Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg, August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books, and the co-creator of such enduring characters and popular culture icons as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Hulk, Captain America, and hundreds of others stretching back to the earliest days of the medium. He was also a comic book writer and editor. His most common nickname is "The King."
Historians and most comics creators acknowledge Kirby as one of the medium's greatest and most influential artists. The New York Times, in a Sunday op-ed piece written more than a decade after his death, said Kirby
“ created a new grammar of storytelling and a cinematic style of motion. Once-wooden characters cascaded from one frame to another — or even from page to page — threatening to fall right out of the book into the reader’s lap. The force of punches thrown was visibly and explosively evident. Even at rest, a Kirby character pulsed with tension and energy in a way that makes movie versions of the same characters seem static by comparison. ”
His output was legendary, with one count estimatingthat he produced over 25,000 pages, as well as hundreds of comic strips and sketches. He also produced paintings, and worked on concept illustrations for a number of Hollywood films.
He was inducted into comic books' Shazam Awards Hall of Fame in 1975.
The Jack Kirby Award for achievement in comic books was named in his honor.
Born to Jewish Austrian parents in New York City, he grew up on Suffolk Street in New York's Lower East Side Delancey Street area, attending elementary school at P.S. 20. His father, Benjamin, a garment-factory worker, was a Conservative Jew, and Jacob attended Hebrew school. Jacob's one sibling, a brother five years younger, predeceased him. After a rough-and-tumble childhood with much fighting among the kind of kid gangs he would render more heroically in his future comics (Fantastic Four's Jewish Ben Grimm was raised on rough-and-tumble Yancy Street, and was predeceased by his older brother; in addition to sharing Kirby's father's first name, his middle name is Jacob, Kirby's first name at birth). Likewise Nick Fury's backstory is modelled after Kirby's own childhood.) Kirby enrolled at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, at what he said was age 14, leaving after a week. "I wasn't the kind of student that Pratt was looking for. They wanted people who would work on something forever. I didn't want to work on any project forever. I intended to get things done."
Per his own sometimes-unreliable memory, Kirby joined the Lincoln Newspaper Syndicate in 1936, working there on newspaper comic strips and on single-panel advice cartoons such as Your Health Comes First (under the pseudonym "Jack Curtiss"). He remained until late 1939, then worked for the movie animation company Fleischer Studios as an "inbetweener" (an artist who fills in the action between major-movement frames) on Popeye cartoons. "I went from Lincoln to Fleischer," he recalled. "From Fleischer I had to get out in a hurry because I couldn't take that kind of thing," describing it as "a factory in a sense, like my father's factory. They were manufacturing pictures." Despite this, he was prepared to relocate with the studio when it moved to Florida, only to be dissuaded by his mother who refused to let him move and had him quit instead.
Around this time, "I began to see the first comic books appear."The first American comic books were reprints of newspaper comic strips; soon, these tabloid-size, 10-inch by 15-inch "Comic books" began to include original material in comic-strip form. Kirby began writing and drawing such material for the comic book packager Eisner & Iger, one of a handful of firms creating comics on demand for publishers. Through that company, Kirby did what he remembers as his first comic book work, for Wild Boy Magazine. This included such strips as the science fiction adventure The Diary of Dr. Hayward (under the pseudonym "Curt Davis"), the Western crimefighter strip Wilton of the West (as "Fred Sande"), the swashbuckler strip "The Count of Monte Cristo" (again as "Jack Curtiss"), and the humor strips Abdul Jones (as "Ted Grey)" and Socko the Seadog (as "Teddy"), all variously for Jumbo Comics and other Eisner-Iger clients. Kirby was also helpful beyond his artwork when he once frightened off a mobster who was strongarming Eisner for their building's towel service.
Kirby moved on to comic-book publisher and newspaper syndicator Fox Feature Syndicate, earning a then-reasonable $15 a week salary. He began exploring superhero narrative with the comic strip The Blue Beetle (January–March 1940), starring a character created by the pseudonymous Charles Nicholas, a house name that Kirby retained for the three-month-long strip.
