What if Kirby (WiK) was conceived, designed, produced and built in Drupal, an open source content management framework, by me, Tom Kraft. It is my personal effort to share the works of Jack Kirby, comic book creator and artist with comic book fans, researchers and historians. So this site is not associated with any company or corporation, however it is an educational and research website built in conjunction with the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center (www.kirbymuseum.org).
First launched in the Spring of 2001, WiK was created for fans, collectors and historians of comic book creator, Jack Kirby. The largest part of the original site was "Creations." Creations provide a way to see what if comic art, originally inked for publication, could be re-inked by other inkers. In the new WiK site, this section is remixed with better quality scans. The goal is to give visitors a glimpse of how other inkers would approach Kirby's pencils and compare them from the photocopy pencil version, to the recreated pencil version, to the published version and finally to the newly inked version. The intention is not to suggest one inker was better than another. All the inkers chosen to re-ink, recreated pencils also inked for Kirby during his long career.
WiK was relaunched on August 28, 2010 in celebration of the anniversary of Jack Kirby's birthday. The new WiK has more content and features to further the site's mission of increasing awareness of who Jack Kirby was and his significance in inventing the comic book.
The site contains a large collection of comic book art scans in the Gallery section. Thanks to comic art dealers and private collection these scans total in the hundreds. Art pages were scanned on location or at many of the larger comic cons across the U.S. To house all this new content the site is built on a database. Gallery art can be searched by inker, date, period, character, story and other criteria. Detailed views display the front and back and in some cases a photocopy of the Kirby's original pencils. Membership to WiK gives access to additional content and features. Members have access to the "Zoom Art" feature that allows zooming up to almost 300%. Comic art pages in the gallery and creations sections can be rated and subscribe to for email updates.
For all visitors, historians or collectors audio commentary is provided on some pages and all visitors can leave comments on art, news and book publications. This is an valuable tool for researching the works of Jack Kirby.
There is much planned for the future of WiK. Hundreds of more comic art pages will be added and new functionality is planned for future. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook to get daily WiKpiks of newly posted comic art and news updates. If you have any suggestions, recommendations or comments please contact me.
Thank you and please explore and enjoy WiK!