jessica bloustein marshall

If you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you know Groot — the singing, dancing, crime-fighting tree. Groot was created by comics legend Jack Kirby, who’s also responsible for Captain America and the co-creator of the Avengers and the X-Men. Kirby died in 1994, but his birthday on August 28th has become something of a national celebration for comic book fans.

In the back room of a brewery just outside Albany, a small group of comic shop owners and comics creators gathers around a sketch of Kirby. The likeness peers intensely out from the page, inking pen in one hand, pencil clenched in his lips. But it’s not in a comic book. It’s the label on a bottle of beer.

“I just wanted to capture sort of his artistic power,” says artist Paul Harding. “Sort of an extreme view looking up from his drawing surface.” Harding is the sculptor behind a lot of the action figures you see in stores. He drew the image of Kirby. The the group is slapping it on limited edition beer bottles in preparation for Kirby Day. 

Raising A Birthday Glass To Comics King Jack Kirby

Photo credit: Courtesy of Paul Harding