Simon & Kirby
During this time, Kirby met and began collaborating with cartoonist and Fox editor Joe Simon, who in addition to his staff work continued to freelance. Speaking at a 1998 Comic-Con International panel in San Diego, California, Simon recounted the meeting:
"Daring Disc", page 2. Note kinetic similarities to Capt. America's shield.“ I had a suit and Jack thought that was really nice. He'd never seen a comic book artist with a suit before. The reason I had a suit was that my father was a tailor. Jack's father was a tailor too, but he made pants! Anyway, I was doing freelance work and I had a little office in New York about ten blocks from DC's and Fox [Feature Syndicate]'s offices, and I was working on Blue Bolt for Funnies, Inc. So, of course, I loved Jack's work and the first time I saw it I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He asked if we could do some freelance work together. I was delighted and I took him over to my little office. We worked from the second issue of Blue Bolt...
” and remained a team across the next two decades. In the early 2000s, original art for an unpublished, five-page Simon & Kirby collaboration titled "Daring Disc", which may predate the duo's Blue Bolt, surfaced. Simon published the story in the 2003 updated edition of his autobiography, The Comic Book Makers.
After leaving Fox and landing at pulp magazine publisher Martin Goodman's Timely Comics (the future Marvel Comics), the new Simon & Kirby team created the seminal patriotic hero Captain America in late 1940. Their dynamic perspectives, groundbreaking use of centerspreads, cinematic techniques and exaggerated sense of action made the title an immediate hit and rewrote the rules for comic book art. Simon and Kirby also produced the first complete comic book starring Captain Marvel for Fawcett Comics.
Captain America became the first and largest of many hit characters the duo would produce. The Simon & Kirby name soon became synonymous with exciting superhero comics, and the two became industry stars whose readers followed them from title to title.
A financial dispute with Goodman led to their accepting an offer from Jack Liebowitz's National Comics, one of the precursors of DC Comics. Working on new ideas for National while still producing Captain America, the two left after finishing ten issues of that title, and moved to National fulltime. Given a lucrative contract at their new home (although initially National seemed unsure how best to utilise their talents), Simon & Kirby took over the Sandman in Adventure Comics, and scored their next hits with the "kid gang" teams the Newsboy Legion and the Boy Commandos (evoking their Sentinels of Liberty gang from Captain America), and the superhero Manhunter.
Kirby married Rosalind "Roz" Goldstein (September 25, 1922–December 22, 1998) on May 23, 1942. Kirby met his future wife when the two families became neighbors in Brooklyn in the Summer of 1940. The two began dating shortly after, and Jack proposed on her 18th birthday.
The couple would have four children: Susan (December 6, 1945 - ), Neal (May 1948 - ), Barbara (November 1952 - ) and Lisa (c1961-1962 - ). The same year that he married, he changed his name legally from Jacob Kurtzberg to Jack Kirby. The couple was living in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, when Kirby was drafted into the U.S. Army on June 7, 1943. Serving with the Third Army combat infantry, he landed in Normandy, on Omaha Beach, 10 days after D-Day.
Serving overseas (experiences which Kirby later enjoyed sharing with friends, family and relative strangers alike), Kirby and his wife corresponded regularly by "V-Mail" - Jack writing between battles, and Roz sending "him a letter a day," while working in a lingerie shop and living with her mother. During the winter of 1944, Kirby wound up with "severe frostbite on both feet and legs," and was taken to a London hospital for recovery. He returned to the United States in January, 1945, and was honorably discharged on July 20, 1945 returning soon after to his pre-war partnership with Joe Simon.
As superhero comics waned in popularity after the end of World War II, Kirby and his partner began producing a variety of other genre stories, initially for Harvey Comics, with whom Simon had arranged that they would receive a "decent percentage of whatever comics they delivered." Kirby worked on such titles as the crime comic Justice Traps the Guilty for publishers including Harvey, Hillman Comics and Crestwood/Prize.
They are credited with the creation of the first romance title, Young Romance at Crestwood Publications, also known as Prize Comics. In fact in July 1947, the two had created a (children's) romance story for Hillman Comics' My Date #1, which inspired Crestwood/Prize publishers Teddy Epstein and Paul Blyer (or "Bleier") to offer Simon and Kirby 50% of profits if they would produce their follow-up for their company. September/October 1947's Young Romance "became Jack and Joe's biggest hit in years," selling "millions of copies" and inspiring Crestwood to print triple the number of copies and produce the spin-off Young Love (both titles would later be sold to DC Comics).
Romance comics would reinvigorate the comics industry (and, supposedly, appeal to a much broader - i.e. female - audience) over the next few years. Kick-starting a whole genre of comics, Young Romance spawned dozens of imitators from publishers such as "Timely, Fawcett, Quality, and even Fox Features Syndicate [who] delivered knockoffs like Love Confessions, Romance Tales, True Stories of Romance, and My Love Secret. Despite the glut of titles, the Simon and Kirby Romance titles "continued to sell five million" a month, allowing the pair "to earn more than enough to buy their own homes."
