Amazingly, I’ve made it here to Day 25 of the month-long online Jack Kirby Art Tribute, sponsored/suggested by Howard Simpson. I wasn’t sure I was going to get through all of these, but here we are! It’s open to all creatives, and you can find the work on your favorite social media platforms by the hashtag #KirbyArtTributes.
The prompt for today reads: “Draw a character or scene from Jack Kirby’s Black Panther series.” I chose to draw Black Panther himself, along with Princess Zanda and Abner Little, two other key characters from that run.
When Kirby left DC to make his return to Marvel in the ’70s, and fans heard he was going to do a Black Panther title, many expected he would just pick up the same continuities and types of stories that previous creators had been doing with the character. But that wasn’t what they got, and some were apparently disappointed. At this point in Kirby’s career, he seemed to want to be allowed to just have a little corner of his own where he could do his own thing without impinging on what other creators might be doing, or having others impinge on his creativity.
You have to take Jack’s Black Panther run on its own terms. His view of the character and the stories he wanted to tell with him seemed to have roots in the types of exotic adventure stories H. Rider Haggard used to write, like King Solomon’s Mines, or She. If this comic had come out four or five years later, readers might have associated it with the sorts of arcane archeology Indiana Jones delved into in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Hope you enjoy, and feel free to tune in again tomorrow!