In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that.
Have you ever seen a little girl run so fast she falls down? There’s an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again… A moment when she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself and she flies. In that one moment, every little girl flies. I need to find that again. Like taking a car out into the desert to see how fast it can go, I need to find the edge of me… And maybe, if I fly far enough, I’ll be able to turn around and look at the world… And see where I belong.
Along with a few surviving western titles, by 1961 much of Kirby’s output was now movie-matinee-style monsters with names like Monstrom and Titano and Groot and Krang and Droom. With every successive cover, they became more hilarious in their repetition: It was always a clutch of tiny, high-tailing humans shrieking, falling down and pointing fingers as they announced the mind-boggling danger that pursued them. “They warned us—but we didn’t believe Monstrom existed!” “Help! Save us! He’s alive! He’s coming! IT’S DROOM!”
“I would much rather have been drawing Rawhide Kid,” Kirby lamented. “But I did the monsters. We had Grottu and Kurrgo and it…it was a challenge to try to do something—anything with such ridiculous characters.”