Another time, Jack took a call. A voice on the other end said, ‘There are three of us down here in the lobby. We want to see the guy who does this disgusting comic book and show him what real Nazis would do to his Captain America.’
To the horror of others in the office, Kirby rolled up his sleeves and headed downstairs. The callers, however, were gone by the time he arrived.
Years later, he told an interviewer, 'I once got a letter from a Nazi who told me to pick out any lamppost I wanted on Times Square, because when Hitler arrived, they’d hang me from it. It was typical of a genre of fans who have long since died out.’
Kirby: King Of Comics by Mark Evanier (pages 55-56)
Comic book legend Jack Kirby’s concept art for an unmade film version of my favorite science fiction novel of all time, Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light.
The twist is that the Lord of Light movie this art was created for was all a cover story, a fake movie production to allow US agents into Iran in order to rescue the hostages at the embassy. Kirby’s art was a part of this cover story. The movie Argo was based on this particularly insane chapter in CIA history.
Shame it was just a cover story. Lord of Light is maybe the most influential novel in Jack Kirby’s post-Marvel comics output, and while Kirby may have created some memorable concepts, all of his “space god” comics lacked the creative power and humor of the Zelazny novel that inspired them.
There are some who feel that when I point out differences between Kirby’s and Lee’s characterization of female characters that I’m reading things into the art that aren’t necessarily there.
Honestly, sometimes even I question myself. Sometimes I err on the side of caution and opt to not post a panel if it seems too ambiguous.
Above is an example of such a panel. My first reaction was “ha ha, Jack has Reed holding Sue back from attacking while Stan has her asking Reed to take action! This is hilarious!” But the more I looked at it, the more I second-guessed myself. Is Reed really holding her back, or just holding her? Am I misreading the art?
A few months ago the original art for this page appeared online, and it confirmed my initial reading. I’ve darkened the partially cut off margin area to make it easier to read. Jack has Reed saying EASY, SUE!
I can’t tell you how much I wish I knew what SUE SAYS. I looked at margin notes from surrounding issues to try and find examples of letters that match the top of what’s there, and my best estimate is that she’s saying “YOU BARBARIANS! with the closing quotation mark being on the next line.