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No Such Thing As Next Kirby

Written by Zenguru on Sunday, November 18 2007 and posted in Columns
*bathroom door creaks open* Whoops! Greetings, Skid fans! Looks like ya…caught me opinionating again. Well, as long as my opinion is coming out, it might as well leave a stain. So here goes. The comic industry has been blessed with the efforts of certain individuals. Creators whose influence resonates from the inception of their careers to [...]

the end and beyond. Of course, one such creator is Jack Kirby.

Everyone who reads comics should know Jack Kirby. Everyone who works in comics should acknowledge him. But how many of those creators should compare themselves to him?

Answer: None.More…

The list of creators whose work demonstrates strong Kirby influence is vast: John Byrne, Walt Simonson, Erik Larsen, Steve Rude, Jose Ladronn, Ron Frenz, Rob Liefeld, and more. But none of them have ever compared themselves to Kirby.

Or have they?

It’s impossible to know how many creators have done this. However, there is at least one who grabbed my attention by doing just that. I will not mention him by name, but will refer to him by the use of various pseudonyms throughout this article.

One thing you must know about me is I frequent several message boards on the internet. It is on one such message board (not necessarily this one) that I saw Can’t Draw Ankles Man compare himself and his career to that of Jack Kirby.

Uh-uuuuuhhhh! Oh no he di’int!

Oh yes he di’id!

Exact quotes will not be presented as their wording may tend to reveal his identity. So consider Contorted Spine Fella’s secret safe for now.

Now before I get to Elongated Thigh Guy, let me talk about Kirby for a bit. It’s safe to say Kirby’s splash was made when he came to Marvel in 1961. By that time, he’d already been in the industry some 20 years. He’d already created, or co-created, Captain America, Guardian, The Newsboy Legion, The Boy Commandos, AND the first ever romance comic in Young Romance #1!

Maybe not as big hallmarks then as they are now, but they’ve stood the test of time. Now add to that his Marvel work on X-Men, Avengers, Thor, The Hulk, and the big one (sorry, Hulk) The Fantastic Four. Then in 1970, Jack went to DC and introduced, by way of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, the Fourth World of New Gods, Mister Miracle, and Forever People. Then once he got tired of that, in a manner of speaking, he went back to Marvel and brought out the Eternals!

Whew! I need more toilet paper…

Okay, let’s go back to Super Toothy Open Mouth Person. He started out by doing books for both Marvel and DC. His star began to rise when he, like many creators now or since, landed a seminal run on one of Marvel’s mutant books. Mr. Man Hands co-created a character that has since been integral to Marvel’s ever-growing universe of mutant characters.

I remember that run because I have it. And I LOVED it. Heck, back then, I thought Pointy Elbows Boy was the greatest thing since sliced bananas on corn flakes.

Captain Crap Boobs then put a little shine to his star by starting up his own company. His creations since that point have languished in his own little corner of the industry. And he’s usually happy to stay there. But every now and then, Sir Who Needs Backgrounds feels the need to venture forth from his realm.

Yes, Frere Manga Spiky Hair has carved his niche. He helped show it was possible to own your creations and make money at it. Heck, he even designed a corporate logo still in use today!

And he has fans who not only compare him to Kirby, they say he’s the next Kirby. And whether he may have said that himself is no matter. Just that somebody said it is bad enough. Because like the title says, there’s no such thing as Next Kirby.

M’sieu Multi Crotch Lines has not been around nearly long enough to be called the Next Kirby, let along be compared with him. Nobody has, really. To call oneself the Next Kirby, or be called that, belittles everything Kirby ever contributed to comics. Colonel Crooked Eyes needs to take his head out of his inkpot and realize his contributions at this point barely compare to Kirby’s, if at all.

I may need yet another roll of toilet paper after this, but that’s my opinion and it’s sticking to me.

Okay, time to flush.

To discuss

Posted originally: 2007-11-18 18:21:47

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About the Author - Zenguru

Zenguru has been an Outhouser since the days it was blue. He's the Rick Jones of The Outhouse. Not always in the mansion, but always around in a pinch. Just don't pinch too hard, okay? He's written a few articles, notably $k!d M@rks, and has published several books of poetry. Lately, he's been writing poems and fiction about diners. He's been reading comics since the mid-70's. He dreams of one day traveling between dimensions to be Jonah Hex's sidekick.

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