month-long online Jack Kir­by Art Trib­ute. Suggested/sponsored by Howard Simp­son, you can find the work online on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

I’m going off-menu again today. The prompt sug­gests doing a “Kir­by Col­lage,” of the type Jack was known for doing in his spare time, some­times even find­ing ways to use them in his comics. But I could­n’t think of a way to do that and have it fit in the­mat­i­cal­ly with the rest of what I’m doing. So instead, I chose to draw Cap­tain Victory.

This was the title that launched a brand new com­ic com­pa­ny in the ear­ly ’80s, Pacif­ic Comics. As men­tioned yes­ter­day, the fact that Jack Kir­by was doing a com­ic for a new start­up pub­lish­er and not for Mar­vel or DC again, was a Big Deal. It was thought that the “Big Two” were real­ly the only game in town, so it can’t be over­stat­ed that this was big news.

One of the rea­sons Kir­by was will­ing to do this was con­tained right there in the indi­cia in the front of the book: “™ & © Jack Kir­by.” This was­n’t some­thing he was ever like­ly to get from Mar­vel or DC, and I’m sure the var­i­ous frus­tra­tions he’d had with both pub­lish­ers at dif­fer­ent points over the years were also part of his inter­est in going inde­pen­dent again (like he and Joe Simon had tried once before with Mainline).

The sto­ry of Cap­tain Vic­to­ry and his Galac­tic Rangers was inspired at least in part by Jack watch­ing E.T. and think­ing that “first con­tact” was not like­ly to be so benign. In fact, con­sid­er­ing some of the things that hap­pened when explor­ers came from Europe to the “New World,” Jack thought more like­ly it could go hor­ri­bly wrong..for us! And that was the seed of the story.

Front and cen­ter you’ve got Cap­tain Vic­to­ry. Behind him to the left is Major Klavus, and to the right is Tarin.

Hope you like it. One more to go!

2 thoughts on “On to Victory!

  1. Joe musich

    Looks great. There was more to Cap­tain Vic­to­ry than I knew. I had the ear­ly issue and still do. I also just picked up the TwoM­or­rows num­ber one Graphite Edi­tion. That book is pret­ty great. It was pret­ty risky in some ways for Jack to go inde­pen­dent, par­tic­u­lar­ly after Main­line. I have to won­der but will nev­er know; if there was an effort to “sub­tly” put a cor­ral around Jack’s lat­er day cre­ations? Or if the mass­es were just look­ing for oth­er mate­r­i­al? The lat­er titles were in anoth­er “not buyin’ books” peri­od for me. I seemed to have missed out. Your lay­out and col­or­ing are once again excel­lent. Thank you.

  2. Mark Post author

    Glad you liked this, Joe. 

    I think there were sev­er­al things that made Jack will­ing to do this. Jack was like this cre­ative engine who could­n’t stop cre­at­ing, yet there had been prob­lems (bro­ken promis­es and the like) with both of the Big Two over the years. So this was a way of get­ting around that, and own­ing his work. It can’t be over­stat­ed how impor­tant that is to a creator.

    He was prob­a­bly also aware that cir­cum­stances were dif­fer­ent from what they were when he and Joe did Main­line. You almost could­n’t have picked a worse time to start a com­ic com­pa­ny: pub­lic scruti­ny against comics imply­ing them as THE source of juve­nile delin­quen­cy, then the start of the Comics Code which made it dif­fi­cult for a new com­pa­ny to get their foot­ing. Almost 30 years lat­er, the atmos­phere was better.

    Was any­one cor­ralling him cre­ative­ly? I sort of doubt it. There may have been some in his inner cir­cle occa­sion­al­ly say­ing, “I don’t know, Jack” about some ideas. But I think being cre­ator-owned, he was pret­ty much allowed to do what he want­ed. There was no one who had the pow­er to edi­to­ri­al­ly sec­ond-guess him on his mate­r­i­al here, have some­one redraw the heads or change storylines.


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