In addition, Kirby and Simon produced crime, horror (notably Black Magic), western and humor comics
The Kirby & Simon partnership ended amicably in 1955 with the failure of their own Mainline Publications, due in large part to the backlash against comics fronted by Dr. Wertham. Simon left the industry for a career in advertising, while Kirby continued to freelance. He was instrumental in the creation of Archie Comics' The Fly and The Double Life of Private Strong reuniting briefly with Joe Simon. He also drew some issues of Classics Illustrated.
For DC Comics, then known as National Comics, Kirby co-created with writers Dick and Dave Wood the non-superpowered adventuring quartet the Challengers of the Unknown in Showcase #6 (Feb. 1957), while also contributing to such anthologies as House of Mystery. During 30 months at DC, Kirby drew slightly more than 600 pages, which included 11 six-page Green Arrow stories in World's Finest Comics and Adventure Comics that, in a rarity, Kirby inked himself. Kirby recast the Emerald Archer as a "science-fiction hero," moving him away from his Batman-formula roots, but in the process alienating Green Arrow co-creator Mort Weisinger. He also began drawing a newspaper comic strip, Sky Masters of the Space Force, written by the Wood brothers and initially inked by the unrelated Wally Wood.
Kirby left National Comics largely due to a contractual dispute in which editor Jack Schiff, who had been involved in getting Kirby and the Wood brothers the Sky Masters contract, claimed he was due royalties from Kirby's share of the strip's profits. Schiff sued Kirby and was successful at trial.
Kirby returned to work with Stan Lee on the cusp of the company's evolution from its 1950s incarnation as Atlas Comics (previously Timely) to become Marvel. Inker Frank Giacoia approached Lee for work, but when informed that Atlas artists inked their own work, suggested he could "get Kirby back here to pencil some stuff." Kirby, meanwhile, was still working on DC's Challengers of the Unknown, but also searching for work from other publishers without much success. Continuing with DC (on such titles as House of Mystery and House of Secrets) he drew occasional stories for Atlas, including the Lone Ranger-like Black Rider and the Fu Manchu stand-in Yellow Claw. After being sued by DC editor Jack Schiff, Kirby returned full-time to Atlas, drawing the cover and seven-page story "I Discovered the Secret of the Flying Saucers" in Strange Worlds #1 (Dec. 1958). Kirby would draw across all genres, from romance to Western (the feature "Black Rider") to espionage (Yellow Claw), but made his mark primarily with a series of monster, horror and science fiction stories for the company's many anthology series, such as Amazing Adventures, Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense. His bizarre designs of powerful, unearthly creatures proved a hit with readers. Then, with Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee, Kirby began working on superhero comics again, beginning with The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). The landmark series became a hit that revolutionized the industry with its comparative naturalism and, eventually, a cosmic purview informed by Kirby's seemingly boundless imagination — one coincidentally well-matched with the consciousness-expanding youth culture of the 1960s.
For almost a decade, Kirby provided Marvel's house style, co-creating/designing many of the Marvel characters and providing layouts for new artists to draw over. Artist Gil Kane summed up Kirby's influence in the following manner:
“ Everybody recognised Jack's contribution to comics generall and to Marvel specifically, in the same way they recognise that God created the heavens and the Earth... it wasn't merely that Jack conceived most of the characters that are being done, but more than that - Jack's point of view and philosophy of drawing became the governing philosophy of the entire publishing company and, beyond the publishing company, of the entire field... In order to broaden the scope of their publishing, what they managed to do was to take Jack and use him as a primer. They [Marvel] would get artists, regardless of whether they had done romance or anything else and they taught them the ABCs, which amounted to learning Jack Kirby. So, whether it was John Romita, whether it was anyone who ultimately joined the company, Jack was used as the yardstick by which they could measure their own progress. Jack was like the Holy Scripture and they simply had to follow him without deviation. That's what was told to me... it was how they taught everyone to reconcile all those opposing attitudes to one single master point of view.Highlights besides the Fantastic Four include Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the original X-Men, the Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Galactus, The Watcher, Magneto, Ego the Living Planet, the Inhumans and their hidden city of Attilan, and the Black Panther — comics' first known Black superhero — and his African nation of Wakanda. Simon & Kirby's Captain America was also incorporated into Marvel's continuity.
