Recent visitors to my site in August will know that I was doing the online Jack Kirby Tribute every day, the brainchild of Howard Simpson. it was a blast participating, refreshing my appreciation all over again for all the great work Kirby did over the years.
I stuck to a very specific format with all of these: portraits in a small square, colored with the limited palette used in the old comics most of these characters originally appeared in, even down to the dot patterns. And I had in mind that the end goal was to be able to assemble them all into one composite image. I wasn’t sure how that would work out, but here’s how it did!
This was kind of just a personal challenge/exercise in taking the Tribute a step further. Not sure what happens with it beyond this point.
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.
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.
This is Day 29 of our month-long Jack Kirby Tribute online. The brainchild of Howard Simpson, you’ll be able to find the work of participants on your favorite social media platforms by the hashtag #KirbyArtTributes.
I actually posted today’s prompt (a Jack Kirby portrait) yesterday, in honor of Jack’s birthday. So today is catching up with yesterday’s prompt: Silver Star.
There are several unique things about this character. One is (if I’m not mistaken) the story started off as a screenplay, and Jack turned it into this limited series (The covers have a bullet reading “A Visual Novel.”). I believe Jack originally thought in terms of his Fourth World series at DC as an epic story that would come to a definite conclusion, but he wasn’t allowed to do that then. Limited series, or miniseries, just weren’t something comics publishers did yet in those days. If a book was a success, they wanted it to just keep going and going as long as possible.
The other thing about Silver Star was the fact it was not published by Marvel or DC! Pacific Comics was a startup publisher looking to establish themselves as a solid alternative in the marketplace. Though Jack had done work for other publishers over the years, at this point in time the “Big Two” were thought to be the only real game in town. So the news that no less a personage than Jack Kirby himself was going to create new comics for a new publisher was a Big Deal. It can’t be overstated how big that news was at the time. Pacific kicked things off with Captain Victory (stay tuned), but Silver Star was Jack’s next offering through them.
In the background of this image is the antagonist of the story, Darius Drumm. I’ve never tried to draw these characters before, so that was a bit of a challenge. I’m still not quite sure just how Silver Star’s helmet works…
Hope you enjoy, and please tune in again tomorrow!