Tag Archives: Kamandi

From the Bunker Labelled Command D

Here’s Day 19 of the month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute, in hon­or of his birth­day this month. Suggested/sponsored by Howard Simp­son, it’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find peo­ple’s work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt reads, “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s Kaman­di series.” I chose to depict Kaman­di him­self, along with his friend Ben Box­er in his armored-up form. They’re going down into some bust­ed-up Sub­way, maybe in search of some­thing or some­one, obvi­ous­ly on their guard. On Earth A.D. (After Dis­as­ter), you can’t be too careful!

I have a lot of affec­tion for the Kaman­di book and the char­ac­ter. And it seems like I’m not alone in that. A num­ber of peo­ple around my age seem to have a sim­i­lar affec­tion for the book. And of all Jack­’s post-Fourth World titles he did for DC, Kaman­di sold the best and last­ed the longest, con­tin­u­ing on in oth­er hands for a good while even after Jack left and went back to Marvel.

I think there must have been some­thing in the air at the time. Not just Plan­et of the Apes, but oth­er films (like Logan’s Run) and sci fi that had a fas­ci­na­tion with dystopias that came about after our cur­rent world col­lapsed for one rea­son or another.

On a per­son­al lev­el, I came across Kaman­di just about the time I was begin­ning to rec­og­nize indi­vid­ual artists and remem­ber their names. I’d seen some of Kir­by’s work ear­li­er, but had not been quite old enough for his name to reg­is­ter with me just yet. This was the right time, and the right book. I became a full-fledged Kir­by nut after this. Not hav­ing any con­nec­tion to wider fan­dom as a kid and an aspir­ing artist, I had this naive thought that, “Kir­by’s get­ting old­er. He’s got­ta be like in his 50’s! Even­tu­al­ly he’s going to retire, and some­one will need to pick up the baton from him! Maybe it should be me!”

Of course, I had no idea just how many oth­er fan artists there were out there who had sim­i­lar ideas of try­ing to be the next Kir­by. I went through a lengthy “Jack Kir­by phase” as a young artist, not real­ly under­stand­ing the under­ly­ing “why” of what he did yet. I just saw the sur­face, loved the ener­gy and the imag­i­na­tion, and thought it was what comics should be. Even­tu­al­ly I grew out of my fix­a­tion on try­ing to draw like him, but I can still see Kir­by as a com­po­nent of my artis­tic DNA, whether any­one else can or not. Kir­by and his work still mat­ter a great deal to me. Which is why I’m par­tic­i­pat­ing in this Tribute!

Any­way, hope you like my shot at Kaman­di, and please come back for tomor­row’s image!