In 1968 and 1969, Joe Simon was involved in litigation with Marvel Comics over the ownership of Captain America, initiated by Marvel after Simon registered the copyright renewal for Captain America in his own name. According to Simon, Kirby agreed to support the company in the litigation and, as part of a deal Kirby made with publisher Martin Goodman, signed over to Marvel any rights he might have had to the character.
Kirby continued to expand the medium's boundaries, devising photo-collage covers and interiors, developing new drawing techniques such as the method for depicting energy fields now known as "Kirby Dots," and other experiments. Yet he grew increasingly dissatisfied with working at Marvel. There have been a number of reasons given for this dissatisfaction, including resentment over Stan Lee's increasing media prominence, a lack of full creative control, anger over breaches of perceived promises by publisher Martin Goodman, and frustration over Marvel's failure to credit him specifically for his story plotting and for his character creations and co-creations. He began to both script and draw some secondary features for Marvel, such as "The Inhumans" in Amazing Adventures and horror stories for the anthology title Chamber of Darkness, and received full credit for doing so; but he eventually left the company in 1970 for rival DC Comics, under editorial director Carmine Infantino.
After leaving Marvel, Kirby also took up oboe playing. He became quite prolific and enjoyed small success playing at lounges and night clubs. Columbia Records offered him a contract, but he snubbed it in order to continue his work in comics
Kirby returned to DC in late 1970, on a "five-year deal... a three year contract with an option for two more," with an arrangement that gave him full creative control as editor, writer and artist. He produced a series of inter-linked titles under the blanket sobriquet "The Fourth World" including a trilogy of new titles, New Gods, Mister Miracle, and The Forever People, as well as the Superman title, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. Kirby picked the book because the series was without a stable creative team and he did not want to cost anyone a job. The central villain of the Fourth World series, Darkseid, and some of the Fourth World concepts, appeared in Jimmy Olsen before the launch of the other Fourth World books, giving the new titles greater exposure to potential buyers.
Kirby later produced other DC titles such as OMAC, Kamandi, The Demon, and, together with former partner Joe Simon for one last time, a new incarnation of the Sandman. Several characters from this period have since become fixtures in the DC Universe, including the demon Etrigan and his human counterpart Jason Blood; Scott Free (Mister Miracle), and the cosmic villain Darkseid.
Kirby then returned to Marvel Comics where he both wrote and drew Captain America and created the series The Eternals, which featured a race of inscrutable alien giants, the Celestials, whose behind-the-scenes intervention influenced the evolution of life on Earth. Kirby’s other Marvel creations in this period include Devil Dinosaur, Machine Man, and an adaptation and expansion of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. He also wrote and drew The Black Panther and did numerous covers across the line.
Still dissatisfied with Marvel’s treatment of him, and their refusal to provide health and other employment benefits, Kirby left Marvel to work in animation, where he did designs for Turbo Teen, Thundarr the Barbarian and other animated television series. He also worked on The Fantastic Four cartoon show, reuniting him with scriptwriter Stan Lee. He illustrated an adaptation of the Walt Disney movie The Black Hole for Walt Disney’s Treasury of Classic Tales syndicated comic strip in 1979-80.
 Kirby vs Marvel
In 1985, screenwriter and comic-book historian Mark Evanier, a Kirby friend and former assistant, revealed to The Comics Journal that not only had thousands of pages of Kirby’s artwork had been lost by Marvel Comics, but that the remaining pages (just 88 "out of a total of more than 8,000") were effectively being held hostage by the company. This issue - the return of pages legally and morally owned by the artist - became the subject of a dispute between Kirby and Marvel, in large part because Kirby was singled out for specialist treatment. Prior to 1973 (when rival comics company DC acknowledged the "insensitive" handling - and often destruction - of original artwork, and began to work towards returning remaining pages and compensating artists whose work did not remain in storage), artwork was not routinely returned to the artists who had created it. Artwork from comics' earliest days was regularly destroyed, lost or arbitrarily given away by all companies who placed little or no value in it. Largely through the lobbying of groups fronted by Neal Adams working for creator's rights and fair treatment, this practice began to change, and artwork was more regularly stored than destroyed - but still not returned to the artists who had drawn it. After the example set by DC in starting to return current and backlogged art pages, many companies began to move towards returning pages, typically requiring the artists to sign a waiver releasing themselves from all rights related to the artwork, and acknowledging it as the sole property of the company for which it was created.20
Although all artists were required by Marvel to sign release forms in return for their pages, Kirby was singled out with a much more detailed form than any other artist - four pages to the 'normal' one. This form required not only the standard disclaimer of non-ownership of the ideas and characters created under "work for hire" (which Kirby regularly stated that he was reasonably happy to sign), but barred him from ever supporting his own or others' claims of any sort against Marvel, named him solely as custodian rather than owner of his pages (thereby refusing him the right to exhibit them or sell them - which to this day forms a common, and sometimes necessary, supplementary income for artists) among other strict - and outrageous - stipulations. Furthermore, while naming just 88 pages (The Comics Journal estimated this to be just over 1% of his total output - Frank Miller suggested less than 1%), the release form Marvel attempted to pressure Kirby into signing stated that:
"The Artist acknowledges that he or she has no claim or right to the ownership, possession or custody, or any other right [to] any other or different artwork or material presently in Marvel's possession, custody or control."
In other words, Marvel appeared not only to be singling out Kirby to stricter and more prohibitive sanctions (based solely on the key nature of his contributions, which did not merely form the backbone of the company, but almost the entire body of its artistic output both by creation and inspiration) over the return of any pages of his original artwork, but also expecting him to relinquish all claims to the thousands of "missing" pages - many more of which, it later transpired, were in Marvel's warehouses. Kirby necessarily baulked at the agreement which was being pressured on him, and refused to sign. After details were leaked to The Comics Journal, editor Gary Groth spearheaded the championing of Kirby's moral and legal rights both to the full return of his artwork, and to the downgrading of the sanctions Marvel was trying to force upon him. Although Marvel cited the need for such language, intimating that Kirby had threatened to pursue full ownership of some of his characters, this claim was denied by Kirby, and mitigated by Evanier as reciprocal behaviour:
"They kept threatening him and he kept threatening them," said Evanier, "[i]t was the only way he could get their attention. And somebody at Marvel over-reacted."
Although some creators declined to stand in support of Kirby's battle, (Groth suggests their reasons included the need not to antagonise the big companies who held the promise of their livelihoods, resentment, apathy and non-comprehension as being among the key reasons), many more signed The Comics Journals circulated petition (printed in The Comics Journal #110, and reprinted in The Comics Journal Library: Jack Kirby) in his support. Frank Miller wrote persuasively in The Comics Journal #5, Neal Adams continued to fight for creators' rights, and other notable individuals also leant their weight to the issue, with Will Eisner writing an open letter to TCJ, alongside one from DC's Jenette Kahn, Dick Giordano and Paul Levitz imploring Marvel to see legal and moral sense. Eventually, in 1987, Marvel downgraded their request for the mammoth release form, and even amended the 'normal' artist's short form to better address some of Kirby's specific concerns. Kirby ultimately received back from Marvel the 1,900-2,100 pages of his original art that remained in its possession (the other thousands having been forever misplaced, and routinely given away or stolen - many pages surfaced on the collector's market before Kirby had any returned to him), and Kirby acknowledged formally that the copyright to the characters he had created and co-created for Marvel were their property.
The disposition of Kirby’s early art for Fawcett, and numerous other companies has remained uncertain, although DC made a concerted effort in the mid-to-late 70s to return all artwork in their possession, and compensate artists for that which had been lost, stolen or destroyed.
In the early 1980s, Pacific Comics, a new, non-newsstand comic book publisher, made a then-groundbreaking deal with Kirby to publish his series Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers: Kirby would retain copyright over his creation and receive royalties on it. This, together with similar actions by other “independents” such as Eclipse Comics, helped establish a precedent for other professionals and end the monopoly of the “work for hire” system, wherein comics creators, even freelancers, had owned no rights to characters they created.
Kirby also retained ownership of characters used by Topps Comics beginning in 1993, for a set of series in what the company dubbed "The Kirbyverse." These titles were dervied mainly from designs and concepts that Kirby had kept in his files, some intended initially for the by-then-defunct Pacific Comics, and then licensed to Topps for what would become the Jack Kirby's Secret City Saga mythos. Former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas wrote the main title, with artwork from many other of Marvel's older generation of artists, including Walt Simonson and Steve Ditko on Secret City Saga itself. Kirby contributed 8 pages (thought to be file-pages, and drawn up to twenty years previously) to the launch of linked title Satan's Six, alongside pages by writer Tony Isabella, penciler John Cleary and inker Armando Gil.
Other "Kirbyverse" titles included:
Bombast, by Thomas, Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers & John Severin)
Captain Glory, by Thomas and Ditko
Jack Kirby's TeenAgents, by Kurt Busiek, Neil Vokes and John Beatty
Jack Kirby's Silver Star, by Busiek, James W. Fry III and Terry Austin
NightGlider, by Thomas, Gerry Conway and Don Heck
Victory, by Busiek, Keith Giffen and Jimmy Palmiotti
Kirby died at age 76 of heart failure in his Thousand Oaks, California home.
Awards and honors
Jack Kirby received a great deal of recognition over the course of his career, including the 1967 Alley Award for Best Pencil Artist. The following year he was runner-up behind Jim Steranko. His other Alley Awards were:
1963: Favorite Short Story - "The Human Torch Meets Captain America,", by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, Strange Tales #114
1964: Best Novel - "Captain America Joins the Avengers", by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, from The Avengers #4
1964: Best New Strip or Book - "Captain America", by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, in Tales of Suspense
1965: Best Short Story - "The Origin of the Red Skull", by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, Tales of Suspense #66
1966: Best Professional Work, Regular Short Feature - "Tales of Asgard" by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, in The Mighty Thor
1967: Best Professional Work, Regular Short Feature - (tie) "Tales of Asgard" and "Tales of the Inhumans", both by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, in The Mighty Thor
1968: Best Professional Work, Best Regular Short Feature - "Tales of the Inhumans", by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, in The Mighty Thor
1968: Best Professional Work, Hall of Fame - Fantastic Four, by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby; Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., by Jim Steranko
Kirby won a Shazam Award for Special Achievement by an Individual in 1971 for his "Fourth World" series in Forever People, New Gods, Mister Miracle, and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. He was inducted into the Shazam Awards Hall of Fame in 1975.
His work was honored posthumously with the 1998 Harvey Award for Best Domestic Reprint Project, for Jack Kirby's New Gods by Jack Kirby, edited by Bob Kahan.
The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor. With Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Gary Panter and Chris Ware, Kirby was among the artists honored in the exhibition "Masters of American Comics" at the Jewish Museum in New York City, New York, from Sept. 16, 2006 to Jan. 28, 2007.
On 27 July 2007, the U.S. Post Office released a full-sheet pane of Marvel Super Heroes. Ten of the stamps are portraits of individual Marvel characters and the other 10 stamps depict individual Marvel Comic book covers. According to the credits printed on the back of the pane, Jack Kirby's artwork is featured on: Captain America, The Thing, Silver Surfer, Amazing Spider-Man #1, The Incredible Hulk #1, Captain America #100, X-Men #1, and Fantastic Four #3.
The rooftop fighting and urban action were common in Kirby's superhero comics. They were drawn from Kirby's Depression-era youth on New York’s Lower East Side. In an interview, Kirby related that the conflict among rival gangs was incessant. The fighting was often staged up and down the tenement fire escapes, as well as in running battles across the neighborhood rooftops.
The most imitated aspect of Kirby's work has been his exaggerated perspectives and dynamic energy. Less easy to imitate have been the expressive body language of his characters, who embrace each other and charge into everything from battle to pancakes with unselfconscious exuberance; and such constantly forward-looking innovations as the then cutting-edge photomontages he often used. The "Kirby Crackle" is the often imitated technique of visually depicting crackling energy using an arrangement of black dots. He (along with fellow Marvel creator Steve Ditko) pioneered the use of visible minority characters in comic books, and Kirby co-created the first black superhero at Marvel (the African prince the Black Panther) and created DC's first two black superheroes: Vykin the Black in The Forever People #1 (March 1971) and the Black Racer in The New Gods #3 (July 1971).
Kirby’s daughter, Lisa Kirby, announced in early 2006 that she and co-writer Steve Robertson, with artist Mike Thibodeaux, plan to publish via the Marvel Comics Icon imprint, a six-issue miniseries, Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters, featuring characters and concepts created by her father.
Comics historian and Kirby friend Mark Evanier wrote in February 2007 that his long-in-progress Kirby biography would be broken into at least two books, with the first of these to be an art book, Kirby: King of Comics, scheduled for publication October 2007 by publisher Harry N. Abrams.
Several Kirby images are among those on the "Marvel Super Heroes" set of commemorative stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2007.
God rest his soul for we may never like of him again True Believers.